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Author Topic: Obstacle #1: What God has joined together...  (Read 16664 times) Average Rating: 0
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The Iambic Pen
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« on: November 29, 2007, 05:19:43 AM »

In my study of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and my attempt to find the Church, I have discovered two moral issues that separate the two bodies.  One is contraception, which I will likely address later on, but for now I want to briefly address the idea of remarriage after divorce.  I presume that the Orthodox believe that when a man and a woman get married, they are married in the eyes of God, not just in the eyes of the state.  So, when a couple divorces, and (for example) the innocent party later approaches the Church requesting remarriage, does the Church believe that the civil divorce the individual obtained actually means his or her previous marriage has ended?  Or, do they believe that, for example, the offending party's adultery ended the marriage before the official divorce?  If God joins a couple together in a second marriage, by what authority was the first marriage declared over?

I'm not interested in debating the rightness of the Catholic or Orthodox view of all of this, as this was done many times over at CAF.  I just want to understand the Orthodox justification for their own position.  Thanks and God bless!
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2007, 05:37:44 AM »

As background one might want to use our search function and do a search on 'divorce' to read the  many past threads on this topic (to prep for any discussion). I just did a search but found too many to link here.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2007, 06:08:01 AM »

As background one might want to use our search function and do a search on 'divorce' to read the  many past threads on this topic (to prep for any discussion). I just did a search but found too many to link here.  Smiley

 Smiley?

 Cry

Just my two cents on the OP, but for the Church the guilty party's actions (taking that they aren't repenting of it) is what ends the marriage.  The obtaining of a civil divorce, from the Church's position, is the formal statement that they had rendered asunder.
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2007, 08:30:01 AM »

Thanks!  I'll check out that search function.  I may return with more questions...

God bless!
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2007, 09:19:41 AM »

In my study of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and my attempt to find the Church, I have discovered two moral issues that separate the two bodies.  One is contraception, which I will likely address later on, but for now I want to briefly address the idea of remarriage after divorce.  I presume that the Orthodox believe that when a man and a woman get married, they are married in the eyes of God, not just in the eyes of the state.  So, when a couple divorces, and (for example) the innocent party later approaches the Church requesting remarriage, does the Church believe that the civil divorce the individual obtained actually means his or her previous marriage has ended?  Or, do they believe that, for example, the offending party's adultery ended the marriage before the official divorce?  If God joins a couple together in a second marriage, by what authority was the first marriage declared over? 

Since the Orthodox don't view marriage as being contractual (we don't ask the consent question in our service for this reason), but rather the marriage is only the joining of the two parties by God who then bestows on them the blessings of married life, only God (working through His Earthly workers) can end a marriage.  Civil divorce is as meaningless as civil marriage: one needs to get them in order to proceed with the Church functions, but they have no bearing on the church's decision.

So what ends the marriage?  Well, for starters, death does not (the church prefers that widows/widowers remain single, and if they marry again they are to do so in the penitential second marriage service).  Only God's Earthly workers can release a person from their marriage - which is why in the Orthodox church one must get an ecclesiastical divorce before getting a second marriage (I think this point goes directly to answering your question).

In order to ascertain whether a divorce is to be given, the Church (through the "spiritual court of first instance") operates with the guidelines that Christ set forth in the Gospel, and an expansion of those guidelines (on a case-by-case basis).
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2007, 09:54:35 AM »

I'd be interested in hearing this explication too. The EO teaching on divorce and remarriage was a huge obstacle for me back when I was considering the two communions.
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 04:30:47 PM »

The EO teaching on divorce and remarriage was a huge obstacle for me back when I was considering the two communions.
But I find the USA Catholic position on marriage annulments to be ridiculous. I mean the most trivial thing like spending too much time in the gym today can cause a marriage that happened thirty years ago to be annulled on the basis of defective consent which no one can really say one way or another if it was so or not thirty years ago. So in reality, in the USA, they can annul any marriage they want.
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2007, 04:59:14 PM »

But I find the USA Catholic position on marriage annulments to be ridiculous. I mean the most trivial thing like spending too much time in the gym today can cause a marriage that happened thirty years ago to be annulled on the basis of defective consent which no one can really say one way or another if it was so or not thirty years ago. So in reality, in the USA, they can annul any marriage they want.

