Friday, April 13, 2007

Marriage is a Participation in the Cross

Catholics and Divorce.

An article by Mrs. Sheryl Temaat published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.


In the opening to this narrative, I said that priests have been silent while children suffer. Silent about what? Divorce. I cannot remember hearing a sermon on divorce the past forty years. Many of my friends and relatives have taken their marriage troubles to a priest and gotten the advice to file for divorce "You don't have a marriage," they have been told in similar terms and to petition for an annulment. That is the message that has been promoted for Catholic families for the past four decades.

Today Catholics divorce in the same percentages as non-churchgoing people and they go on to date or keep steady company with a member of the opposite sex as if they have a right to remarry.

More Vatican II Mischief:

In the 1970s canonists began to write about a new discovery that they found in Gaudium et Spes which they interpret to change the object of the matrimonial contract from a right to the conjugal act to a right to the community of conjugal life.1

Simply Put:

Catholic teaching does not allow divorce/dating/remarrying. That lifestyle not only creates misery on earth but it leads to eternal punishment, not to eternal life.

God Hates Divorce:

The problem today is two√źfold as I see it. One, no one preaches on sin. God hates divorce (Malachia 2:16); divorce is a grave offense against the natural law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2384); the Catechism calls it a plague and says that divorce traumatizes children # 2385; and study after study has shown the evil effects of divorce upon children.

Scandal of Annulments:

Pope John Paul II gave a yearly address to the Sacred Roman Rota, and often his remarks addressed the scandal of annulments in the English-speaking world, which has fueled the divorce rate among Catholics I would argue, while many canonists argue the other way around, that new grounds for nullity have been offered in order to deal with the rising rate of divorce among Catholics. Either way, the solution of granting many ordinary process decrees of nullity for divorced people is not a solution.

In his address to the Rota in January 2003, Pope John Paul II said that marriage is a participation in the Cross that includes the bearing of suffering. He said that the rosary has shown itself particularly effective in bringing families together. Marriage involves suffering and before Vatican II, we were taught that.


ablondeblogger said...

Our priest gave a very blunt homily on this not long ago. He was very clear that, even though people don't want to hear it, divorce is not acceptable, and he cited Bible passages to back it up. That's rare these days, unfortunately.

Thomas Shawn said...

This child of divorce can back all this up, it is a kind of living hell.

Edward said...

I have never heard or read of this addressed, but what I would wish to know is: Are the huge and increasing number of annulments in this country actually true and valid? I mean, who is actually pronouncing these annulments? Is is just the power of the diocesan "tribunal", or does the Bishop actually give it his written fiat? And if so, does that make it infallibly so? And if this is the case, then why were there only around 2,000 annulments in this country in 1962, while now most Catholic 'divorces' get annulled almost as a follow-up to the 'divorce'(we're talking hundreds of thousands here)? Wouldn't that mean that many, many Catholics were 'deprived' of what was there God-given "due" by the Church?
How now, Horatio. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

And the U.S.

Dust I Am said...

I read the HPR article too, and am very glad you extracted parts of it.

Anonymous said...

Pope Benedict XVI's gave a speach to the Members of the Roman Rota on January 29, 2009. In this speech he decried the abuses of automatic annulments and the pessimism about marriage this creates. His concerns are no different than earlier concerns raised by Pope John Paul II. North American bishops will continue to ignore concerns raised by the Vicar of Christ and nothing but nothing will happen to correct these abuses at the diocesan level.

I understand the de jure difference between a civil divorce and a Church declaration of nullity. However, when almost every Catholic who gets a divorce and applies for an annulment is granted one, then I think it is safe to call it a de facto Catholic divorce. The sharp rise in annulments from a few hundred per year in the 1960s to close to 60,000 per year by the 1990s is not solely the result of living in a secular pro-divorce and pro-abortion culture. The pro-divorce culture has infected and metastasized within the Catholic hierarchy, diocesan tribunals and seeped into the spirtual direction given by priests. The abuse of automatic declarations of nullity nicely complements and supports the injustices of the Divorce Industry.

I do not think the psychological "experts" have offered us a startingly deeper insight into human nature by discovering that people have mental and personality disorders. You may recall that melancholy and cholic temperments were well discussed by more than a few saints. The solution used to be prayer and carrying your cross but the psychological experts won't let anything stand in the way of somebody making a selfish choice.

The end effect of the active promotion of annulments by advertising them as "healing" in diocesan newspapers, the wide scale denial of respondent's procedural rights by tribunals, and granting an annulment to virtually every petitioner who asks for one has transformed annulments into de facto Catholic Divorces. These abuses are very well documented in Robert Vasoli's "What God Has Joined Together; The Annulment Crisis in American Catholicism" and described in Sheila Kennedy's "Stolen Vows".

I am also personally and painfully aware of the abuses inflicted upon faithful spouses by these tribunals.

Andrew Cana

merdy said...

Thomas Shawn said...
"This child of divorce can back all this up, it is a kind of living hell."

How do we get all the "Thomas Shawn"s of the WORLD to sign a petition to the Pope TO DO SOMETHING?