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Re: Orthodox Divorce #42983 10/14/03 06:32 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear SubDeacon Lance,

Yes, this is exactly what I find consistent in the Orthodox position - and inconsistent in the modern RC position.

I don't understand the RC view that one can go back and try to figure out psychological states, attitudes before the marriage ceremony took place and then presume to pronounce that a marriage was non-existent, "and now you can go marry others."

That really does seem to be dishonest or, at best, "borderline hokey."

The "binding and loosing" authority of the Church is applied here and that is AS AUTHORITATIVE as the Scriptures and Tradition, in Catholic understanding.

Am I not correct? (You are the one with all the seminary training, Big Guy).

So the modern Roman Catholic Church does indeed allow for an "ecclesial divorce" which it calls "annulment" to assert that it is not circumventing its doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage etc.

In Canadian hockey, I believe that is called "fast-sticking."

And I believe that the Eastern Church's historic practice in this regard is at least more honest in its approach than that of the modern RC Church.

The "Error of the Latins" here is that they are taking things not only out of context, but also they choose to ignore the fact that their Church does apply its power of "binding and loosing" to situations of marital breakdown.

And so does the Eastern Church.

My final point is that there is no room for smugness on the part of our dear Latin friends on this score as a result.

Alex

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42984 10/14/03 06:39 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Zoe,

How are you today, dear lady?

I don't dispute much of what you say.

For us EC's, the Orthodox tradition IS in fact our tradition - we have just brought it into communion with Rome. Nothing that is Orthodox is alien to us, not the spiritual, liturgical, theological traditions and culture, not most of anything.

The fact is that the marriage practices were in place in the East even when it was in communion with the West. That is a fact.

And I'm not accusing you of agreeing with modern RC practice over annulments.

I'm only accusing you of not taking into consideration the fact that the RC Church does indeed exercise its power of "binding and loosing" in the case of marriages, in the case of priests who are laicized, in the case of monastics etc.

So this is how I see things in a nutshell:

The RC Church grants annulments to those married couples where the marriage broke down on the basis of "attitudes" and "views" that the couples say existed before they were married - and the RC Church believes them.

The Orthodox Church dissolves marriages that have broken down without trying to justify itself on the basis of attitudes and views the couples say existed before they were married.

In either case, it has nothing to do with Scripture or Tradition in any event.

It has everything to do with binding and loosing.

I'm just saying that modern RC official praxis is more "loose" when it comes to undoing the "binding."

Alex

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42985 10/14/03 06:49 PM
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Dear Alex,

I love your posts and the way you philosophize, as well as the way you lovingly, clearly, simply and intellectually explain things!

GREAT post! smile

You have definitely been blessed with a special 'charism' my friend!

Please continue to share it with us on this forum.

Hope that all else is well with you and yours.

With much respect,
Alice

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42986 10/14/03 07:05 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Alice,

Thank you for your kindness!

This reminds me of some lines from the movie, "Blackrobe," when some Indians were upset with the Jesuit Father La Forgue.

Father then replied, "Why should they be upset with me? I told them the truth . . ."

smile

God bless, Orthodox Catholic Sister in Christ!

Alex

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42987 10/14/03 08:39 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Zoe,

How are you today, dear lady?

I'm fine, thanks, except for that sore spot on my head where I've been banging it against the wall. :p

I think we're talking past each other, dear Alex. And not getting very far as a result.

If ECs follow the "Orthdox tradition" on divorce/remarriage, then God help 'em. Because that "tradition" is (to put it bluntly) not of God but of man.

And as for RC loosey-goosey praxis re annulments--this is NOT a good thing either. I look forward to the day (soon, I hope) when our praxis will be brought back in line with our doxy on this score.

Our Lord's teaching on divorce is a "hard saying." Hard as the wood of the Cross. But that's just the way it is. We can soften it to accommodate "the world." Or we can remain faithful to Our Lord's command without excuses or compromise.

As for me and my house, I choose Our Lord's command. And so does the Catholic Magisterium--which I always thought was part of EC Tradition, too, but hey, what do I know? frown

Blessings,

ZT

P.S. Brian, I agree that I should not draw too many conclusions from Internet debate. But when folks on this board persistently represent something that's against Catholic teaching as "the EC Way"...well, what am I to think? Are they right, or are they wrong? Is
confused I wish there were a handy Internet source giving the official EC position on such matters.....