Of course it's ridiculous. It's wrong and a scandal and to the shame of the American Church. The American tribunals are not infallible, so I fear for the couples who got their pieces of paper from an American annulment mill. Only God knows their culpability.

It's not a teaching, however, but a gross abuse (e.g. Johann Tetzel and the sale of indulgences in the German churches).

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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 06:13:44 PM »

Hello,

Well, for starters, death does not (the church prefers that widows/widowers remain single, and if they marry again they are to do so in the penitential second marriage service).

Do the Orthodox take wedding vows? In the Catholic Church they are "till death do us part" - that means that death ends a marriage. Also read Christ's statement to the Sadducees: Matthew 22:23-30.
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 06:18:12 PM »

Do the Orthodox take wedding vows?

In a word:  No.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 06:57:20 PM »

In a word:  No.

Well, you are partially correct here, that is no vows are exchanged in the church. However, there is a sacramental Betrothal service that takes place in the Narthex prior to the bride and groom being led into the church for the sacrament of matrimony and I believe at this time vows are taken but I could be mistaken.
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 07:52:23 PM »

From what I remember of our wedding this spring, the only thing we did in the narthex was exchange rings.  At some point our priest asked us if we were promised to another, but I can't remember if that was in the narthex or not.  Needless to say, I was a bit excited and nervous at the time so my memory isn't so good.  But no, there were no vows, no "til death do us part."  As I've reminded Mr. Y, he can't get rid of me that easily.     Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2007, 08:20:56 PM »

Hello,

Then what makes the marriage sacramental and covenantal and not just civil and contractual?

Do the Orthodox even view marriage as a sacrament? Is there anything holy about marriage, or is it just a necessary evil to bring more children into the world?
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2007, 08:35:21 PM »

Holy Matrimony is a Holy Mystery - yes, it is a 'sacrament'.
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2007, 09:40:44 PM »

Hello,

Then what makes the marriage sacramental and covenantal and not just civil and contractual?

Do the Orthodox even view marriage as a sacrament? Is there anything holy about marriage, or is it just a necessary evil to bring more children into the world?

Huh?  That sounds a lot more like the Latin view of things.  With the absence of vows, our marriage service is arguably less contractual than the Western one (and let's not even get started on the West's Augustinian tendencies regarding sex).
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2007, 10:52:35 PM »

Hello,

Holy Matrimony is a Holy Mystery - yes, it is a 'sacrament'.

If it is a Holy Mystery, how can it be dissolved (i.e., what God hath joined let no man put asunder - and such)?
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2007, 10:54:45 PM »

Hello,

Then what makes the marriage sacramental and covenantal and not just civil and contractual?

Do the Orthodox even view marriage as a sacrament? Is there anything holy about marriage, or is it just a necessary evil to bring more children into the world?

I'm just going to say please read cleveland's post carefully.  He expressed perfectly the EO view of marriage.
Since the Orthodox don't view marriage as being contractual (we don't ask the consent question in our service for this reason), but rather the marriage is only the joining of the two parties by God who then bestows on them the blessings of married life, only God (working through His Earthly workers) can end a marriage.  Civil divorce is as meaningless as civil marriage: one needs to get them in order to proceed with the Church functions, but they have no bearing on the church's decision.

So what ends the marriage?  Well, for starters, death does not (the church prefers that widows/widowers remain single, and if they marry again they are to do so in the penitential second marriage service).  Only God's Earthly workers can release a person from their marriage - which is why in the Orthodox church one must get an ecclesiastical divorce before getting a second marriage (I think this point goes directly to answering your question).

In order to ascertain whether a divorce is to be given, the Church (through the "spiritual court of first instance") operates with the guidelines that Christ set forth in the Gospel, and an expansion of those guidelines (on a case-by-case basis).
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2007, 10:59:10 PM »

Hello,

Huh?  That sounds a lot more like the Latin view of things.  With the absence of vows, our marriage service is arguably less contractual than the Western one (and let's not even get started on the West's Augustinian tendencies regarding sex).

The vows make the marriage covenantal, not contractual. You'd probably want to read up on the Catholic Church's views on marriage and sex.


Arcanum

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Theology of the Body

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sacrament of Marriage (click next to go through the sections)
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2007, 11:03:39 PM »

Hello,

Since the Orthodox don't view marriage as being contractual (we don't ask the consent question in our service for this reason), but rather the marriage is only the joining of the two parties by God who then bestows on them the blessings of married life, only God (working through His Earthly workers) can end a marriage.  Civil divorce is as meaningless as civil marriage: one needs to get them in order to proceed with the Church functions, but they have no bearing on the church's decision.

