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The Church has always been somewhat lenient when it comes to second and third marriages. St. Paul discouraged widows from marrying but still allowed it.

The Church allows for widows to marry as marriage is until death does you part.
Are second and third marriages theologically justifiable? And if so, how? In light of tradition...

Funny, in the post immediately before this one, you criticised someone for not being able to discuss Orthodox Church teaching without reference to Roman Catholicism, but here, an Orthodox Christian accurately describes the Church's teaching and practice and you respond with Roman Catholic teaching and practice.  Seems like you are the one unable to discuss Orthodox Church teaching without introducing Roman Catholicism. 

The Church allows widows to marry for the same reason it allows anyone else to enter into a second marriage: it's a condescension to human weakness.  Ideally, no one would enter into a second union because the first is not abolished by death.  Or do Roman Catholics not believe in the resurrection anymore?  Maybe Jesus didn't defeat all of death.   

I Corinthians 7:39  Romans 7:2,3 I timothy 5:14
the Apostolic Deposit and St. Paul are very clear that death does part them. St. John Chrysostom, in denouncing those who opposed second marriages after a death, said that such thought themselves better than St. Paul.

Christ showed that while your wife whom you are separated from is alive, you may not marry again lest you commit adultery. He gave various examples and instances to stress this teaching. Thus marriage is until death does you part as Christ also said in heaven there is no marriage by saying we will be like the angels who do not marry.

Further, "Till death do us part" is indeed part of the Western Rite marriage service, as found in "Orthodox Prayers of Old England" and approved for liturgical usage within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

It is not a case of me speaking about my church or its teaching but rather an approved and clearly liturgical and proper teaching of EOy... Lex orandi and all you know...

You show yourself to be a rather poor expositor of scripture. The exemption provided in Romans 7:2 and 1 Corinthians 7:39 is provided specifically to widows (that is, to women, but not to men). Furthermore, 1 Timothy 5 actually hurts your case, as 1 Timothy 5:9 shows that the freedom of widows to remarry is not entirely absolute, should they be enrolled as widows with the Church.

As for canon law, it seems that you are unaware that Orthodox Canon law does in fact follow these biblical verses quite closely. Canons 24 and 41 of St. Basil deal specifically with these issues. Canon 41 simply states that a widow is free to marry a man, so long as there is no one to prevent their marriage. Canon 24 forbids widows over the age of 60 to take a husband (because widows over 60 are to be enrolled as widows), but allows widows under the age of 60 who have been enrolled to remarry only at the cost of losing the material support of the Church (that is, without any ecclesiastical penalty), because the fault lies not with the young widow, but with the clergy for having enrolled a woman under 60, contrary to St. Paul's command. A widower, on the other hand, is to be penanced as a digamist for remarrying.

On the issue of second marriages, you should know that Orthodoxy does not condemn them outright, but following the Fathers sees it as a concession to human weakness. Thus St. Basil says of second marriage that it is "a remedy against fornication" (letter 160), and of third marriage that it is "is no longer described as marriage at all, but as polygamy; nay rather as limited fornication" (canon 4) and that it is a "defilement of the Church".
That sounds a bit like the plot for an X Files episode, FinnJames.

Or an thread  ;) :P
Other Topics / Re: W.A.G.-word association game
« Last post by Superior Practices on Today at 05:53:43 AM »
How can any council declared ecumenical by such wicked men be regarded as Ecumemical?

Although the theory that councils are ecumenical because the Pope says so is nonsense, your argument sucks. The prophet Jonah, for example, was far from sinless, yet the Holy Spirit spoke through him.
So here's the problem.  The Popes from around 1,000 until Pope St. Pius V were filthy human beings.  Pope St. Piis V was the first Pope in 500 years that was not an appalling miscreant.  The Borgias, Julius II who seemed to care more about the Gospel of Julius Caesar than of zjesus Christ, Pope Leo X who lied to cheat Germans out of their money to rebuild St. Peter's, provoking the Protestant schism, which was a true disaster, dashing all hopes for a complete reconciliation between the Orthodox and the Western church (because there are so many Protestant sects who cling so passionately to error, at best we can only reconcile a few of the less radical sects), and of course the worst villains of all, the prosecutors of the crusades, which caused the death of countless Orthodox, the fall of the Roman Empire, and what appears to be the permanent loss of Asia Minor and Constantinople to the Muslims.

How can any council declared ecumenical by such wicked men be regarded as Ecumemical?  Though the Council of Trent is gravely mistaken on some points of theology, it started in motion a reform of the Roman Church that cleansed her of such diabolical Popes and ultimately led to some very good popes like Ss. Pius X, John XXIII, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  Especially after the papacy was shorn of its land holdings; I would argue that the Papal States were a violation of the Apostolic Canon prohibiting anyone in Noly Orders from being engaged in secular affairs.  Of course one could argue that as Ethnarchs the Ecumenical Patriarchs were forced into a similiar role.  However I would counter that by saying the leaders of the Christisn millets of the Ottoman Wmpire served as advocates for the rights of Chrostisnsunder their protection before the Sublime Porte, which is a worthy duty for a prelate, whereas the Pope in exercising direct temporal control over the Papal States violated his ecclesiastical obligations.

