Divorce
#1
Is it true that in the Eastern Orthodox Church, you are allowed one divorce?
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#2
The Orthodox theory on divorce is very confused.  Theoretically Christian marriage is indissoluble.  In actual practice, they frequently allow divorced people to remarry if the marriage is considered to be "dead".  The rite for a second marriage (whether after divorce or widowhood) is different from that for a first marriage.  It is extremely penitential, whereas the rite of a first marriage is joyful. 
 
They permit up to three marriages; a fourth is absolutely forbidden, even if the first three marriages were ended by death.
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#3
I guess that's where the "heresy" comes in (in this case), which often follows any schism.
 
Matthew
 
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#4
ChantCd Wrote:I guess that's where the "heresy" comes in (in this case), which often follows any schism.
 
Matthew
 

If it's the case that this practice is heretical, how do Roman Catholics recognize their religion as part of the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church?" 
 
I really don't have a good understanding of the relationships between the churches.  But my understanding is that we have different traditions but are part of the same Church.
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#5
ChantCd Wrote:I guess that's where the "heresy" comes in (in this case), which often follows any schism.
 
Matthew
 

Well, that leads to an interesting story.  The early church's practice was inconsistent on the question of the remarriage of divorced people, and the eastern churches tended to follow Roman marriage law, which permitted divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery.  In the west, a full appreciation of the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage eventually ended this practice, and when the Protestants denied the indissolubility of marriage, the Council of Trent defended it.  However, at the time of that council, the Republic of Venice had Greek subjects who were technically Catholics but who followed the eastern custom in this matter by permitting divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery.  Therefore, the Venetian bishops prevailed on the council to avoid anathematizing the Greek church by condemning anyone who defended remarriage after divorce.  The result is the following strangely-worded canon:
 
CANON VlI.-If any one saith that the Church has erred, in that she hath taught, and doth teach, in accordance with the evangelical and apostolical doctrine, that the bond of matrimony cannot be dissolved on account of the adultery of one of the married parties; and that both, or even the innocent one who gave not occasion to the adultery, cannot contract another marriage, during the life-time of the other; and, that he is guilty of adultery, who, having put away the adulteress, shall take another wife, as also she, who, having put away the adulterer, shall take another husband; let him be anathema.
 
So, according to this canon, the anathema does not apply to people who assert that the bond of matrimony can be dissolved on account of adultery; it applies only to those who teach that the church has erred in teaching that marriage cannot be dissolved on account of adultery.  In this way, the Council of Trent was able to teach the doctine of the indissolubility of marriage without anathematizing the Greek Orthodox for following a contrary practice.
 
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#6
Katie,
 
It's a bit confusing at first, but it's pretty straightforward in the end... Jesus established one Church, and that is the Catholic Church. The so-called "Eastern Orthodox" were part of the Church until 1054, when they finally became schismatic on a permanent basis. (Parts of the Eastern Church had been in and out of schism for hundreds of years previous to that, on account of various political maneuverings, heresies, etc.) After the "great schism" of 1054, the Eastern Orthodox were no longer part of the Church, because they abandoned the See of Peter and Catholic (universal) unity. Therefore, they are still not part of the Church, because they are not united with the Apostolic See.
 
There are some "Eastern Catholics" who have left the Eastern Orthodox Schism and come back into Catholic Unity, these are sometimes called "Uniates." (These days, though, "uniate" is seen as derogatory.) These Catholics still practice the faith much as the Eastern Orthodox do, but they are in communion with Rome. The Eastern Faith is more primitive than the western.... it's not inferior, per se, but it relies more on "mystery" and less on scholastic learning and solid "definitions." For example, the E.O.'s are happy to say that "the consecration takes place somewhere in the canon" while Catholics say "the consecration takes place at the moment when the priest says the words of institution." The result of this "primitivism" (not really the right word, but I can't think of anything better) is that Catholics rightly have defined dogmas about such things as Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, etc. which Eastern Orthodox sometimes deny, being as they are not defined in Orthodoxy, since they were defined by Rome after the schism in 1054. When Eastern Catholics come back into communion with Rome and join the Uniate Churches, leaving the Eastern Schismatics, there is sometimes difficulty over these seemingly "extra" dogmas.
 