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42988 10/14/03 08:50 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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ZT,

Please note I did not say this was the "EC Way". Our current praxis is the same as the Latin Church. What William and I are pointing out is that this goes against both our theology concerning the Mystery of Marriage and our historical practice. I am not advocating anyone disobey or malign current Church teaching, I am simply in favor of review as I do not think this can be said to be de fide considering the East and West have and do differ on this issue.

In Christ,
Subdeacon Lance


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Re: Orthodox Divorce #42989 10/14/03 09:24 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Lance:
ZT,

Please note I did not say this was the "EC Way". Our current praxis is the same as the Latin Church. What William and I are pointing out is that this goes against both our theology concerning the Mystery of Marriage and our historical practice. I am not advocating anyone disobey or malign current Church teaching, I am simply in favor of review as I do not think this can be said to be de fide considering the East and West have and do differ on this issue.

In Christ,
Subdeacon Lance
I could not disagree more; sorry.

Serial divorce/remarriage has no part in "the Mystery of Marriage" -- not if we're going to be faithful to Christ, Who (last time I checked) was pretty darned Eastern Himself.

Catholic Teaching on the inidssolubility of valid sacramental marriage is not merely "current" teaching. It is Dominical Teaching and hence for all time--"Jesus Christ yesterday, today, and forever."

Some things don't change with the times. Truth is one of those things. If the East has tried to change Our Lord's clear teaching re marriage/divorce, then that is not some sort of alternative "mystery." It is a betrayal of the Truth. It is a Bad Thing. I don't know how to say it more strongly.

I hope and pray that y'all are misrepresenting the EC view here.

Blessings,

ZT

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42990 10/15/03 01:52 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Zoe,

You aren't really paying attention to Lance and so are making wrong assumptions about what he is saying.

Lance is affirming that we, as Catholics, are to obey our Church - period. And the fact that you disagree with previous Eastern Church practice in this regard, prior to the schism, doesn't take away from the fact that it existed.

In that case, the Church was using its powers of binding and loosing. As does the Latin Church today when it grants thousands of annulments to members of its flock and allows thousands of remarriages.

The point I've made time and again here is that talk is cheap. It is what the Latin Church actually DOES that indicates what it actually BELIEVES about this or that.

Your zeal and idealism are laudatory. But the Latin Church has only found ways to go around things in order to come up with what secular society already allows - divorce that it calls "annulment."

At one time in its history, the Latin Church could defend a very tightly defined system of allowing annulments. But today? It is really a joke.

As for the Latin Church annulment assembly-line in North America - yes, I join with you in the hope that the Latin Church's practice will one day mesh with what it believes.

Alex

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42991 10/15/03 02:00 PM
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The Eastern pre-schism practice and the current US/Canadian RC diocesan practice are similar then. I would not characterize them as excercizes of the Church's power to bind and loose, however--I would characterize them as departures from the teaching of Christ and the constant teaching of the Catholic Church.

I remind you that a whopping 95% of American annulments appealed to the Rota are overturned.

LatinTrad

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42992 10/15/03 02:21 PM
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Dear LatinTrad,

The constant teaching of our Lord on binding and loosing is also quite clear.

I've yet to meet Latin Catholics, who have had their first marriages annulled, and are now living in their second, Church-sanctioned marriages, appeal their annulment decisions to Rome.

Perhaps if their second marriages don't work out? wink

Yes, the two Churches' practices are similar.

It is just that we in the East didn't have psychologists around in pre-schismatic days . . .

Pity . . .

Alex

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42993 10/15/03 02:29 PM
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It's a pity that we DO have them around now . . .

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42994 10/15/03 02:33 PM
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Dear LT,

(That sounds like a U.S. military term for "Lietenant" doesn't it? wink )

Yes, whoever let the psychologists into the Church should have his head examined . . .

Alex

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42995 10/16/03 12:24 AM
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Originally posted by Andrew J. Rubis:

...Death of one spouse also dissolves the marriage. As Paul says, the person is free....

The Rev. John Garvey, a writer in Commonweal, made the argument that the Church should be more inclined to grant a second marriage to a penitent divorced person than to a widow/widower who was happily married. The second marriage is a replacement of sorts. In the case of the former, the replacement is for a failed marriage but in the second case what are they trying to replace? It is a difficult question all around.

I hope that this is helpful.

With love in Christ,
Andrew
The 2 snippets above seem contradictory. Not bashing you just wondering which is true. The first seems to indicate that if one's spouse dies then you can marry again w/ no problem. The latter seems to indicate that the marriage to the dead spouse somehow isn't over and they aren't free.


"Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose
Re: Orthodox Divorce #42996 10/16/03 02:33 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Zoe,

You aren't really paying attention to Lance and so are making wrong assumptions about what he is saying.

