Divorce and Remarriage

Discussion in 'Family, Relationships, and Single Life' started by bwallac2335, May 16, 2019.

  1. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

    Posts:
    81
    Likes Received:
    116
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    "Progressive Revelation" or something like that? For the most part that's uniquely a Roman perspective. Anglicans and other Protestants believe that we can't improve upon the knowledge and doctrine of the Apostles and the Early Church. Canons and disciplinary rules can change with culture and need, but theological and doctrinal truths cannot.
     
    Liturgyworks likes this.
  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    Canon 8

    Concerning those who call themselves Cathari, if they come over to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the great and holy Synod decrees that they who are ordained shall continue as they are in the clergy. But it is before all things necessary that they should profess in writing that they will observe and follow the dogmas of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; in particular that they will communicate with persons who have been twice married, and with those who having lapsed in persecution have had a period [of penance] laid upon them, and a time [of restoration] fixed so that in all things they will follow the dogmas of the Catholic Church. Wheresoever, then, whether in villages or in cities, all of the ordained are found to be of these only, let them remain in the clergy, and in the same rank in which they are found. But if they come over where there is a bishop or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is manifest that the Bishop of the Church must have the bishop’s dignity; and he who was named bishop by those who are called Cathari shall have the rank of presbyter, unless it shall seem fit to the Bishop to admit him to partake in the honour of the title. Or, if this should not be satisfactory, then shall the bishop provide for him a place as Chorepiscopus, or presbyter, in order that he may be evidently seen to be of the clergy, and that there may not be two bishops in the city.

    This is from the Council of Nicea. It appears that the early church did tolerate divorce and remarriage.
     
    Brigid likes this.
  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    870
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    I am not an expert here by any means, but weren't the Cathars the folks in the middle ages? The Council of Nicea (if we mean the first one) was around the 300s AD, right?
     
  4. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    That was a name for the Novations
     
    Liturgyworks likes this.
  5. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

    Posts:
    247
    Likes Received:
    147
    Country:
    US
    Religion:
    Orthodox Christian
    The Orthodox also reject it.

    Indeed so. In my church the main limitation is the divorce must be canonical, and some jurisdictions like ROCOR have a fearsome ecclesiastical tribunal which will apply severe penances to whichever party caused the marriage to fail. A second marriage and a third marriage are penitential and extremely penitential services, respectively, and a fourth marriage is uncanonical. Lastly, a subdeacon, deacon or priest must only be married once, at least since baptism or reception, before his ordination; he may not marry or remarry after ordination without resigning. A bishop can theoretically be married but it is exceedingly uncommon; bishops are almost invariably former archimandrites (hegumen heiromonks) with extensive parish service.

    This is admittedly more severe than Anglicanism today, but less severe than Anglicanism in the early 20th century, when divorced and remarried couples in London had to be remarried in the Savoy Chapel, a Royal Peculiar, as none of the diocesan parishes would perform such a marriage. And as for the King or Princess Margaret and the RAF Captain, forget about it.

    I think the current restrictions of ACNA and the conservative Anglican churches are adequete myself.
     
  6. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist

    What kind of penances and how do they decide guilt?
     
    Liturgyworks likes this.
  7. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

    Posts:
    247
    Likes Received:
    147
    Country:
    US
    Religion:
    Orthodox Christian
    The old Canons of John the Faster specified ten years abstinence from the Eucharist for adutery, but no Orthodox priest would impose this. More likely a few months excommunication (abstention from the chalice), a lenten period of abstinence from certain foods, a certain number of prayers and prostrations to be performed daily, and so on. In the Orthodox Church all excommunications are temporary and anathemas are reversible through recantation and repentance.

    It is forbidden in the Orthodox Church for a priest to strike or by extension order the striking of a layman or, by implication, impose physical pain, in order to inspire repentance or otherwise, under pain of being defrocked. In like manner, no one who is ill can be required to fast. And anyone at risk of dearh is visited and given the Eucharist from the reserved sacrament, even murderers, who are excommunicated until the point of death under the old canons, or sodomites (hererosexual or homosexual), who faced 30 years or so of excommunication.

    The ecclesiastical court consists of three to five priests, and one can appeal to the bishop or to the Ecumenical Patriarch under Canon 28 of Chalcedon.

    None of this would likely occur with conwertsy; cradle Orthodox are expected to behave in an exemplary way but Western converts to ROCOR are treated rather deferentially.

    That said, if you plan on having an affair and divorcing your spouse, you should leave ROCOR for the OCA or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. :policeus:

    You see, some jurisdictions are strict, like the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and others are quite laid back. And even ROCOR has bark but not real bite. There are some parishes in some churches who will probably give you a fourth marriage using casuistry.

    Also, lest we forget, until very recently the Anglicans were much stricter. No canonical divorce; remarriage only in the case of widowhood.
     
  8. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    I like the idea of a stricter divorce and remarriage court though. It is a big deal and should not be done lightly
     
    Shane R and Liturgyworks like this.
  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    How do they deal with people who were married divorced and remarried but not orthodox at the time?
     
