Divorce and sin

Po 11 dubna 2016

(originally started as a comment on the article on First Things).

A thought: isn’t the one of the root of whole problem, that Catholics see the problem in “the second marriage”?

I am not sure who started ignoring what seems to me like more obvious problem, which is the divorce itself. On one hand it seems to me more honest (and honoring the free will of spouses) to accept their decision as meaning what they meant it to mean. So, yes in my opinion, divorce is divorce. And yes it is the sin against the marriage (or the sacrament of marriage if you wish).

I don't think it taking sin too lightly when we say that every sin could be forgiven to people (except for the sin of the Holy Spirit, I believe quite certainly that a divorce is not the one). So, I believe that even the sin of divorce can be forgiven to people, and I don't think agreeing with the Lord makes me taking sin too lightly. I lived through couple of divorces of my friends (as an elder of a Protestant congregation).

I could see clearly that every of these divorces was result of a sin. In once case it was adultery, the other case was more complicated (I am still not sure what to think about the other case). However, in one case, I could see that the husband (who was guilty of adultery), really did repent. His former wife gave up on him and went away, and I haven't seen her much anymore (I think she moved out of the country), but he really went completely (and publicly) on his knees and repented from his sin of adultery which broke his marriage. He didn’t take the easy way, he spent next few years to really go through his wounds, his sins, and found a glorious recovery to be a full son of God in all His glory. After some more years, he started to date another girl from our church, and we all could fully rejoice when after couple of years of dating they got married. It has been couple of years ago, so I can testify they seem to be really working well out the blessing of their marriage.

My point is that by replacing the sin of divorce with what I cannot actually see as a sin of remarriage (after all, despite their bad experience they are trying again to make marriage work for them; seems to me more like a glorious effort to do the right thing, than a sin), that is by replacing one with another, Catholics effectively made divorce into the second sin from which there is no way out. My brother after his former wife was gone would be effectively ban for the rest of his life from experiencing fullness of life, which for him includes marriage. Effectively, by banning some people for the rest of their life from sacraments, we would be devaluing marriage (or the Lord's Supper) as unnecessary for the fullness of the life with Christ or we are doubting promise of John 10:11.

So, yes I do believe that there is a way out of every sin, even the most awful one. I believe there is a way to the fulness of life even for murderers, guards in concentration camps, and divorcees.

Category: faith Tagged: blogComment FirstThings ecumenism Catholics marriage sin sacrament

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