Friday, May 01, 2009

Practical Romance

And the key thing is to be held to account for the risks and rewards of the romantic adventure. Chesterton writes: "If I bet I must be made to pay, or there is no poetry in betting. If I challenge I must be made to fight, or there is no poetry in challenging. If I vow to be faithful I must be cursed when I am unfaithful, or there is no fun in vowing. . . . For the purpose even of the wildest romance results must be real; results must be irrevocable." And marriage, he says, is the ultimate example of a real and irrevocable result. (BRAD MINER)


Anonymous said...

Within the Catholic Church, the seven sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation (Penance), Matrimony, and Holy Orders are considered the outward showing of inner grace, instituted by Christ. They are the very components of salvation as the Roman Catholic Church teaches it. The Catholic Church teaches that the sacraments themselves—in their view the foundation of salvation—cannot be tossed aside easily. Only if the sacrament was not lawful from the moment it was conferred can it be renounced. In recognition of the fact that that may happen from time to time, the Catholic Church has created the annulment process, which will declare a sacrament invalid from the very beginning.

An annulment is properly referred to as a Declaration of Nullity. Though it can be applied to any of the seven sacraments, it is most often sought for Matrimony. Since the Catholic Church holds that a married couple cannot divorce for any reason whatsoever, a divorce is not recognized by the Catholic Church as a valid end to a marriage. It then follows that a Catholic priest will not marry those individuals who were divorced, even if the divorce occurred prior to accepting Christ or joining the Catholic Church, even if the divorce occurred before the divorcee truly understood the spiritual and temporal consequences.

When issued, an annulment does not end the effects conferred by the sacrament. The annulment declares that the sacrament in question was not valid from the start, and the recipient is treated as though he or she never actually received the sacrament. That does not mean that children from the marriage are now considered born out of wedlock or that the ex-spouses committed any sort of fornication. It means that the receipt of the sacrament was somehow flawed. An annulment works like a military court.

Annulments are granted for a variety of reasons by the Catholic Church. The most common reasons presented to tribunals are a lack of due discretion, defective consent, and psychological incapacity. Some annulments are for minor technicalities and rarely involve more than filling out the correct forms; for example, if one of the parties had a prior bond (was married in the Catholic sense of the word) at the time of the wedding. There is also defect of form, which includes marriages performed by a non-Catholic minister or weddings held outside of a Catholic Church. More than half of all the annulments granted are for defect of form.

But is the Catholic concept of annulment a biblical concept? In regards to marriage being a sacrament, please read our article on the seven Catholic sacraments. The Roman Catholic concept of marriage as a sacrament is itself unbiblical. This puts the concept of an annulment on shaky ground to begin with. What does the Bible say about marriage and divorce? Jesus told His followers, "I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32). Matthew also tells us that Jesus admonished the Pharisees by saying, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.... And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery" (Matthew 19:4-6,9). Mark concurs, writing, "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife. And the two of them shall be one flesh. So then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man put apart" (Mark 10:6-9). Finally, in the Gospel of Luke we find "everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18).

Catholic doctrine is based upon both Scripture and Church tradition. Based upon Jesus' words, "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9) and upon the Church tradition that receiving a sacrament creates an undeletable mark upon the soul of the recipient, the Church teaches that a marriage CANNOT end. The Church does not ignore Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 that allow divorce only in the case of the adultery of the other party. No, the way this is handled is much more disturbing. According to the New American Bible (NAB), a Catholic Bible translation, Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 read thus: "whoever divorces his wife (UNLESS THE MARRIAGE IS UNLAWFUL) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery [emphasis added]." The concept of an "unlawful marriage" in the NAB is translated as either "(marital) unfaithfulness," "adultery," or "fornication" in the every other major Bible translation. There does not seem to be any textual basis for the NAB's choice of words, except to support the Catholic Church's own doctrine.

Although Jesus taught that divorce was only written into the Law because of human stubbornness (Matthew 19:8) and that the original intent of God was for the spouses to never separate (Genesis 2:24), He makes the exception in cases of adultery. The Catholic Church's teaching of marriage doesn't ignore this fact; it mistranslates Scripture to support its own unbiblical teaching of marriage as unending, and then creates the annulment process to allow a Catholic-sanctioned way to end said marriage by declaring it invalid. The annulment process is unbiblical in the sense that Jesus only allowed for adultery as the basis for ending a marriage, and the annulment process allows for many, many reasons, but not for the one reason Jesus mentioned. The Catholic Church does not accept the only biblical reason for divorce as valid and, in fact, creates a new list of unbiblical reasons for a marriage to end.

