'Creative' Avenues to Remarriage After Divorce

Author: Clarence J. Hettinger


by Clarence J. Hettinger

It is ironic if not intentionally significant that-at the start of the International Year of the Family and on the very eve of the feast of the patron saint of canon lawyers, St. Raymond of Penafort-ABC-TV's on January 6, 1994, brought the shortcomings of the American tribunal system to the attention of the nation in stark vividness. The program focused on the sufferings of recalcitrant defendants who were convinced of the validity of their marriages. Students of recent papal allocutions and Rotal jurisprudence, however, could not miss their that American style annulments are based on insufficient arguments and it would not have been hard to conclude that Catholic annulments have come to be considered as another word for Catholic divorces.[1]

The early 1970s attempted to produce a rationale for replacing the tribunal system. Are tribunals trying to prove the point of a well-known sociologist who years ago recommended finding "how we can most quickly get out of such behavior and, indeed, out of the whole out-moded, irrelevant, stupid, and disgraceful apparatus."[2]

Be that as it may, defendants like those who appeared on the TV program agree with the first part of a scholarly canonist's statement that "the impersonal machinery of justice displays little concern for the spiritual well-being of the parties, mostly in need of help after a disastrous attempt to marry.[3] The statement is true, however, not of the tribunal system as it is regulated by canon law but of the way some tribunals apply the law. Moreover, these defendants, upholding the validity of their marriages, obviously reject the idea that their wedding was a disastrous to marry.

This scholarly concern has been embraced by the American tribunal ministry. For many years now the training of paraprofessional tribunal workers has been directed "toward a ministry of reconciliation."[4] This opens the students to the possibility of confusion in regard to two sacraments. Everyone knows that the sacrament of Penance is the primary ex opere operato source of reconciliation and restoration of spiritual well-being and that the Anointing of the Sick is the other source. Anyone who really understands the proper function and functioning of a tribunal knows that the tribunal system was designed to protect another sacrament, marriage with its indestructible image of the union of Christ and the Church.

In the words of the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, a tribunal's function "is certainly a ministry of truth and charity in the Church and for the Church"-of truth by upholding "the genuinity of the Christian concept of marriage" in the face of moral degeneracy and of charity "towards the ecclesial community which is preserved from the scandal of seeing in practice the destruction of the value of Christian marriage through the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity in the case of the bankruptcy of marriage under the pretext of some psychic immaturity of the contractants."[5]

Much can be said in a negative way about the of tribunals- those which give scandal by offering "a facile way for solutions of bankrupt marriages and irregular situations between the spouses"[6] and even those which try not to. Suffice it to say, however, that the whole tortuous, sometimes torturesome functioning of a tribunal eventually boils down to its response to the question, "Is the nullity of the marriage in question proved?" If the answer is based on prayer, authentic jurisprudence, and a balanced and detailed study of the evidence, this ministry of truth and charity is a part of the ecclesial ministry of healing. It will be a response to "the right and obligation, especially sacred to them, of contributing to 'the necessary cultural, psychological, and social renewal in favor of marriage and the family' (cf. Const. Apost. "Gaudium et spes," n. 49)."[7]

ABC-TV's program, although short, left the impression that the tribunal system of the Church in America does not live up to the duties incumbent on the genuine tribunal ministry. Perceptive viewers could get the impression that annulment mills would be an accurate designation of tribunals in this country-"facile ways to solutions" or "creative"[8] avenues to remarriage after divorce.

Marriage doctrine is at stake

In spite of the 95% efficiency of the American tribunal system in mass-producing documents of freedom to remarry, there are many front-line clergymen and their pastoral assistants who do not find the system sufficiently facile. Forgetting right and obligation to contribute to the renewal of the family, they still look to the autonomy of the individual conscience as the preferred avenue to remarriage after divorce, erroneously[9] attempting to apply the so-called internal forum solution.

