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What would happen if the marriage of an orthodox couple, composed by one or two who have been already married in the past, if they decide to convert into the Catholicism? Has happened that already in the history?

Those questions arouse when I thought what would happen with couples in that situation in the case of reunion of the Churches.

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Their case would go to the tribunal and it would have to be determined that they were invalidly married in the first marriage before they could be received into the Church. No different from a Protestant who was in a previous marriage.
I dont think we talk about conversion though when it comes to the Orthodox they are not converting but entering into communion with the Latin Church
Stephanos I

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Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
What would happen if the marriage of an orthodox couple, composed by one or two who have been already married in the past, if they decide to convert into the Catholicism? Has happened that already in the history?

Those questions arouse when I thought what would happen with couples in that situation in the case of reunion of the Churches.

Maybe when/if the union of the Churches takes place the Orthodox will experience an influx of divorced Western Catholics who will be able to have a sacramental second marriage in the Orthodox Church. It would probably be accapted as a grave enough reason to move from one ritual Church to another since it would bring non-married and cohabiting couples who are living in a permanent state of sin into a state of grace.

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Dearest Father Ambrose,

You seem to suggest that the situation would permit divorced Catholics to go East just so they can get married again. You would know better, but it doesn't seem as though the Eastern Orthodox are THAT lax in her reception of converts. Are they really that lax NOW, and if they are not, why would they be when/if reunion occurs?

Humbly,
Marduk

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Originally Posted by mardukm
Dearest Father Ambrose,

You seem to suggest that the situation would permit divorced Catholics to go East just so they can get married again. You would know better, but it doesn't seem as though the Eastern Orthodox are THAT lax in her reception of converts. Are they really that lax NOW, and if they are not, why would they be when/if reunion occurs?

Humbly,
Marduk

Marduk,

Well, I'm sure that the Orthodox hierarchs would not tolerate any outside meddling into our practice of handling divorce and remarriage. If reunion were to occur, I don't think you'd see the Vatican requiring all divorced and remarried Orthodox to submit cases to an annulment tribunal. Perhaps, what Rome would do would be to amend her canons so that it would be impossible for any Catholic to switch rites.

Now, I have a question. Suppose a protestant married couple wants to become Catholic. They are both divorced and remarried. Do they have to get their marriage cleared before they are received into the Church? And if the Church said, "sorry, no annulment, we will not accept your marriage," what would the couple have to do? Would the Church require that they separate in order to be received into the Catholic Church?

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Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Now, I have a question. Suppose a protestant married couple wants to become Catholic. They are both divorced and remarried. Do they have to get their marriage cleared before they are received into the Church? And if the Church said, "sorry, no annulment, we will not accept your marriage," what would the couple have to do? Would the Church require that they separate in order to be received into the Catholic Church?

Good question!

Also, were either of the marriages licit/valid in the first place, since they were not blessed in the Catholic Church? I don't believe civil agreements constitute the sacrament of marriage. Therefore, is not the first marriage and divorce really a legal matter since the Church was never involved in the first place.

Mike L.

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Stephanus, your comment that an adjudicated ecclesiastical divorce would be reviewed by a catholic marriage tribunal, in my judgment, smacks of triumphalism especially since Rome recognizes the Orthodox sacrament of marriage as valid and acknowledges that both churches handle the issue of termination differently (see the RC and EOC joint statements on marriage).In effect, you are saying that the RCC has the right to second guess what a legal ecclesiastical tribunal in teh east has done. In other words, the termination is ok is the couple stays Orthodox, but is not if they convert. In the Greek archdiocese, the legal process for getting a ecclesiastical divorce is very similar to the Roman process as are the various grounds for granting a divorce. On the Greek side the grounds are generally more concrete (e.g., desertion of spouse, attempting to murder a spouse, gambling excessively etc.[these were some of the grounds under Archbishop Iakovos]) than such things of lack of due discretion (which can cover a host of things). One Greek priest said the term ecclesiastical divorce was used because it is part of our tradition and because the church believed in calling a spade a spade. How a reunited church would handle the issue is interesting and i guess open to negotiation.

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Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

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How a reunited church would handle the issue is interesting and i guess open to negotiation.


Or not.

If I understand the Orthodox position about the primacy and the parameters of what could/would happen in a united East and West, the answer might be that there would be no second-guessing tolerated. In other words, if you are in communion and one part does things differently, then the other would have to accept it. Period. Otherwise, we're back to the reasons Orthodox Christians give for not being in or wanting to be in communion.

In Christ,

BOB

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Good question!

Also, were either of the marriages licit/valid in the first place, since they were not blessed in the Catholic Church?


Chris tis in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

I think I may be able to answer that from a family situation. My father's older brother was married, divorced, and remarried and was a life-long Lutheran. His second wife--the only aunt I ever knew--died. He then dated a Catholic woman and wanted to marry her, but the Church would not allow the marriage since he had no grounds for an annulment. The Catholic Church considered his original marriage done in the Lutheran Church to be valid and, with that woman still living and no grounds for an annulment, refused to allow the marriage to be celebrated in church. The woman then broke off the relationship.

BOB

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Originally Posted by Mike L.
Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Now, I have a question. Suppose a protestant married couple wants to become Catholic. They are both divorced and remarried. Do they have to get their marriage cleared before they are received into the Church? And if the Church said, "sorry, no annulment, we will not accept your marriage," what would the couple have to do? Would the Church require that they separate in order to be received into the Catholic Church?
Good question!

Also, were either of the marriages licit/valid in the first place, since they were not blessed in the Catholic Church?
Mike,

In RC Canon Law, the terms "licit" and "valid" only have meaning in terms of a marriage solemnized by the Church; thus, only such marriages require canonical annulment.