The Catholic Church doesn't view it as contractual either (on the contrary, it is a covenant), but we view the ministers of the Sacrament as the two people being wed. The reason an annulment can be recognized (that is stating that the Sacrament never occurred - and I do think that it is granted far more readily than should be in America) is because one of the ministers, through various reasons, did not have the proper intention for the Sacrament (a key component of any Sacrament's validity).
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2007, 11:15:40 PM »

The vows make the marriage covenantal, not contractual.

*breaks out the dictionary*

"Covenant:  an agreement or promise to do or not do do a particular thing; to enter into a formal agreement; to bind oneself in contract..."

So how is that not just a play on words?
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2007, 11:24:04 PM »

Hello,

*breaks out the dictionary*

"Covenant:  an agreement or promise to do or not do do a particular thing; to enter into a formal agreement; to bind oneself in contract..."

So how is that not just a play on words?

You better break out the Catholic dictionary. Tongue

COVENANT, BIBLICAL

In the Old Testament an agreement between God and Israel in which God promised protection to the Chosen People in return for exclusive loyalty. "If you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all nations will be my very own" (Exodus 19:5). Moses presented Yahweh's offer to his people, who promptly "answered as one, 'All that Yahweh has said we will do.'" The compact was sealed (Exodus 19:8 ). Many years later Jeremiah prophesied that a new covenant would be offered. "Deep within them," Yahweh promised, "I will plant my law, writing it on their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Ezekiel foresaw that God would "make a covenant of peace with the, an eternal covenant" (Ezekiel 37:26). Its universal character was foreshadowed by Isaiah, to whom it was revealed by Yahweh, "so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6). In the New Testament, when Paul was explaining to the Corinthians the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, he repeated Christ's words: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me" (I Corinthians 11:25). This master idea of the New Testament is reinforced in the Letter to the Hebrews: "It follows that it is a greater covenant for which Jesus has become our guarantee" (Hebrews 7:22). Christ himself is the new covenant between God and his people. (Etym. Latin convenire, to agree, to come together.)




This gives a good idea of what a Catholic thinks of when thinking of a covenant. Scott Hahn gives a good definition of this in his Conversion Story:

...a covenant differs from a contract about as much as marriage differs from prostitution. In a contract you exchange property, whereas in a covenant you exchange persons. In a contract you say, "This is yours and that is mine," but Scripture shows how in a covenant you say, "I am yours and you are mine."




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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2007, 11:30:10 PM »


...a covenant differs from a contract about as much as marriage differs from prostitution. In a contract you exchange property, whereas in a covenant you exchange persons. In a contract you say, "This is yours and that is mine," but Scripture shows how in a covenant you say, "I am yours and you are mine."

That's a caricature of contracts.  A contract is an exchange of a promise, or a set of promises, not a strict property swap like you're trying to say.  You still aren't offering any difference between the two other than to say that the two are different.

And for the record, as long as you keep trying to use legal terms (you know, like contractual), I'm going to keep using my legal dictionary, not a Latin one. police
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2007, 11:33:56 PM »

Hello,

That's a caricature of contracts.  A contract is an exchange of a promise, or a set of promises, not a strict property swap like you're trying to say.  You still aren't offering any difference between the two other than to say that the two are different.

And for the record, as long as you keep trying to use legal terms (you know, like contractual), I'm going to keep using my legal dictionary, not a Latin one. police

Would you say that God's covenants throughout salvation history are merely contracts?


And don't the Orthodox always complain that the Catholic Church is too legalistic - so what's the problem with using a Catholic legal dictionary. Grin
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2007, 11:39:25 PM »

And don't the Orthodox always complain that the Catholic Church is too legalistic - so what's the problem with using a Catholic legal dictionary. Grin

The sheriff in these parts is Orthodox, so we get to use our dictionary, not yours. Tongue
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2007, 11:52:40 PM »

Hello,

The sheriff in these parts is Orthodox, so we get to use our dictionary, not yours. Tongue
That may be so, but as I have said elsewhere - unless we understand the terminology of each other, there can be no fruitful dialogue. How can communication occur if we don't even understand each other's language. Wink
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2007, 11:54:13 PM »

