"CREATIVE" AVENUES TO REMARRIAGE AFTER DIVORCE
by Clarence J. Hettinger
It is ironic if not intentionally significant that-at the start of
the International Year of the Family and on the very eve of the feast
of the patron saint of canon lawyers, St. Raymond of
Penafort-ABC-TV's on January 6, 1994, brought the
shortcomings of the American tribunal system to the attention of the
nation in stark vividness. The program focused on the sufferings of
recalcitrant defendants who were convinced of the validity of their
marriages. Students of recent papal allocutions and Rotal
jurisprudence, however, could not miss their that
American style annulments are based on insufficient arguments and it
would not have been hard to conclude that Catholic annulments have
come to be considered as another word for Catholic divorces.
The early 1970s attempted to produce a rationale for replacing the
tribunal system. Are tribunals trying to prove the point of a
well-known sociologist who years ago recommended finding "how we can
most quickly get out of such behavior and, indeed, out of the whole
out-moded, irrelevant, stupid, and disgraceful apparatus."
Be that as it may, defendants like those who appeared on the TV
program agree with the first part of a scholarly canonist's statement
that "the impersonal machinery of justice displays little concern for
the spiritual well-being of the parties, mostly in need of help after
a disastrous attempt to marry. The statement is true, however, not
of the tribunal system as it is regulated by canon law but of the way
some tribunals apply the law. Moreover, these defendants, upholding
the validity of their marriages, obviously reject the idea that their
wedding was a disastrous to marry.
This scholarly concern has been embraced by the American tribunal
ministry. For many years now the training of paraprofessional
tribunal workers has been directed "toward a ministry of
reconciliation." This opens the students to the possibility of
confusion in regard to two sacraments. Everyone knows that the
sacrament of Penance is the primary ex opere operato source of
reconciliation and restoration of spiritual well-being and that the
Anointing of the Sick is the other source. Anyone who really
understands the proper function and functioning of a tribunal knows
that the tribunal system was designed to protect another sacrament,
marriage with its indestructible image of the union of Christ and the
In the words of the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, a tribunal's
function "is certainly a ministry of truth and charity in the Church
and for the Church"-of truth by upholding "the genuinity of the
Christian concept of marriage" in the face of moral degeneracy and of
charity "towards the ecclesial community which is preserved from the
scandal of seeing in practice the destruction of the value of
Christian marriage through the exaggerated and almost automatic
multiplication of declarations of nullity in the case of the
bankruptcy of marriage under the pretext of some psychic immaturity
of the contractants."
Much can be said in a negative way about the of
tribunals- those which give scandal by offering "a facile way for
solutions of bankrupt marriages and irregular situations between the
spouses" and even those which try not to. Suffice it to say,
however, that the whole tortuous, sometimes torturesome functioning
of a tribunal eventually boils down to its response to the question,
"Is the nullity of the marriage in question proved?" If the answer is
based on prayer, authentic jurisprudence, and a balanced and detailed
study of the evidence, this ministry of truth and charity is a part
of the ecclesial ministry of healing. It will be a response to "the
right and obligation, especially sacred to them, of contributing to
'the necessary cultural, psychological, and social renewal in favor
of marriage and the family' (cf. Const. Apost. "Gaudium et spes," n.
ABC-TV's program, although short, left the impression that the
tribunal system of the Church in America does not live up to the
duties incumbent on the genuine tribunal ministry. Perceptive viewers
could get the impression that annulment mills would be an accurate
designation of tribunals in this country-"facile ways to solutions"
or "creative" avenues to remarriage after divorce.
Marriage doctrine is at stake
In spite of the 95% efficiency of the American tribunal system in
mass-producing documents of freedom to remarry, there are many
front-line clergymen and their pastoral assistants who do not find
the system sufficiently facile. Forgetting right and obligation
to contribute to the renewal of the family, they still look to the
autonomy of the individual conscience as the preferred avenue to
remarriage after divorce, erroneously attempting to apply the
so-called internal forum solution.
