The Institution Of Marriage And Divorce (Research Paper Sample)
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The institution of marriage is troubled today whereby divorce cases are rampant from 50% for the first time marriages to 80% for the subsequent marriages that is why couples are choosing to live together without getting married. In the Christian law, marriage is termed a sacred institution, but different denominations have different approaches when it comes to divorce (Miller, Pg 100). The response of the Roman Catholic Church towards divorce and marriage is that couples should be engaged before the actual sacrament of matrimony. The Catholic Church treats all the consummated sacramental marriages as permanent in the life of the couples. Therefore, the Catholic Church does not allow divorce or remarriage (Bricker, Pg 65). Divorce is commonly known as annulment in the Catholic setting. However, the two terms (divorce and annulment) are very confusing to Catholics and Protestants especially for those people who believe that remarrying is possible. In the Roman Catholic churches, divorce is a civil law decree whereas annulment is a canon law degree from the church (Bricker, Pg 60). The state issues a couple of marriage licenses. The church celebrates the sacrament of matrimony, and it is the church that can issue a decree of nullity. The Catholic Church does not believe in divorce.
Additionally, a civil marriage allows divorce if the marriage is no longer working. However, in Catholic churches, an annulment or divorce means that the sacrament of matrimony did not take place. Therefore, civil divorce ends a civil marriage, but the Roman Catholic Church believes that the church annulment did not occur from day one (Douthat, Pg 214). Under the Catholic setting, one of the main reasons a couple might consider getting an annulment is when the sacrament of marriage was not valid. If both spouses had no intentions of entering into a permanent, fruitful, and faithful union, then this renders the marriage as invalid. When a couple gets married in a Catholic church, the intentions of the priest is conducting a valid sacrament. The Catholic Church does not allow remarrying because divorce can never be obtained through annulment since the person is still married in the eyes of the church (Bricker, Pg 54). Therefore, the person cannot remarry again in the Catholic Church. Just like the sacrament of baptism confirmation and holy orders., the sacrament of matrimony can only take place once in the lifetime of human beings unless if the spouse dies.
Since marriage or the sacrament of matrimony is a lifetime commitment, the Catholic Church allows someone who is widowed to remarry or someone who has never been married before. If one of the spouses is still alive, then this kind of marriage must be demonstrated as invalid for remarrying to take place, and the previous reunion termed a null and void through a church annulment (Walford, Pg 271). In this
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