Hello,

The sheriff in these parts is Orthodox, so we get to use our dictionary, not yours. Tongue

So do you think that God's covenants throughout salvation history are merely legal contracts? Is that the Orthodox definition?
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2007, 12:51:47 AM »

Do the Orthodox even view marriage as a sacrament? Is there anything holy about marriage, or is it just a necessary evil to bring more children into the world?
Marriage is quite holy, for the reason that it has the ability to bring about salvation. Having to live completely for another person serves to put to death all selfishness, and therefore makes us more Christ-like. Children also are for our salvation. Having to care for a child who can do nothing herself brings humility and servanthood, and again makes us more Christ-like. Children are brought into the world not out of obligation but out of love. They are a gift from God to aid us in salvation. Therefore marriage is indeed a sacrament.
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2007, 01:17:00 AM »

In a word:  No.

LOL.  You won't be saying that at your wedding, will you?
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2007, 01:30:12 AM »

Since the Orthodox don't view marriage as being contractual (we don't ask the consent question in our service for this reason), but rather the marriage is only the joining of the two parties by God who then bestows on them the blessings of married life, only God (working through His Earthly workers) can end a marriage.  Civil divorce is as meaningless as civil marriage: one needs to get them in order to proceed with the Church functions, but they have no bearing on the church's decision.

So what ends the marriage?  Well, for starters, death does not (the church prefers that widows/widowers remain single, and if they marry again they are to do so in the penitential second marriage service).  Only God's Earthly workers can release a person from their marriage - which is why in the Orthodox church one must get an ecclesiastical divorce before getting a second marriage (I think this point goes directly to answering your question).

In order to ascertain whether a divorce is to be given, the Church (through the "spiritual court of first instance") operates with the guidelines that Christ set forth in the Gospel, and an expansion of those guidelines (on a case-by-case basis).

The ecclesiastical divorce is an odd artifact of history, between the Muslim law on personal status and the Empire abolishing civil marriage (the betrothal service is the relic: couples would bring their civil marriage to be blessed.)

The Church has nort been give authority to rend asunder.  The civil divorce ends the marriage the same way that absence of repentence prevents confession.  The acceptance of the civil divorce is the Church's admission that the guilty party has cut themselves off from the grace of the Holy Mystery.  This only becomes an issue in the economy  of opening the innocent to the Chruch's grace in a second marriage (the same operation in remarriagte in widowhood).  Hence the penetential nature of second marriage.
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2007, 04:42:32 AM »

Of course it's ridiculous. It's wrong and a scandal and to the shame of the American Church. The American tribunals are not infallible, so I fear for the couples who got their pieces of paper from an American annulment mill. Only God knows their culpability.

It's not a teaching, however, but a gross abuse (e.g. Johann Tetzel and the sale of indulgences in the German churches).


I don't think it is as simple as that. This has been going on for about 40 years now and everyone knows about it, and nothing is done. So the practice of easy annulments is officially approved in the USA. In fact, if anyone gets a marriage annulment by a Catholic tribunal in the USA, he is free to remarry in any Catholic Church in the entire world. So it is official. And in the USA just about any marriage can be annulled for the most trivial of reasons.
Annulment of marriages is actually a teaching of the RCC. It really is not a credible position to take to say that a couple has been married for twenty years and raised a family and there never was any question of a defective marriage until say the wife decided to take a fling and she found herself a new boyfriend. Now that the wife has a new boyfriend in hand and wants the divorce, all kinds of weird and trivial excuses are brought up as to why there was never any marriage in the first place. But this question would never have arisen if the wife had been faithful to the husband.  So it really is a divorce, but under a name which pretends that it is not a divorce.
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2007, 05:10:06 AM »

In Orthodoxy, marriage is viewed as the yoking together under God, for the purpose of fulfilling the Will of God. For where two or three are gathered in his name, there is Christ. Thus a single person living in a secular society and outside the life of monasticm has a more difficult time filfilling the calling of Theosis. For in christian marriage the Two come together in Christ and beget the third (offspring).

In greek spouse is commonly refered to as "suziyo" basically this is a word refering to the yoke put on two horses in parallel which will pull the horse buggy. Thus the spouses are yoked together and the one controlling them is Christ. The couple must do the Will of God in unison as the yoked horses must turn right or left as this is the Will of the driver who directs them and yoked them together to act in unison. So yes, marriage is sacramental. And when one spouse refuses to follow the Will of God (or both spouses for that matter) there is disasterous consequences.