And this violation is severe enough to render any pronunciation of ecumeni city by the Popes null and void.  Indeed any councils the evil pre counter Reformation popes convened, prior to Pius V, should be regarded as a latrocinium.

Now here's the bitter truth.  The word Ecumenical can mean "Of the Empire."  What really made these councils Exumenical was the Emperor.  Which is probably why we haven't had one since the fall of Constantinople.  And I for one am happy about that.  I don't want any more ecumenical councils; the fear of a Vatican II like debacle that would lead to the acceptance of things like homosexuality and the destruction of the liturgy is palpable among many quarters.  It won't happen of course, as the majority of our bishops are pious and God fearing.  But alas most of your bishops aren't of the character of HE Salvador Cordileone or Raymond Cardinal Burke; I pray for the Roman church that you are not subjected to a Vatican III.  As I do believe the Roman church is a force of good in the world and I want it to survive, to thrive, and to find its way home to Orthodoxy.
You may not like my answer, but I believe the proof for all three lies in our personal experience of the risen Lord, through our union with Him in the sacramental life of the Church. We can't directly experience Christ if He didn't ascend to Heaven. He could not have ascended if He remained in the grave. He could not have risen from the dead if He weren't born without sin.

Christ (and the truth about Him) makes Himself known to any who desire it, so long as we are willing to do the things that make such an encounter possible. That's what faith is. For me anyway.

Is that you, St Athanasius?

A very nice compliment, Sleeper, and you did sound like my favorite saint there.  And I think your advice is spot on.
That sounds a bit like the plot for an X Files episode, FinnJames.
More about it here:,0,7625727.story

Regarding the timing of his fast, yes it did seem a little off.  I wonder if the original plans were for it to coincide with Lent and Holy Week.   Maybe the enclosure could not be ready in time?  As it was, he fasted during the time after Easter when the Church says we are not supposed to fast.  Well, I guess God knows his intentions.   :)

It struck me as being a supererogetory fast to reflect on the horror of the Armenian genocide.  Also, perhaps he did not fast during Lent or something.  I am just thrilled Salpy that he pulled through; he is a hero to me and this is obviously a special case, approved by the cathedral clergy.  I regret that I was too ill to make it down there to see him.

I have to confess I find the idea of doing a 55 day fast like this highly appealing, not for reasons of vanity, but because something has to be done.  In fact to avoid any accusations of being a vainglorious copycat Id want to do such a public fast with a partner.

One thing I loved about this guy however was that he, following our Lord's instruction, in all photos taken during the fast, seemed to be of good cheer; I would not be surprised if he annoi red himself with oil even.  I think not only did he make a courageous stand for the victims of the evil holocaust of the Ottoman Empire against Christians, which ISIL seems determined to re-enact, but also he demonstrated courageously the true joy that can come from fasting and other forms of ascesis.
But the point here is - Catholics who accept Church teaching have an easy and safe way of recognizing a Council to be Ecumenical.


Pope St. Martin I held the Lateran Council of 649, which he and St. Maximus proclaimed to be the 6th Ecumenical Council. It was never accepted as such by the sensus fidelium, and thus the 649 Lateran Council is recognized by nobody as the 6th Ecumenical Council. If Papal recognition is what makes a council ecumenical, the Lateran Council of 649 would be ecumenical; but it isn't.

So, 649 Lateran is ecumenical according to you?

Even prominent EO writers admit the CC has a clear system of determining ecumenicity and that the EO have not worked one out yet

A clear, yet false system, as the example of the Lateran Council of 649 proves.
Cyrillic, this is canon 93 of Trullo, "If the wife of a man who has gone away and does not appear, cohabit with another before she is assured of the death of the first, she is an adulteress." Is this the canon you think recognizes or permits second marriages?

No. Not that part. But later on in canon 93 it says:

"If a soldier shall return after a long time, and find his wife on account of his long absence has been united to another man, if he so wishes, he may receive his own wife"

So, this is one of the scenarios in which divorce is permitted, but by no means the only one.

To claim the Apostolic See ever accepted second marriages is stretching it, at best it tolerated it as a lesser evil.

Perhaps it didn't like the eastern discipline, but if it thought it was heresy the reaction would have been different.

What are the circumstances in which you believe remarriage after divorce is lawful today?

I'll leave that to the bishops to determine.

Your appeal to "bind and loose" is incorrect, the Church can relax judicial punishments, which at times can be more or less severe, but the Church has no power to change divine law

Good thing that oeconomia doesn't change an iota of divine law. How come oeconomia is so hard to understand for some?

"And will you love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, will you comfort her, honor and cherish her, and forsaking all others keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?", before he enters into holy matrimony, demanding a similar thing of every woman likewise. A man who presumes to promise this while inwardly thinking he can procure a divorce and send her away to choose another declares a lie in the face of God and His Church.

Or, more likely, human failing and weakness.
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