The ABC program made it clear that the Catholic doctrine of the
sacred indissolubility of marriage, which was solemnly canonized at
the Council of Trent, is at stake. This doctrine is also one of
the tension points in the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic
Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The tension is present
because of divergent interpretations of the so-called exceptive
clause of Matt. 5:32 and Matt. 19:9. The roots of divergence may be
found toward the end of the eighth century when, "in order to
guarantee peace and harmony for the Church," Patriarch Tarsisius
decided in Emperor Constantine VI's "Moechian Affair" to
tolerate remarriage after divorce and "not to inflict severe
canonical penalties on one who has transgressed the divine
precept." However, it was about three centuries later that "from
about the beginning of the second millennium (as far as one can
ascertain) the Eastern Church accepted fully that the clause in Matt.
5:32 and 19:9 referring to 'unchastity' constituted an exception to
the rule and in the case of adultery divorce and remarriage was to be
The Catholic Church makes an implicit statement of her understanding
of the exception through her tribunal system. The Eastern Orthodox
Churches implicitly point out their understanding of the exception by
applying their canonical institute of or "economy"
(administration) to marriage cases. Some Catholic clergymen who
do not accept the internal forum solution, reasoning that the
Orthodox Church also is founded on the apostles, wonder why the
Catholic Church does not adopt this avenue to remarriage after
Briefly, and without intending any offense to our Eastern separated
brothers, it must be said that difficulties exist both in the
institute itself and in its basis on the Matthean divorce pericope
without giving full force to the Lord's "solution" in Matt. 19:12b.
As a general institute, economy can be assimilated by Western legal
minds, if ever, only with the maximum of difficulty. "It seems to
belong to the science of jurisprudence; it can solve seemingly
insoluble issues.... There are many explanations of economy in
Western literature; few of them are faithful to the Eastern
The weakness in the institute may be seen especially in its
application to marriage cases. Even though its use is restricted to
bishops or even to a synod of bishops, the Orthodox have not been
able to limit it to the case of adultery. For "the Orthodox Church,
while continuing to uphold the right of an innocent spouse to divorce
and remarriage in the case of adultery, gradually has come to grant
the same freedom to those who are victims of other types of
misbehavior by their spouses, such as cruelty, abandonment, or
serious neglect of duties toward the family." Once the Orthodox
went from dissolution because of to "divorce . . .
permissible under circumstances for grave causes which make married
life impossible," they placed themselves in danger of giving
no-fault documents of freedom to remarry.
Compared with age-old Orthodox economy, the appeal to the internal
forums solution comes very late in the history of the Church. The
, published in 1967, does not carry an
article on the internal forum and the index refers to it only twice-
once in the article on excommunication, and again in the article
on jurisdiction. Marriage cases are mentioned only in the latter
article, which states significantly that the competent forum for "the
adjudication of marriage cases" is the external forum
Internal forum is limited
Although coming late as a widespread "creative" avenue to remarriage
after divorce, the internal forum solution was not long in asserting
itself. The encyclopedia's Volume 16, 1967-1974,
presented the "new theology" and the "Vatican II canon law" on
marriage. The cited sources of the article (the earliest one from
1965) indicate that the seeds of dissent from the doctrine of
indissolubility had already taken root and were growing thirty years
ago. The concluding sentence of the article says it all: "And if the
covenant demands are applied, a way will be found to free many
'badly' married couples and those already remarried to enter for the
first time a graced covenant, a marriage 'in the Lord.'"
The same volume also has an article on the "Internal Forum (Marriage
Cases)." It is unquestionably true that the title of a work should
not influence one's understanding of it. However, in view of what the
competent forum for marriage cases is, the title of the article
embodies an oxymoron. The article mentions "the province of personal
conscience," conflicts between the external and the internal forums,
"fraud going to the heart of the contract" (not a ground of nullity
at that time), and the natural right to marry. Then it concludes by
repeating the oxymoron of the title: "In these cases he exercises his
priestly ministry not in the external forum but in the internal forum
which is the tribunal of mercy."
