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Author Topic: What is the pre schism teaching on divorce and remarriage ?  (Read 1454 times) Average Rating: 0
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Rdunbar123
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« on: May 15, 2011, 12:46:18 AM »

This a teaching of the OC that I am struggling with. What is the pre schism teaching. Are the only grounds adaultery?
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 01:43:47 AM »

The teaching definitely included "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"; that is, if one witnesses a marriage taking place, one can't deny the fact later on.
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011, 02:22:42 AM »

The 7th canon of the Council of Neocaesarea (c. 315) speaks of second marriages, saying that priests cannot attend them, because his attendance could be misunderstood as meaning that he "sanctioned the marriage". However, the canon does not say that the second marriage is forbidden or not a marriage, only that the people getting married are "worthy of penance".  The 1st canon of the Council of Laodicea (4th century) says: "It is right, according to the ecclesiastical Canon, that the Communion should by indulgence be given to those who have freely and lawfully joined in second marriages, not having previously made a secret marriage; after a short space, which is to be spent by them in prayer and fasting." There seem to also be some canons that deal with people who enter into second marriages not being allowed to become deacons, priests, or bishops, even if they are a widower or not engaged in sexual relations with their wives. So the second marriage, at least in the conciliar canons, seemed to be looked at as an undesireable thing, but not forbidden. There wasn't much on the grounds for the ending of the first marriage, that I saw anyway...
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 05:35:00 AM »

This a teaching of the OC that I am struggling with.

This was certainly a problem for me too when I was considering conversion to Orthodoxy. For me, the remarriage of widows solved this. If marriage continues even after death of the spouse and still St. Paul allowed widows to remarry then Orthodox policy on divorce and remarriage must be the correct one. If widows can remarry why others couldn't?
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 07:40:56 AM »

This a teaching of the OC that I am struggling with. What is the pre schism teaching. Are the only grounds adaultery?

Divorce and Remarriage: A Challenge to the Christian Tradition

http://replay.web.archive.org/20060827025433/http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/staffhome/yukoszarycz/ethics/divorce.htm

This is an article by a Catholic professor.  He is speaking about the acceptance of divorce and remarriage in the Eastern segment of the Catholic Church prior to the schism.  The Catholic bishops in the East seem to have been more tolerant than in the West and the Pope allowed both attitudes to co-exist in the pre-schism Church.

Click the "Impatient?" button on the bottom right.
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 01:17:44 AM »

This a teaching of the OC that I am struggling with.

This was certainly a problem for me too when I was considering conversion to Orthodoxy. For me, the remarriage of widows solved this. If marriage continues even after death of the spouse and still St. Paul allowed widows to remarry then Orthodox policy on divorce and remarriage must be the correct one. If widows can remarry why others couldn't?

Marriages could still be perpetual with the remarriage of widows being economic.
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 01:38:01 AM »

This a teaching of the OC that I am struggling with.

This was certainly a problem for me too when I was considering conversion to Orthodoxy. For me, the remarriage of widows solved this. If marriage continues even after death of the spouse and still St. Paul allowed widows to remarry then Orthodox policy on divorce and remarriage must be the correct one. If widows can remarry why others couldn't?

Marriages could still be perpetual with the remarriage of widows being economic.

I confess that I had never heard that marriages are eternal.  It has been something circulating on the Internet for the past few years (and I think that people quote something from Fr Schmemman in support.)  Because it was not part of what I was taught I do not believe it.
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 01:54:24 AM »

This a teaching of the OC that I am struggling with.

This was certainly a problem for me too when I was considering conversion to Orthodoxy. For me, the remarriage of widows solved this. If marriage continues even after death of the spouse and still St. Paul allowed widows to remarry then Orthodox policy on divorce and remarriage must be the correct one. If widows can remarry why others couldn't?

Marriages could still be perpetual with the remarriage of widows being economic.

I confess that I had never heard that marriages are eternal.  It has been something circulating on the Internet for the past few years (and I think that people quote something from Fr Schmemman in support.)  Because it was not part of what I was taught I do not believe it.

