Is the Catholic Church Pro-Sadducees on the Permanence of Matrimony


#1

It is usually the case in the old testament laws and ordinances that they were established in the law of Moses for convenience sake. Now in the case of the Church’s teaching on the Permanence of Matrimony or the Perpetual Sacrament of Marriage, Christ responded to the Pharisees regarding divorce that Moses established those laws and permit divorce because of the hardness of their heart indicating that there should be no divorce after marriage. But then Christ also responded to the Sadducees who did not believe in the after life who limited themselves to earthly life alone indicating that there is only one marriage in life because in the after life neither man nor woman marry.

Isn’t it obvious that when we were baptized we became Christians, this does not end when we die a physical death because we will still be alive in Christ? The Sacrament doesn’t end there because of the believe in the Communion of Saints. Christ is the source of all Sacraments. What about the Sacrament of Marriage? Shouldn’t it be a perpetual sacrament which is made into its fullness and complete in Christ after our physical death? I know that the Canon law states somewhere that a person has the right to remarry if a spouse dies. I am seeing that this is more like what the Sadducees were believing and practicing because they don’t believe in the resurrection of the body. This is just my own opinion and I need some real explanation here. I’ve been thinking over this for long time and I still cannot get it well. Any input is greatly appreciated.


#2

Unlike other sacraments like Baptism and Confirmation, Marriage is not permanent. It only lasts as long as both spouses are alive. This has nothing to do with the idea that the dead do not rise. Marriage is a sacrament that is necessary on earth (we need to procreate, for one thing) but is not necessary in heaven.


#3

I’m confused by the bolded above. I’ve just reread all three Gospels and Jesus didn’t comment at all on the earthly marriages in that passage, he just told them that in Heaven the woman would not be married to any of the brothers because in Heaven there is no marriage, people are like the angels.


#4

I see where you are coming from, but remember, not all sacraments do the same thing. We actually can and do receive several sacraments multiple times in our lives, and matrimony is one of them.

For example, the sacrament of penance, the Eucharist, the anointing of the sick. We receive those over and over during the course of our lives. The reason we can’t receive baptism or confirmation multiple times is because it effects a permanent change in our souls. The Church call it an indelible mark. That’s why we are still Christians in Heaven. The other sacraments can be received multiple times because they serve to strengthen and/or heal us in our spiritual lives. But they don’t leave a permanent mark. That’s the category matrimony falls into. That sacrament pours graces on the spouses so that they have the strength to love and serve each other as Christ does, and to help each other get to heaven. Once one spouse dies, the sacrament has served its purpose. It does not leave an indelible mark on us.

Just like if I commit a mortal sin, then I would go to confession. Once I confess to the priest, my sins are cleansed and the sacrament has done its job. But that hardly means I can never go to confession again. If I fall into sin again, then I need the sacrament and it’s graces. So it is with marriage. If I marry, then the sacrament strengthens me to love and stay faithful to my husband, and help him get to heaven. When he dies, the sacrament’s grace is no longer needed. If I marry again though, then I need those graces once more. That’s why we can receive the sacrament of matrimony multiple times, and the sacrament of confession multiple times. They give graces for a specific purpose, and as long as you need them, you can receive them.


#5

Great answers. Have thought of this question myself in the past. :thumbsup:


#6

Yup, I think Phemie’s got it right. I was trying to remember where it was discussed in the Bible… and goodness me, it was actually the reading at Mass today!


#7

Thank you so much for your responses. We got to remember that Jesus was responding to the Sadducees who did not believe in life after death. Even though you may conclude that the Sacrament of Marriage is not permanent, the Church in fact teaches that marriage is perpetual! What exactly does this mean? Does it mean perpetual as in temporary on Earth? How about the Church teachings on the Perpetual virginity of Mary? Does that mean it is also perpetual as in temporary on Earth too? My thinking and don’t take my word on this is that I would argue that marriage binds forever until death separates. Death came on Earth after the fall of man. This death is separation from God. So marriage in the old testament ended when someone dies. However, Jesus came and brought life and conquered death. Our marriage should not end with our death on earth but continues into fullness in Christ in heaven. If Jesus may imply that marriage is not necessary in heaven but did he say that the bondage of marriage is invalid in heaven? The Book of Revelation guides us into the Heavenly marriage, the perfect union of Christ and HIS Church (us). Since our marriage on earth is a sacrament of the perpetual union of Christ and his bride, why should it end with our temporary life on Earth? Baptism brings union into Christ’s life. The Eucharist gives us union with Christ. Confession maintains our union with Christ. Confirmation strengthens our desire for union in Christ, anointing of the sick implants our hope in union with Christ and marriage demonstrates our never ending union of love IN CHRIST. Christ is the center and source of all sacraments not us. If we are centering the sacraments on us then it is no longer a sacrament of Christ. It may then be rightful to say that husband and wife marries only to be united to one another but not with Christ because the day one of them dies they will look for another partner. This was exactly with the Sadducees when they approached Jesus.


