A Massive Failure to Teach Catholic Truth

July-August 2006

In the fall of 2005, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research did a survey of 1,130 adult Americans regarding marriage and family (as reported in The CARA Report of Georgetown University, Winter 2006).

Some of the statements made to those surveyed were:

(1)  "Divorce is a sin." Among Traditional Catholics, only 30 percent agreed that divorce is a sin. Among Liberal Catholics it was a mere 18 percent. Among Atheist/Agnostic/No Preference it was 8 percent. But in the Catechism, divorce is considered a sin: "Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law…. Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society" (#2384-2385).

(2)  "It is all right for a couple to live together without intending to get married." Among Traditional Catholics, 38 percent agreed. Among Liberal Catholics it was 72 percent. Among Atheist/Agnostic/No Preference it was 78 percent. You will notice how similar Liberal Catholics are to Atheist/Agnostic/No Preference.


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New Oxford Notes: July-August 2006

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I BELONG TO A RATHER CONSERTAVIE PARISH BUT,ALAS,I NEVER HEAR ABOUT THE SINS OF ADULTARY,OR HOMSEXUALITY OR (MOST IMPORT TO ME AS A PARENT OF A TEEN AGE GIRL WITH A YOUNGER SISTER)THE SIN OF PREMARTIAL SEX.WE DO NOT SPEAK OF THE DEVIL OR EVIL IN THE WORLD,NOR DO WE RING THE ALTER BELLS ANYMORE.THIS VERY SLOW DEGRADING OF OUR ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IS VERY SAD AND I WISH IT COULD BE REVERSED BEFORE IT IS TO LATE.JOE FROM QUEENS NYC. Posted by: joe sweeney
July 24, 2006 08:40 PM EDT
So, if my wife left me for some damn fool reason and filed for divorce, and I participated only inasmuch as I hired an attorney to settle my end of affairs, and agree on child support and custody (and remember, this was not my idea)... did I commit a sin? Posted by: manwithblackhat
August 08, 2006 09:18 AM EDT
manwithblackhat: of course, the answer to your question is an emphatic no! You would then be a victim of divorce. Likewise, if a woman gets raped in a back alley, she (of course) is not guilty of sexual sin; she is its victim. Posted by: nortemp
August 08, 2006 11:43 AM EDT
nortemp: You know that, and I know that, but the average Joe reading that "divorce is a sin" doesn't know that, even with the caveats you mention. I'm afraid that's a problem I have with the wording of the text. Posted by: manwithblackhat
August 08, 2006 12:08 PM EDT
To clarify, if you were to re-marry after the divorce it would be the sin of adultery. You are still married in the eyes of God, unless a declaration of nullity is made by the Church. Posted by: mightyduk
August 08, 2006 12:13 PM EDT
Thanks, I didn't miss that catechism lesson. The lack of clarity is in the matter of Church teaching about divorce itself. Divorce, by definition, involves the cooperation of two parties, including the reluctant one. I hired a lawyer, I negotiated for common property and child custody, I signed the papers when served with them. The biggest difference between me and the other party is that it wasn't my idea. Now, with any other moral offense, that would be sufficient to implicate me. My defense? I did not agree with the decision. Posted by: manwithblackhat
August 08, 2006 08:29 PM EDT
The comments above all have an issue with (1) "Divorce is a sin." Divorce is a sin yes. However, you are not allowed to petition for an annulment until you have been granted a civil divorce. Whether you are divorced or never married occurs in another year or more in the realm of paperwork. Responsibility, willing to be at cause in the matter, suggests the sin is available always regardless of the annulment decision. This only demonstrates we are all sinners deserving of eternal death. The attitude worthy of Godís infinite mercy is the key. Posted by: mykleone
August 17, 2006 08:42 PM EDT
Divorce and remarriage is a mortal sin. If a civil divorce is filed and accepted, the "catholic" party is still considered married and can no longer marry. He or she must still live a life of a married person. No dating et. al. Moreover, this is an issue which receives little to no coverage from the pulpit, even from traditional catholic circles like the SSPX.

I would expect the Novus Ordo church to ever speak out against this since they may loose 40% of their, unbelieveing congregation and donations. Follow the money.
Posted by: wfrancis
August 18, 2006 04:43 PM EDT
To 'wfrancis': There is no such thing as "the Novus Ordo church." If there were such a thing, then you would essentially be claiming that your precious SSPX is schismatic. Follow the terminology. Posted by: nortemp
August 22, 2006 07:34 AM EDT
Why do we make some sort of assumption that an easy annulment is available? Is that how it's always been? Let's read the beautiful words of Leo XIII (Arcanum), he recognizes the need, at times for separation, but clearly excludes the likelihood of annulment:

"41. In the great confusion of opinions, however, which day by day is spreading more and more widely, it should further be known that no power can dissolve the bond of Christian marriage whenever this has been ratified and consummated; and that, of a consequence, those husbands and wives are guilty of a manifest crime who plan, for whatever reason, to be united in a second marriage before the first one has been ended by death. When, indeed, matters have come to such a pitch that it seems impossible for them to live together any longer, then the Church allows them to live apart, and strives at the same time to soften the evils of this separation by such remedies and helps as are suited to their condition; yet she never ceases to endeavor to bring about a reconciliation, and never despairs of doing so. But these are extreme cases; and they would seldom exist if men and women entered into the married state with proper dispositions, not influenced by passion, but entertaining right ideas of the duties of marriage and of its noble purpose; neither would they anticipate their marriage by a series of sins drawing down upon them the wrath of God."

Also, there is no Church requirement for civil divorce before annulment. That's a made up thing that most diocese have. It's part of the process of making annulment into Catholic divorce.
Posted by: mightyduk
August 24, 2006 08:34 AM EDT
"Also, there is no Church requirement for civil divorce before annulment. That's a made up thing that most diocese have. It's part of the process of making annulment into Catholic divorce."

I think it's a little more widespread than just diocesan discretion. The rest of the comment is, well, unsubstantiated. In any case, it wasn't always that way. In the old canons, a couple had to have the approval of the local bishop to separate, and only after a declaration of nullity was granted could divorce proceedings begin. I believe the present practice was borne out of a necessity to settle matters of property, child custody and support, and to affirm that there was no possibility of a reconciliation.

In any case, I'd love to know where people get the idea that anything that takes six to eighteen months to obtain could ever be considered "automatic." Or explain, in the case of annulments, how many is too many.

But first, they'd need to read this:

The X Factor
Posted by: manwithblackhat
August 24, 2006 09:30 AM EDT
I wrote "the rest of the comment." What I meant was "the rest of the quote." Ooops. Posted by: manwithblackhat
August 24, 2006 10:18 AM EDT
I belong to Saint Peter's in Monticello, NY, a somewhat conservative parish, yet I've yet to hear eith of our esteemed curates preach on the sins of homosexuality, divorce, sodomy, etc. It's sad. And yes, this is one of those parishes that cut's short St Paul's letter on the relationship between women and men (women be submissive.) Posted by: gespin3549
September 06, 2006 07:28 AM EDT
man with black hat: Ephesians Five

"The message is not about just men, or just women, but about a community of love, one inspired by God's love for His people, Christ's love for His Church, and a man's love for his wife. After all, one of the many gifts of Christendom is the protocol of a man giving up his place in the lifeboat for women and children."
Posted by: manwithblackhat
September 21, 2006 04:33 PM EDT
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