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Author Topic: Did the Church Fathers allow divorce?  (Read 4698 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 02, 2010, 12:58:16 AM »

Dear all,

Roman Catholics do not permit divorce despite Mathew 19:9, which they translate to mean no one may divorce unless the marriage itself was unlawful to begin with.  The Orthodox Church today allows for divorce, but did it from its early first centuries? 

1) What do the Church Fathers say on divorce?

2) How do the Church Fathers interpret Mathew 19:9? 

Thank you-
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 01:01:11 AM »

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 08:45:55 AM »

1) What do the Church Fathers say on divorce?

In the East, they were less concerned with divorce as they were concerned with remarriage.

"If there were two Christs, there would be two husbands, or two wives; since Christ is one--the one head of the Church--there is one flesh also; the second should be rejected. And if you forbid a second marriage, would you allow a third? The first is legal, the second is condoned, the third is illegitimate, and that which is beyond is swine-like . . ." St Gregory the Theologian, Or. 37.8

"The rule establishes one year of excommunication for those who marry a second time. Other authorities even require two years. Those who marry a third time are often excommunicated for three or four years. And such a union is not called marriage, but polygamy, or punishable fornication." St Basil's 4th Canonical Epistle

That applied to those who had divorced and those who had been widowed. It's hard to compare current understandings of marriage and divorce to the early church, because both were handled in civil courts according to Roman law.

2) How do the Church Fathers interpret Mathew 19:9? 

Fr. John Meyendorff answers this concisely in his article, "Christian Marriage in Byzantium: The Canonical and Liturgical Tradition."

Quote
The Byzantine Church, though proclaiming and cherishing the principle of the indissolubility of marriage, as affirmed by Jesus according to the Synoptics' accounts (Matt. 5:31-32, 19:3-12, Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18), never understood indissolubility to be a legal absolute. It condoned the famous exception, found in Matt. 19:9, and recognized adultery as a legitimate cause of divorce, covering other situations, where the mystical union of husband and wife had, in reality, ceased to exist, that is, situations practically equivalent to the death of one of the partners (disappearance, insanity, violence). However, even in cases when divorce was admitted, remarriage was, in principle, only tolerated and subject to penitential conditions, mentioned earlier.
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 02:14:42 PM »

The process of getting a second marriage is pretty much the same in the Orthodox Church as it is in the Roman Catholic Church, except the Orthodox do not go through the formality of having an annulment declaring that the original marriage wasn't valid.
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2010, 02:53:35 PM »

Dear all,

Roman Catholics do not permit divorce despite Mathew 19:9,

No, they permit Corban instead.

Quote
which they translate to mean no one may divorce unless the marriage itself was unlawful to begin with.

Why don't they forbid unlawful marriages in the first place instead of blessing them?

Quote
 The Orthodox Church today allows for divorce,

You mean allows some divorcees to remarry.

Quote
but did it from its early first centuries?

Yes.

Quote
1) What do the Church Fathers say on divorce?

Don't do it, except St. Basil who says you must for adultery.

Quote
2) How do the Church Fathers interpret Mathew 19:9?  

Not with a marriage tribunal.
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 06:18:12 PM »

Roman Catholics do not permit divorce despite Mathew 19:9, which they translate to mean no one may divorce unless the marriage itself was unlawful to begin with.

Wrong on all accounts.  The Church has nothing to say about divorce.  It is remarriage after diovrce that is not permitted unless a decree of nullity has been issued.  A decree of nullity is a statement that a sacramental marriage never took place due to an impediment of one or both spouses and does not imply the marriage was unlawful.  The impediment may be due to prior bond such as previous marriage, ordination, or monastic vow or lack of ability to consent due to coersion or mental illness.
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2010, 06:26:47 PM »

Dear all,

Roman Catholics do not permit divorce despite Mathew 19:9,

No, they permit Corban instead.

Quote
which they translate to mean no one may divorce unless the marriage itself was unlawful to begin with.

Why don't they forbid unlawful marriages in the first place instead of blessing them?

