Definition: The practice of marrying after a legal divorce. Since Catholic marriage is one of the seven sacraments it is indissoluble. A Catholic who remarries commits a grave offense – a public and permanent state of adultery (CCC 2384). Remarriage results in automatic excommunication. The Catholic may never again receive the sacrament of the Eucharist. Only widows or widowers are allowed to remarry. A divorced Catholic must receive a decree of nullity (annulment) in order to marry. This is a determination that the first marriage did not truly exist. If the first marriage was not performed by a Catholic priest it is deemed not to exist. It lacked the proper form. For Catholic marriages, a formal annulment may be awarded by discovering improper motives and psychological barriers that prevented a true marriage from occurring. Catholics who are excommunicated are still expected to participate in the activities of the Church and to raise their children in the faith.
Discussion: The Catholic Church is both too strict and too lax concerning remarriage. It requires an annulment even when the Bible allows remarriage, as in cases of desertion and sexual sin (1 Cor. 7:15; Mt. 5:32). It creates the fiction of annulment – overriding God’s coupling even when children result from the marriage. Worst of all, it treats remarriage as a permanent stain from which forgiveness is unobtainable – short of agreeing to the fiction of annulment. Its cult-like control even extends to the permanent binding of the excommunicated Catholics to the Church – all the costs with none of the” benefits.” Incredible!
Articles & Viewpoints:
- Article from the Diocese of Atlanta – Divorce and Remarriage
- Article from EWTN – Communion of Divorced and Remarried
- The dilemmas of a Remarried Catholic – Catholic Annulment Problem
- Benedict XVI – Divorced Catholics must be welcomed in parish
- Article in Free Republic – Receiving Communion While in Mortal Sin