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I have been thinking about the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony; in particular, I have been thinking about the vows given by each spouse to the other. To be sure, one of these promises is the marital debt--which is to be understood as exclusionary. This, I assume, is why John Paul II instructs men and women who have left their spouses and entered into an illicit relationship with some other person to "live as brother and sister." Of course, by living as brother and sister, a spouse is not (in a sexual sense) abrogating their responsibility to their other spouse by engaging in adultery.

However, there are a number of other things which are promised between spouses (e.g.: to love, to honor, to protect, to obey, and to serve). It seems to me that a spouse who leaves his or her spouse and begins to live, even as brother and sister, with another would be failing to uphold their vows which do not relate to the marital act itself. Therefore, can living as brother and sister really be considered to be an acceptable response by those who have abandoned their spouses and fled to the arms of another? Should the Church's answer not be: you must return to your spouse at once, and live out your life according to the marital vow which you have taken?

Pope Pius XI writes in Cast Connubii that:

"This mutual molding of husband and wife, this determined effort to perfect each other, can in a very real sense, as the Roman Catechism teaches, be said to be the chief reason and purpose of matrimony, provided matrimony be looked at not in the restricted sense as instituted for the proper conception and education of the child, but more widely as the blending of life as a whole and the mutual interchange and sharing thereof."

Can a man living as brother and sister with his "new spouse" really be said to be engaging in the "mutual molding" with his wife? Can his wife be said to be engaging in the "blending of life as a whole and mutual interchange and sharing" with her husband? I cannot fathom how living as brother and sister with another person makes the situation any better.

I appreciate that this can be difficult, as there are often extenuating circumstances. But the age-old tradition of the Church is that no circumstances can put asunder that which God has joined together. That is to say that there are no circumstances (including the siring of children with the object of adultery) which would justify the continuation of any kind of marriage-like relationship between the two, or the continued ignorance of one's own spousal responsibility. Therefore I ask: how can the advice to live as brother and sister be given in good conscience by anyone, much less the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church? Furthermore, how can it be that this has passed the muster of moral and pastoral theologian? Finally, I ask whether or not I am too wide of the mark by saying that this capitulation represents the first capitulation which, inevitably, has led to the current disaster pertaining to some among the episcopate claiming that Holy Communion should be administered to those who are divorced and remarried?
A second quote from Pius XI's encyclical:

"Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that 'order of love,' as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: 'Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.'"

It is self-evident that a wife who leaves her husband and lives as brother and sister with another man does not subject herself to her husband, and a man who does this does not lead his wife or his children.
It doesn't, but returning to one's actual spouse isn't always possible, especially if the other party's the one who initiated the divorce. What's the Church going to do, force the spouses to live together? Even if the Church had temporal power outside the Vatican, that's not happening.

And it also assumes that the only duty is to the marital vows. But one also has a duty to one's children, and it's better for them to have their parents living with them than to make them victims of divorce, too.
I haven't read your whole post, but I would think that living with the opposite gender with someone who is not your spouse, would be an occasion of sin, for me personally, I would avoid such a situation
(12-21-2018, 04:52 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]It doesn't, but returning to one's actual spouse isn't always possible, especially if the other party's the one who initiated the divorce. What's the Church going to do, force the spouses to live together? Even if the Church had temporal power outside the Vatican, that's not happening.

And it also assumes that the only duty is to the marital vows. But one also has a duty to one's children, and it's better for them to have their parents living with them than to make them victims of divorce, too.

Nobody has suggested that the Church force anyone to do anything. What I've argued is that the Church should not give the recommendation that so long as the marital act is not being contracted with your supposed new spouse, you are okay. Clearly, you are not living up to your obligation to your spouse by doing that, since your marriage is not dissolved.
(01-23-2019, 03:55 PM)RyanPatrick Wrote: [ -> ]Nobody has suggested that the Church force anyone to do anything. What I've argued is that the Church should not give the recommendation that so long as the marital act is not being contracted with your supposed new spouse, you are okay. Clearly, you are not living up to your obligation to your spouse by doing that, since your marriage is not dissolved.

Then how would it be handled, especially when the other spouse isn't Catholic, has been 'remarried' for years, and has zero interest in getting back together? Living with someone of the opposite sex isn't a sin - it can be a near occasion of sin, but one can put oneself in an near occasion of sin for a good enough reason. If they're able to remain chaste, the couple can remain together for the children, at least while they're still in the home.
(01-23-2019, 03:55 PM)RyanPatrick Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-21-2018, 04:52 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]It doesn't, but returning to one's actual spouse isn't always possible, especially if the other party's the one who initiated the divorce. What's the Church going to do, force the spouses to live together? Even if the Church had temporal power outside the Vatican, that's not happening.

And it also assumes that the only duty is to the marital vows. But one also has a duty to one's children, and it's better for them to have their parents living with them than to make them victims of divorce, too.

Nobody has suggested that the Church force anyone to do anything. What I've argued is that the Church should not give the recommendation that so long as the marital act is not being contracted with your supposed new spouse, you are okay. Clearly, you are not living up to your obligation to your spouse by doing that, since your marriage is not dissolved.

but what should the church recommend when a divorce and remarriage has happened and there are children from the remarriage?  Should that parent split up with their remarried spouse making it so the children have parents living seperatly and being deprived of a 2 parent household?  Obviously we would say for a man or women to abandon the other spouse who they currently have young children with would be sin.  Also we know every child deserves a mother and a father.  So I think the church does the absolute best it can given the situation its in.  Stay together as a couple, live as brother and sister and take care of your children (children who you chose to have while committing adultery but that is no fault of theirs and they should not be punished because of the parents ).

There really is no other solution the church could give without denying children their right to a father and mother and being raised in a family.
These difficult circumstances do not change the fact that spouses have responsibilities to one another, whether or not one or both recognize and expect those responsibilities to be upheld. The Church, therefore, should maintain that as the recommendation. The presence of children in an illicit and adulterous relationship does not abrogate the spousal responsibility. Obviously, if one is trying to uphold one's spousal responsibilities but is not being allowed to do so by the other spouse, then his or her culpability is not considered to be present. That doesn't change the fact that the responsibility exists.
(01-24-2019, 02:41 PM)RyanPatrick Wrote: [ -> ]These difficult circumstances do not change the fact that spouses have responsibilities to one another, whether or not one or both recognize and expect those responsibilities to be upheld. The Church, therefore, should maintain that as the recommendation. The presence of children in an illicit and adulterous relationship does not abrogate the spousal responsibility. Obviously, if one is trying to uphold one's spousal responsibilities but is not being allowed to do so by the other spouse, then his or her culpability is not considered to be present. That doesn't change the fact that the responsibility exists.

and what about the responsibility to the children?  you failed to mention any of that.  how should the church recommend to deal with this unnatural situation?  should the church recommend that the man/women has no responsibility to their new lawful(man's law) spouse and those children and put efforts into the previous marriage which the other spouse does not wish to be restored?
These are two separate questions. Either way, and as difficult as this is to accept, one's responsibility to one's spouse actually comes before one's responsibility to one's children--even children born within that wedlock. Suggesting that one's responsibility to one's own spouse should be abrogated because of another extenuating circumstance born of sin is akin to suggesting that prophylactics should be used in cases where people are going to sin against chastity in order to avoid STIs and abortion. The two issues are not the same.
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