The ABC program made it clear that the Catholic doctrine of the sacred indissolubility of marriage, which was solemnly canonized at the Council of Trent,[10] is at stake. This doctrine is also one of the tension points in the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The tension is present because of divergent interpretations of the so-called exceptive clause of Matt. 5:32 and Matt. 19:9. The roots of divergence may be found toward the end of the eighth century when, "in order to guarantee peace and harmony for the Church,"[11] Patriarch Tarsisius decided in Emperor Constantine VI's "Moechian[12] Affair"[13] to tolerate remarriage after divorce and "not to inflict severe canonical penalties on one who has transgressed the divine precept."[14] However, it was about three centuries later that "from about the beginning of the second millennium (as far as one can ascertain) the Eastern Church accepted fully that the clause in Matt. 5:32 and 19:9 referring to 'unchastity' constituted an exception to the rule and in the case of adultery divorce and remarriage was to be permitted."[15]

The Catholic Church makes an implicit statement of her understanding of the exception through her tribunal system. The Eastern Orthodox Churches implicitly point out their understanding of the exception by applying their canonical institute of or "economy" (administration)[16] to marriage cases. Some Catholic clergymen who do not accept the internal forum solution, reasoning that the Orthodox Church also is founded on the apostles, wonder why the Catholic Church does not adopt this avenue to remarriage after divorce.

Briefly, and without intending any offense to our Eastern separated brothers, it must be said that difficulties exist both in the institute itself and in its basis on the Matthean divorce pericope without giving full force to the Lord's "solution" in Matt. 19:12b.

As a general institute, economy can be assimilated by Western legal minds, if ever, only with the maximum of difficulty. "It seems to belong to the science of jurisprudence; it can solve seemingly insoluble issues.... There are many explanations of economy in Western literature; few of them are faithful to the Eastern original."[17]

The weakness in the institute may be seen especially in its application to marriage cases. Even though its use is restricted to bishops or even to a synod of bishops,[18] the Orthodox have not been able to limit it to the case of adultery. For "the Orthodox Church, while continuing to uphold the right of an innocent spouse to divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery, gradually has come to grant the same freedom to those who are victims of other types of misbehavior by their spouses, such as cruelty, abandonment, or serious neglect of duties toward the family."[19] Once the Orthodox went from dissolution because of to "divorce . . . permissible under circumstances for grave causes which make married life impossible,"[20] they placed themselves in danger of giving no-fault documents of freedom to remarry.

Compared with age-old Orthodox economy, the appeal to the internal forums solution comes very late in the history of the Church. The , published in 1967, does not carry an article on the internal forum and the index refers to it only twice- once in the article on excommunication,[21] and again in the article on jurisdiction. Marriage cases are mentioned only in the latter article, which states significantly that the competent forum for "the adjudication of marriage cases" is the external forum[22]

Internal forum is limited

Although coming late as a widespread "creative" avenue to remarriage after divorce, the internal forum solution was not long in asserting itself. The encyclopedia's Volume 16, 1967-1974, presented the "new theology" and the "Vatican II canon law" on marriage. The cited sources of the article (the earliest one from 1965) indicate that the seeds of dissent from the doctrine of indissolubility had already taken root and were growing thirty years ago. The concluding sentence of the article says it all: "And if the covenant demands are applied, a way will be found to free many 'badly' married couples and those already remarried to enter for the first time a graced covenant, a marriage 'in the Lord.'"[23]

The same volume also has an article on the "Internal Forum (Marriage Cases)." It is unquestionably true that the title of a work should not influence one's understanding of it. However, in view of what the competent forum for marriage cases is, the title of the article embodies an oxymoron. The article mentions "the province of personal conscience," conflicts between the external and the internal forums, "fraud going to the heart of the contract" (not a ground of nullity at that time), and the natural right to marry. Then it concludes by repeating the oxymoron of the title: "In these cases he exercises his priestly ministry not in the external forum but in the internal forum which is the tribunal of mercy."[24]

The sacramental internal forum is indeed the tribunal of mercy but neither it nor the nonsacramental internal forum furnishes a way to free people with a previous unsuccessful but valid marriage to enter another valid marriage or to permit people living in an invalid marriage to receive the sacraments. The term forum itself indicates the exercise of jurisdiction. Now the source of jurisdiction is not anyone's conscience but the diocesan bishop. Therefore, whatever powers a priest might possess in the internal forum, apart from one exception to be mentioned shortly, being delegated powers, are limited to the express, legitimate will of the bishop which may not contradict the express mind of the supreme magisterium.

The duty to live in abstinence

Canon 130 briefly describes the internal forum: its lawful exercise is limited to cases determined by law[25] and so-called internal forum solutions are not on the list. The Code of Canon Law permits exactly two rather infrequent applications to matrimonial law, only the first of which is available to priests. Canon 1079, #3, gives to confessors the power to dispense, in either the sacramental or nonsacramental internal forum, from impediments. Canon 1130 empowers the local ordinary to permit a marriage; canon 1132, however, establishes that the ordinary's obligation of the secret ceases if a danger should arise of serious scandal or harm to the sanctity of marriage. In other words, private rights acquired by the individual faithful in the internal forum cannot be allowed to damage the public good of the rest of the faithful. Of course, in the case of real, danger of death,[26] provided the firm resolve, expressed or implicit, not to continue to commit adultery has been elicited, any confessor will use the internal sacramental forum.

