Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pope: Divorce, cohabitation ruin the lives of many children


This Sundays Gospel reading is Mk 10: 2-16 Jesus speaking about divorce. The Pope speaking to the Brazilian bishops has an interesting take on the evils of divorce: too many parents - step parents and the extended family who have no interest in step children.


In the UK with soaring single mother pregnancies, with the sense that youth crime and disfunction amongst young people is out of control, the UN survey says that our children are the least happy in the world. Despite this our government applies sticking plasters to the symptoms, rather than dealing with the cause, the health of the family.


It is the family that is sick in the UK, until we address that, our social problems will continue.

(CNS) -- Many children raised by cohabitating, separated, divorced or remarried parents are deprived of fixed points of reference and can suffer from inner conflict and confusion, Pope Benedict XVI told Brazilian bishops.

The traditional family based on a man and woman united in an indissoluble marriage is under attack in today's world, he said.

"There are forces and voices in present society that seem committed to demolishing the natural homestead of human life," the pope said during a meeting Sept. 25 with bishops from the northeastern area of Brazil.

Families in secularized cultures, especially where divorce is legal, seem deeply immersed in uncertainty, he said.

More and more couples build their unions on the fragility and impermanence of cohabitation, which is merely based on an "individual's feeling or subjectivity," he said.

He said as divorces increase and cohabitation is on the rise, the children in these situations are "deprived of their parents' support and become victims of malaise and abandonment, thus spreading social disorder."

Children need concrete fixed points of reference such as having one set of parents who will always be united as a family, the pope said.

He said divorce is sabotaging the traditional sense of an extended family by creating too many "parents," such as stepmothers and stepfathers.

In fact, the majority of children today "who feel like they are orphans are not children without parents, but children who have too many parents," he said.

This situation of a child caught between the different expectations and mixed messages of too many stepparents "cannot help but create inner conflicts and confusion" within the child, he said.

The church must reach out to families and help them base their union on a solid Christian foundation and help them resist becoming "deceived and seduced by certain relativistic lifestyles promoted by films, television and other media outlets," he said.

Pope Benedict also warned the bishops of the "irregular and dangerous situation" of divorced and remarried Catholics. Only the first marriage exists, he said, "there is no husband and wife in a second marriage," rather they are a man and woman living in adultery.

Remarried couples must resolve their situation by seeking the help of a priest who can help all the people involved, he added.

The bishops were meeting with Pope Benedict and Vatican officials for their "ad limina" visits, required of heads of dioceses to brief the pope on the situation in their home territories.

13 comments:

The Cellarer said...

In education I have seen many problem teenagers and a common theme is the lack of involvement of the father in the life of the child. On the rare occasion I express such sentiments I always state first (as it's such an un P.C. thing to say and you usually get attacked) many single parents do an excellent job and there are two parent tearaways out there but the reality in my experience is that above is very common and needs to be considered sensibly and not simply dismissed as it's not P.C. or the argument is ' prejudiced'

I just read last week
Role of a Christian Father, The
Chappell, Keith

http://www.cts-online.org.uk/acatalog/info_PA11.html

It's very good, not preachy and actually a large amount of it would apply to mothers as well

Kate said...

Hope Terry Prendergast of Catholic Marriage Care, is listening.

Michael Petek said...

Earlier this year a survey of young people in Luton asked them the question: "What would you do if you ruled the world?"

The top answer was: "Ban divorce."

An article in the Sunday Telegraph a while ago observed that a particularly strong predictor of criminality in a youth is the fact of having been raised by the mother alone.

The strongest predictor of all is the fact of having a father who is himself a criminal.

Erin said...

"Pope Benedict also warned the bishops of the "irregular and dangerous situation" of divorced and remarried Catholics. Only the first marriage exists, he said, "there is no husband and wife in a second marriage," rather they are a man and woman living in adultery."

Amen, this is correct, why aren’t people being warned that only the first marriage exists in the eyes of God? Christians are being lied to who are in second marriages where the first spouse still lives. They have no idea Jesus has said remarriage is adultery against the first spouse because the divorce did not dissolve the original marriage.

God’s word says this...
"A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives."
1 Corinthians 7:39

This is why remarriage is adultery...because a wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.

In a second marriage they are living in adultery and this is a dangerous situation because 1 Corinthians 6:9 says that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Why is something that God hates so prevalent in our times today?
It is because people today do not know what the Bible says about marriage, divorce and remarriage.