This is an interesting subject, though, because it would definitely be a step towards reunion if the RCC would automatically recognize any and all marriages considered valid by the EOC. (I suspect that this is done in some cases, but I doubt it's more than a few.)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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For all intents and purposes, an ecclesiastical divorce is the same as an annulment. Sure, the annulment proclaims their never was a marraige to begin with due to "something lacking" to "effect" the sacrament whereas the ecclesiastical divorce proclaims simply and pragmatically that circumstances arose which make the "grace" unable to "effect" the couple. The end result is an "absence of grace". Furthermore, a second or third marriage for that matter in the EOC is not sacramental. The union which was conferred by the church onto the couple (it is given in the crowning as opposed to effected by the couple and "witnessed" by the Church)remains valid because what the Church confers by her ecclesial mission, is valid. So, in effect a second union is a blessing and a penetential one at that. It is in effect a prayer asking for God's mercy on "us who are about to commit adultry in You name". Why? Because the couple failed to preserve and honor the grace that was given. That in no way mitigates the grace, only it's ability to be received as thus work in the "sacrament" of marriage. Marriage is eternal in Orthodox theology and so no vows of "until death do us part" exist in the rite. If you divorce, you cannot "sacramentally" re -marry.
If you were married outside the catholic church i.e. Orthodox or Roman communion, the church tends to see these marriages as non-sacramental and so they sort of don't count.

Sbdn Jon

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Originally Posted by Athanasius
For all intents and purposes, an ecclesiastical divorce is the same as an annulment. Sure, the annulment proclaims their never was a marraige to begin with due to "something lacking" to "effect" the sacrament whereas the ecclesiastical divorce proclaims simply and pragmatically that circumstances arose which make the "grace" unable to "effect" the couple. The end result is an "absence of grace". Furthermore, a second or third marriage for that matter in the EOC is not sacramental. The union which was conferred by the church onto the couple (it is given in the crowning as opposed to effected by the couple and "witnessed" by the Church)remains valid because what the Church confers by her ecclesial mission, is valid. So, in effect a second union is a blessing and a penetential one at that. It is in effect a prayer asking for God's mercy on "us who are about to commit adultry in You name". Why? Because the couple failed to preserve and honor the grace that was given. That in no way mitigates the grace, only it's ability to be received as thus work in the "sacrament" of marriage. Marriage is eternal in Orthodox theology and so no vows of "until death do us part" exist in the rite. If you divorce, you cannot "sacramentally" re -marry.
If you were married outside the catholic church i.e. Orthodox or Roman communion, the church tends to see these marriages as non-sacramental and so they sort of don't count.

Sbdn Jon

Dear Subdeacon Jon:

There are numerous inaccuracies in your portrayal of the Orthodox understanding of divorce and remarriage; especially this statement:

It is in effect a prayer asking for God's mercy on "us who are about to commit adultry in You name". Why? Because the couple failed to preserve and honor the grace that was given.

If we believed that entering a second marriage amounted to adultery, we wouldn't allow it. We do recognize that, in principle, sacramental marriage is indisoluble; but we do not hold that it is absolutely indisoluble. Sin can destroy a marital bond and where there is no holy love, there is no longer a marriage. We do recognize that marriages end. At the same time, most of us would say that a second or third marriage (even after the death of a spouse) does not have the full sacramental completeness as that of the first marriage. By the way, I have reservations about the view that marriage is eternal. It seems to me to contradict Christ's teaching about marriage. But that's another subject and perhaps I'll start a thread on it.

Joe

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Thank you Joe for your reply. What I wrote was perhaps a poor paraphrasing of something I actually pulled from the blog of an Eastern rite/Byzantine Catholic priest. The link is here:

http://priestlypugilist.com/#What%20<i>really</i>%20divides%20Orthodox%20and%20Catholic?
If you can't click on the link, type in The Priestly Pugilist and then scroll down to the bottom to the article titled: What really divides Orthodox and Catholic? It may not be what you think.

It was well written. If I am incorrect, I appologize.

sbdn Jon

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Originally Posted by Athanasius
Thank you Joe for your reply. What I wrote was perhaps a poor paraphrasing of something I actually pulled from the blog of an Eastern rite/Byzantine Catholic priest. The link is here:

http://priestlypugilist.com/#What%20<i>really</i>%20divides%20Orthodox%20and%20Catholic?
If you can't click on the link, type in The Priestly Pugilist and then scroll down to the bottom to the article titled: What really divides Orthodox and Catholic? It may not be what you think.

It was well written. If I am incorrect, I appologize.

sbdn Jon

Well, I found this passage intriguing:

 By far, the biggest obstical to Orthodox/Catholic reunion is not the filioque or the primacy of the See of Rome (as naively presumed by many Catholics), nor the existence of the "uniate" Churches (an argument often voiced equally naively by many Orthodox), nor any differences in the approach to liturgy, mystery or tradition. It's the whole question of marriage. And when someone comes along trumpeting the cause of "healing the schism," one should always be circumspect about the motive; it may be nothing more than a desire to chip away at fundamental Catholic moral teaching while clothing itself in psudo-conservative externals. In this light, Father Davies is absolutely right when he cautions Catholics of a conservative bent about seeing in Orthodoxy some remedy for the ills that disburb them.

Is he suggesting that all this talk about union is just a way for closet dissenting Catholics to get Orthodox support for a change in Vatican marriage rules? That's what it sounds like to me. I noticed that this priest does not identify himself or where he serves as a priest. I must confess that I didn't find his article to be helpful.

Joe

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Deacon Richard
You are incorrect.
Marriages contracted even outside the Catholic Church are recognized as valid until proven so.
Stephanos I

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