1.  What is Corban?

2. Because the impediment is usually unknown until after the wedding.  A man married a woman who suffered from severe schizophrenia and psychosis.  The woman and her family hid this from my friend and she was controlling this with meds.  A few months into the marriage she stopped taking her meds and major problems started.  Had he known he would not have married her.
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2010, 06:31:59 PM »

Dear all,

Roman Catholics do not permit divorce despite Mathew 19:9,

No, they permit Corban instead.

Quote
which they translate to mean no one may divorce unless the marriage itself was unlawful to begin with.

Why don't they forbid unlawful marriages in the first place instead of blessing them?

1.  What is Corban?

Mark 7:11-12.

Quote
2. Because the impediment is usually unknown until after the wedding.  A man married a woman who suffered from severe schizophrenia and psychosis.  The woman and her family hid this from my friend and she was controlling this with meds.  A few months into the marriage she stopped taking her meds and major problems started.  Had he known he would not have married her.
So all that "in sickness and in health" are just pretty words.
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2010, 07:03:05 PM »

I agree that remarriage is the bigger issue. After all isn't the reason one gets divorced ultimately because they want to marry someone else? It may not be the initial reason for the divorce per se but in essence when one gets divorced they're saying "I don't want my spouse, I want to make myself available for someone else".

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 07:05:37 PM »

"If there were two Christs, there would be two husbands, or two wives; since Christ is one--the one head of the Church--there is one flesh also; the second should be rejected. And if you forbid a second marriage, would you allow a third? The first is legal, the second is condoned, the third is illegitimate, and that which is beyond is swine-like . . ." St Gregory the Theologian, Or. 37.8

"The rule establishes one year of excommunication for those who marry a second time. Other authorities even require two years. Those who marry a third time are often excommunicated for three or four years. And such a union is not called marriage, but polygamy, or punishable fornication." St Basil's 4th Canonical Epistle

I wonder how they would've reacted to Elizabeth Taylor, LOL.
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 10:03:42 PM »

2. Because the impediment is usually unknown until after the wedding.  A man married a woman who suffered from severe schizophrenia and psychosis.  The woman and her family hid this from my friend and she was controlling this with meds.  A few months into the marriage she stopped taking her meds and major problems started.  Had he known he would not have married her.

So all that "in sickness and in health" are just pretty words.

A man is obviously owed every right to know of such a situation in advance and then decide whether to shoulder such burdens.  The weight one should carry and consent to carrying should come as whichever it is the future chooses to bring or which is present but hidden from both spouses-to-be (such as the women being unable to conceive), not one taken in unwittingly through a cloak of deception.

I know a case exactly like the one Deacon Lance describes; such deceptions btikhrib byout il`aalam as we say and can ruin lives.
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2010, 10:26:18 PM »

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?

YES...I always wanted to ask the question.  Because as I know it, there isn't really a divorce in ecclessiastical divorce (the marriage sacrament does not get dissolved), but rather there is permission granted to the spouse (and is it only the wronged spouse?--and what of the cheating party in an adultery?--is he or she permitted to remarry?) to contract a legitimate non-sacramental wedding (hence no crowning in the second marriage service) blessed by the Church.  If we assume a sacramental bond between the two spouses still exists, what if they would wish to respond favourably to that bond and resolve their differences, especially if they are involved in a non-sacramental 2nd marriage to another?

Another hypothetical: what if a divorced person person should remarry and take a spouse who has not been married before?  Will there be a crowning and a sacramental blessing or rather a service to bless a non-sacramental marriage?  More scenarios can be put on the table, but when you had Roman emperors who would pull a King Hussein and marry 4 wives, you start to want to know how this all works.
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2010, 10:34:34 PM »

2. Because the impediment is usually unknown until after the wedding.  A man married a woman who suffered from severe schizophrenia and psychosis.  The woman and her family hid this from my friend and she was controlling this with meds.  A few months into the marriage she stopped taking her meds and major problems started.  Had he known he would not have married her.

So all that "in sickness and in health" are just pretty words.

