ENFL249

Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The indissolubility of the marriage

Some Pharisees approached him ….”Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife ….?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’….what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” Mt 19,3-9

To the Pharisees who questioned him about the possibility of divorce from the wife, Jesus says, “The  man must not divide what God has joined together”. To this first reply the Pharisees argue why, then, Moses had granted the divorce from the wife. Jesus states: “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce from your wives, but by the beginning it was not so”. Moses was forced to alter some truth, because the heart of the people was so hard such not to be able to receive it in its entirety, by the same way as those who, not being accustomed to drink wine, it is good that they water it down, being not able to drink it pure. Even today it seems that much of the society is unable to think about the marriage, if not making it free of duties. Indeed, the catholic church considers the marriage a sacrament and therefore inseparable, others believe that it is a contract between persons with a predetermined meaning, others think that it is an agreement to which the parties can give the content they prefer. Due to the existence of such a difference of opinions, the question of the indissolubility of the marriage cannot be resolved if not stating to what concept the needs of the man, of the woman and especially of the sons best adhere. Posed the problem in this way, the solution is in favor of the indissolubility. Returning to the today passage, the position of the gospel is clear, except that Matthew does not stop here, but he proceeds by placing on the mouth of Jesus these words: “But I say to you: whoever divorces from his wife, except in case of illegitimate union , and he marries another one, he commits adultery”. This sentence seems to contradict everything that Jesus has said before. In fact, it was discussed at length inside the church about the exact meaning of this statement. We, too, talked with Monsignor G.B. Guzzetti, previously head of the “Family” office of the diocese of Milan, concluding that it is almost certainly that it is not an exception to the indissolubility of the marriage, but a case of questionable validity of which it was much discussed in the Matthew context . These are the same considerations of the Sacra Rota when, by the nowadays time, examines the validity of a marriage.

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