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IT IS CRUEL TO BAN DIVORCE AS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DOES

The Roman Catholic Church absolutely prohibits divorce and states that it is contrary to natural law Ė is unnatural. It appeals to reason, the Bible and Tradition to bolster this ban. Yet after saying this, incredibly an Eastern Orthodox Catholic who gets a divorce in his Church is allowed to marry a Roman Catholic without looking for an annulment! (page 164, Rome has Spoken). That is unfair.
 
Jesus banned divorce completely. The apostles understandably reacted by saying that it is better for a man not to marry at all. Jesus didn't contradict them but stated that God makes it possible for some to keep the law that divorce is always wrong and not just wrong but invalid.

Some feel that Matthew 19 has Jesus talk as if God arranges all marriages and brings man and woman together which is why divorce is so wrong.  He says what God has joined man must not divide.  If so, then God knows what he is doing matching a couple so if they separate it is their own fault.  This is a very cruel and insulting idea.  Some think God does not arrange marriages but ratifies them and make them binding. But that is no comfort either - they are still being blamed. 

Marriage infers that divorce is wrong for it endeavours to tie two people together without any concern for them and by treating them dishonestly. When it does that it could hardly infer that divorce could ever be permissible. If you are to love the sinner and hate the sin then you are to act as if something in the sinner is sinning and not the sinner in which case divorce could never be right. Divorce would be wrong for if marriage is good then you love the person as good as if the sin was something separate from the person. You would not be able to penalise the sin by getting rid of the person in a divorce or separation. If a terrible deceit would justify divorce then it follows that you can get a divorce just because somebody married you for marriage is deceit.
 
Religion hypocritically says that marriage vows bind for life while other vows such as to be a nun for life do not. The Catholic Church will not release you from your marriage vows, but a nun can be released from lifelong vows. Vows exist to express commitment and to create order in society. So the Church says. And yet it claims the power to render a vow to be of no effect from that time on. The Old Testament gives regulations from God for dealing with people who made vows and who want to be free from them.
 
Roman Catholicism could allow some exceptions to the ban on divorce. It allows killing in some circumstances and that doesnít mean that everybody starts killing. To forbid a young childless wife from getting married again after her husband runs off with her money and best friend never to return is unkind in the extreme. The Church claims that it is right to do this because it is necessary to prevent people from deserting their spouses so that both of them can get out of their marriage and try it again with a new partner. This wonít happen enough to justify a blanket ban Ė and it could be watched out for. Jesus could not have been good if he was against divorce under all circumstances.

If the Church feels that the law will eventually get more liberal with the passing of time if it allows divorce at all then it should oppose the law of the land and set itself up as ruler for it is more trustworthy. The fact that some people will abuse divorce does not mean that it ought to be banned completely.

The Church does not detest divorce because of what it does to the children. If it cared about that it would at least let childless marriages end by divorce.
 
There are ways to prevent the children from being damaged at least too much and it is up to the discretion of the parents to decide how best to do this. It is never divorce that hurts the children but the failure of the parents to be civil. There are thousands of children who were not very upset at the end of their parentís marriage. It is advisable for the father or mother to leave them for say two days per week for a while so that when they leave finally the damage will be minimal. They could extend it to three days and take the children out on the third day. We all know it is best to make the break gradually. The Church does not encourage this thinking for it simply does not care about the children at all for it is using them to scare people off divorce. There are ways in which the children can still have both parents Ė perhaps the father can buy the house next door. The Catholic who protests against divorce for the children is a liar. The Church is not thinking of the children when it makes it a duty for a parent who is married to a sceptic who tries to persuade the children that Jesus was not God to separate and take the children away from that person.

The Church aggressively manipulates people to get them to disagree with divorce on the grounds that it is bad for the children. Even if it were necessarily true that divorce is bad for the children the fact remains that the Church opposes it not for that reason but because it holds that the state is unable to really dissolve marriage. The marriage "ended" by divorce still exists in the sight of God despite the efforts of the state to end it. A Church that would oppose divorce even if it were good for the children has no right to use the harm divorce does children to sway public opinion against divorce. To say that divorce is bad for it is inexpedient for child welfare and the family as an institution is to say that divorce may not be bad in itself but just bad because of the way we treat it and the results it has. That is heresy for a Catholic for the Catholic holds that divorce is always wrong for marriage cannot be ended except by death. The tendency of people who donít know too much about religion to mistake its principles for humanitarian ones has contributed to the power and the wealth that religion has. Religion thrives on error.
 