A man is obviously owed every right to know of such a situation in advance and then decide whether to shoulder such burdens.  The weight one should carry and consent to carrying should come as whichever it is the future chooses to bring or which is present but hidden from both spouses-to-be (such as the women being unable to conceive), not one taken in unwittingly through a cloak of deception.

I know a case exactly like the one Deacon Lance describes; such deceptions bitkhar'rib byout il`aalam as we say and can ruin lives.
I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter. As a matter of fact, somewhat close to the example given (though in mine she was addicted sedatives, which I didn't find out until almost a year into the marriage). So yes, I was sold quite a pack of lies, but I didn't see that as the escape clause: her father confessor said it was odd that she filed for divorce when I had all the grounds.  But that's the point: we are DIVORCED. Not an "invalid" marriage that never happened, but a failed marriage that unfortunately did.  The revisionism of the Vatican's Corban factories a/k/a the "marriage tribunals" engaging in denial serves no purpose, except hypocrisy in Orthodox-Vatican polemics.
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2010, 10:37:48 PM »

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?

YES...I always wanted to ask the question.  Because as I know it, there isn't really a divorce in ecclessiastical divorce (the marriage sacrament does not get dissolved), but rather there is permission granted to the spouse (and is it only the wronged spouse?--and what of the cheating party in an adultery?--is he or she permitted to remarry?) to contract a legitimate non-sacramental wedding (hence no crowning in the second marriage service) blessed by the Church.  If we assume a sacramental bond between the two spouses still exists, what if they would wish to respond favourably to that bond and resolve their differences, especially if they are involved in a non-sacramental 2nd marriage to another?

I was told (by a bishop, btw) that when Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner remarried, there wasn't a full wedding service, but the crowning service that they use for anniversaries or some such thing.

Quote
Another hypothetical: what if a divorced person person should remarry and take a spouse who has not been married before?  Will there be a crowning and a sacramental blessing or rather a service to bless a non-sacramental marriage?  More scenarios can be put on the table, but when you had Roman emperors who would pull a King Hussein and marry 4 wives, you start to want to know how this all works.
I've been to such a wedding (in the first sentence, not the 4 wives), which had been approved by the bishop.  There was a crowing.
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2010, 10:50:29 PM »

I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter.

وللخبرة طعم مر.  روح لاقيلك شي وحدة عربية حلوة يا ابا العيس.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 11:08:50 PM »

I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter.

وللخبرة طعم مر.  روح لاقيلك شي وحدة عربية حلوة يا ابا العيس.  Smiley
Can I get an English translation of this, please?  Thank you.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2010, 11:18:34 PM »

2. Because the impediment is usually unknown until after the wedding.  A man married a woman who suffered from severe schizophrenia and psychosis.  The woman and her family hid this from my friend and she was controlling this with meds.  A few months into the marriage she stopped taking her meds and major problems started.  Had he known he would not have married her.

So all that "in sickness and in health" are just pretty words.

A man is obviously owed every right to know of such a situation in advance and then decide whether to shoulder such burdens.  The weight one should carry and consent to carrying should come as whichever it is the future chooses to bring or which is present but hidden from both spouses-to-be (such as the women being unable to conceive), not one taken in unwittingly through a cloak of deception.

I know a case exactly like the one Deacon Lance describes; such deceptions bitkhar'rib byout il`aalam as we say and can ruin lives.
I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter. As a matter of fact, somewhat close to the example given (though in mine she was addicted sedatives, which I didn't find out until almost a year into the marriage). So yes, I was sold quite a pack of lies, but I didn't see that as the escape clause: her father confessor said it was odd that she filed for divorce when I had all the grounds.  But that's the point: we are DIVORCED. Not an "invalid" marriage that never happened, but a failed marriage that unfortunately did.  The revisionism of the Vatican's Corban factories a/k/a the "marriage tribunals" engaging in denial serves no purpose, except hypocrisy in Orthodox-Vatican polemics.

This proclamation has nothing to do with anything but antipathy.

M.
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2010, 11:53:27 PM »

I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter.

