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Physical separation of spouses and divorce: What does the Church say?

God created man and woman and called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matt 19:6).

In instituting marriage, God ordered to the communion and good of the couple and to the generation and education of children. In God’s divine plan, this union is indissoluble as Jesus Christ has affirmed: “What God has joined together, let no man separate” (Mark 10:9)

In the wake of man’s weaknesses, we have seen civil and traditional marriages being dissolved or couples being separated. What does the Church say about this?

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The Church permits the physical separation of spouses when for serious reasons their living together becomes practically impossible, even though there may be hope for their reconciliation. As long as one’s spouse live, however, one is not free to contract a new union, except if the marriage is null (lacking any legal or binding force) and be declared so by the Church authority.

The Church does not recognize the union of people who are civilly divorced and remarried. This is consistent with what Jesus Christ has said: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12)

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The Church extends an attentive concern towards such people and encourages them to a life of faith, prayer, works of charity and the Christian education of their children. However they cannot receive sacramental absolution, tale Holy Communion or exercise certain responsibilities in the Church as long as their situation persists.



Source: Botswana Catholics

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1 thoughts on “Physical separation of spouses and divorce: What does the Church say?

  1. Mercy Bonnie

    What if the man neglects his wife for a long time without his marital obligations with the idea of the woman getting fed up and she decides to walk away?
    What is the Church’s position towards the party that is neglected and decides to walk away?
    I need a clarification on this issue because,some seperated marriages are irreconcilable due to the attitude of one of the couple who might no longer be interested in the marriage.


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