The sacramental internal forum is indeed the tribunal of mercy but
neither it nor the nonsacramental internal forum furnishes a way to
free people with a previous unsuccessful but valid marriage to enter
another valid marriage or to permit people living in an invalid
marriage to receive the sacraments. The term forum itself indicates
the exercise of jurisdiction. Now the source of jurisdiction is not
anyone's conscience but the diocesan bishop. Therefore, whatever
powers a priest might possess in the internal forum, apart from one
exception to be mentioned shortly, being delegated powers, are
limited to the express, legitimate will of the bishop which may not
contradict the express mind of the supreme magisterium.
The duty to live in abstinence
Canon 130 briefly describes the internal forum: its lawful exercise
is limited to cases determined by law and so-called internal
forum solutions are not on the list. The Code of Canon Law permits
exactly two rather infrequent applications to matrimonial law, only
the first of which is available to priests. Canon 1079, #3, gives to
confessors the power to dispense, in either the sacramental or
nonsacramental internal forum, from impediments. Canon 1130
empowers the local ordinary to permit a marriage; canon 1132,
however, establishes that the ordinary's obligation of the secret
ceases if a danger should arise of serious scandal or harm to the
sanctity of marriage. In other words, private rights acquired by the
individual faithful in the internal forum cannot be allowed to damage
the public good of the rest of the faithful. Of course, in the case
of real, danger of death, provided the firm resolve,
expressed or implicit, not to continue to commit adultery has been
elicited, any confessor will use the internal sacramental forum.
Modern authentic doctrine on the use of the internal forum starts
with Cardinal Seper's letter to the bishops of April 11, 1973, in
which he authorized, "in addition to other correct means, the
approved practice of the Church in the internal forum." The
bishops of the United States could not agree on the meaning of the
last item. So the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
explained to them on March 21, 1975, that readmission to the
sacraments is permissible if "they try to live according to the
demands of Christian moral principles and receive the sacraments in
churches in which they are not known so that they will not create any
Apparently it was not universally understood that the demands of
Christian moral principles include complete continence. Clergymen and
their pastoral assistants and others continued to create "good faith"
in their clients and to implement the "good conscience clause" in
order to permit the reception of the sacraments by people who were
initiating or continuing to live in adulterous unions.
Pope John Paul II, in his apostolic exhortation of November 22, 1981,
on the family, set forth in unequivocal terms the meaning of the
approved practice of the Church in the internal forum: the
acceptance, for serious reasons, of "the duty to live in complete
abstinence." Before doing this he stated the limits within which
the Church can "make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her
means of salvation" but for remarried divorcees these means
necessarily stop short of readmission to the sacraments. The Holy
Father expressed his confidence that couples using these means "will
be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation
provided they have persevered in prayer, penance, and charity."
Nevertheless, the practice of the internal forum continued and only
God knows how many couples were told the opposite of these saving
The Church's doctrine on internal forum solutions in has been updated in the . The treatment is somewhat condensed and the tone is
definitely less "pastoral." The sterner tone is seen in the addition
of some items to the treatment in and in the
omission of other items.
has sterner tone
For example, made an abstract statement about
the biblical foundation of its teaching: "The Church reaffirms her
practice, which is based on Sacred Scripture." The Catechism quoted
the Scripture: "Whoever repudiates his wife and marries another
commits adultery in regard to the first; and if a woman repudiates
her husband and marries another she commits adultery (Mark
10:11-12)." To the denial of access to Eucharistic Communion because
of remarriage after divorce the Catechism adds "no matter how long
this situation persists. For the same reason they cannot exercise
certain ecclesial responsibilities."
