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RE:QUEST

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Relationships: A Roman Catholic View of Divorce

What is the Catholic view of divorce?

 

Roman Catholics believe that marriage is a sacrament. Once the couple has received the sacrament of marriage, the marriage can never be dissolved or ended in God's eyes. If a Roman Catholic got a civil divorce, the couple would still be married in the church's eyes.

A divorced Roman Catholic cannot get remarried whilst their ex-husband or wife is alive. Catholics believe humans simply do not have the authority to divide what God has joined together. A divorced Catholic is not encouraged to partake in other sacraments (like communion). A Catholic who does remarry in a registry office or in the church of another denomination whilst their first spouse is still alive, is not allowed to take communion in a Catholic church, as they are committing adultery, because in God's eyes they are still married to their first spouse.

Under certain circumstances, Roman Catholics can get an annulment of their marriage.  Annulments can be granted if:

(i) one or both of the partners didn't understand the wedding vows or were forced into marriage

(ii) one or both partners lied during the vows, for instance, if they never intended to have children.

iii) the marriage was never consummated; the couple never had sexual intercourse after the wedding.

If the church grants an annulment, the couple is free to get married again in church, although they would still have to get a legal divorce.