Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

"There is no more bitter experience ...

than the failure of a love relationship on which one has set the hopes of a lifetime."

That's a quote about divorce from Hans Küng's Tablet article on Evangelii Gaudium. Here's a bit more ....

"[...] Jesus came out quite clearly against divorce. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). But he said that above all for the benefit of women, who were legally and socially disadvantaged in comparison to men in society at the time, because in Judaism only husbands could have letters of divorce made out .... The Christians of the New Testament did not understand Jesus’ words on divorce as a law but as an ethical directive. The failure of a marriage obviously did not correspond to what men and women were created for. Only dogmatic rigidity, however, cannot take seriously that already in the days of the Apostles, Jesus’ words on divorce were applied with a certain flexibility, namely in cases of “porneia/unchastity” (cf. Matthew 5:32; 19:9) and when a Christian and a nonbeliever separated (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:12-15). Already in the Early Church, one was obviously aware that there were situations when a further life together was unacceptable. However, to assume that remarried divorcees in general just casually and light-heartedly gave up their first marriages for trivial reasons is malicious. There is no more bitter experience than the failure of a love relationship on which one has set the hopes of a lifetime. In view of the millions of Catholics the world over nowadays who, although they are members of the Church, cannot take part in its sacramental life, it is of little help to keep quoting one Vatican document after the other without convincingly answering the decisive question as to why there should be no forgiveness just for this particular failure ..."

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