وللخبرة طعم مر.  روح لاقيلك شي وحدة عربية حلوة يا ابا العيس.  Smiley
Can I get an English translation of this, please?  Thank you.

And experience has a bitter taste.  You should go find yourself a nice Arabic girl, Mr. Isa.
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2010, 11:59:22 PM »

I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter.

وللخبرة طعم مر.  روح لاقيلك شي وحدة عربية حلوة يا ابا العيس.  Smiley
Can I get an English translation of this, please?  Thank you.

And experience has a bitter taste.  You should go find yourself a nice Arabic girl, Mr. Isa.
Thank you. Wink
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2010, 04:25:25 AM »

I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter.

وللخبرة طعم مر.  روح لاقيلك شي وحدة عربية حلوة يا ابا العيس.  Smiley
Can I get an English translation of this, please?  Thank you.

And experience has a bitter taste.  You should go find yourself a nice Arabic girl, Mr. Isa.
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Lord willing.
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2010, 04:19:02 PM »

How could they do otherwise, in that our Lord also recognized it; and if they didn't, why would the Apostle write that a Bishop and Deacon are to have been husbands of only one wife?

First it would seem relevant to establish what is called a marriage in the Church and then how the Church receives or recognizes what is called a marriage outside of the Church.

Is a marriage established simply by the act of copulation, or must it have a consensual ritual action whether meaningful or meaningless?

It seems to me that the action of marriage is itself the act of marriage and its establishment thereof; it appears to me that this premise is at the foundation of his argument against a Christian joining themselves together as one flesh and thereby joining Christ to a harlot.

The Mosaic Law also seems also to establish this principle when it allows for the putting away of a wife whom it was discovered had played the harlot and hidden it from her new/second husband.  The girl had already been wedded, and the imagery of the mystery of marriage was already defiled.

Divorcing out of a marriage made in the Church is one thing, divorcing out of what is called a marriage outside of the Church because one comes into the Church is another. 



John
 

 

 






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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2010, 04:31:17 PM »

Didn't the Lord Jesus Himself allow for divorce in the case of adultery?
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2010, 08:09:14 PM »

The troublesome word in the dialogue as I read it is "Allow".  Nobody really wants to say the Lord Allowed Divorce, do they?   Because to allow is to give permission and how can the Lord be said to be giving permission to something He elsewhere seemingly forbidden?  

I don't see anyway around recognizing that the Lord ALLOWED for Divorce and that he is not simply passing the Buck to Moses for its origin and applicability when He said, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts,  But it was not this way from the beginning (Matt. 19, 8 ).

I do not read our Lord as demoting Moses, but rather establishing His authority.  He says nothing which forbids divorce, but very clearly shows them the nature of the problem arises because they cannot accept the Creation Story as historically reliable.   For MOSES also gave them the story of One man to One woman.  It is as if our Lord was saying, "If you believe Moses to be your Authority, why then do you not recognize that it was also MOSES who gave you the ordinance of Marriage to begin with in the Creation Story.   It was not that way from the beginning, i.e., the book of Genesis.

I do not read our Lord as ending the Mosaic commandment concerning Divorce; perhaps it has been or ought to be one of the leascommandments with which we are concerned about, but go figure we are what we are.  

It would also seem incorrect to say that the Orthodox Church allows for Divorce; what would that mean?  Does she not allow for sinners?  

I think second marriages are a kind of Zoar to which the Righteous Lot fled unto as like unto a city of refuge,to escape the falling wrath of God upon those who loved the flesh with such passion so a to corrupt completely marriages meaning and purpose (to write the Book of Life and then to enter into it and save it from the inside out).  Lot' wife had a thing for the flesh which was so powerful within her that she turned back unto the city which was being destroyed by God.   Lot only escaped with the help of his daughters, yet the Apostle Peter Praised him with an acclamation also used/given to St. Joesph the betrothed: i.e., JUST or RIGHTEOUS.  

A Just or Righteous man looses his wife and marries his daughters...Hey, change the channel, I want to see Rockford Files.




