Friday, August 21, 2015

God Hates Divorce -- Why Don't Some Bishops?

Here is the real issue, always taught by the Church, and recorded in Scripture:

Because the Lord was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. "For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.

Malachi 2:14-16 (RSVCE).

A marriage is not between, it is among a man, a woman and God. Its purpose includes "godly offspring." Catholics used to not get divorced. If they did, they did not remarry and expect to be right with the Church.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery.

Catechism of the Catholic Church.

How many evils stem from accepting divorce, and divorce and remarriage? The obvious is families unnaturally torn apart. Often the horrible betrayal of one party and trauma to children. Now we have a new one: the potential deformation of the Church's teaching in the name of "pastoral concern."

What are the symptoms of our disordered view of sex? Even within marriages, contraception, pornography, masturbation, adultery (a logical sequence in the Bear's old-fashioned view). These are all ways people say "no" to the covenant witnessed to by the Lord, and the legitimate marital expectations -- trust -- of the partner. They can end in jaded or outraged couples seeking a divorce.

Divorce and remarriage doesn't just happen. It's not something unfortunate like cancer. The sad people who require special pastoral consideration are where they are due to the bad decision of getting remarried after getting divorced in the first place. Some of the talk we're hearing preceding the Synod uses phrases like, "people find themselves," or "suffering the consequence of a marriage that didn't work out." Nobody "finds themselves" married after getting a divorce! Responsibility seems curiously absent from the conversation, doesn't it?

Marriage has become all about "my satisfaction." No wonder people think nothing of homosexual "marriage," or the serial polygamy of multiple divorces. The "godly children" -- what God wants -- of Malachi's prophecy can only be a sad joke in such times.

Since when was the Church obligated to accommodate sin? The Church does indeed have a say about sin. It should preach against it (it doesn't; maybe that's one of the problems), and it should absolve it (it does, for the few people in the confession line Saturday afternoons). But pat people on the head, tell them we understand, dearies, and accept unrepentant, ongoing, sin and scandal so adulterers don't feel left out?

The Bear has been blessed with a patient wife, and, therefore, a good marriage. We are even blessed with some godly offspring. After 38 years, we love one another dearly, even though we are very different kinds of creatures. From that perspective the Bear can only imagine how awful it must be to be in a bad marriage, or divorced with no prospect for domestic companionship. But you get one shot, Catholic. You knew that going in.

The Bear would invoke the patronage over the Synod of St. Thomas More and St. Corbinian.

St. Thomas More stood up for his Church over issues related to King Henry VIII's divorce, until he knelt to the headsman's ax. St. Corbinian was a humble Frank sent to be Bishop of Freising (Cardinal Marx's see) and tame the Germans. The first thing he did was condemn the local warlord's unlawful marriage, and the second thing he did was flee with a price on his head. (Regular readers will recall the fate of the warlord, Grimoald. The Bear remembers it like it was yesterday.)

It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:31-32. No less than Our Lord is speaking.

God could not be more plain in Holy Scripture about divorce, both in the Old and New Testaments. He hates it. The Church should hate it, too. And it should find another way to provide pastoral care without winking at what God hates. Perhaps it should instruct them on the full reality of the Mass, and how "getting communion" is not a right or requirement.



    The Church
    Is getting divorced
    I’ll stay with my mother
    Who’ll not marry another
    The Church
    Is getting divorced

    The Church
    Is getting divorced
    Man wants to flirt
    With all that’s in dirt
    The Church
    Is getting divorced.

  2. "Responsibility seems curiously absent from the conversation, doesn't it?"

    Yes, it does.

    Ultimately, as I see it, this is false mercy, a lie. And it is very close to a heresy at its root: that of Marcionism.

    All of the 'edge' is being stripped from God, so that we're left with just sweet and gentle all day every day Jesus. No more wrath. God doesn't angry. "Joy", "Mercy" - that's all there is. God "hates divorce"? No, no - he can only hate judgmentalism, according to the pseudo-religion that is being propagated in the name of Christ.


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