No divorce? Marriage question


#1

Hi all,

The Catholic Church says marriage is not dissolvable, based on Jesus' teachings, and I am unsure of this because Jesus Himself gives one reason where divorce is allowed. How can you deny what Jesus said out of His own mouth?

"And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery." (Matthew 19:9). HE says you CAN divorce. Oh boy here I go, this is how priests get ticked off at me.

OK well at least I know I'm not going to this sexuality class, I will see if someone wants my book. I hate that I just cannot resolve my issues with the Church. Jesus says plainly that divorce is allowed but for only one reason. If that's true, the Church is wrong, divorce IS allowed.

I've come to the conclusion that I just can't resolve some of my issues with Church teachings but am really wanting to hear how everyone else approaches this text.

Thanks


#2

I think you are confused about what the Church teaches.

In general, divorce is a grave offense against marriage and the sixth commandment. The Church teaches that there are circumstances when separation can be necessary and can be tolerated, even including the civil proceeding of divorce. From the Catechism.

Divorce

2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.173 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.174 Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death."175

2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176 If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.177

2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.178

Where your confusion comes in is that even though a couple might separate physically due to serious circumstances, the bond remains. They are not free to contract another marriage. They remain bound to their original spouse, even though they do not live with them.

Hope that clears it up.


#3

No actually that’s not what Jesus said, He actually says that anyone who gets a divorce EXCEPT FOR UNCHASTITY commits adultery. He says that one can divorce for that reason alone. Read the actual verse, it does NOT say a bond remains. He mentions a bond for those who divorce for the other reasons.


#4

[quote="Irishgal49, post:1, topic:291473"]
"And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery." (Matthew 19:9).

[/quote]

catholic.com/quickquestions/if-jesus-made-an-exception-for-divorce-in-cases-of-adultery-why-doesnt-the-church

CA has written a short answer to your question. God bless!


#5

There have been people granted annulments based on their partners sexual immorality. I remember a few years ago there was a couple married for about twenty or thirty years and the woman was granted the annulment based on her husband's sexual immorality. In this case he was have sex with a cow. I'm not sure what the policy of annulments usually is concerning adultery, but I have heard of it happening.


#6

[quote="Spirithound, post:4, topic:291473"]
catholic.com/quickquestions/if-jesus-made-an-exception-for-divorce-in-cases-of-adultery-why-doesnt-the-church

CA has written a short answer to your question. God bless!

[/quote]

Thanks, I read it and looked up the Greek word, they were correct on the word, totally incorrect on it's meaning;

Strong's #4202: porneia (pronounced por-ni'-ah)

from 4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:--fornication.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon:

́porneia

1) illicit sexual intercourse

1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mark 10:11,Mark 10:12

2) metaphorically the worship of idols

2a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

Part of Speech: noun feminine

This has nothing to do with their "invalid" marriage explanation, I'm actually becoming alarmed because the explanations are assuming people won't check and just say, "Oh OK thanks" and accept it.

This is actually scary. Does everyone buy this? So my observation is still correct as I interpreted it.

Thanks for the link though.


#7

[quote="JK8619, post:5, topic:291473"]
There have been people granted annulments based on their partners sexual immorality. I remember a few years ago there was a couple married for about twenty or thirty years and the woman was granted the annulment based on her husband's sexual immorality. In this case he was have sex with a cow. I'm not sure what the policy of annulments usually is concerning adultery, but I have heard of it happening.

[/quote]

Wow that's pretty wild, but an annulment assumes that the marriage wasn't sacramental or valid in the first place. This is not what Jesus is saying, he's saying that a person in a valid marriage commits adultery if they divorce someone and get with someone else EXCEPT for "unchastity" which I define (and the Church defines incorrectly in the answer given on the link). My ex-husband is Jewish and said that their argument was false.


#8

[quote="Irishgal49, post:3, topic:291473"]
No actually that's not what Jesus said, He actually says that anyone who gets a divorce EXCEPT FOR UNCHASTITY commits adultery. He says that one can divorce for that reason alone. Read the actual verse, it does NOT say a bond remains. He mentions a bond for those who divorce for the other reasons.