Banning divorce is not going to help keep the marriage together. When a husband and wife do not get along and cannot mend their differences they will find it easier to tolerate one another if they can leave easily and divorce is available. Banning divorce makes them feel they have to stay together and suffer and that leads to resentment and will lead to an abrupt break-up just because the pressure is unbearable and will reach a breaking point. That will devastate the children. It is a mistake pointing to statistics to argue that divorce leads to more divorce for nobody can judge. It could be that most of these marriages should be ended anyway.

It is said that divorce makes marriage vows insincere for they include promising to remain faithful to the partner until the parting of death while planning to divorce if things go wrong contradicts this. If that vow were essential for a valid marriage then no one who believes in divorce or separation could contract a valid marriage. But if separation agrees with that vow then divorce must too.

It would appear that the Church is obsessed with power and so would be better off if it did allow divorce for that would put the numbers of babies being born up. That drives some to say that its leaders must ban divorce out of spite and jealousy. Banning divorce was very useful in the era when both parents had the role of brainwashing the child into being a good or at least a convinced Catholic and it was necessary to keep the family together to get the job done thoroughly. The Church still bans divorce in the hope of seeing the world go back to all that.

The Bible in 1 Corinthians 7 allows pagans who are married but who subsequently converted to Christianity to divorce their pagan spouse if both husband and wife consent. But remarriage is not mentioned so we donít know if God allowed divorce for the sake of legally separating the couple or to end the marriage in his sight. It is commonly believed that Paul meant separation more than divorce. Because these rules were made by Paul, the Roman Church has created the Pauline Privileges.

In the Roman Church, the Pauline privilege allows you to remarry somebody different if you became a Catholic after you contracted a marriage with a non-Christian and were a non-Christian yourself at the time and you could not live in peace together. So if a member of a Hindu married couple converts to Catholicism and wants a new wife or husband they can go and get one with the blessing of the Church. The rule was supposedly made by Paul in the Bible, the apostle of Jesus.
 
Paul wrote that marriage canít be put asunder. Yet he tells the separating mixed couple to put theirs asunder if they wish. Does that mean that he considers it right and possible to terminate the marriage by divorce? He says that the believer is not under bondage, the bond of marriage. But still none of this proves that he considered the union dissoluble. He could have meant by "put asunder" the married couple parting but staying married. Under bondage could mean staying in the marriage to a person you donít want. The Catholic Church allows remarriage in such cases and that makes a mockery of everything it says against divorce. The Bible doesnít even say they can part for any reasons never mind serious reasons!
 
If divorce is allowable in the Roman Catholic Pauline Privilege scenario with mutual consent then divorce, if it is allowed under different conditions as well, must be forbidden if one partner forbids it.
 
The Petrine Privilege is similar to the Pauline except there is no Biblical support and except that it entitles you to a new marriage if you were already a Christian when you got married and if your husband is a Muslim or a pagan or a Jew or any kind of non-Christian and you feel you would live your faith better by getting out of the marriage. Such is the sectarianism of the Catholic Church that it holds that a sacramental marriage can only take place between two people baptised according to the requirements of the Church and a sacramental marriage can never be dissolved. The other marriages can for they are non-sacramental.

When Christ said that Moses had to permit the Hebrews to divorce when they would have rebelled if he hadnít he was lying for these forced many vehemently despised rules on them. It is cruel to hurt people with broken marriages over the teaching of a man who lied when giving that teaching.

The Bible says that husbands and wives are to love one another meaning that they can do so for God only commands what is possible (Ephesians 5:28). This makes marital breakdown to be one or both of their faults.

The Bible would have to see marriage as being only for children when there was no birth-control in those days meaning that having children was a duty and would keep the marriage happy. This was a lie for it didnít have to be necessarily true!
 
If sex is giving your whole self to another person which is what the Church teaches, then how can it be right to look for a new partner or wife or husband if that person dies? To say I give myself to you until divorce if it happens is putting a condition on it as much as saying I give myself to you until you die is. It is not giving your whole self. If you give your whole self to a person you will be like the person who having lost their beloved wife or husband refuses to even think about a new partner for they loved the old partner so much. In Christianity, marriage ends only by death. What if in the future you die and are revived? If you married and wanted to marry, you could get killed in a hospital so that you can die and be brought back to life again a free man or woman. The Church couldnít possibly deny that it succeeds in dissolving the marriage or ending it leaving you free to marry again. Some day it may be possible. In that day, people will see how silly it is to oppose divorce for this will amount to the same thing. The Church should allow divorce.
 