Lance is affirming that we, as Catholics, are to obey our Church - period. And the fact that you disagree with previous Eastern Church practice in this regard, prior to the schism, doesn't take away from the fact that it existed.

In that case, the Church was using its powers of binding and loosing. As does the Latin Church today when it grants thousands of annulments to members of its flock and allows thousands of remarriages.

The point I've made time and again here is that talk is cheap. It is what the Latin Church actually DOES that indicates what it actually BELIEVES about this or that.

Your zeal and idealism are laudatory. But the Latin Church has only found ways to go around things in order to come up with what secular society already allows - divorce that it calls "annulment."

At one time in its history, the Latin Church could defend a very tightly defined system of allowing annulments. But today? It is really a joke.

As for the Latin Church annulment assembly-line in North America - yes, I join with you in the hope that the Latin Church's practice will one day mesh with what it believes.

Alex
Please, Alex--condescension is uncalled for.

Yes, I have been paying attention to Lance. He says he goes along with current Church Teaching but hopes it can change to accommodate the "Eastern Tradition." But neither he nor you nor Wm. Ghazar has yet produced one iota of evidence to show that the ECFs, whether Eastern or Western, supported the unbiblical view that divorce/remarriage is OK as long as it's "penitential." You claim this Eastern tradition "existed" pre-Schism, but you don't bother producing any evidence. I say the Eastern Church didn't start tolerating divorce/remarriage until c. the 10th century--and especially after the 13th. IIRC, there's a book on Christian marriage through the ages, both East and West, called (appropriately) Christian Marriage: It's the definitive scholarly work on the subject, and it should settle this little historical dispute much better than your say-so versus mine can do!

Back to the topic at hand: Neither you nor Lance nor William has produced the slightest evidence that Catholic Teaching in this area is changeable. We cannot change Our Lord's command, period. The Orthodox attempt to do so slides inevitably into situation ethics, which is sheer casuistry.

Moreover, as I've said repeatedly (and I'm getting tired of making the point:()...you cannot posit a false equivalence between Orthodox tolerance for divorce and U.S. Catholic abuse of the annulment process. The two are qualitatively different. The latter is a lapse in praxis. The former is a violation of both orthodoxy and orthopraxis. This is substantively, qualitatively different...and more serious. (It also leads to far greater violation of praxis.)

I can see how it would be tempting to characterize annulments as "Catholic Divorce," but it's also facile and inaccurate.

Blessings,

ZT

P.S. BTW, the one person I know who tried to get an annulment--her former husband was a wife-beating dope addict--was turned down. Yup, it does happen. Even the abuses are less widespread than our critics claim, I suspect.

Re: Orthodox Divorce #42997 10/16/03 04:30 AM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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ZT,

You state:
"But neither he nor you nor Wm. Ghazar has yet produced one iota of evidence to show that the ECFs, whether Eastern or Western, supported the unbiblical view that divorce/remarriage is OK as long as it's "penitential." You claim this Eastern tradition "existed" pre-Schism, but you don't bother producing any evidence."

From THE FIRST CANONICAL EPISTLE OF OUR HOLY FATHER BASIL, ARCHBISHOP OF CAESAREA IN CAPPADOCIA TO AMPHILOCHIUS, BISHOP OF ICONIUM.
(about A.D. 370)

CANON IV.

They that marry a second time, used to be under penance a year or two. They that marry a third time, three or four years. But we have a custom, that he who marries a third time be under penance five years, not by canon, but tradition. Half of this time they are to be hearers, afterwards Co-standers; but to abstain from the communion of the Good Thing, when they have shewed some fruit of repentance.

CANON L.

We look on third marriages as disgraceful to the Church, but do not absolutely condemn them, as being better than a vague fornication.


And since you did not bother to read it the first time a repost these:

3. St. Basil, in whose immediate family were several saints, was Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia during the fourth century. He said: “I am not sure that a woman who lives with a man who has been abandoned by his wife could be called adulterous.”

4. St. Epiphanius, Archbishop of Constantia on Cyprus during the fourth century wrote: “Divine Law does not condemn a man who has been abandoned by his wife, nor a woman who has been abandoned by her husband, for remarrying.”

