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Author Topic: Orthodox vs. Roman Catholic View on Divorce & Remarriage?  (Read 1937 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: June 28, 2012, 02:17:26 AM »

Looking into it, this is something that has disturbed me to be honest. Both views seem pretty lousy to me, but the Orthodox view seems almost absurd. A limit of three marriages? Where are the patristics to support this? It is entirely abominable. We only have this doctrine because of some event involving an emperor a long time ago? That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church. How do we really support a view like this? On the other hand, I think that the Roman Catholic view seems more 'on the right track' seeing that divorce is much more frowned upon and Christ's words about it taken more seriously, but this whole Annulment system is entirely cruel seeing the effects that it has on some families and how it pretty much just seems to be an 'easy way out' to offer people divorce without technically divorcing them.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 03:24:20 AM »

Looking into it, this is something that has disturbed me to be honest. Both views seem pretty lousy to me, but the Orthodox view seems almost absurd. A limit of three marriages? Where are the patristics to support this? It is entirely abominable. We only have this doctrine because of some event involving an emperor a long time ago? That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church. How do we really support a view like this? On the other hand, I think that the Roman Catholic view seems more 'on the right track' seeing that divorce is much more frowned upon and Christ's words about it taken more seriously, but this whole Annulment system is entirely cruel seeing the effects that it has on some families and how it pretty much just seems to be an 'easy way out' to offer people divorce without technically divorcing them.

Thoughts?

If you're referring to the Moechian Controversy, you have the causality reversed. The Church was scandalized by the fact that the emperor had contracted a fourth marriage (all three of his previous wives had died) because it was already believed that the limit upon remarriages should be two (for a total of three marriages). The Church in the end allowed for this fourth marriage by extreme economy on the condition that the emperor outlaw all future fourth marriages (prior to this, obtaining a fourth marriage was legal, but it was not permitted by the Church).
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 04:00:14 AM »

Looking into it, this is something that has disturbed me to be honest. Both views seem pretty lousy to me, but the Orthodox view seems almost absurd. A limit of three marriages? Where are the patristics to support this? It is entirely abominable. We only have this doctrine because of some event involving an emperor a long time ago? That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church. How do we really support a view like this? On the other hand, I think that the Roman Catholic view seems more 'on the right track' seeing that divorce is much more frowned upon and Christ's words about it taken more seriously, but this whole Annulment system is entirely cruel seeing the effects that it has on some families and how it pretty much just seems to be an 'easy way out' to offer people divorce without technically divorcing them.

Thoughts?

Your comments seem rather confused. On the one hand you seem to be saying that we're wrong (and the RCs better) to allow remarriage at all and on the other that we're wrong to limit the total number of marriages to three. Which is it? I honestly can't see how anyone could think that the RC annulment system is better. Frankly it seems ridiculously close to dodgy lawyers finding legal loopholes to render an otherwise valid contract null and void. The Orthodox stance on divorce and remarriage on the other hand is to allow remarriage as a concession to human weakness whilst always acknowledging that it is not the ideal. I find this much preferable myself even though, even were I to be widowed, God forbid, I can't see myself ever wishing to remarry. As for the limit, well it seems to me that if you're asking for a 4th marriage you've amply demonstrated that you don't take marriage seriously and the Church is right to refuse you.

James
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 08:34:26 AM »

Looking into it, this is something that has disturbed me to be honest. Both views seem pretty lousy to me, but the Orthodox view seems almost absurd. A limit of three marriages? Where are the patristics to support this? It is entirely abominable. We only have this doctrine because of some event involving an emperor a long time ago? That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church. How do we really support a view like this? On the other hand, I think that the Roman Catholic view seems more 'on the right track' seeing that divorce is much more frowned upon and Christ's words about it taken more seriously, but this whole Annulment system is entirely cruel seeing the effects that it has on some families and how it pretty much just seems to be an 'easy way out' to offer people divorce without technically divorcing them.

Thoughts?
The canons on this long predate Emperor Leo's problems (btw, when the Church of New Rome wouldn't bless his marriage, he went and got his approval from Old Rome which gave it) by centuries.  One can make a mistake, but when it  becomes a habit, it is to be discouraged.  Annullments don't do that: you can get them for as many "not real marriages" you have.
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 09:12:27 AM »

In this, as in many other things, I find the Orthodox approach to be pastoral rather than legalistic. The Church recognizes that divorce is never a good thing, but also recognizes that people screw up, make mistakes and can then repent. That seems eminently more reasonable, and compassionate than declaring that a longtime marriage with children never existed in the first place.
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 09:27:19 AM »

That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church.

Meaning no disrespect to you, but may I ask what you know of the real history of the Anglican Church please?

There is a thread on the forum on this subject in which I and others posted this.

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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 11:38:16 AM »

I see no reason why the Gospel stuff about divorce has to have an ultra-strict application, while all that other stuff about turning the other cheek and giving your clothes to someone and such is more of a "do as you please" thing. You converted to a hierarchical religion, which says it was created by God himself, and that the modern leaders can trace their roots back to the original apostles... so now you have to respect their ah-thor-ah-tie.  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 12:01:45 PM »

I see no reason why the Gospel stuff about divorce has to have an ultra-strict application, while all that other stuff about turning the other cheek and giving your clothes to someone and such is more of a "do as you please" thing.

And we have a winner.