Honestly, I don't know how much it matters, at least with respect to the life of the Church.
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 01:26:07 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 01:33:00 PM »

Wasn't it Justinian who reformed divorce laws to include granting a woman a divorce for such things as if her husband had attempted to take her life, tried to force her into prostitution, or brought a lover into her home?
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 01:36:22 PM »

Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

Same thing with kids, no way you can love more than one. Just doesn't work... you can't divide love!

Oh wait...  Grin

As for marriages being eternal, I have seen some of the biblical and patristic evidence, but it seems fairly underwhelming. Then again, many Fathers thought that the prelapsarian relationship between a couple was very different, so I'm not sure that their views of relationships in the afterlife would diverge too far from that...
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 01:37:05 PM »

Jesus clearly states that nobody will be given in marriage at the Resurrection. Marriage is sacramental, but it ends at death. The love in Christ will carry on, but the eternal "fusing" of souls sounds too much like Romanticist poetry and not enough like Semitic legal norms.

Also, the lives of the saints are full of stories of men and women abandoning their families, including children, to fulfill either a role as an evangelist or as a monastic. If there was something 'eternal' about it, I don't see how such behavior would gel well.

Family concerns are usually considered to be a temporal hindrance in comparison with other things, and St. Paul says it is the better easy to be single. I don't understand how the "two flesh becoming one" is supposed to be an eternal thing.
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 01:38:35 PM »

Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

Same thing with kids, no way you can love more than one. Just doesn't work... you can't divide love!

Oh wait...  Grin

As for marriages being eternal, I have seen some of the biblical and patristic evidence, but it seems fairly underwhelming. Then again, many Fathers thought that the prelapsarian relationship between a couple was very different, so I'm not sure that their views of relationships in the afterlife would diverge too far from that...

In marriage, a man and wife are said to become "basar echad", which is "one flesh". How do you stop being "one flesh" and become "one flesh" with someone else? And how does a polygamist become "one flesh" with more than one wife at a time?
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 01:47:11 PM »

Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

Same thing with kids, no way you can love more than one. Just doesn't work... you can't divide love!

Oh wait...  Grin

As for marriages being eternal, I have seen some of the biblical and patristic evidence, but it seems fairly underwhelming. Then again, many Fathers thought that the prelapsarian relationship between a couple was very different, so I'm not sure that their views of relationships in the afterlife would diverge too far from that...

In marriage, a man and wife are said to become "basar echad", which is "one flesh". How do you stop being "one flesh" and become "one flesh" with someone else? And how does a polygamist become "one flesh" with more than one wife at a time?

"'For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' (Eph. 5:31) Behold again a third ground of obligation; for he shows that a man leaving them that begot him, and from whom he was born, is knit to his wife; and that then the one flesh is, father, and mother, and the child, from the substance of the two commingled. For indeed by the commingling of their seeds is the child produced, so that the three are one flesh." - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 20 on Ephesians

"three are one flesh"... so to, perhaps, with polyamorous relationships  angel
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 04:46:13 PM »

Most cases in which divorce is an issue rarely do not involve adultery -¬ whether it be a case of giving oneself over to another person, or to another thing, such as alcohol, drugs, work, etc. One can surely put their spouse in a secondary position as a result of becoming infatuated, obsessed and/or controlled with/by another person; one can also surely put their spouse in a secondary position as a result of becoming infatuated, obsessed and/or controlled with/by power, wealth, addictions, careers, etc.

In accordance with Church Canon Law, an Ecclesiastical Divorce is granted only under certain circumstances .  A review of guidance from the various jurisdictions in the United States indicate the following as valid reasons to grant an ecclesiastical divorce:
1.   When a marriage is entered into by force, blackmail or false reasons.
2.   When one or both parties is guilty of adultery.
3.   When one party is proven to be mad, insane or suffers from a social disease which was not disclosed to the spouse prior to the marriage.
4.   When one party has physically assaulted the spouse or conspired against the life of the spouse.
5.   When one party is imprisoned for more than seven years.
6.   When one party abandons the other for more than three years without approval.
7.   When one partner should be absent from home without the other's approval, except in in stances when the latter is assured that such absence is due to psycho-neurotic illness.
8.   When one partner forces the other to engage in illicit affairs with others.
9.   When one partner does not fulfill the responsibilities of marriage, or when it is medically proven that one party is physically impotent or as the result of a social venereal disease.
10.   When one partner is an addict, thereby creating undue economic hardship.