The Church grants divorce under certain circumstances only. As scripture says , "whatever you bound on earth it will be like you have bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth it will be as if you loosed in heaven."

The latin teaching of annullment is quite problematic. An annulled couple makes their offspring illegitimate bastards and a product of fornication.       
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2007, 05:54:08 AM »

The latin teaching of annullment is quite problematic. An annulled couple makes their offspring illegitimate bastards and a product of fornication.       
Correct. And not only that, but there seems to be a certain element of dissimulation involved. I mean, no question of an invalid marriage until the wife say, gets herself hooked up with someone else.
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2007, 06:05:12 AM »

So, it has been said that death does not end an Orthodox marriage.  Does that just mean the death of one party, or are the people still considered married after they both have gone to Heaven?  This seems to contradict Jesus' conversation with the Sadducees.
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2007, 06:45:13 AM »

So, it has been said that death does not end an Orthodox marriage.  Does that just mean the death of one party, or are the people still considered married after they both have gone to Heaven?  This seems to contradict Jesus' conversation with the Sadducees.

Iambic i had a bit of a problem with that statement. Theres no marriage in heaven.  Just that the second marriage ceremony is more somber, doesnt have the pomp of the original ceremony. I dont know the exact differences within the rite, what is omitted or abridged, a priest can fill us in. But the original more festive marriage ceremony is sometimes used if one is marrying for the first time to someone whose been divorced or widowed.
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2007, 07:58:34 AM »

So, it has been said that death does not end an Orthodox marriage.  Does that just mean the death of one party, or are the people still considered married after they both have gone to Heaven?  This seems to contradict Jesus' conversation with the Sadducees.

Not entirely, as (hopefully), only one member is in heaven: the other is witnessing that the other is "alive in Christ" and witnessing to the hope of the Resurrection, part of the marriage vocation to witness to Christ's covenant to the Church.  When the other partner falls asleep, such witness to the Resurrection is not possible nor necessary.

There's more, but I got to ready to leave for school.  Just briefly for one, all our relationships-father, mother, friend, Greek, Arab, etc. are transfigured in heaven.  We don't have our memory erased and are entirely new people.  This would include marriage.

I'm hoping that its transfigured, because at present all eternity with my ex wife  Shocked isn't my definition of paradise (and I do hope she makes it).
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« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2007, 08:32:27 AM »

LOL.  You won't be saying that at your wedding, will you?

I suspect my fiancee would kill me shortly thereafter if I tried to pull something like that. Cheesy
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« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2007, 09:19:47 AM »

Quote from: cleveland
Since the Orthodox don't view marriage as being contractual (we don't ask the consent question in our service for this reason), but rather the marriage is only the joining of the two parties by God who then bestows on them the blessings of married life, only God (working through His Earthly workers) can end a marriage.  Civil divorce is as meaningless as civil marriage: one needs to get them in order to proceed with the Church functions, but they have no bearing on the church's decision.

So what ends the marriage?  Well, for starters, death does not (the church prefers that widows/widowers remain single, and if they marry again they are to do so in the penitential second marriage service).  Only God's Earthly workers can release a person from their marriage - which is why in the Orthodox church one must get an ecclesiastical divorce before getting a second marriage (I think this point goes directly to answering your question).

In order to ascertain whether a divorce is to be given, the Church (through the "spiritual court of first instance") operates with the guidelines that Christ set forth in the Gospel, and an expansion of those guidelines (on a case-by-case basis).

May I ask a related, but different question that occurred to me while reading Cleveland's post?  Please let me know if I should start a separate thread.

My question is in regard to the portion of the post that I italicized (sort of).  How do the Orthodox view non-Orthodox marriages?  For instance those between non-Christians or non-Orthodox Christians?  Are they presumed to be valid under the Orthodox view?  Or would a couple who were married outside the Orthodox church and converted need to be "re-married" in the Orthodox church in order for their marriage to be viewed as "valid" or "licit" (or whatever term would be used by the Orthodox)?
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« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2007, 09:32:51 AM »

Hello,

So do you think that God's covenants throughout salvation history are merely legal contracts? Is that the Orthodox definition?

Logical fallacy:  red herring.

