Saturday, April 8, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 269.
(Youcat answer) The Church has great respect for the ability of a person to keep a promise and to bind himself in lifelong fidelity. She takes people at their word. Every marriage can be endangered by crises. Talking things over together, prayer (together), and often therapeutic counseling as well can open up ways out of the crisis. Above all, remembering that in a sacramental marriage there is always a third party to the bond—Christ—can kindle hope again and again. Someone for whom marriage has become unbearable, however, or who may even be exposed to spiritual or physical violence, may divorce. This is called a “separation from bed and board”, about which the Church must be notified. In these cases, even though the common life is broken off, the marriage remains valid.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1629) For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed (Cf. CIC, cann. 1095-1107). In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged (Cf. CIC, can. 1071).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) Indeed, there are also cases in which the crisis in a marriage ultimately goes back to the fact that one spouse or both was not eligible at the time of the wedding or did not fully consent to the marriage. Then the marriage is invalid in the canonical (legal) sense. In such cases an annulment procedure can be introduced at the diocesan tribunal.
(CCC 1649) Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons. In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. The spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation. The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble (Cf. FC 83; CIC, cann. 1151-1155).