There is one other reason, a Holy one,  for granting an ecclesiastical divorce, when a couple chooses to separate due to love of the Lord and their desire to mutually enter into the angelic life of the monastic.  This reason is used when a married clergy is called to become a Bishop and must set aside his wife. In this case, both must willingly enter the angelic life.


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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 05:02:17 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

The husband and wife are one flesh, not one person. When the flesh dies, they are no longer bound.

Mormons have a very fleshly view of eternity. There will be no need for marriage in eternity because we will all be eternally growing in the Trinity. I think that in eternity, the only relationship that matters is our becoming God and moving into the Trinity's inifinite movement of love. (And so we will move in love with all others who are becoming God, not just exclusively with a spouse.)

The idea of eternal marriage just doesn't really work with eternal theosis. Marriage is given to help us in theosis, but it is only necessary in the flesh. But in heaven, and in our glorified bodies, we won't need that type of relationship with other people. Christ said that in the resurrection we will be like the angels.
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 05:28:01 PM »

"Actually, marriage is Eternal. This, in fact, is one of the reasons why our Church has a penitential rite of second and third marriage for widow/ers and divorcees. A second marriage is a compromise to prevent worse harm befalling someone who, say, is a young widower and at risk of falling into fornication. What Christ said was that "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the Angels of God in Heaven", but that doesn't mean that those who were married in their earthly lives are not still married at the resurrection. It simply means that our resurrection will be in Glorified bodies and the "demands of the flesh" will be gone. Some Orthodox couples actually "practice for this" during the fasting periods of the Church by abstaining from sexual relations (with mutual agreement), and in the monastery where I worship, men and women must stand on different sides of the nave, even if they are married, but these practices do not mean that the couple is temporarily "not married", rather it seeks to sanctify their love for one another by reminding them that while sex may be an expression of love, it is not the equivalent of love, nor is it the sum total of love." by ozgeorge
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 05:32:43 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

The husband and wife are one flesh, not one person. When the flesh dies, they are no longer bound.

Mormons have a very fleshly view of eternity. There will be no need for marriage in eternity because we will all be eternally growing in the Trinity. I think that in eternity, the only relationship that matters is our becoming God and moving into the Trinity's inifinite movement of love. (And so we will move in love with all others who are becoming God, not just exclusively with a spouse.)

The idea of eternal marriage just doesn't really work with eternal theosis. Marriage is given to help us in theosis, but it is only necessary in the flesh. But in heaven, and in our glorified bodies, we won't need that type of relationship with other people. Christ said that in the resurrection we will be like the angels.
That we would immortal.  Not that we would become bodiless.  Otherwise, why confess the resurretion of the dead?

And if they were no longer bound, there would be no reason to discourage remarriage of widow(er)s.

And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2011, 05:41:32 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

The husband and wife are one flesh, not one person. When the flesh dies, they are no longer bound.

Mormons have a very fleshly view of eternity. There will be no need for marriage in eternity because we will all be eternally growing in the Trinity. I think that in eternity, the only relationship that matters is our becoming God and moving into the Trinity's inifinite movement of love. (And so we will move in love with all others who are becoming God, not just exclusively with a spouse.)

The idea of eternal marriage just doesn't really work with eternal theosis. Marriage is given to help us in theosis, but it is only necessary in the flesh. But in heaven, and in our glorified bodies, we won't need that type of relationship with other people. Christ said that in the resurrection we will be like the angels.
That we would immortal.  Not that we would become bodiless.  Otherwise, why confess the resurretion of the dead?

And if they were no longer bound, there would be no reason to discourage remarriage of widow(er)s.

And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.

We don't become bodiless, and we will be resurrected. But the flesh of our glorified bodies are spiritual relative to our present flesh. A glorified person would seem entirely spiritual to a person in the flesh, but compared to pure spirit, it is flesh. Angels are material beings but their matter is different from ours. (I think it was St Symeon the New Theologian who talked about this, but I don't remember exactly. I'll see if I can find it back.)
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2011, 06:06:43 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies...

It's not only a Protestant phenomenon since it's part of pre-Schism WR wedding too.
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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2011, 07:55:54 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

The husband and wife are one flesh, not one person. When the flesh dies, they are no longer bound.

