Monday, 17 February 2014

DIVORCE AND THE MODERN CHURCH



The Roman Catholic Church and divorce don’t really go hand in hand. However, last year Pope Francis set a date in October for a summit on family issues and this week he meets with his cardinals to prepare for that summit. Questionnaires handed out in parishes around the world show that there is a growing divergence between the Church’s teachings and the way believers live their lives. It seems that the Pope is keen to assist divorcees who have remarried and as a consequence are currently denied the opportunity to take Communion, because in the eyes of the Church they are committing adultery.
Theorists suggest that the answer may lie in the Church granting more annulments (although a civil divorce would still be necessary if the marriage is to be ended legally). Unfortunately and rather unsurprisingly the Church is unable to process the existing backlog of applications.
Well the wheels in the Vatican may turn slowly but for those who maintain that we are still living in the Dark Ages, it is worth pointing out that England itself has moved on from the days of Henry VIII when the failure of Rome to grant an annulment resulted in: 
divorce and beheading, excommunication, the foundation of a new Church, destruction of the monasteries, confiscation of Church lands and the burning of martyrs at the stake.


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