Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  574 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 574 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

574

Part Three

2386

It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim

of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not

contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference

between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the

sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who

through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid

marriage.

179

Other offenses against the dignity of marriage

2387

The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the

Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he

has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However

polygamy

is not in accord with the moral law. “[Conjugal] commun­

ion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly ne­

gates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning,

because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and

women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total

and therefore unique and exclusive.”

180

The Christian who has pre­

viously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the

obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his

children.

2388

Incest

designates intimate relations between relatives or

in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them.

181

St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: “It is actually

reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living

with his father’s wife. . . . In the name of the Lord Jesus . . . you are

to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. . . .”

182

Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward

animality.

2389

Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by

adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The of­

fense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical

and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all

their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their

upbringing.

179 Cf.

FC

84.

180

FC

19; cf.

GS

47 § 2.

181 Cf.

Lev

18:7-20.

182

1 Cor

5:1, 4-5.

1640

1610

2356

2207

2285