Modern authentic doctrine on the use of the internal forum starts with Cardinal Seper's letter to the bishops of April 11, 1973, in which he authorized, "in addition to other correct means, the approved practice of the Church in the internal forum."[27] The bishops of the United States could not agree on the meaning of the last item. So the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explained to them on March 21, 1975, that readmission to the sacraments is permissible if "they try to live according to the demands of Christian moral principles and receive the sacraments in churches in which they are not known so that they will not create any scandal,"[28]

Apparently it was not universally understood that the demands of Christian moral principles include complete continence. Clergymen and their pastoral assistants and others continued to create "good faith" in their clients and to implement the "good conscience clause" in order to permit the reception of the sacraments by people who were initiating or continuing to live in adulterous unions.

Pope John Paul II, in his apostolic exhortation of November 22, 1981, on the family, set forth in unequivocal terms the meaning of the approved practice of the Church in the internal forum: the acceptance, for serious reasons, of "the duty to live in complete abstinence."[29] Before doing this he stated the limits within which the Church can "make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation" but for remarried divorcees these means necessarily stop short of readmission to the sacraments. The Holy Father expressed his confidence that couples using these means "will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation provided they have persevered in prayer, penance, and charity."[30] Nevertheless, the practice of the internal forum continued and only God knows how many couples were told the opposite of these saving words.

The Church's doctrine on internal forum solutions in has been updated in the . The treatment is somewhat condensed and the tone is definitely less "pastoral." The sterner tone is seen in the addition of some items to the treatment in and in the omission of other items.

has sterner tone

For example, made an abstract statement about the biblical foundation of its teaching: "The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based on Sacred Scripture." The Catechism quoted the Scripture: "Whoever repudiates his wife and marries another commits adultery in regard to the first; and if a woman repudiates her husband and marries another she commits adultery (Mark 10:11-12)." To the denial of access to Eucharistic Communion because of remarriage after divorce the Catechism adds "no matter how long this situation persists. For the same reason they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities."[31]

In another addition the Catechism makes clear that no counselor-clergy, religious, or lay-can have any excuse whatsoever for trying to create "good faith" or a "good conscience"[32] in their clients or for neglecting to correct their clients' erroneous conscience. Catholics have the duty of obedience to the Holy Father and the duty of charity to their clients to inform them of "a sure norm":[33] "The fact of contracting a new union, if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried divorcee finds himself in the situation of public and permanent adultery."[34] And persons suffering from an unwanted divorce need to hear that they are not excluded from the sacraments: "It can be that one of the partners is the innocent victim of a divorce pronounced by the civil law; in that case he does not contravene the moral precept."

The first omission that should be mentioned concerns those "who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid." The Catechism also omits that "pastors must know that for the sake of truth they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations."

The index of the Catechism refers to the motherhood of the Church nine times, one of which, however, mistook meme for mere. There is one reference to "the grace of final perseverance and God's reward" and another to "her motherly solicitude."[35] It is interesting therefore that, in its treatment of remarried divorcees, the Catechism omitted the references of to the Church's motherly,[36] merciful[37] concern for them or her confidence of their eventual salvation.[38] The last omission may explain why the Catechism also omitted the promise to remarried divorcees that "the Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation."

Contrary practice continues

It seems that, , the first obligation of remarried divorcees is to separate because, , the Catechism mentions only the obligation of the Catholic upbringing of the children as a reason for instituting a brother-sister living arrangement. On the other hand, speaking of those who will not accept that arrangement, the Catechism says, "In regard to Christians who live in this situation and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian way, priests[39] and the whole community must give proof of an attentive solicitude so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church in whose life they can and must participate as " i.e., by joining in the worship of the Church to the extent possible in their situation and by taking their place in the life of the community.

The Church's teaching is clear enough but a widespread contrary practice continues. The Church and dissenters must have found different answers for the question, "What is the will of God in regard to use of either economy or the internal forum solution?" Or, more precisely, what is the meaning and force of the Matthean exceptive clause which the Holy Spirit intended it to have?

