St. Augustine, Western Civilization, Marriage, and the Same Sex Marriage Debate


Today’s issue of ADF’s Alliance Alert provides an excerpt from a law review by a Catholic law professor who demonstrates that the essential elements of marriage were identified by St. Augustine in A.D. 401. The law professor contends that Augustine’s analysis prevailed in the West through the Reformation and to America until at least 1960. Unfortunately, the full law review article is not available to the public online except through subscription resources.

ADF’s Alert and summary is here:

The link to St. Augustine’s “On the Good of Marriage” is also recommended reading as it discusses various aspects of church doctrine on the nature of marriage, celibacy, and polygamy etc. . .


On the subject of marriage. I and my significant other were previously married. We are now seniors receiving social security. we love each other very much. Are we damed if we are not married in our relationship? How Is our relationship viewed in the church.


If you were married in any kind of Christian marriage ceremony before that involved vows before God, you probably are considered still married by the Catholic Church to your previous spouses if a degree of nullity was not given. The church will never tell you you are damned, however, but will tell you your standing based on it’s beliefs. You should talk to your pastor about the situation, as no one here knows your situation.


Whether you are damned or not is God’s call…the rest of us are just in marketing. :slight_smile:

If you and your former spouse were both baptized before or while you were married, then your first marriage may still be considered valid and sacramental, meaning that what God has joined no man (i.e. civil divorce court) can pull asunder. The same holds true for your present wife and her first husband. Talk to your pastor or call the marriage tribunal in your diocese to get further guidence.

As a side note, since you mentioned you were a senior, if either of the ex’s involved has assumed room temperature and moved on to the great beyond, then they’re out of the equation as far as being an impediment to your current marriage, though you’re still on the hook for the validity of your present marrriage.


I’m guessing that you don’t want to civilly marry because of the large income hit you will take from Social Security if you do, and I can’t blame you.

If you are living together, but celibate, you are only guilty of “scandal.” You might influence someone to think that the Church approves of “shacking up.” How much of a sin this is, is between you and your confessor.

If you are not celibate, then you are committing a grave sin.

If your previous marriage was to each other, and never declared null by the Church, then you’re not sinning.

Others have spoken about if your previous marriages were to others.

You could ask your Bishop if the rules about a Church marriage having to also be a civil one could be suspended in your case, but I doubt it. That may be federal law.

Personally, I think the situation with Social Security is ridiculous, and discriminatory.

God bless you,



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