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Pope Takes New Stance on Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_st-peters-basilica.jpgThe Catholic Church has historically been a strong opponent of divorce. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, divorce, no matter the cause, is to be avoided if at all possible. Those in a new relationship after divorce are also thought by the Church to be committing adultery. A recent new opinion from the leader of the Catholic Church himself, Pope Francis, shows an interesting shift in the views of the Catholic Church. For the first time in history, Pope Francis has declared that divorce can be considered a “lesser evil” in cases where getting a divorce is “morally necessary.”

The Catholic Church has always considered marriage a permanent union. Catholics believe that, in the eyes of God, a couple getting married forms an unbreakable bond. For this reason, civil divorces are not considered valid by the Church. Divorcees are not able to receive Holy Communion, though the church does make exceptions for those who have had their marriages annulled and those who have not been remarried. While divorcees are still allowed to be a part of the Catholic Church, they are often left with feelings of guilt and exclusion. Any Catholic wishing to remarry in a Catholic church is forbidden unless their former spouse passed away, or they had their marriage annulled. The Catholic Church considers the idea of marriage permanence as universal.

The current Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is widely known for his work on building the inclusiveness and compassion of the Catholic Church, expressing more accepting attitudes towards homosexuality and birth control. This past month, Pope Francis revealed, during his Wednesday audience, that divorce can be “morally necessary” in cases that involve child or spousal abuse. This is a major win for those who have continued to push for a more inclusive church. To the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said “There are cases in which separation is inevitable. Sometimes it can be morally necessary, when it’s about shielding the weaker spouse or young children from the more serious wounds caused by intimidation and violence, humiliation and exploitation.” This apparent shift is especially important for those living in abusive relationships fearing the consequences in the eyes of God if they choose to leave.

While this stance by the Church’s leader is certainly a step towards more inclusivity in the church, it is unlikely that any changes to the Church’s written rules against divorce will occur. A working paper released recently from a Vatican meeting on topics to be covered at an upcoming gathering of bishops, known as a synod, shows that no changes would be made to the Church’s rules on divorce. The meeting, which is centered around the church’s stance on divorce and other family issues, will take place in October.

Catholic or not, considering a divorce can be confusing, frustrating, and emotionally draining. An experienced Naperville divorce attorney can help alleviate stress and provide peace of mind. Please contact the Pesce Law Group today at 630-352-2240 for more information.

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