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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2010, 08:48:22 PM »

If it is a first marriage for either party, it is the full ceremony, if both are marrying for the 2nd time in the church, it is a much abbreviated ceremony.
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2011, 02:08:38 PM »

Dear all,

Roman Catholics do not permit divorce despite Mathew 19:9, which they translate to mean no one may divorce unless the marriage itself was unlawful to begin with.  The Orthodox Church today allows for divorce, but did it from its early first centuries? 

1) What do the Church Fathers say on divorce?

2) How do the Church Fathers interpret Mathew 19:9? 
Thank you-
K

Your responsibilities of the Roman Catholic church on divorce and remarriage are usually be summed up in a few sentences :.

Divorce was allowed in Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) times. But the permanency of marriage was restituted by Jesus in the first century CE.

Marriage is a sacrament that is not insoluble. Once a valid marriage has been consummated, It lives on until one spouse dies.

The church doesn't issue and laws on divorce or acknowledge divorces issued by other institutions.

The church can bring out an annulment. However, the couple must first turn out to a church tribunal that the marriage was unacceptable.
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« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2011, 01:28:44 AM »

2. Because the impediment is usually unknown until after the wedding.  A man married a woman who suffered from severe schizophrenia and psychosis.  The woman and her family hid this from my friend and she was controlling this with meds.  A few months into the marriage she stopped taking her meds and major problems started.  Had he known he would not have married her.

So all that "in sickness and in health" are just pretty words.

A man is obviously owed every right to know of such a situation in advance and then decide whether to shoulder such burdens.  The weight one should carry and consent to carrying should come as whichever it is the future chooses to bring or which is present but hidden from both spouses-to-be (such as the women being unable to conceive), not one taken in unwittingly through a cloak of deception.

I know a case exactly like the one Deacon Lance describes; such deceptions bitkhar'rib byout il`aalam as we say and can ruin lives.
I'm dhu'l-khibr on this matter. As a matter of fact, somewhat close to the example given (though in mine she was addicted sedatives, which I didn't find out until almost a year into the marriage). So yes, I was sold quite a pack of lies, but I didn't see that as the escape clause: her father confessor said it was odd that she filed for divorce when I had all the grounds.  But that's the point: we are DIVORCED. Not an "invalid" marriage that never happened, but a failed marriage that unfortunately did.  The revisionism of the Vatican's Corban factories a/k/a the "marriage tribunals" engaging in denial serves no purpose, except hypocrisy in Orthodox-Vatican polemics.

This proclamation has nothing to do with anything but antipathy.
You refering to my ex-wife or the Vatican's corban factory?
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« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2011, 06:23:32 AM »

If it is a first marriage for either party, it is the full ceremony, if both are marrying for the 2nd time in the church, it is a much abbreviated ceremony.

Here is the online Hapgood Service Book which provides the Services of the Russian Orthodox Church.

If you use the little hand at the bottom of the page and navigate to Page 340 you will find the Order of a Second Marriage

http://www.archive.org/stream/ServiceBookOfHolyOrthodoxChurchByHapgood/Service_Book_Orthodox_Church_Hapgood#page/n339/mode/2up
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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2011, 03:30:00 PM »

The church can bring out an annulment. However, the couple must first turn out to a church tribunal that the marriage was unacceptable.
The process of getting a second marriage is pretty much the same in the Orthodox Church as it is in the Roman Catholic Church, except the Orthodox do not go through the formality of having an annulment declaring that the original marriage wasn't valid.
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2011, 01:25:22 AM »

Can anyone help me understand my personal situation?  My wife divorced me as an action of the State several years ago, but neither of us has ever remarried.  In the eyes of the Church, am I "divorced"? 
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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2011, 09:12:18 AM »

Can anyone help me understand my personal situation?  My wife divorced me as an action of the State several years ago, but neither of us has ever remarried.  In the eyes of the Church, am I "divorced"? 