Somewhat surprisingly, the answer to this question may be found in some recent, confessionally uncommitted biblical scholarship, where, as advertised, one can expect "to find presented the essence of critical scholarship[40] . . . discriminating judgments about the literature of the bible."[41] Nevertheless, this source yields some unexpected theological statements. While the scholarly debate continues, "the most common views" reduce it to two possibilities. On one side, the exceptive clause "is a good-conscience clause" for those who have remarried after divorce because of sexual immorality. On the other side there is an exemption of "incestuous unions from the prohibition of divorce."[42]

Our interest here, however, is not the debate but simply the will of God about remarriage after divorce as it was revealed in his Son's answer to the Pharisees' questions about the possibility of divorce and about the reasons for Moses' concession of divorce. His answer included the motive of divorce, namely, to claim freedom to remarry, as well as the exceptive clause.[43] But what did he mean by ?

A search for the will of God might start with a biblical datum: "And the two of them become one flesh."[44] Our Supreme Theologian, John Paul II, sees here at the very origin and in the divine design of marriage God's law against remarriage after divorce.[45] Scholarship arrives at the same conclusion: "Thus, if God made male and female into one flesh, then neither the male nor the female should divorce and remarry; to do so is adultery."[46]

The second biblical datum is, of course, the Lord's reinstatement of God's original will when he decreed the annulment of Moses' concession of divorce: "But from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife ()[47] and marries another commits adultery."[48]

Some scholars argue that we cannot know how much the Lord's teaching actually influenced the Church's teaching about indissolubility.[49] Nevertheless, the mind of Christ is unmistakable in the results of scholarly research undertaken from two different points of view. A scholar studying the question of divorce, states, "Given the multiple attestation of Jesus' teaching on divorce within the NT, there is a virtual consensus among scholars that Jesus was unequivocally opposed to divorce."[50] A scholar, who in fact claims that we cannot know how much the Lord influenced the doctrine of indissolubility, studied marriage in the New Testament but came to the conclusion, "Clearly, the sum of the synoptic tradition argues that Jesus' teaching was intended to create among his disciples an intolerance for divorce even though Jewish law tolerated it."[51] This intolerance is supported by the other known sayings of the Lord-Mark 10:10-12, Luke 16:18, and I Cor. 7:10-11-which unconditionally condemn remarriage after divorce with no reference to the concession in regard to . Any attempt to interpret this concession has to start with the clear fact that remarriage after divorce constitutes adultery.

A recent Catholic commentary seems at first to disagree. "The 'clauses about adultery' and a difficult interpretation found in the Gospel of Matthew (5:32; 19:9) and the Pauline 'teaching' (1 Cor. 7, 10f; 7:15) recognize the conditional possibility of divorce or at least tolerance of it." After a brief exposition, however, this commentary reached the conclusion, "In any event, the principle is not therefore suppressed: the unconditional prohibition of divorce. A second marriage is regarded as the breaking of marriage. There is not any authorization for remarriage."[52]

These scholarly statements reporting the essence of critical scholarship are a precious support of the Catholic doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage. The Scriptures offer no conditional possibility of divorce or tolerance of it, no or dispensation in view of avoiding a greater evil, no appeal to canon 916 vs. canon 915 for sacramental participation, no discernment of different situations and a consequent judgment about them, no room for subjective certainty in conscience of the invalidity of the previous marriage or for a responsible decision of conscience. Anyone who wishes to quibble about the wording of the relevant Tridentine canon[53] has to come to terms with this scholarship. "All orthodox believers and cultivators of the Catholic and apostolic faith"[54] in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and his Word simply accept his unequivocal opposition to divorce and share with his disciples their intolerance for divorce the motive for which is remarriage. "Making an exception for adultery and desertion would contradict the basic teaching of Jesus; it would have undermined His whole purpose of going back to the very order of creation."[55]

Pope rejects "creative" solutions

The Holy Father's most recent encyclical offers a fitting conclusion to this essay. "In their desire to emphasize the 'creative' character of conscience, certain authors no longer call its actions 'judgments' but 'decisions.' . . . A separation or even an opposition is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid in general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision about what is good and what is evil. On this basis an attempt is made to legitimize so-called 'pastoral' solutions contrary to the teaching of the magisterium and to justify a 'creative' hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged in every case by a particular negative precept."[56]

It would be terrible if God had not merely permitted but deliberately determined the precise timing of the ABC-TV program and then his people neglected this grace. Far too much time has passed already and far too many people have been led into or confirmed in public and permanent adultery. Tribunal officials, local clergymen, and their pastoral assistants, if they are loyal Catholics, will not delay working for the reversal of the tide of invalid annulments and consequent remarriages invalid because of a previous bond. If they fail to make their contribution to the stability of the family by defending the sacrament of marriage and its sacred indissolubility, the defense offered by the Holy Father, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Roman tribunals will continue to be ineffective in our country.