[/quote]

You are correct about what Jesus taught, but 1ke was referring to the Catholic teaching, which may differ from what the bible says. Jesus does not always teach the same as the Old Testament, and the Church does not always agree with the New Testament. Other doctrine does not come from the Bible at all, but from revelation. It can be a bit confusing. It would be nice if the OT, NT, and the Church were all perfectly inline with each other, but that is not the way it works. Some laws and rules are changed for practicality (many are meant for our welfare i.e. the laws of sabbath, which Christ amended for man's well-being), others are changed for other reasons. I do not see why the Church would amend Christ's teachings on divorce (or if they did), but maybe someone else can explain.


#9

[quote="Irishgal49, post:7, topic:291473"]
Wow that's pretty wild, but an annulment assumes that the marriage wasn't sacramental or valid in the first place. This is not what Jesus is saying, he's saying that a person in a valid marriage commits adultery if they divorce someone and get with someone else EXCEPT for "unchastity" which I define (and the Church defines incorrectly in the answer given on the link). My ex-husband is Jewish and said that their argument was false.

[/quote]

I think that perhaps you should calm down a bit before continuing down this road, and down any other road of doubts towards the Church. You cannot find the truth if your heart and mind remain clouded by suspicion, as yours seem to be based on your posts. First of all, your thinking is very Sola Scriptura to my ear, which is not a Catholic viewpoint. Exact and literal interpretation of the Bible can take you way off base of the truth. Have you read the Catholic Church's teachings on marriage, and their origin, as opposed to their teachings on divorce? That might help you glean a bit more clearly why we have the beliefs which we do.


#10

The term 'annulment' is not in the Bible, but the word 'annul' is mentioned 4 times in the Bible (Numbers 30:8,13; Job 4:8; Jeremiah 14:21). It is from the Hebrew word ('parar') which means 'to break, to split, make void,' however, it never refers to a marriage. In Numbers it means that if a woman makes a vow, the only time a husband can revoke, or 'annul' her vow is on that day she makes the vow, but again, it has nothing to do with marriage. When Jesus was responding to the question of divorce, the Jewish people were divorcing the wives of their youth for frivolous reasons, & were taking Deuteronomy 24 completely out of context, because God intended marriage to be permanent (Mark 10:9). However, when we look at Deuteronomy 24, Moses writes:

"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house."

Now, according to the words of Jesus, a man 'makes' his wife commit adultery, except for the reason of unchastity ('porneia'), or 'indecency' (Deuteronomy 24:1), which would mean that if the woman commited some form of sexual immoral act that violated the marriage covenant, then the 'woman' would be guilty of adultery, not the man, so if the man got a divorce, the MAN would not be guilty of commiting adultery, nor 'making' his wife commit adultery..

Now, in the OT, the act of adultery was punishable by death, & according to Jesus, an 'unbiblical' divorce resulted in adultery. However, Moses stated in Deuteronomy 24:2 that the 'indecent' divorced wife was not put to death for getting divorced, but was able to marry again, which according to Jesus is also adultery. That's because under the New Covenant, although divorce is a sin, it is not 'prohibited.' If a person gets an 'unbiblical' divorce, they have sinned against God, but we have to remember Jesus died on the cross for that sin. What God wants to see is if the divorcee is GENUINELY repentant in their heart. Doesn't make it okay - sin is sin.

Divorce always results in adultery to either the husband or the wife, because marriage was meant to be permanent. However, divorce is not something a person is 'prohibited' from doing - it just means that it results in sin, which separates us from God & negatively affects our relationship with our Heavenly Father. So, a person should pray earnestly & carefully before considering breaking that covenantal bond that God instituted. However, from the Word of the Lord - ie: the Bible - no one can 'annul' a marriage, because marriage is meant to be permanent.

In Christ,
Steve.


#11

Before you give up, you might want to reflect that the bible has been around for a long time, and the Church has always read it in the same way. That is, it is extremely unlikely that over the past 2000 years no one in the Catholic Church has noticed this passage. I’m not trying to be flippant, but I just want to point out that what you’re reading is an English translation of a Latin translation of a document that was probably originally written in Hebrew or Greek. In particular, common expressions of the time may not translate over well, and modes of expression that seemed common and obvious then may not carry exactly the same meaning now.

I suggest reading archive.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0007bt.asp. A few excerpts:

In the first-century Mediterranean world, divorce and remarriage were common—except among the Jews. Jesus in particular used strong language in condemning the practice. In Matthew 5:31–32, he says, “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Similarly, in Matthew 19:9, he says, “And I say to you: Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery” (emphases added).

Many Protestants seize on these so-called “exceptive clauses” as legitimizing divorce in cases where one of the spouses has committed adultery or engaged in some sort of sexual sin.