See also the following:

“Better to break a marriage than be damned.” from Homily on 1 Corinthians by St. John Chrysostom (Minge: P.G. 61, 155)

“He who cannot keep continence after the death of his first wife for a valid motive, as fornication, adultery, or another misdeed, if he takes another wife, or if the wife [in similar circumstances] takes another husband, the Divine Logos does not condemn him or exclude him from the Church...” from Against Heresies by St. Epiphanius of Cyprus (Minge: P.G. 41, 1024)

For a further explanation of conditions that are tantamount to death so far as the marriage bond is concerned, see Marriage: an Orthodox Perspective, by John Meyendorff (Crestwood, N.Y. St. Vladimir Seminary Press, 1970)

Appendix: Support for the Eastern Tradition stated above

Tertullian:

“I maintain, then, that Christ now made the prohibition of divorce conditional: ‘If anyone should dismiss his wife for the purpose of marrying another.’ ‘Whoever dismisses his wife,’ He says, ‘and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who has been dismissed by her husband, is equally an adulterer’ -dismissed, then, for that very reason for which dismissal is not permitted: to marry another. And he that marries a woman who has been dismissed unlawfully is as much an adulterer as he that marries one who has not been dismissed. The marriage which is not rightly dissoved is permanent. To marry again, however, while there is a permanent marriage, is adultery. Therefore, if he conditionally forbade the dismising of a wife, He did not forbid it absolutely; and what He did not forbid absolutely, He permitted in certain cases, where the reason for prohibition was not present. ... Indeed, in your sect, what is a husband to do, if his wife commit adultery? Shall he keep her? But your own Apostle, you know, would not join the members of Christ to a prostitute. The justice of divorce, therefore, has Christ, too, for its defender. Henceforth Moses must be considered as confirmed by Christ, Moses having permitted divorce for the same cause that Christ permits it: if there sould be found any unchaste commerce on the part of the woman. For in the Gospel of Matthew He says: ‘Whoever dismisses his wife, except for the cause of adultery, makes her commit adultery.’ And thus he too is regarded as an adulterer, who marries a woman who has beend dismissed by her husband.” - Against Marcion, 4, 34, 4-6

Origen:

Our Savior does not at all permit the dissolution of marriages for any other sin than fornication alone, when detected in the wife....” 9.511 (Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs (DECB), David W. Bercot).

Novation:

“When being inquired of, Christ gave this judgment: He said that a wife must not be put away, except for the cause of adultery.... Laws are prescribed to married women, who are so bound that they cannot thence be seperated.’ 5.589 (Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs (DECB), David W. Bercot).

St. John Chrysostom:

“How then in this case is the uncleanness overcome, and therefore the intercourse allowed; while in the woman who prostitutes herself, the husband is not condemned in casting her out? Because here there is hope that the lost member may be saved through the marriage; but in the other case the marriage has already been dissolved; and there again both are corrupted; but here the fault is in one only of the two. ...For how will she who dishonored him in former times and became another’s and destroyed the rights of marriage, have power to reclaim him whom she had wronged; him, moreover, who still remains to her as an alien? Again, in that case, after the fornication the husband is not a husband...” - Homily on 1st Corinthians 19.4

“And not thus only, but in another way also He hath lightened the enactment: For asmuch as even for him He leaves one manner of dismissal when He saith, “Except for the cause of fornication;” since the matter had else come round again to the same issue. For if He had commanded to keep her in the house, though defiling herself with many, He would have made the matter end again in adultery.” - Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew 17

Ambrosiaster:

Neither can a man divorce his wife; [for he says]: ‘A man is not to divorce his wife.’ It presumes of course: ‘except for cause of fornication.’ And therefore does not subjoin what he says when speaking of a woman: ‘but if she has separated, she is to remain so;’ for it is permissible for a man to marry a wife, if he has divorced a sinful wife, because man is not bound by the law as a woman is; for man is head over woman.” Commentaries on Thirteen Pauline Epistles -on 1 Cor 7:11

Lactantius:

“He who marries a woman divorced from her husband is an adulterer. So is he who divorced a wife for any cause other than adultery, in order to marry another.” 7.190 (Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs (DECB), David W. Bercot).

Apostolic Constitutions:

“Do not let it be considered lawful after marriage to put her away who is without blame. For He says, “ you will take care to your spirit and will not forsake the wife of your youth” [Mal. 2:14-15].... And the Lord says, ‘What God has joined together, let no man put assunder.’ For the wife is the partner of life, united by God into one body from two. However, he who divides back into two that body that has become one -he is the enemy ofthe creation of God and the adversary of His providence. Similarly, he who retains her who is corrupted [by adultery] is a transgressor fo the laws of nature. For ‘he who retains an adulteress is foolish and impious [Prv. 18:22]. Also, He says, “Cut her off from your flesh” [Sir 25:26]. For she is no longer a helpmate, but a snare, havin turned her mind from you to another.”


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