What can be done? The ABC program left little doubt that, by dissenting from the supreme magisterium and Roman jurisprudence, the American tribunal system is on the way to destroying almost all awareness of the indissolubility of marriage. The system must be converted and again take up its "ministry of truth and charity in the Church and for the Church."[57]

A similar conversion is needed in clergymen, their pastoral associates, and others who have, at least objectively, been playing games with their counselees' consciences. Motives of "compassion," sentimentality, or sometimes of personal acceptance or even popularity can blind ministers of truth and charity to their duty to follow the Christ who with true compassion told the adulteress, "Go and sin no more."

The bottom line is simple Catholic obedience. Ministers of truth and charity must renew the religious assent of their will and mind to the supreme magisterium which has its authority from Christ

through apostolic succession from Peter and the apostles. This is especially true and difficult in counseling people who reveal that an internal forum solution has been granted or the lawful spouse of a person who has received one. These people may react with great surprise to the tactful disclosure that a remarried divorcee finds himself in the situation of public and permanent adultery. They may be surprised too that therefore their first responsibility is simply to stop committing adultery and that, generally speaking- that is, in the absence of a contrary grave reason-their next obligation is to separate.

Although extremely difficult, this is the only truly pastoral exercise of the ministry of truth and charity to these people. "The truth shall set you free" and the truth is that "not all men can receive this saying but only those to whom it is given." However, if separation is not possible, "they certainly can live chastely provided they pray for the necessary grace, repent their past sins, and use all the available means."[58]


1 In the following quotation read annulment for divorce and Church for culture for a description of the annulment mentality. "What the divorce advocates never got into their heads is that some choices preclude others. If everyone can choose divorce, then no one can choose marriage.... Men and women no longer have control over the terms of our marriages. We do not know what bargain we have struck getting married and it hardly matters since the culture and the court will not enforce any bargain. The rule is: he who wants out, wins" (Maggie Gallagher, [Chicago: Bonus books, Inc., 1989] 194," as quoted in John F. Kippley, [Cincinnati: The Foundation for the Family, Inc.], p. 43, footnote 6).

2 Andrew Greeley, "Church Marriage Procedures and the Contemporary Family," in Lawrence G. Wrenn, ed., : The Newman Press, New York, Paramus, Toronto, 1973, p. 113.

3 Ladislas Orsy, "Annulments," In Komonchak, Collins, Lane, , p. 21.

4 Cf. the brochure, , sponsored by the department of canon law, Catholic University of America.

5 John Paul II, Address to the Rota, February 5, 1987, no 9.

6 , no. 9.

7 Rota decision coram Serrano, , February 28, 1992, nos. 3-5.

8 Recently John Paul II has spoken of "an attempt to legitimize so-called 'pastoral' solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium," of "a 'creative' hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged in every case by a particular negative precept," and of "this 'creative' understanding of conscience" (, #56).

9 In a letter to the editor of the Tablet in the October 26, 1991, issue, p. 1311, Cardinal Ratzinger stated, "I might add, moreover, that the numerous abuses committed under the rubric of the internal forum solution in some countries attest to the practical unworkability of the internal forum solution."

10 Session XXIV, canon 7: "If someone should say that the Church erred when she taught and teaches, according to the evangelical and apostolic teaching, that the bond of marriage cannot be dissolved because of the adultery of one of the spouses, and that both, even the innocent party who did not give cause for the adultery, cannot contract another marriage while the other spouse is living, and that he who, having dismissed the adulteress, marries another and she who, having dismissed the adulterer, marries another, commit adultery."-Denzinger-Schonmetzer, no. 1807.

The rhetoric of the statement needs to be understood. Denzinger-Schonmetzer adds a footnote: "This milder form of condemnation was chosen in order not to offend the Greeks who, although they follow the contrary practice, still they do not condemn the doctrine of the Latin Church opposed to them. Alluding to this canon in the encyclical Pius XI says, 'Now if the Church did not err and does not err when she taught and teaches these things and if for this reason it is absolutely certain that marriage cannot be dissolved even because of adultery, it is evident that the rest of the much weaker reasons for divorce which usually are brought up are much less valid and are to be held to have absolutely no value.'"