Even if this is not possible, it would be the same if it could happen Ė people will be wishing it could be done and if that is acceptable then these people are ending marriages in their hearts. It is just like when Jesus said that if you lust for a woman you sin in your heart with her even if you never touch her.
 
The Church professes to have compassion for those whose marriages have broken down and who want to be with a new partner or who wish to remarry. The Church says then it suffers with them and wishes to help. What is this compassion then but an admission that they know fine well they are wrecking lives and trying to wreck them? If we may use an extreme example to drive home the point, a man wants to rape a child you donít say, ďI feel so sorry that I cannot let you do this.Ē What you are really saying is that it is not wrong to rape the child but you wonít allow it. The Church cannot have any compassion for people who want a new partner after marriage breakdown. It can hardly have compassion that the marriage broke down in a lot of cases for God supposedly helps marriage to survive for it is a sacrament. If a husband wouldnít stop beating his wife so the marriage had to end that would be different but the Church cannot have compassion for unhappy marriages that are not as bad as that.

The Catholic religion says that people living together before marriage makes the marriage more likely to end in divorce. There is no mention of the fact that religion encourages the notion that marriage is for life. That makes people suspicious of commitment for that is a mad ideal. Thus they start to live together and their fear that the relationship may be only temporary kicks in and causes trouble.
 
RELATIONSHIPS AFTER MARITAL BREAKDOWN

Many people start new relationships after their marriage breaks down even before they divorce or get an annulment. The Catholic Church says that these are adulterous. They commit the sin of adultery against God and the state. Even before annulment it is still adultery for it is intended to be for only the decree can decide if the marriage never happened. At least if they got a divorce not to dissolve the marriage and to get married again but so that any relationship they have will not be the sin of adultery against the state they will sin less. The Church has to recommend divorce to lessen the evil. This makes all that talk about divorce being bad to be meaningless. They are only against it because God says so and that is all. But we cannot forbid things because of authority. Authority cannot make things right or wrong.
 
William Kasper, a Catholic theologian, suggested that though marriage is indissoluble that divorced couples in second marriages should be allowed to go to the sacraments if they are sorry for their part in the breakup of the first marriage and when they tried their best to save the marriage and when breaking up the second marriage would be unjust to the man and woman and any children of the marriage (page 860, Catholicism).
 
Christianity denies that causing upheaval and upset is necessarily bad or wrong. Jesus caused upset with his teaching and didn't flinch from causing it. The doctrine that marriage cannot be dissolved and that sex outside marriage is bad says that marriage no matter what problems or unhappiness it sometimes causes is necessary for justice and for protecting rights. It follows then that the second marriage being unreal isn't entitled to be respected or kept together.
 
Conclusion
 
To ban divorce is to force misery on most married people. Itís best not to marry at all for marriage infers that divorce is wrong.
 
WORKS CONSULTED

A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, Westminster, 1985
Believing in God, PJ McGrath, Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 1995
Biblical Dictionary and Concordance of the New American Bible, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington DC, 1971
Catholicism, Richard P McBrien, HarperSanFrancisco, New York, 1994
Divorce, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1946
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, Uta Ranke Heinmann, Penguin, London, 1991
Hard Sayings, Derek Kidner, Intervarsity Press, 1972
Hard Sayings, FF Bruce, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1984
Moral Philosophy, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Longmans, Green and Co, London, 1912
Moral Questions, Bishops Conference, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1971
New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Preparing for a Mixed Marriage, Irish Episcopal Conference, Veritas, Dublin, 1984
Radio Replies Volume 3, Dr Leslie Rumble MSC, Rev Charles Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul Minnesota, 1942
Rome has Spoken, A Guide to Forgotten Papal Statements and How They Have Changed Through the Centuries, Maureen Fiedler and Linda Rabben (Editors), Crossroad Publishing, New York, 1998
Shattered Vows, Exodus From the Priesthood, David Rice, Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1990
Sex & Marriage A Catholic Perspective, John M Hamrogue C SS R, Liguori, Illinois, 1987
The Catholic Church has the Answer, Paul Whitcomb, TAN Publishers, Illinois, 1986
The Emancipation of a Freethinker, Herbert Ellsworth Cory, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, 1947
ďThe Lord Hateth Putting Away!Ē and Reflections on Marriage and Divorce The Committee of the Christadelphian, Birmingham, 1985
When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Illinois ,1992
 
 
The WWW
 
How to Fight the Religious Right, Brian Elroy McKinley
http://elroy.net/ehr/fighttheright.html
 
BIBLE VERSION USED

The Amplified Bible