While this may have become somewhat distorted in some places where the Church is tied into the state and has to issue a formal 'ecclesiastical divorce' before allowing remarriage, the Church doesn't 'allow' divorce anymore than it 'allows' revenge or lying or theft. Ask any Orthodox priest and he'll tell you that divorce is a sin. What the Church does allow is repentence of sin. The fact that the Church allows liars, after proper repentence and confession, to be readmitted to communion doesn't mean the Church allows lieing.
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 08:22:32 AM »

I see no reason why the Gospel stuff about divorce has to have an ultra-strict application, while all that other stuff about turning the other cheek and giving your clothes to someone and such is more of a "do as you please" thing.

I completely agree...except I think my agreement leads to a different outcome than yours (if you are like most people) does.
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 08:29:15 AM »

Looking into it, this is something that has disturbed me to be honest. Both views seem pretty lousy to me, but the Orthodox view seems almost absurd. A limit of three marriages? Where are the patristics to support this? It is entirely abominable. We only have this doctrine because of some event involving an emperor a long time ago? That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church. How do we really support a view like this? On the other hand, I think that the Roman Catholic view seems more 'on the right track' seeing that divorce is much more frowned upon and Christ's words about it taken more seriously, but this whole Annulment system is entirely cruel seeing the effects that it has on some families and how it pretty much just seems to be an 'easy way out' to offer people divorce without technically divorcing them.

Thoughts?
The canons on this long predate Emperor Leo's problems (btw, when the Church of New Rome wouldn't bless his marriage, he went and got his approval from Old Rome which gave it) by centuries.  One can make a mistake, but when it  becomes a habit, it is to be discouraged.  Annullments don't do that: you can get them for as many "not real marriages" you have.

What does one call the offspring of those "not real marriages"?   what kind of stigma is attached?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 08:29:55 AM by JoeS2 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 01:21:24 PM »

Looking into it, this is something that has disturbed me to be honest. Both views seem pretty lousy to me, but the Orthodox view seems almost absurd. A limit of three marriages? Where are the patristics to support this? It is entirely abominable. We only have this doctrine because of some event involving an emperor a long time ago? That seems very silly to me; like the founding of the Anglican Church. How do we really support a view like this? On the other hand, I think that the Roman Catholic view seems more 'on the right track' seeing that divorce is much more frowned upon and Christ's words about it taken more seriously, but this whole Annulment system is entirely cruel seeing the effects that it has on some families and how it pretty much just seems to be an 'easy way out' to offer people divorce without technically divorcing them.

Thoughts?

"it is entirely abominable"?

Frankly, and unfortunately having experienced it, it seems quite reasonable to me.  At some point, multiple marriages begats the question of how seriously it is taken.

In my case, my first marriage didn't work out.  I had to go through the spiritual court to have it dissolved.  Was not fun, and the Priests asked some very pointed questions.   My ex ended up re marrying in the Catholic Church.  They ended up annulling our marriage due to a "marital defect".  Even though it didn't affect me, it still made me angry in that they pervert a reason to grant annulment. 

As for me, I've been married for 25 years, so I'm thankful we have a Church that grants "economia" in these situations.   We are fallible, so if we can learn from our mistakes that's a good thing.  Making the same mistake over and over is a different story.

Now, to hijack the thread, I have more of an issue with Priests not being able to remarry after the death of a Prebytera, especially if they have small children.  There has to be a better answer than they either remain celibate or leave the Priesthood.   

« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 01:35:07 PM by Bruin5 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 03:24:57 AM »

My question here is, why does the Orthodox only allow up to three marriages, and this counts spouses who have passed away.  In the Catholic teaching, you can marry as many as you like as long as the previous spouse has passed away.  I can understand divorce and remarriage where it is more of a concession (or better yet, economy) to let one remarry.  But if the spouse passed away, why still limit it?  The Catholic teaching of course comes from Scripture where Jesus said nobody is given for marriage in heaven.  So when the spouse dies, they are married no more.
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 03:28:36 AM »


Now, to hijack the thread, I have more of an issue with Priests not being able to remarry after the death of a Prebytera, especially if they have small children.  There has to be a better answer than they either remain celibate or leave the Priesthood.   


I'm guessing here, but maybe it is an extension of St. Paul's teaching about the Bishop being a man of one wife, meaning he was only married a maximum of once.  So it is now extended to all clergy, at least in the Orthodox Church.

That scenario you gave is allowable in the Roman Catholic Church in the case of Permanent Deacons.  I am not sure if the Eastern Catholic Church allows for remarriage of widower priests or even their deacons, or they follow the Orthodox practice.
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2012, 12:38:55 PM »

What does one call the offspring of those "not real marriages"?   what kind of stigma is attached?
Children.  None.  As has been repeated everytime this comes up, the Catholic Church is not saying a legal marriage did not take place only that a sacramental one did not take place.   
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2012, 06:47:10 PM »

What does one call the offspring of those "not real marriages"?   what kind of stigma is attached?
Children.  None.  As has been repeated everytime this comes up, the Catholic Church is not saying a legal marriage did not take place only that a sacramental one did not take place.   
Exactly...it is amazing how many people do not understand this. I cannot tell you how many non-Catholics I have heard say that they disagree with the practice of annulments within the Catholic Church since it "makes children illegitimate." Totally not true.
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 12:22:24 AM »

Exactly...it is amazing how many people do not understand this. I cannot tell you how many non-Catholics I have heard say that they disagree with the practice of annulments within the Catholic Church since it "makes children illegitimate." Totally not true.

As a Catholic, I do not agree with annulments because it makes a mockery of the Sacramentality of Marriage.
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