Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Catholic Church and divorce

The Catholic Voice, a generally conservative-leaning paper of the Oakland (CA) diocese, ran this brief item in its 08/12/2013 print edition, title "Speaking of Divorce:

VATICAN CITY-When Pope Francis spoke to journalists about the need for a stronger Catholic pastoral approach to marriage and to divorced people, he made a parenthetical reference to how the Orthodox churches handle the breakup of marriages differently. "The Orthodox have a different practice," he told reporters July 28 during his flight back to Rome from Rio de Janeiro. The Orthodox "follow the theology of 'oikonomia' (economy or stewardship), as they call it, and give a second possibility; they permit" a second marriage. While the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain both use the English term "ecclesiastical divorce" when referring to the use of "oikonomia" to permit a second marriage, Orthodox scholars and the websites of both archdioceses make clear that the Orthodox practice differs from both a Catholic annulment and a civil divorce. it! Unlike an annulment, which declares that a union was invalid from the beginning, the Orthodox decree does not question the initial validity of a sacramental marriage and unlike a civil divorce it does not dissolve a marriage. Rather, the Orthodox describe it as a recognition that a marriage has ended because of the failure or sin of one or both spouses.
Was that a deliberately enigmatic trial balloon from the Pope about liberalizing the Church's position on divorce? Or was he just chatting about something that interested him?

Something from last year that I thought worth flagging.

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