#8

[quote="Tetiaroa, post:7, topic:344750"]
Thank you so much for your responses. We got to remember that Jesus was responding to the Sadducees who did not believe in life after death. Even though you may conclude that the Sacrament of Marriage is not permanent, the Church in fact teaches that marriage is perpetual! What exactly does this mean? Does it mean perpetual as in temporary on Earth? How about the Church teachings on the Perpetual virginity of Mary? Does that mean it is also perpetual as in temporary on Earth too? My thinking and don't take my word on this is that I would argue that marriage binds forever until death separates. Death came on Earth after the fall of man. This death is separation from God. So marriage in the old testament ended when someone dies. However, Jesus came and brought life and conquered death. Our marriage should not end with our death on earth but continues into fullness in Christ in heaven. If Jesus may imply that marriage is not necessary in heaven but did he say that the bondage of marriage is invalid in heaven? The Book of Revelation guides us into the Heavenly marriage, the perfect union of Christ and HIS Church (us). Since our marriage on earth is a sacrament of the perpetual union of Christ and his bride, why should it end with our temporary life on Earth? Baptism brings union into Christ's life. The Eucharist gives us union with Christ. Confession maintains our union with Christ. Confirmation strengthens our desire for union in Christ, anointing of the sick implants our hope in union with Christ and marriage demonstrates our never ending union of love IN CHRIST. Christ is the center and source of all sacraments not us. If we are centering the sacraments on us then it is no longer a sacrament of Christ. It may then be rightful to say that husband and wife marries only to be united to one another but not with Christ because the day one of them dies they will look for another partner. This was exactly with the Sadducees when they approached Jesus.

[/quote]

Jesus made it clear there is no marriage in Heaven. Why do you seem intent on contradicting the Church teaching. The Sacrament of Marriage applies to those living on earth. If one of the spouses in a marriage dies the other is free to marry again. Under your thought process that is forbidden.

Matthew 22:29-30

29 Jesus said to them in reply, "You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God.

30 At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.

Romans 7:2-3

2 Thus a married woman is bound by law to her living husband; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law in respect to her husband.

3 Consequently, while her husband is alive she will be called an adulteress if she consorts with another man. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and she is not an adulteress if she consorts with another man.


#9

[quote="Tetiaroa, post:7, topic:344750"]
Thank you so much for your responses. We got to remember that Jesus was responding to the Sadducees who did not believe in life after death. Even though you may conclude that the Sacrament of Marriage is not permanent, the Church in fact teaches that marriage is perpetual!

[/quote]

Could you show a reference for that? I'm unfamiliar with that teaching. I know the Church teaches the bond of marriage lasts until death. If the Church does indeed say marriage is a perpetual institution, that would seem to be a contradiction.

My thinking and don't take my word on this is that I would argue that marriage binds forever until death separates. Death came on Earth after the fall of man. This death is separation from God.

Actually no, death isn't a separation from God, sin is. Death is the separation of the soul from the body.

So marriage in the old testament ended when someone dies. However, Jesus came and brought life and conquered death. Our marriage should not end with our death on earth but continues into fullness in Christ in heaven.

Your conclusion does not follow at all. The fact that Jesus conquered death implies nothing about marriage in heaven. Especially when Jesus himself made clear that there is no marriage in heaven because we will be like the angels (who are not married)

Jesus may imply that marriage is not necessary in heaven but did he say that the bondage of marriage is invalid in heaven?

Yes in fact, Jesus does imply that the marriage bond ceases with death. Otherwise, if it didn't, when the Sadducees asked whose wife the woman will be in the next life, even though she was married to seven different men, he would have simply answered she would be the wife of the first, since she was married to him first and their bond never ceased. But that's not what he did.

The Book of Revelation guides us into the Heavenly marriage, the perfect union of Christ and HIS Church (us). Since our marriage on earth is a sacrament of the perpetual union of Christ and his bride, why should it end with our temporary life on Earth?