That is not the issue here; the question, which you raised earlier, is whether the Orthodox view or the Latin one is merely contractual.  You keep claiming that the Orthodox one is because it involves no vows, yet won't address the fact that the language used in establishing a Latin marriage is legal (covenants, vows, and promises) and the method of Latin divorce is also legal in nature (declaring that the marriage was void at its inception).  If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, why are you trying to tell me it's a moose?
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« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2007, 09:45:02 AM »

Correct. And not only that, but there seems to be a certain element of dissimulation involved. I mean, no question of an invalid marriage until the wife say, gets herself hooked up with someone else.

That is a gross generalization and likely offensive to those who got declarations of nullity for much more legitimate reasons.

And it does not make them "bastards" in the eyes of the Church. You don't seem very informed about this. Read up on it.

And the American "policy" is not "official." These are decisions of tribunals...they make case-by-case decisions. Some American tribunals are better than others. Most of the cases appealed to Rome are overturned. With more orthodox bishops, fewer annulments will be granted.

It's a gross abuse, as I mentioned before. It is not Catholic teaching.
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« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2007, 09:49:08 AM »

That is a gross generalization and likely offensive to those who got declarations of nullity for much more legitimate reasons.

And it does not make them "bastards" in the eyes of the Church. You don't seem very informed about this. Read up on it.

And the American "policy" is not "official." These are decisions of tribunals...they make case-by-case decisions. Some American tribunals are better than others. Most of the cases appealed to Rome are overturned. With more orthodox bishops, fewer annulments will be granted.

It's a gross abuse, as I mentioned before. It is not Catholic teaching.

That raises another question.  Just how widespread does an abuse have to be before it becomes the de facto teaching?  As it is, it seems that it already is the teaching and everyone is simply pretending that it isn't.
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« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2007, 09:49:52 AM »

My question is in regard to the portion of the post that I italicized (sort of).  How do the Orthodox view non-Orthodox marriages?  For instance those between non-Christians or non-Orthodox Christians?  Are they presumed to be valid under the Orthodox view?  Or would a couple who were married outside the Orthodox church and converted need to be "re-married" in the Orthodox church in order for their marriage to be viewed as "valid" or "licit" (or whatever term would be used by the Orthodox)?
Orthdoxy doesn't have concepts of "valid" for things outside of herself. A marriage not granted or blessed by the Orthodox Church is simply not considered as being "valid" for the Orthodox Church. Similarly, under Australian Law, a marriage which takes place outside of Australian Law is not automatically reconised by Australia (let that be a warning to you all- marrying an Australian does not guarentee the entry of a citizen of another country into Australia if the marriage did not take place in Australia! Cheesy) The Australian government doesn't say that marriages outside of Australia are not "valid", it simply says they are not automatically "valid for Australia".
Your Church says that Orthodox sacraments are "valid", but to us, that makes no sense, since in our understanding, it would mean that our Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Chrisimation, Holy Communion) make us members of the Roman Catholic Church. A Baptism in the Presbyterian Church does not admit anyone to the Orthodox Church, but we don't say it's "invalid", we simply say that it's no concern of ours since it isn't part of our Church. We just don't comment either way.
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« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2007, 09:55:17 AM »

That raises another question.  Just how widespread does an abuse have to be before it becomes the de facto teaching?  As it is, it seems that it already is the teaching and everyone is simply pretending that it isn't.

The American Church is not an autocephalous church. Remember, we are not EO. A cabal of liberal American bishops cannot change Catholic teaching, they can only ignore it. (I'm not implying a concerted conspiracy here---it may just be a case of the tribunals being filled by Americans plucked out of the me-me-me culture).

The American Church is in crisis. And Rome has a billion other Catholics to worry about. It will take time, but this abuse will be corrected.
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« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2007, 09:57:27 AM »

The latin teaching of annullment is quite problematic. An annulled couple makes their offspring illegitimate bastards and a product of fornication.       

With respect, buzuxi.  It would be better if you were certain of your "facts" before you run off misrepresenting the practices and teachings of the Catholic Church.  Your short statement above is riddled with inaccuracies.

#1 - It is not a "teaching of annullment [sic]."  The Church recognizes that there can be a defect in the process of conferring a Sacrament.  Which means that the Sacrament is invalid.  A Declaration of Nullity does nothing to affect the sacramental status of a marriage, it undoes, renders asunder, nullifies or dissolves nothing.