There are a number of problems with this. First among them is that the exceptive clauses do not appear in the parallel passages in Mark and Luke. In Mark 10:11–12, Jesus says only, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Likewise, Luke 16:18 says, “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

This is striking. How could Mark and Luke, writing for the Greco-Roman world, omit the one, glaring exception that allows remarriage after divorce? Adultery and sexual sins were rampant in the Roman culture. Mark and Luke would have realized that their audiences needed to know about the exception even more than the Jewish audience for which Matthew wrote.

The exceptive clauses also do not appear in Paul’s discussion of divorce and remarriage. In Romans 7:2–3, he writes that “a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.”

And in 1 Corinthians 7:10–11, 39, he writes, “To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)—and that the husband should not divorce his wife. . . . A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”

Paul was dealing also with a Greco-Roman audience, and he also does not make an exception for unfaithfulness or sexual sin. (The only exception he does make is for the dissolution of a non-sacramental marriage when one spouse has converted to Christianity [1 Cor. 7:12, 15]—what we know today as the Pauline privilege—but that is a different matter.)

Because the exceptive clauses occur only in Matthew’s Gospel—one written for a Jewish audience—it suggests that they reflect some issue of particular concern to Jews. What might this be?

One possibility is that the exceptive clauses are there as an illustration of the precision demanded in rabbinic logic. In other words, the clauses indicate that if one divorces an adulterous wife, one isn’t making her into an adulteress because she already is one. That doesn’t mean that she’s free to remarry; it just means that you aren’t forcing her into an adulterous situation if you divorce her.

Another possibility is that the exceptive clauses are a way of avoiding altogether the subject of an unchaste spouse. In Judaism around this period, there was a debate between the school of Hillel and the school of Shammai over the circumstances in which one could divorce. The Hillelites argued that it could be essentially for any reason, while the Shammaites argued it could be only for adultery. The exceptive clauses could be a way of avoiding this debate. The Greek grammar allows the passage to be understood roughly in this sense: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another—I’m not going into the subject of unchastity—commits adultery.”

A third possibility is that the Greek term used for “unchastity”— porneia—is being used in a special sense. For example, some have taken it to refer to unchaste behavior before the marriage is consummated. At that point, it is possible to dissolve the marriage, for marriages become indissoluble only when they are consummated.

Today, with the tradition of the wedding night, it is highly unlikely a spouse could be unfaithful between the marriage ceremony and the consummation. However, in Jesus’ time it was customary for a couple to be legally married for about a year before the consummation. The bride continued to live with her family while the husband prepared their home. At the end of this time there was the “fetching of the bride” ceremony, where the groom took her back to his own home with family and friends accompanying them. Then, during the wedding party, the couple would retire and consummate their union. Clearly, within this long time frame unchastity was possible on the part of one of the spouses.

Why would Matthew be the only Evangelist to point out the possibility of dissolving such unions? Because he is the only one who mentions that, when Mary was discovered to be with child by the Holy Spirit, Joseph had in mind to divorce her quietly (Matt. 1:19). He alone would seem to have a reason to clarify why Joseph’s planned course of action was legitimate, given what Jesus said later regarding marriage.

The article goes on for about as long again.

This is why we rely on the Church to interpret scripture for us. There are many possibilities, all conceivable within our understanding of the language and culture of the time, in which this verse goes well with Catholic understanding. There is, of course (and a priori), also the possibility that the verse contradicts what the Church teaches.

But how am I to tell? I don’t know the language and was not raised in that culture. My best bet is to get the information from someone who does and was. Granted, that was a long time ago, so I’d have to get that information from those people through, say, an organization that’s existed since then and has been working slavishly to preserve and elucidate the teachings that originated at this time.

Good thing we know of such an organization, right?


#12

[quote="JNdoum, post:9, topic:291473"]
Exact and literal interpretation of the Bible can take you way off base of the truth. Have you read the Catholic Church's teachings on marriage, and their origin, as opposed to their teachings on divorce? That might help you glean a bit more clearly why we have the beliefs which we do.

[/quote]

Regarding Jesus's teachings on divorce, the literal interpretation is the only interpretation. He certainly was not talking figuratively on this issue. I don't know if the Churches teaching is different than Christ's, but if it is, then I believe it is wrong.


