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Life in Christ

573

Divorce

2382

The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the

Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.

174

He abrogates

the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.

175

Between the baptized, “a ratified and consummated mar­

riage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason

other than death.”

176

2383

The

separation

of spouses while maintaining the marriage

bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon

law.

177

If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain

legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can

be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

2384

Divorce

is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims

to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live

with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of

salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting

a newunion, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity

of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public

and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another

woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman

commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an

adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to

herself.

178

2385

Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into

the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the

deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their

parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious

effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

174 Cf.

Mt

5:31-32; 19:3-9;

Mk

10:9;

Lk

16:18;

1 Cor

7:10-11.

175 Cf.

Mt

19:7-9.

176 CIC, can. 1141.

177 Cf. CIC, cann. 1151-1155.

178 St. Basil,

Moralia

73, 1: PG 31, 849-852.

1614

1649

1650