Just seperated.
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2011, 09:19:44 AM »

I agree that remarriage is the bigger issue. After all isn't the reason one gets divorced ultimately because they want to marry someone else? It may not be the initial reason for the divorce per se but in essence when one gets divorced they're saying "I don't want my spouse, I want to make myself available for someone else".

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?

That paints a picture that may be too pleasant. Sometimes women are terribly abused. They want to divorce not to make themselves available again but to remove themselves from a situation where they are getting beat up every day.
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2011, 09:30:39 AM »

I agree that remarriage is the bigger issue. After all isn't the reason one gets divorced ultimately because they want to marry someone else? It may not be the initial reason for the divorce per se but in essence when one gets divorced they're saying "I don't want my spouse, I want to make myself available for someone else".

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?

That paints a picture that may be too pleasant. Sometimes women are terribly abused. They want to divorce not to make themselves available again but to remove themselves from a situation where they are getting beat up every day.
That picture is too pleasant. And not Christian.  In older times, often neither were allowed to remarry.  In the OCA statute, the wording still leaves that the Church may decide that neither should be remarried.


And it is not just women who are terribly abused.  And nowadays, more often than not, they divorce for no good reason.
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2011, 09:34:23 AM »

I agree that remarriage is the bigger issue. After all isn't the reason one gets divorced ultimately because they want to marry someone else? It may not be the initial reason for the divorce per se but in essence when one gets divorced they're saying "I don't want my spouse, I want to make myself available for someone else".

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?

That paints a picture that may be too pleasant. Sometimes women are terribly abused. They want to divorce not to make themselves available again but to remove themselves from a situation where they are getting beat up every day.
That picture is too pleasant. And not Christian.  In older times, often neither were allowed to remarry.  In the OCA statute, the wording still leaves that the Church may decide that neither should be remarried.


And it is not just women who are terribly abused.  And nowadays, more often than not, they divorce for no good reason.

I am confused. Are you saying it is not Christian for a Woman who is being beat up regularly by her husband to want to divorce him?

{With all allowance to men who are being abused as well}
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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2011, 10:14:07 AM »

I agree that remarriage is the bigger issue. After all isn't the reason one gets divorced ultimately because they want to marry someone else? It may not be the initial reason for the divorce per se but in essence when one gets divorced they're saying "I don't want my spouse, I want to make myself available for someone else".

BTW what about when a divorced couple want to remarry, as in each other?

That paints a picture that may be too pleasant. Sometimes women are terribly abused. They want to divorce not to make themselves available again but to remove themselves from a situation where they are getting beat up every day.
That picture is too pleasant. And not Christian.  In older times, often neither were allowed to remarry.  In the OCA statute, the wording still leaves that the Church may decide that neither should be remarried.


And it is not just women who are terribly abused.  And nowadays, more often than not, they divorce for no good reason.

I am confused. Are you saying it is not Christian for a Woman who is being beat up regularly by her husband to want to divorce him?

{With all allowance to men who are being abused as well}
I'm saying that making rules on exceptions is always a bad thing.
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« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2011, 12:36:24 PM »

Are you saying it is not Christian for a Woman who is being beat up regularly by her husband to want to divorce him?
He said nothing like that!

Why would an Orthodox Christian even want to twist someone's word like that?
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2011, 01:44:42 PM »

Can anyone help me understand my personal situation?  My wife divorced me as an action of the State several years ago, but neither of us has ever remarried.  In the eyes of the Church, am I "divorced"? 

You still need to go through the ecclesiastical process practiced in your particular diocese. Most Orthodox churches, here and abroad, have such a process, guided by synodal regulations. I am not sure about the OCA.
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2011, 06:30:09 PM »

Are you saying it is not Christian for a Woman who is being beat up regularly by her husband to want to divorce him?
He said nothing like that!

Why would an Orthodox Christian even want to twist someone's word like that?

Which part is unclear?

That picture is too pleasant. And not Christian.  In older times, often neither were allowed to remarry.

That seems to suggest that even in the case of serious abuse, there should not be an exception.

He later clarified his statement to say that in general you should not codify rules for things that are exceptions.
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