#13

[quote="Irishgal49, post:6, topic:291473"]
Thanks, I read it and looked up the Greek word, they were correct on the word, totally incorrect on it's meaning;
Strong's #4202: porneia (pronounced por-ni'-ah)
from 4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:--fornication.
Thayer's Greek Lexicon:
́porneia
1) illicit sexual intercourse
1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mark 10:11,Mark 10:12
2) metaphorically the worship of idols
2a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols
Part of Speech: noun feminine
This has nothing to do with their "invalid" marriage explanation, I'm actually becoming alarmed because the explanations are assuming people won't check and just say, "Oh OK thanks" and accept it.
This is actually scary. Does everyone buy this? So my observation is still correct as I interpreted it.
Thanks for the link though.

[/quote]

Here is a Catholic commentary that should make it clear. Put away his wife due to fornication (porneia) is separation while the bond remains (See canon law.)

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery

Matthew 5:32 But I say to you: that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
Haydock Commentary:

Matthew 19, Ver. 9. And I say to you.

It is worthy of remark, that in the parallel texts, St. Mark x. 2. and St. Luke xvi. 18. and St. Paul to Corinthians vii. 10. omit the exception of fornication; and also that St. Matthew himself omits it in the second part of the verse; and says absolutely, that he who shall marry her that is put away committeth adultery. It perhaps crept in here from chap. v. 32 [see commentary below Matthew:5:32], where it is found in a phrase very similar to this, but which expresses a case widely different. Divorce is in no case admitted but in that of adultery. This is what Christ teaches in chap. v. 32, and to this the exception is referred, marked in the two texts. But in this very case the separated parties cannot contract a second marriage without again committing adultery, as we must infer, from a comparison of this text with the parallel texts of St. Mark and St. Luke. (Bible de Vence)

--- If we did not understand it in this manner, the case of the adulteress would be preferable to the case of her who should be put away without any crime of her own; as in this supposition, the former would be allowed to marry again, which the latter would not be allowed. (Tirinus)

--- St. Augustine is very explicit on this subject. See lib. 11. de adult conjug. chap. xxi. xxii. xxiv.

--- St. Jerome, in his high commendation of the noble matron, Fabiola, says of her: "that though she was the innocent party, for the unlawful act of marrying again, she did public penance." (In Epitaph. Fabiolæ.)

--- This universally received doctrine of the Catholic Church was confirmed in the general council of Trent. (Session xxiv. canon 6.)

Matthew 5, Ver. 32. Excepting the cause of fornication.

A divorce or separation as to bed and board, may be permitted for some weighty causes in Christian marriages; but even then, he that marrieth her that is dismissed, commits adultery. As to this, there is no exception. The bond of marriage is perpetual; and what God hath joined, no power on earth can separate. See again Matthew xix. 9. (Witham)

--- The knot of marriage is so sacred a tie, that the separation of the parties cannot loosen it, it being not lawful for either of the parties to marry again upon a divorce. (St. Augustine, de bon. conjug. chap. vii.) (Bristow)

Catholic Canon Law, see:

CHAPTER IX: THE SEPARATION OF THE SPOUSES

ARTICLE 1: THE DISSOLUTION OF THE BOND
Canon 1141 A marriage which is ratified and consummated cannot be dissolved by any human power or by any cause other than death.
Canon 1142 A non-consummated marriage between baptised persons or between a baptised party and an unbaptised party can be dissolved by the Roman Pontiff for a just reason, at the request of both parties or of either party, even if the other is unwilling.
Canon 1143.1 In virtue of the pauline privilege, a marriage entered into by two unbaptised persons is dissolved in favour of the faith of the party who received baptism, by the very fact that a new marriage is contracted by that same party, provided the unbaptised party departs.
...

  ARTICLE 2: SEPARATION WHILE THE BOND REMAINS

Canon 1151 Spouses have the obligation and the right to maintain their common conjugal life, unless a lawful reason excuses them.
...

catholicdoors.com/misc/marriage/canonlaw.htm


#14

[quote="Irishgal49, post:1, topic:291473"]

The Catholic Church says marriage is not dissolvable,

[/quote]

Actually the Catholic Church teaches that marriage dissolves with the death of one of the spouses.