The long and short of it is, there is one church, and that is the Catholic. The "Eastern Orthodox" are not a part of this Church, as they are in schism. They are, however, dignified with the title of "church," (as opposed to the protestants, who are merely "faith communities" or the like) because the E.O's have valid sacraments, and have preserved the hierarchy in the same manner as the Catholic Church imparted it. Therefore, organizationally and sacramentally, they are "churches," even though they are schismatic, and the people who go to them are incapable of receiving the grace of the sacraments which they impart, owing to their mortal sin of schism.
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#7
DominusTecum Wrote:The "Eastern Orthodox" are not a part of this Church, as they are in schism. They are, however, dignified with the title of "church," (as opposed to the protestants, who are merely "faith communities" or the like) because the E.O's have valid sacraments, and have preserved the hierarchy in the same manner as the Catholic Church imparted it. Therefore, organizationally and sacramentally, they are "churches," even though they are schismatic, and the people who go to them are incapable of receiving the grace of the sacraments which they impart, owing to their mortal sin of schism.

You can't presume this.  Not everyone who belongs to an Eastern Orthodox church is guilty of a "mortal sin of schism", and, if they are not in mortal sin, they certainly receive the grace of the sacraments.
 
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#8
spasiisochrani Wrote:
DominusTecum Wrote:The "Eastern Orthodox" are not a part of this Church, as they are in schism. They are, however, dignified with the title of "church," (as opposed to the protestants, who are merely "faith communities" or the like) because the E.O's have valid sacraments, and have preserved the hierarchy in the same manner as the Catholic Church imparted it. Therefore, organizationally and sacramentally, they are "churches," even though they are schismatic, and the people who go to them are incapable of receiving the grace of the sacraments which they impart, owing to their mortal sin of schism.

You can't presume this.  Not everyone who belongs to an Eastern Orthodox church is guilty of a "mortal sin of schism", and, if they are not in mortal sin, they certainly receive the grace of the sacrments.
 

This is really complicated especially since the Church says their Sacrament of Penance is valid.  It's kind of best left up to competent authority to decide on a case-by-case basis, and competent authority isn't us.  [Image: wink.gif]
 
The bottom line is we are objectively spiritually better off within the bosom of Mother Church than outside of it.
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#9
spasiisochrani Wrote:The Orthodox theory on divorce is very confused.  Theoretically Christian marriage is indissoluble.  In actual practice, they frequently allow divorced people to remarry if the marriage is considered to be "dead".  The rite for a second marriage (whether after divorce or widowhood) is different from that for a first marriage.  It is extremely penitential, whereas the rite of a first marriage is joyful. 
 
They permit up to three marriages; a fourth is absolutely forbidden, even if the first three marriages were ended by death.
  I have heard it explained thusly: One marriage is the Christian ideal. (cf St Paul's First Epistle to Timothy, iii:2). The Western Church decided that this meant what the Church now teaches, that there is no limit to the number of marriages allowed, as long as they end in the death of a spouse. The Eastern Church decided that, given human weakness, divorce would be allowed for serious reasons, but no more than three marriages would be allowed for any reason.
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#10
Just to be clear, Katie:
 
We are not part of "One Big Family Church". We have no ecclesial communion with the Eastern so-called Orthodox. Only Catholics, of whatever rite, form part of the one Church Jesus Christ established.
 
Divorce is impossible from a Catholic view point. Only an invalid marriage, or a marriage which was ended by death, can be followed by a "second" new marriage.
 
The Eastern so-called Orthodox held this before the 13th century too, but were increasingly forced to abandon orthodoxy and espouse heresy - partly due to their schism.
 
Quote:
The Eastern Church decided that, given human weakness, divorce would be allowed for serious reasons, but no more than three marriages would be allowed for any reason.
 
The Eastern heterodox said so, not the COuncils, nor the competent authorities of the Catholic Church before 1054. It's got nothing to do with "East" and "West". The Eastern Church are the Catholics in unity of different rites and customs, not the Eastern heterodox.
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