Close. Marriage is the sacramental sign of Christ's union with the Church. But signs are no longer needed when the reality comes, which is what heaven will be. Also, the sacrament of matrimony itself does not create our union with Christ. It gives the man and woman strength to live faithfully as Christian spouses and to raise children and to help each other get to heaven. But in heaven those purposes are finished, so there is no need for human marriage.

Baptism brings union into Christ's life. The Eucharist gives us union with Christ. Confession maintains our union with Christ. Confirmation strengthens our desire for union in Christ, anointing of the sick implants our hope in union with Christ and marriage demonstrates our never ending union of love IN CHRIST. Christ is the center and source of all sacraments not us. .If we are centering the sacraments on us then it is no longer a sacrament of Christ.

You are absolutely right that Christ is the center and source of all the sacraments. But in heaven, we will be in perfect union with Christ. There won't actually be any sacraments in heaven, because we will have the Beatific vision. Their purpose will be complete. This doesn't belittle or diminish the sacraments or make them about us at all. It is all about Christ. When we are in heaven, there will be no need for any sacraments, because heaven and union with God is the goal and fulfillment of all the sacraments

It may then be rightful to say that husband and wife marries only to be united to one another but not with Christ because the day one of them dies they will look for another partner.

I already pointed out, the sacrament is a sign of Christ's union with us but it doesn't actually create that union. That's not the purpose of the sacrament

. This was exactly with the Sadducees when they approached Jesus.

No, the Sadducees were trying to prove the doctrine of the resurrection false, it had nothing to do with remarriage. Jesus didn't have a problem with remarriage in the case of death, only divorce.


#10

[quote="thistle, post:8, topic:344750"]
Jesus made it clear there is no marriage in Heaven. Why do you seem intent on contradicting the Church teaching. The Sacrament of Marriage applies to those living on earth. If one of the spouses in a marriage dies the other is free to marry again. Under your thought process that is forbidden.

[/quote]

I am not trying to contradict the teaching of the Church, I am trying to dig deeper into the Church's teaching. I couldn't find a real straight forward black and white teaching of the Church that we are free to marry again if our spouse dies. Before I go further on this marriage issue I will responde first to the passages that you've provided below:

[quote="thistle, post:8, topic:344750"]

Matthew 22:29-30

29 Jesus said to them in reply, "You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God.

30 At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.

[/quote]

As i mentioned earlier in my previous post, in the passage Jesus was just simply meeting an objection to the resurrection placed by the Sadducees. His main point was that we do live after death. We will have spiritual bodies "like the angels" and there will be no more death and birth. But the knowledge and love of this life will be intensified in the next and God's love will keep us even closer to our loved ones where He will wipe every tear from our eyes and there shall be no more death or pain (Rev 21:1,4).

[quote="thistle, post:8, topic:344750"]

Romans 7:2-3

2 Thus a married woman is bound by law to her living husband; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law in respect to her husband.

3 Consequently, while her husband is alive she will be called an adulteress if she consorts with another man. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and she is not an adulteress if she consorts with another man.

[/quote]

In Romans 7:1 Paul specifies that he was speaking to those who know the law in the context of the old testament. So the context of Romans 7 is freedom from the law and not about marriage. This can be seen clearly if you read further to Romans 7:6 "But now we are released from the law, dead to what held us captive, so that we may serve in the newness of the spirit and not under the obsolete letter."

Paul reflects on the fact that Christians have a different understanding of the law because of their faith in Christ and that law binds the living not the dead. Christians who through baptism have died with Christ and are freed from the law (old testament laws and ordinances including laws on marriage).

Now back to the issue of marriage and eternal life. I couldn't find a clear teaching that really address freedom to remarry but here is what I found from our Catechism of the Catholic Church

C1661 "The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life"

Now how can one's love of his or her spouse be perfected, their indissoluble unity be strengthened and be sanctified on their way to eternal life if one remarries to another spouse?


#11

One can remarry because the other has already earned eternal life and the one left behind is still working on his/hers.


#12

What you are saying then is that even though Scripture states a person can remarry if their spouse dies and that Catholic widowers/widows are married in a Catholic Church that you still don’t believe it it is permitted?!


#13

[quote="Phemie, post:11, topic:344750"]
One can remarry because the other has already earned eternal life and the one left behind is still working on his/hers.

[/quote]

How can we be sure that the other has already earned eternal life? Why do we pray for our departed loved ones on All Souls day?