#15

[quote="Irishgal49, post:1, topic:291473"]
Hi all,

The Catholic Church says marriage is not dissolvable, based on Jesus' teachings,

[/quote]

It teaches that a sacramental marriage cannot be dissolved. A non-sacramental marriage can be dissolved (Pauline & Petrine Privileges)


#16

[quote="JK8619, post:5, topic:291473"]
There have been people granted annulments based on their partners sexual immorality. I remember a few years ago there was a couple married for about twenty or thirty years and the woman was granted the annulment based on her husband's sexual immorality. In this case he was have sex with a cow. I'm not sure what the policy of annulments usually is concerning adultery, but I have heard of it happening.

[/quote]

Despite what you may have heard, this is not grounds for nullity. Therefore any declaration of nullity would have been based on other grounds. The book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster is an excellent resource for understanding nullity.


#17

[quote="Irishgal49, post:6, topic:291473"]
Thanks, I read it and looked up the Greek word, they were correct on the word, totally incorrect on it's meaning;

Strong's #4202: porneia (pronounced por-ni'-ah)

from 4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:--fornication.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon:

́porneia

1) illicit sexual intercourse

1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mark 10:11,Mark 10:12

[/quote]

While I see that adultery is one possible definition for porneia, I have also noticed that many Bible translations (including the old ones, Douay-Rheims and King James) render it as "fornication". Fornication is specifically sex between people, neither of whom are married. This indicates that porneia has been understood to refer to people who are not married, or as the Church has articulated it, Matthew 19:9 refers to declarations of nullity.


#18

[quote="JNdoum, post:9, topic:291473"]
I think that perhaps you should calm down a bit before continuing down this road, and down any other road of doubts towards the Church. You cannot find the truth if your heart and mind remain clouded by suspicion, as yours seem to be based on your posts. First of all, your thinking is very Sola Scriptura to my ear, which is not a Catholic viewpoint. Exact and literal interpretation of the Bible can take you way off base of the truth. Have you read the Catholic Church's teachings on marriage, and their origin, as opposed to their teachings on divorce? That might help you glean a bit more clearly why we have the beliefs which we do.

[/quote]

Actually this "if you question it you are wrong" belief is not how I think. If the Church is teaching the truth it should stand up to scrutiny. I will never blindly believe anything, flat out. No matter who says it.

Here's what I found out.

There are two words used in that passage that are vital.

Porneia--which is the word Jesus uses when saying that "except in the case of "porneia"...now this is interesting because it appears that Jesus is saying that this is grounds for a divorce. But porneia means "fornication". It also can mean quite a few others things too like idol worship, bestiality, incest, and any sex committed by an unmarried person.

Now if Jesus meant "adultery" in that passage that would contradict the Church's teaching. But he uses a different word at the end of the passage when he says adultery. He uses a completely different word.

Back in Jesus' time (and still today where I live) Jews were not permitted to marry outside the faith. If a man wanted to be with a non-Jewish woman he lived with her "as his wife" but she wasn't his wife. So they were committing "porneia" or fornication. My ex is Jewish and he says that the rabbi today will not marry anyone who is marrying a Gentile, they have to be married at the courthouse. Porneia is ONLY used to describe "unmarried sex" so Jesus was referring to "invalid" marriages...marriages that were not recognized as marriages. Back then if you took at woman as your wife, even if you didn't get married in the Temple, you still had to divorce her. She got certain things and then left. Jesus was saying there was no sacramental bond in those cases. That is correct since they could not marry in the Temple. Sadly nowadays a guy could shack up for 4-5 years and toss her out into the street with nothing. That was not allowed back then. So Jesus is separating out the difference between a sacramental bond and an invalid marriage.

You can only commit Porneia if you are unmarried...having sex when you are not married is fornication and that is the word Jesus uses. He uses a different word, moichao, which is adultery. This is sex within the bonds of marriage.

So, Jesus is saying, "if you divorce and marry someone else, (except for the case of an invalid marriage) you are comitting adultery.

I say all this because:

If I see something that makes the Church look wrong I have to find it out for myself. I have this horrible habit, it's called "thinking for myself". I don't BLINDLY accept anything where there is good solid commentary from our Lord.

What this does for me is now, when someone comes up and tries to use that verse to say the Catholic Church is wrong and should allow divorce, I can tell him IN MY OWN WORDS the truth of the passage and what is taught. People notice if you "parrot" things, but if you say, "You know I had a problem with this belief and here's what I found out".