In another addition the Catechism makes clear that no
counselor-clergy, religious, or lay-can have any excuse whatsoever
for trying to create "good faith" or a "good conscience" in their
clients or for neglecting to correct their clients' erroneous
conscience. Catholics have the duty of obedience to the Holy Father
and the duty of charity to their clients to inform them of "a sure
norm": "The fact of contracting a new union, if it is recognized
by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried
divorcee finds himself in the situation of public and permanent
adultery." And persons suffering from an unwanted divorce need to
hear that they are not excluded from the sacraments: "It can be that
one of the partners is the innocent victim of a divorce pronounced by
the civil law; in that case he does not contravene the moral
The first omission that should be mentioned concerns those "who are
sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and
irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid." The Catechism
also omits that "pastors must know that for the sake of truth they
are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations."
The index of the Catechism refers to the motherhood of the Church
nine times, one of which, however, mistook meme for mere. There is
one reference to "the grace of final perseverance and God's reward"
and another to "her motherly solicitude." It is interesting
therefore that, in its treatment of remarried divorcees, the
Catechism omitted the references of to the
Church's motherly, merciful concern for them or her
confidence of their eventual salvation. The last omission may
explain why the Catechism also omitted the promise to remarried
divorcees that "the Church will therefore make untiring efforts to
put at their disposal her means of salvation."
Contrary practice continues
It seems that, , the first obligation of remarried divorcees is
to separate because, , the Catechism mentions only the
obligation of the Catholic upbringing of the children as a reason for
instituting a brother-sister living arrangement. On the other hand,
speaking of those who will not accept that arrangement, the Catechism
says, "In regard to Christians who live in this situation and who
often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a
Christian way, priests and the whole community must give proof of
an attentive solicitude so that they do not consider themselves
separated from the Church in whose life they can and must participate
as " i.e., by joining in the worship of the Church
to the extent possible in their situation and by taking their place
in the life of the community.
The Church's teaching is clear enough but a widespread contrary
practice continues. The Church and dissenters must have found
different answers for the question, "What is the will of God in
regard to use of either economy or the internal forum solution?" Or,
more precisely, what is the meaning and force of the Matthean
exceptive clause which the Holy Spirit intended it to have?
Somewhat surprisingly, the answer to this question may be found in
some recent, confessionally uncommitted biblical scholarship, where,
as advertised, one can expect "to find presented the essence of
critical scholarship . . . discriminating judgments about the
literature of the bible." Nevertheless, this source yields some
unexpected theological statements. While the scholarly debate
continues, "the most common views" reduce it to two possibilities. On
one side, the exceptive clause "is a good-conscience clause" for
those who have remarried after divorce because of sexual immorality.
On the other side there is an exemption of "incestuous unions from
the prohibition of divorce."
Our interest here, however, is not the debate but simply the will of
God about remarriage after divorce as it was revealed in his Son's
answer to the Pharisees' questions about the possibility of divorce
and about the reasons for Moses' concession of divorce. His answer
included the motive of divorce, namely, to claim freedom to remarry,
as well as the exceptive clause. But what did he mean by ?
A search for the will of God might start with a biblical datum: "And
the two of them become one flesh." Our Supreme Theologian, John
Paul II, sees here at the very origin and in the divine design of
marriage God's law against remarriage after divorce. Scholarship
arrives at the same conclusion: "Thus, if God made male and female
into one flesh, then neither the male nor the female should divorce
and remarry; to do so is adultery."
The second biblical datum is, of course, the Lord's reinstatement of
God's original will when he decreed the annulment of Moses'
concession of divorce: "But from the beginning it was not so. I say
to you, whoever divorces his wife () and marries another commits adultery."
Some scholars argue that we cannot know how much the Lord's teaching
actually influenced the Church's teaching about indissolubility.
Nevertheless, the mind of Christ is unmistakable in the results of
scholarly research undertaken from two different points of view. A
scholar studying the question of divorce, states, "Given the multiple
attestation of Jesus' teaching on divorce within the NT, there is a
virtual consensus among scholars that Jesus was unequivocally opposed
to divorce." A scholar, who in fact claims that we cannot know
how much the Lord influenced the doctrine of indissolubility, studied
marriage in the New Testament but came to the conclusion, "Clearly,
the sum of the synoptic tradition argues that Jesus' teaching was
intended to create among his disciples an intolerance for divorce
even though Jewish law tolerated it." This intolerance is
supported by the other known sayings of the Lord-Mark 10:10-12, Luke
16:18, and I Cor. 7:10-11-which unconditionally condemn remarriage
after divorce with no reference to the concession in regard to
. Any attempt to interpret this concession has to start with
the clear fact that remarriage after divorce constitutes adultery.