#14

Not that I don’t believe it. It’s just not clear. If you read carefully in full what I posted earlier, I discussed that the context of scripture is speaking of something else rather than permission to remarry.
In summary:

  1. Romans 7:1-6 talks about freedom from the law. The law that binds those who were living under the old testament laws.
  2. C1661 talks about the perpetual unity of the spouses to eternal life not Earthly life.
  3. Jesus response to the Sadducees only confirms the after life and the absence of marriage in heaven.

I am still trying to find a clearer reference on this teaching to remarry. As a side note though this may not be a relevant nor valid and accepted kind of information but it makes me wonder. Where I am from, there was a couple a few years back. The guy died and during his journey to the afterlife, he was walking up some kind of stairway and when he was about to reach the top his two feet were held back by some force and he couldn’t move any further. Then he heard a loud voice saying to him, “You must go back for your wife practices witchcraft. You need to save her.” This was during the second day of his funeral and when he came back to life everyone got scared and jumped out from the house. That was his story. Now, what wonders me is that statement, “your wife”. Why was the woman he left when he died was still called his wife? That’s something that puzzles me until now if this should be a valid and accepted incident.


#15

Total nonsense. You are either dead and can never come back or you are not dead and are ressusitated.

As for remarriage I don’t see what is not clear. The Catholic Church marries widows/widowers who find another spouse after theirs had died. The FACT the Church marries such people means it is permitted.


#16

Thank you thistle,

I know this is complete nonsense for those who do not believe in such nonsense. However, a dead person coming back to life had happened in life in many parts of the world. One example, at Pampeluna, Spain, an innocent man had just been condemned to death. St. Vincent knew of his innocence and pleaded for him, but in vain. As the grim procession led the poor man to the scaffold, they met another procession, that of a man already dead. The corpse was being borne on a stretcher to the burial place. Vincent seemed to have a sudden inspiration. He stopped suddenly and addressed the corpse: “You no longer have anything to gain by lying. Is this man guilty? Answer me!”

The dead man sat up, then spoke the words: “He is not!” As the man began to settle down again on his stretcher, Vincent offered to reward him for his service. He gave him the opportunity of remaining alive on earth. But the man re-sponded, “No, Father, for I am assured of salvation.” With that he died again as if going to sleep, and they carried his body off to the cemetery.

We can say that the man wasn’t really dead too before he sat up to talk.

This is one of the many nonsense stories of the dead coming back to life but the reality is it happens.
Regarding the Church and marriage, I know that the Church remarries and permits because it has been a practice. It has been a practice also among the Jews before the time of Christ. What I am trying to find is the exact teaching that says it in black and white. The teaching on divorce is very clear but on remarriage is a bit silent. This is why I am just thinking that maybe the Church is Pro-Sadducees on the Permanence of Marriage. Just my silly opinion :slight_smile:


#17

The dead do not come back. These stories you gave as examples are simply that - stories.
If the man was dead he did not come back. If he came back he was not dead in the first place.


#18

Thank you Thistle,

So you mean to say that Tabitha in Acts 9:36-42 who fell ill and died and was raised from the dead by Peter was not actually dead?

Also Acts 20:12 when Paul raised Eutychus from the dead, he wasn’t dead too?

Have you read the book “Saints who Raised the Dead” by Father Albert J. Hebert? One of the Saints, St. Francis raised a dead person who was already buried and was already started stinking. Was this also not a dead person? They maybe just stories but the fact that they were documented and were used by the Church as one of the criteria for beautifying and canonizing saints, they may carry some grounds of validity.

The after life family ties is also demonstrated in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31.
In verse 17-18, the rich man who also died says “…Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment."
Here the family ties was demonstrated even in the afterlife. I am thinking that since marriage exhibits a strong love and family ties, it appears that it may have been the same case in the afterlife. The ties of husband and wife, father and mother, brother and sister, parents and children continues to the afterlife. :shrug:


#19

We are not talking about people in biblical times being raised by Jesus or the apostles. I knew you would come in and digress. That has nothing to do with the made up stories in your examples.
Those in your examples were NOT dead if they came back.


#20

Thank you Thistle but now I’m not getting your point! If we cannot talk about the dead being raised during biblical times then why can’t we? What’s the difference?
Because I can read to you historical accounts of miracles since the time of Jesus and the apostles to the times of the early Church fathers and throughout the 2000 years history of the Church of dead people been miraculously raised from the dead (approved by the Church and non-approved ones), but now we are going to call those as made up stories with the exception of those in biblical times? All these dead people were just experiencing some kind of “coma”?

If you don’t believe in these I have no problem with that but for me, I do believe that by the power of God, these miracles had happened and still happen to these days.
:slight_smile:


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