The Roman Catholic Church’s practice of annulment is not biblical. It is founded on an unbiblical concept, that of the sacraments conferring grace. It is essentially an “escape” from what the Bible defines as a marriage. It ignores what the Bible does say about marriage, divorce, and adultery. Essentially, the Catholic practice of marriage annulment is an unbiblical way to escape from a doctrine that is itself unbiblical.


Cure of Ars said...

I find it funny that my atheist friend is posting things about biblical interpretation. It all comes down to how you interpret Matthew 5:32.

The bottom line is that Divorce is not an option in the Catholic Church. I will also agree that annulments have been abused in the United States.

Anonymous said...

there is a reason why i hightlight this, n i already know that the catholic church has another take on this,

the contents in your URL does not contain something i do not know abt.

so, is there something u have to offer me which i do not already know?

Anonymous said...

"funny" is another way of saying "ok this is my territory, now bug off"

now, any church authority/individual regardless of denomination does not have exclusive rights to bible interpretation.

the pope thinks he does, but i disagree, he has to first succeed in fighting for his papal infallibility before he even claim it, n it is unlikely if he were to try to debate me on that.

so, i am a atheist n i have equal rights to make biblical interpretations, simply via claiming to be a christian does not make u OWN the bible.

i have same equal rights to interpret buddhist scriptures and taoism scriptures as well.

if u think u have a chance of challenging what i have concluded as my rights, feel free to debate me on this.

Anonymous said...

the fact is a laid a bait n u fell for it, stay tuned for what i have to say soon.

moral of the story? u should have stayed true to your turtle strategy of not replying for u'll never know when's the next trap going to be laid.

Anonymous said...

as i have said my first comment is a bait for what i want to touch on, that is interpretation(of the scriptures).

so much is vested in "private interpretation" by the religious becos it is a very useful tool as it is very mallable, but in a simple example even in the sub denominations of christanity, the difference between Catholic vs. Protestant can never be resolved becos each wanted to rely on their own interpretation of the scriptures.

the example clearly hightlights the problems of "private interpretation" of the scriptures, remember that the agnostics/atheists can also have their own interpretation vs the watever interpretation the religious have, there will be no end to it all n any argument over it will only be a matter of academic squabbling.

the catholic chruch tries to circumvent this problem by claiming the higher ground via claiming papal infallibility and apostolic succession, which is meaningless to anyone else except for themselves.

in summary all these gimmicks of "private interpretation" is only useful in indulging in jostling for bragging rights within denominations & for shifting the goal post when debating the non-religious.

to really make any sense one need reason, n reason is not something that can be reinvented or defined arbitrarily, Reasoning is firmly grounded in proper logical parameters and elimination of logical fallacies, i do not wish to br rude, but simply drawing up a chart n drawing a line to connect so call "reason" n "faith" n "love" n watever does not make a convincing reinvention of reason.

Anonymous said... is seemingly a very Catholic-bashing site. It's got a chip on its shoulder. Its article's approach is very weak in its argument. So not worth quoting that article.
Simply because the NAB translation is admittedly a bit "shaky", gotquestions therefore wrongly throws stones at the ENTIRE annulment concept, even though the Catholic position on divorce is much firmer and biblical than many other denominations'!
It is true that in PRACTICE, individuals in the Catholic church have abused the intentions behind the "Annulment" teachings; but that does not make the intended teachings themselves unbiblical. On the contrary, the annulment teachings aim to meet the intentions of Jesus' words where he left room for the possibility that some "marriages" MIGHT be dissoluble due to "Porneia" (but not dissoluble in the way the word Divorce is used today - rather, it's much closer to the concept of annulling). also quite wrongly translates the word Porneia as "sexual immorality" or "adultery"; but that is NOT the case -instead Porneia is a much misunderstood term, there is NO reasonable consenus on the intended meaning of that word, and so any responsible (which is not) article would point out that fact.

Note that Jesus did NOT use the word for adultery in those passages ("if a man divorces his wife except in the case of [Porneia]"...), and instead used the word Porneia.

It might be true that the Catholic position is not 100% accurate; but certainly it's not worse than many other denominations; and what's more important is that all we denominations stick together on the things that we agree upon and gently discuss about what we don't; NOT, however, to take up a unChristian unfriendly unloving or "bashing" attitude such as seemingly does the gotquestions site.

Signed: Not The Original Anonymous but another Anonymous.