A recent Catholic commentary seems at first to disagree. "The
'clauses about adultery' and a difficult interpretation found in the
Gospel of Matthew (5:32; 19:9) and the Pauline 'teaching' (1 Cor. 7,
10f; 7:15) recognize the conditional possibility of divorce or at
least tolerance of it." After a brief exposition, however, this
commentary reached the conclusion, "In any event, the principle is
not therefore suppressed: the unconditional prohibition of divorce. A
second marriage is regarded as the breaking of marriage. There is not
any authorization for remarriage."
These scholarly statements reporting the essence of critical
scholarship are a precious support of the Catholic doctrine of the
indissolubility of marriage. The Scriptures offer no conditional
possibility of divorce or tolerance of it, no or
dispensation in view of avoiding a greater evil, no appeal to canon
916 vs. canon 915 for sacramental participation, no discernment of
different situations and a consequent judgment about them, no room
for subjective certainty in conscience of the invalidity of the
previous marriage or for a responsible decision of conscience. Anyone
who wishes to quibble about the wording of the relevant Tridentine
canon has to come to terms with this scholarship. "All orthodox
believers and cultivators of the Catholic and apostolic faith" in
Jesus Christ as the Son of God and his Word simply accept his
unequivocal opposition to divorce and share with his disciples their
intolerance for divorce the motive for which is remarriage. "Making
an exception for adultery and desertion would contradict the basic
teaching of Jesus; it would have undermined His whole purpose of
going back to the very order of creation."
Pope rejects "creative" solutions
The Holy Father's most recent encyclical offers a fitting conclusion
to this essay. "In their desire to emphasize the 'creative' character
of conscience, certain authors no longer call its actions 'judgments'
but 'decisions.' . . . A separation or even an opposition is thus
established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which
is valid in general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which
would in fact make the final decision about what is good and what is
evil. On this basis an attempt is made to legitimize so-called
'pastoral' solutions contrary to the teaching of the magisterium and
to justify a 'creative' hermeneutic according to which the moral
conscience is in no way obliged in every case by a particular
It would be terrible if God had not merely permitted but deliberately
determined the precise timing of the ABC-TV program and
then his people neglected this grace. Far too much time has passed
already and far too many people have been led into or confirmed in
public and permanent adultery. Tribunal officials, local clergymen,
and their pastoral assistants, if they are loyal Catholics, will not
delay working for the reversal of the tide of invalid annulments and
consequent remarriages invalid because of a previous bond. If they
fail to make their contribution to the stability of the family by
defending the sacrament of marriage and its sacred indissolubility,
the defense offered by the Holy Father, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, and the Roman tribunals will continue to be
ineffective in our country.
What can be done? The ABC program left little doubt that, by
dissenting from the supreme magisterium and Roman jurisprudence, the
American tribunal system is on the way to destroying almost all
awareness of the indissolubility of marriage. The system must be
converted and again take up its "ministry of truth and charity in the
Church and for the Church."
A similar conversion is needed in clergymen, their pastoral
associates, and others who have, at least objectively, been playing
games with their counselees' consciences. Motives of "compassion,"
sentimentality, or sometimes of personal acceptance or even
popularity can blind ministers of truth and charity to their duty to
follow the Christ who with true compassion told the adulteress, "Go
and sin no more."