"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery."
---Jesus Christ

Because remarrying after a divorce constitutes adultery, we must ask ourselves who are we committing adultery against if we are no longer married? If a divorce makes us single why are we committing adultery AFTER a divorce and if we have no spouse AFTER a divorce then who are we committing adultery against?

The answer would have to be that it is against the one from whom we are divorced. This would mean that a divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond if we can still commit adultery AFTER the court proclaims that they have dissolved our marriage.

If divorce truly ended marriage, it would be impossible to commit adultery AFTER divorcing. The fact that Jesus Himself says that the adultery kicks in AFTER a divorce must mean that divorce is powerless to actually end the marriage covenant that God has said is for life.

"A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives."
1 Corinthians 7:39

Many, many people today are deceived.

If a divorce makes us single, why are we then committing adultery while on a honeymoon with a new partner AFTER a divorce? People don’t get it, the divorce didn’t work...Jesus said so.

The court may declare someone’s marriage dissolved but Jesus does not agree with the court...Luke16:18

http://www.cadz.net/remarriage.html
http://www.marriagedivorce.com/mdreform2.htm

Michael Petek said...

Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk, KG, Privy Councillor (11 January 1655 – 2 April 1701), married Mary Mordaunt, the only daughter and heiress of the 2nd Earl of Peterborough. They divorced in 1700 and he died without children. Unless anyone else knows differently, this was the first time in the history of our country that an Act of Parliament (given Royal Assent by William of Orange) had been used to effect a civil divorce.

He served as a Privy Councillor under William III and Mary II in 1689. At first, as a Roman Catholic, he refused to take the oath necessary to sit in the House of Lords but after a few months he subscribed to the oath.

gemoftheocean said...

The worst thing a woman can do to her children is shack up with a man not their father. Violent incidences against both the woman and her children a much higher than having a husband who is biologically related to her children.

Frankly, the "do-gooder" well meaning types had a huge hand in this too. When government started giving single women with children more bennies than a married woman got, they made the men feel unneeded. The pill and aboriton on demand didn't do women any favors either -- a guy can just up and leaves without taking responsibility. Too many men think responsibility means offering to pay for 1/2 of an abortion.

Norah said...

Erin, if the Church grants an annulment both parties are free to re marry in the Church.

If a marriage ends in civil divorce and both or either party lives a chaste life according to their situation in life i.e. as single people, they may participate in all of the sacraments of the Church.

epsilon said...

As Norah said...

"If a marriage ends in civil divorce and both or either party lives a chaste life... they may participate in all of the sacraments of the Church."

Also, people need to understand that though parents may be divorced this does not mean that the children are deprived of input from their other parent.

Of course, the Church is right to do everything it can to protect marriage and it must not allow re-marriage while the first spouse is alive.

Maybe when couples are preparing for marriage, they should be required to sign a document stating they are aware that if either of them leaves their spouse, a catholic(s) will not be allowed to re-marry in the church unless the other dies. Likewise, they will not be in a position to partake of the sacraments if they are not celibate outside of that first marriage.

As far as I know, it is not a sin to leave your spouse if you perceive yourself or your children to be in any danger.

We are all part of the craziness going on in this world and there is no use in pointing fingers at the wrongdoers - we must find (little) ways of getting our own lives in line with the ten commandments and pray for those around us who are still astray.

Simon Platt said...

epsilon suggests:

"Maybe when couples are preparing for marriage, they should be required to sign a document stating they are aware that if either of them leaves their spouse, a catholic(s) will not be allowed to re-marry in the church unless the other dies."

...but I wonder whether this, like a pre-nuptial agreement, would be sufficient to invalidate the marriage?

epsilon said...

Simon Platt - I don't understand your question! I'm not suggesting anything should be invalidated. I'm just suggesting people should be made aware (and asked to acknowledge this) BEFORE they get married.

Crux Fidelis said...

Fr Ray: How is it possible for a non-Catholic, who has previously been married, to be married to a Catholic in a Catholic church according to the rites of the church?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Without going through a process of annullment it is not possible unless the priest is
a: lazy
b: ignorant
c: diobedient
I suppose could be duped.


However, if the previous marriage had been to a Catholic and taken place without the Rites of the (Catholic) Church that is a pretty speedy process, generally.

Crux Fidelis said...

Thanks. I hadn't considered your final scenario.