#2 - The process of granting a Declaration of Nullity (that is the proper and correct term) is a long process in which the circumstances of the marriage at the time of the marriage is carefully examined to be certain that both parties were able to confect a valid sacrament with no impediment.  If a valid and legal (under Canon Law) impediment to a valid sacramental marriage is found then the tribunal can issue a Declaration of Nullity.  Which is nothing more (and nothing less) than a statement that there existed at the time of the marriage, an impediment to a valid sacrament. 

#3 - The "legitimacy" of the children is not a matter of Canon Law but a matter of civil law.  Therefore, a Declaration of Nullity does not render the children of the marriage "illegitimate."  That is a statement used by many in ignorance or malice.

#4 - All marriages are presumed to be legal, licit and valid by the Catholic Church.  Unless, in the course of a petition for a Declaration of Nullity, it is found that a sufficient impediment existed.  Since all parties assume the marriage to be valid, even after the Declaration of Nullity is granted the sexual relations are not viewed as "fornication" and thus a sin.  Why?  Because everyone was acting in good faith that the marriage was valid, licit and legal.

Your single short sentence shows both a glaring lack of understanding of the Catholic Church's teaching and practices as regard marriage and an apparent hostility exemplified by your willingness to issue such damning statements with little understanding and even less proof.  It is insulting to Catholics and intellectually dishonest.
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« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2007, 10:02:29 AM »

So, it has been said that death does not end an Orthodox marriage.  Does that just mean the death of one party, or are the people still considered married after they both have gone to Heaven?  This seems to contradict Jesus' conversation with the Sadducees.

We ask the saints for their intercessions, right?  So after they have fallen asleep, are they still alive?  If not, why would we ask them to pray?  It's the same idea with a spouse who has passed away.  Death is not the end of life, thanks to Christ.  So if death doesn't hold any power over us then how could it hold any power over a marriage which, as previously stated, only God can put asunder?  It doesn't.  

As far as Jesus' conversation with the Sadducees, I don't believe He's contradicted Himself here:

Quote
Matthew 22:29-32
 
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

People will neither marry nor be given in marriage... but it doesn't say they are not married.  I'll have to break out my Greek New Testament and check the verb, but to me this means that there are no wedding ceremonies in heaven.  It doesn't say there are no marriages there.  

Quote
Just briefly for one, all our relationships-father, mother, friend, Greek, Arab, etc. are transfigured in heaven.  We don't have our memory erased and are entirely new people.  This would include marriage.

I agree with ialmistry here:  Relationships are transfigured, not erased or remade.  As I understand it, after death we are no longer subject to sin or the devil or even death itself.  This makes us able to see past ourselves and to truly live selflessly.  
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« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2007, 10:04:06 AM »

Orthdoxy doesn't have concepts of "valid" for things outside of herself. A marriage not granted or blessed by the Orthodox Church is simply not considered as being "valid" for the Orthodox Church. Similarly, under Australian Law, a marriage which takes place outside of Australian Law is not automatically reconised by Australia (let that be a warning to you all- marrying an Australian does not guarentee the entry of a citizen of another country into Australia if the marriage did not take place in Australia! Cheesy) The Australian government doesn't say that marriages outside of Australia are not "valid", it simply says they are not automatically "valid for Australia".
Your Church says that Orthodox sacraments are "valid", but to us, that makes no sense, since in our understanding, it would mean that our Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Chrisimation, Holy Communion) make us members of the Roman Catholic Church. A Baptism in the Presbyterian Church does not admit anyone to the Orthodox Church, but we don't say it's "invalid", we simply say that it's no concern of ours since it isn't part of our Church. We just don't comment either way.

OK.  I think I understand what you're saying.  Though I admit to feeling a bit "lost" in the wording.

The Catholic Church (in charity I assume) assumes that all marriages are "valid" (meeting Canon Law regrading marriage) unless cause is shown and proven to the contrary.  It isn't even a statement on the "validity" of the Sacraments of the Orthodox (or any other group) as the same assumption is made for all marriages that take place outside of the Church.  Provided, of course, that neither of the parties are Catholic and subject to Catholic Canons regarding marriage.

What I seem to understand you to be saying is that the Orthodox make no such automatic assumption.  Is that correct?  So would a married couple converting to Orthodoxy then have to have their marriage reviewed/examined to see if it is acceptable under the Orthodox law/rules that the couple is submitting to?  Or would the couple be remarried in the Orthodox jurisdiction that they are being received into?
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