The bottom line is simple Catholic obedience. Ministers of truth and
charity must renew the religious assent of their will and mind to the
supreme magisterium which has its authority from Christ
through apostolic succession from Peter and the apostles. This is
especially true and difficult in counseling people who reveal that an
internal forum solution has been granted or the lawful spouse of a
person who has received one. These people may react with great
surprise to the tactful disclosure that a remarried divorcee finds
himself in the situation of public and permanent adultery. They may
be surprised too that therefore their first responsibility is simply
to stop committing adultery and that, generally speaking- that is, in
the absence of a contrary grave reason-their next obligation is to
Although extremely difficult, this is the only truly pastoral
exercise of the ministry of truth and charity to these people. "The
truth shall set you free" and the truth is that "not all men can
receive this saying but only those to whom it is given." However, if
separation is not possible, "they certainly can live chastely
provided they pray for the necessary grace, repent their past sins,
and use all the available means."
1 In the following quotation read annulment for divorce and Church
for culture for a description of the annulment mentality. "What the
divorce advocates never got into their heads is that some choices
preclude others. If everyone can choose divorce, then no one can
choose marriage.... Men and women no longer have control over the
terms of our marriages. We do not know what bargain we have struck
getting married and it hardly matters since the culture and the court
will not enforce any bargain. The rule is: he who wants out, wins"
[Chicago: Bonus books, Inc., 1989] 194," as quoted in John F.
[Cincinnati: The Foundation for the Family, Inc.], p. 43, footnote
2 Andrew Greeley, "Church Marriage Procedures and the Contemporary
Family," in Lawrence G. Wrenn, ed., : The Newman Press, New York, Paramus, Toronto, 1973,
3 Ladislas Orsy, "Annulments," In Komonchak, Collins, Lane, , p. 21.
4 Cf. the brochure, ,
sponsored by the department of canon law, Catholic University of
5 John Paul II, Address to the Rota, February 5, 1987, no 9.
6 , no. 9.
7 Rota decision coram Serrano, , February 28, 1992, nos.
8 Recently John Paul II has spoken of "an attempt to legitimize
so-called 'pastoral' solutions contrary to the teaching of the
Magisterium," of "a 'creative' hermeneutic according to which the
moral conscience is in no way obliged in every case by a particular
negative precept," and of "this 'creative' understanding of
conscience" (, #56).
9 In a letter to the editor of the Tablet in the October 26, 1991,
issue, p. 1311, Cardinal Ratzinger stated, "I might add, moreover,
that the numerous abuses committed under the rubric of the internal
forum solution in some countries attest to the practical
unworkability of the internal forum solution."
10 Session XXIV, canon 7: "If someone should say that the Church
erred when she taught and teaches, according to the evangelical and
apostolic teaching, that the bond of marriage cannot be dissolved
because of the adultery of one of the spouses, and that both, even
the innocent party who did not give cause for the adultery, cannot
contract another marriage while the other spouse is living, and that
he who, having dismissed the adulteress, marries another and she who,
having dismissed the adulterer, marries another, commit
adultery."-Denzinger-Schonmetzer, no. 1807.
The rhetoric of the statement needs to be understood.
Denzinger-Schonmetzer adds a footnote: "This milder form of
condemnation was chosen in order not to offend the Greeks who,
although they follow the contrary practice, still they do not condemn
the doctrine of the Latin Church opposed to them. Alluding to this
canon in the encyclical Pius XI says, 'Now if the
Church did not err and does not err when she taught and teaches these
things and if for this reason it is absolutely certain that marriage
cannot be dissolved even because of adultery, it is evident that the
rest of the much weaker reasons for divorce which usually are brought
up are much less valid and are to be held to have absolutely no
11 +Vincenzo Fagiolo, "DANTE GEMMITI: Vol. 118 (1993), p. 438.
12 Greek = Latin = adultery.
13 R. J. Schork, "Theodore the Studite," ,
Vol. 14. p. 19.
14 Fagiolo, p. 439
15 Orsy, "Divorce," , p. 289.
16 "A second meaning of the term, more common among the Orthodox,
uses it to refer to certain exceptional dispensations from church
law" (Jeffrey Gros, FSC, "Economy," in Komonchak, Collins, Lane, , p. 316).