I did find a site where it's explained in detail. Some priests in their zeal to affirm the Church's teachings will often neglect to give you HOW the Church arrived at that answer. I was married to a Jewish man so I have a head's up on what Jewish men believed about "marriage" back then. We have a situation A + B = ??? and it's like the people who tell you things can often say, the answer is C and not say, "here's how we got to C". My priest (whose been at it over 35 years) said, "I do the same thing. I wrestle all the time. Some people can immediately sign onto whatever the Church says and others of us have to be like Jacob and wrestle for the blessing. That's who you are and it's fine. If you ever need any help when you're wrestling let me know." I was in Confession and he said, "That's not a sin, that's your personality. You need to accept that's your way of finding Truth and as long as your heart is open, you will find it."

Here's the link: holytrinityparish.net/Links/DivorceAnnulments.pdf

I like it because it doesn't just parrot the teachings of the Church, it explains HOW the Church came to teach what it does.

Lorrie


#19

[quote="Irishgal49, post:18, topic:291473"]
Actually this "if you question it you are wrong" belief is not how I think. If the Church is teaching the truth it should stand up to scrutiny. I will never blindly believe anything, flat out. No matter who says it.

Here's what I found out.

There are two words used in that passage that are vital.

Porneia--which is the word Jesus uses when saying that "except in the case of "porneia"...now this is interesting because it appears that Jesus is saying that this is grounds for a divorce. But porneia means "fornication". It also can mean quite a few others things too like idol worship, bestiality, incest, and any sex committed by an unmarried person.

Now if Jesus meant "adultery" in that passage that would contradict the Church's teaching. But he uses a different word at the end of the passage when he says adultery. He uses a completely different word.

Back in Jesus' time (and still today where I live) Jews were not permitted to marry outside the faith. If a man wanted to be with a non-Jewish woman he lived with her "as his wife" but she wasn't his wife. So they were committing "porneia" or fornication. My ex is Jewish and he says that the rabbi today will not marry anyone who is marrying a Gentile, they have to be married at the courthouse. Porneia is ONLY used to describe "unmarried sex" so Jesus was referring to "invalid" marriages...marriages that were not recognized as marriages. Back then if you took at woman as your wife, even if you didn't get married in the Temple, you still had to divorce her. She got certain things and then left. Jesus was saying there was no sacramental bond in those cases. That is correct since they could not marry in the Temple. Sadly nowadays a guy could shack up for 4-5 years and toss her out into the street with nothing. That was not allowed back then. So Jesus is separating out the difference between a sacramental bond and an invalid marriage.

You can only commit Porneia if you are unmarried...having sex when you are not married is fornication and that is the word Jesus uses. He uses a different word, moichao, which is adultery. This is sex within the bonds of marriage.

So, Jesus is saying, "if you divorce and marry someone else, (except for the case of an invalid marriage) you are comitting adultery.

I say all this because:

If I see something that makes the Church look wrong I have to find it out for myself. I have this horrible habit, it's called "thinking for myself". I don't BLINDLY accept anything where there is good solid commentary from our Lord.

What this does for me is now, when someone comes up and tries to use that verse to say the Catholic Church is wrong and should allow divorce, I can tell him IN MY OWN WORDS the truth of the passage and what is taught. People notice if you "parrot" things, but if you say, "You know I had a problem with this belief and here's what I found out".

I did find a site where it's explained in detail. Some priests in their zeal to affirm the Church's teachings will often neglect to give you HOW the Church arrived at that answer. I was married to a Jewish man so I have a head's up on what Jewish men believed about "marriage" back then. We have a situation A + B = ??? and it's like the people who tell you things can often say, the answer is C and not say, "here's how we got to C". My priest (whose been at it over 35 years) said, "I do the same thing. I wrestle all the time. Some people can immediately sign onto whatever the Church says and others of us have to be like Jacob and wrestle for the blessing. That's who you are and it's fine. If you ever need any help when you're wrestling let me know." I was in Confession and he said, "That's not a sin, that's your personality. You need to accept that's your way of finding Truth and as long as your heart is open, you will find it."

Here's the link: holytrinityparish.net/Links/DivorceAnnulments.pdf

I like it because it doesn't just parrot the teachings of the Church, it explains HOW the Church came to teach what it does.

Lorrie

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Lorrie, thank you for the summary and for posing the question originally. It's been very informative.


#20

So to sum up, in the end you discovered that the Church's teachings on marriage and divorce are correct. I do appreciate your investigation and explanations.

It's interesting to look at how the Jews had requirements for marriage and considered some marriages invalid if they didn't meet those requirements. Which is how the catholic church operates as well.


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