11 +Vincenzo Fagiolo, "DANTE GEMMITI: Vol. 118 (1993), p. 438.

12 Greek = Latin = adultery.

13 R. J. Schork, "Theodore the Studite," , Vol. 14. p. 19.

14 Fagiolo, p. 439

15 Orsy, "Divorce," , p. 289.

16 "A second meaning of the term, more common among the Orthodox, uses it to refer to certain exceptional dispensations from church law" (Jeffrey Gros, FSC, "Economy," in Komonchak, Collins, Lane, , p. 316).

17 Orsy, "General Norms, Introduction," CLSA, , pp. 43-44.

18 Orsy, , P- 44

19 Orsy, "Divorce," , p. 290.

20 Cf. John Charles Wynn, "Prevailing and Countervailing Trends in the non-Catholic Churches," in Wrenn, , p. 79.

21 F. X. Lawlor, "Excommunication," , Vol. 5, p. 705.

22 R. J. Banks, "Jurisdiction (Canon Law)," , Vol. 8, pp. 61-62.

23 p. F. Palmer, "Marriage," , Vol. 16, p. 283.

24 J. T. Catoir, , p. 224.

25 Cf. Richard A. Hill, "General Norms," in Canon Law Society of America, pp. 93-94.

26 Cf. canon 1079, # 1: mortis periculo . . . ," not simply "In danger of death,"

27 , Vo. 9 (1978-1981), pp. 503-504.

28 , pp. 504-505.

29 This and later references to are to #84.

30 Ibid.: Divorced Catholics often "consider themselves separated from the Church" but the Pope states that they have the obligation to "share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to the works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Catholic faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God's grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them, and show herself a merciful mother.... However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried."

31 , "The Faithfulness of Conjugal Love," #1650.

32 Cf. John Paul II, , ##6264, on "good conscience" (quotation marks his!).

33 , Apostolic Constitution , "The Doctrinal Value of the Text," p. 8.

34 , "Offenses against the Dignity of Marriage," #2384.

35 , ##2016, 2040.

36 "The Church . . . shows motherly concern for these children of hers."

37 "Let the Church . . . show herself a merciful mother and thus sustain them in faith and hope."

38 "With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord's command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation provided they have persevered in prayer, penance, and charity."

39 has "pastors" instead of "priests."

40 Gary A. Herion (Hartwick College), "Introduction," , Vol. 1, p. XXXVII.

41 Rev. J. C. O'Neill (University of Edinburgh), , "Biblical Criticism," p. 725.

42 Cf. Raymond F. Collins (Catholic University of Leuven, Louvain), "Marriage (NT)," , Vol. 4, p. 570.

43 Matt. 19:3; cf. 19:9.

44 Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5.

45 Cf. John Paul II, , #22.

46 Robert T. Wall (Seattle Pacific University), "Divorce," , Vol. 2, p. 218.

47 Obviously, one of several interpretations of .

48 Matt. 19:9.

49 Collins, p. 570: "As presently narrated, however, the entire [Hillel-Shammai] dispute on Deut. 24:11 seems to reflect the kind of controversy in which the early Palestinian church was engaged. Moreover, both the Markan and the Matthean versions of the controversy give evidence of editorial modifications by the respective evangelists. Thus it is impossible to state just how much of the extant narrative reflects the historic ministry of Jesus."

50 Collins, p. 570.

51 Wall, p. 218.

52 Translated from the French version of "Remarried Divorcees: Respect for the Decision Made in Conscience," Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the Upper Rhine, 11:1, second last paragraph, in , November 21, 1993, No 2082, p. 989. This document is being studied by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: , Vol. 23, No. 38 (March 10, 1994), p. 670.

53 Council of Trent, Session XXIV, canons on the sacrament of marriage, canon 7, in Denzinger-Schonmetzer, 1808. See Pius XI's statement in footnote 5.

54 , "Ordo Missae cum Populo," no. 80, "Prex Eucharistica I"

55 John F. Kippley, , p. 38.

56 , #56.

57 John Paul II, 1987 Allocution to the Rota, no. 9.

58 Germain Grisez with others, , Vol. 2, (Quincy, Illinois: Franciscan Press, 1993) p. 732.

This article appeared in the December 1994 issue of "The Homiletic & Pastoral Review," 86 Riverside Dr., New York, N.Y. 10024, 212-799-2600, $24.00 per year.