Mormons have a very fleshly view of eternity. There will be no need for marriage in eternity because we will all be eternally growing in the Trinity. I think that in eternity, the only relationship that matters is our becoming God and moving into the Trinity's inifinite movement of love. (And so we will move in love with all others who are becoming God, not just exclusively with a spouse.)

The idea of eternal marriage just doesn't really work with eternal theosis. Marriage is given to help us in theosis, but it is only necessary in the flesh. But in heaven, and in our glorified bodies, we won't need that type of relationship with other people. Christ said that in the resurrection we will be like the angels.
That we would immortal.  Not that we would become bodiless.  Otherwise, why confess the resurretion of the dead?

And if they were no longer bound, there would be no reason to discourage remarriage of widow(er)s.

And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.

So all those poor sods who have left their mean and nasty hateful (even murderous) wives are going to get them back at death?  Good luck to those of you who believe that.
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2011, 07:58:07 PM »


And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.

How does that work when the husband's in heaven and the wife's in hell?

Does he get visiting rights?
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2011, 08:14:03 PM »


And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.

How does that work when the husband's in heaven and the wife's in hell?

Does he get visiting rights?
LOL.  My ex wife, who hated her father, nonetheless was very upset when her mother said should couldn't care less if he went to heaven (odds are against it, btw, but I have my sons pray for it).  I tried not to laugh, thinking "how could it be heaven if he's there."

Now, of course, my ex wife has stripped me of any fear of hell.
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2011, 08:14:47 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

The husband and wife are one flesh, not one person. When the flesh dies, they are no longer bound.

Mormons have a very fleshly view of eternity. There will be no need for marriage in eternity because we will all be eternally growing in the Trinity. I think that in eternity, the only relationship that matters is our becoming God and moving into the Trinity's inifinite movement of love. (And so we will move in love with all others who are becoming God, not just exclusively with a spouse.)

The idea of eternal marriage just doesn't really work with eternal theosis. Marriage is given to help us in theosis, but it is only necessary in the flesh. But in heaven, and in our glorified bodies, we won't need that type of relationship with other people. Christ said that in the resurrection we will be like the angels.
That we would immortal.  Not that we would become bodiless.  Otherwise, why confess the resurretion of the dead?

And if they were no longer bound, there would be no reason to discourage remarriage of widow(er)s.

And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.

So all those poor sods who have left their mean and nasty hateful (even murderous) wives are going to get them back at death?  Good luck to those of you who believe that.

Makes me tremble, to be honest.
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2011, 10:21:54 PM »

I always had a problem with the "till death do us part" which is in Protestant ceremonies....to me, marriage should be eternal, the way the Mormons see it. I just could never understand how a person can honestly love one person, and then when they die, love another. Its why polygamy doesn't make sense to me either...how can a man love more than one woman, either at the same time or in one lifetime?

The husband and wife are one flesh, not one person. When the flesh dies, they are no longer bound.

Mormons have a very fleshly view of eternity. There will be no need for marriage in eternity because we will all be eternally growing in the Trinity. I think that in eternity, the only relationship that matters is our becoming God and moving into the Trinity's inifinite movement of love. (And so we will move in love with all others who are becoming God, not just exclusively with a spouse.)

The idea of eternal marriage just doesn't really work with eternal theosis. Marriage is given to help us in theosis, but it is only necessary in the flesh. But in heaven, and in our glorified bodies, we won't need that type of relationship with other people. Christ said that in the resurrection we will be like the angels.
That we would immortal.  Not that we would become bodiless.  Otherwise, why confess the resurretion of the dead?

And if they were no longer bound, there would be no reason to discourage remarriage of widow(er)s.

And yes, the idea of eternal marriage works with eternal theosis. The rite is based on it.

So all those poor sods who have left their mean and nasty hateful (even murderous) wives are going to get them back at death?  Good luck to those of you who believe that.


I honestly hope that post was a joke.  Because I see nothing wrong with the notion of an eternal marriage if this was a life-long salvific marriage that emulates Christ and the Church.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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Toumarches
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Paint It Red


« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2011, 11:01:02 PM »


Now, of course, my ex wife has stripped me of any fear of hell.
LOL
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“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
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