17 Orsy, "General Norms, Introduction," CLSA, , pp. 43-44.
18 Orsy, , P- 44
19 Orsy, "Divorce," , p. 290.
20 Cf. John Charles Wynn, "Prevailing and Countervailing Trends in
the non-Catholic Churches," in Wrenn, , p. 79.
21 F. X. Lawlor, "Excommunication," , Vol.
5, p. 705.
22 R. J. Banks, "Jurisdiction (Canon Law)," , Vol. 8, pp.
23 p. F. Palmer, "Marriage," , Vol. 16, p.
24 J. T. Catoir, , p. 224.
25 Cf. Richard A. Hill, "General Norms," in Canon Law Society of
America, pp. 93-94.
26 Cf. canon 1079, # 1: mortis periculo . . . ," not simply
"In danger of death,"
27 , Vo. 9 (1978-1981), pp. 503-504.
28 , pp. 504-505.
29 This and later references to are to #84.
30 Ibid.: Divorced Catholics often "consider themselves separated
from the Church" but the Pope states that they have the obligation to
"share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word
of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer,
to contribute to the works of charity and to community efforts in
favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Catholic faith,
to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day
by day, God's grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them,
and show herself a merciful mother.... However, the Church reaffirms
her practice, which is based on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to
Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried."
31 , "The Faithfulness of Conjugal
32 Cf. John Paul II, , ##6264, on "good
conscience" (quotation marks his!).
33 , Apostolic Constitution , "The Doctrinal Value of the Text," p. 8.
34 , "Offenses against the Dignity of Marriage," #2384.
35 , ##2016, 2040.
36 "The Church . . . shows motherly concern for these children of
37 "Let the Church . . . show herself a merciful mother and thus
sustain them in faith and hope."
38 "With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected
the Lord's command and are still living in this state will be able to
obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation provided they
have persevered in prayer, penance, and charity."
39 has "pastors" instead of "priests."
40 Gary A. Herion (Hartwick College), "Introduction," , Vol. 1, p. XXXVII.
41 Rev. J. C. O'Neill (University of Edinburgh), ,
"Biblical Criticism," p. 725.
42 Cf. Raymond F. Collins (Catholic University of Leuven, Louvain),
"Marriage (NT)," , Vol. 4, p. 570.
43 Matt. 19:3; cf. 19:9.
44 Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5.
45 Cf. John Paul II, , #22.
46 Robert T. Wall (Seattle Pacific University), "Divorce," , Vol. 2, p. 218.
47 Obviously, one of several interpretations of .
48 Matt. 19:9.
49 Collins, p. 570: "As presently narrated, however, the entire
[Hillel-Shammai] dispute on Deut. 24:11 seems to reflect the kind of
controversy in which the early Palestinian church was engaged.
Moreover, both the Markan and the Matthean versions of the
controversy give evidence of editorial modifications by the
respective evangelists. Thus it is impossible to state just how much
of the extant narrative reflects the historic ministry of Jesus."
50 Collins, p. 570.
51 Wall, p. 218.
52 Translated from the French version of "Remarried Divorcees:
Respect for the Decision Made in Conscience," Pastoral Letter of the
Bishops of the Upper Rhine, 11:1, second last paragraph, in , November 21, 1993, No 2082, p. 989. This
document is being studied by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith: , Vol. 23, No. 38 (March 10, 1994), p. 670.
53 Council of Trent, Session XXIV, canons on the sacrament of
marriage, canon 7, in Denzinger-Schonmetzer, 1808. See Pius XI's
statement in footnote 5.
54 , "Ordo Missae cum Populo," no. 80, "Prex
55 John F. Kippley, , p. 38.
56 , #56.
57 John Paul II, 1987 Allocution to the Rota, no. 9.
58 Germain Grisez with others, , Vol. 2,
(Quincy, Illinois: Franciscan Press, 1993)
This article appeared in the December 1994 issue of "The Homiletic &
Pastoral Review," 86 Riverside Dr., New York, N.Y. 10024,
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