    Liturgyworks likes this.
  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

    Posts:
    247
    Likes Received:
    147
    Country:
    US
    Religion:
    Orthodox Christian
    That depends but generally it is disregarded. Also the ancient canons of the early church, the Apostolic Canons, for a time allowed a Jew, Samaritan or Pagan with multiple wives to be received married to them, but my understanding is this canon is either a dead letter law or was overrided by a later canon, as my understanding is that this is not done in Africa. But perhaps it could be accomodated. I have seen several traditional Episcopalians freaking out at the idea of polygamy; while is is true that the Church has never suffered a polygamist wedding, we did receive polygamists for reasons of pastoral economy (Google oikonomia ), and furthermore Martin Luther rather insolently dared to speculate that polygamy was theoretically permissible for the Christians; my response to that, like several of his comments, equals his own vulgarity as evinced by the web app “Get Insulted by Martin Luther” and thus shall not be disclosed in order to maintain the propriety and decency one rather ought to expect on a traditional Anglican forum. :buba:
     
  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

    Posts:
    247
    Likes Received:
    147
    Country:
    US
    Religion:
    Orthodox Christian
    Well, ROCOR has one. I suppose the Old Calendarists are even stricter. People like the GOC, GOC-K, ROCA, HOCNA, and so on. See orthodoxinfo.com for the Old Calendarist perspective, but I daresay much of what they write might well offend you, and that website does not represent the view of any canonical Orthodox Church, but rather only of the Old Calendarists, who I regard as extremist schismatics. For example, to some od those people, I am a heretic just for liking the Anglican church and talking to you all or attending Orthodox church services on the Revised Julian Calendar, and my view that the EO/OO schism is invalid would make me a monofeezite ecumenist heretic in their eyes. A lot of converts who have issues with what we might call religiosity are drawn to Old Calendarism. Although some information on that site, for example St. John Maximovitch (who was canonical) on our Protestant loved ones or St. John of Damascus on Islam, is useful.

    But the best Anglican analogy is that those people are the Orthodox equivalent of Puritans in the Church of England before most of them became non-confirmists or Unitarians around 1780. (it amuses me how of the Puritarian congregations in New England, only one, Park Street Church in Boston, is still a conservative Congregational church preaching the Gospel, a member of the CCCC, and the rest are all, at best, members of the UCC, which makes the Episcopalians look conservative; their parish was next to the Episocpal parish I attended, and my conservative vicar would look over the fence that divided us with a mix of horror and contempt), and the rest, including a majority in Boston and also the oldest, the Old Ship Church in Providence, became Unitarian. Just a generation from Cotton Mather, a century from Increase Mather and the Salem Witch Hunts, and 150 years or so from the arrival of John Mather. Ergo, an unstable religioisity, which is always a warning sign. Fanatical converts and people who are extremely scrupulous are exhibiting to the church warning signs that they have not actually fully received the Spirit, and the Pastoral care of such persons is the imperative of the vicar who is concerned with the cure of souls. Apatheia, quiescence, sacred silence, the peace that passes all understanding, these people have not yet experienced.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  12. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

    Posts:
    247
    Likes Received:
    147
    Country:
    US
    Religion:
    Orthodox Christian
    By the way I have to confess a strong sense of kinship to you, since you are a Methodist with a knowledge of Patristics on a par with my own, and it is a pleasure conversing with you. :cheers: (cream soda, since we are of former or current Methodism and alcohol does not agree with us)
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Oh c'mon, at least make it a root beer! :cheers: :D
     
  14. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    We could even make it a real beer. History is my thing so I love it and have lately been reading a lot of church history.
     
  15. PDL

    PDL Member Anglican

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    77
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I note it says you are a Methodist. Are you asking about the Anglican position out of general interest or because you are in a relationship with someone who may wish to marry in the Anglican church? Of course, these may be private matters to you and there is no obligation for you to answer. However, I am not sure why Anglican doctrine matters to a Methodist.

    The practical answer is it depends. At one time the Anglican church would have quite correctly said no re-marriage after divorce is not permitted. Nowadays infected with liberalism and afraid to stand up for orthodox belief in the face of modern societal behaviours the Anglican church makes a complete hash of this matter. In the Church of England (CofE), to which I belong, they fudge the issue. In effect each CofE incumbent is legally a registrar of marriage. So while the CofE pays lipservice to marriage being for life they allow individual incumbents to make their own decisions. many of them also fudge the issue. The parish where we go is Anglo-Catholic and the rector chooses not to provide the service of Holy Matrimony to any person who is divorced and whose spouse is still alive. So far so good. But, he will give divorced couples who re-marry in a civil ceremony a blessing. So he is saying I cannot marry you because you are still bound to your former spouse because civil divorce cannot undo the vows you made before God but I will bless this irregular relationship.

    I do not know the official positions of the Anglican churches in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. But, I can take a very well educated guess. They will all permit people who have divorced to re-marry in the church. I am not sure of the position in some of the more conservative parts of the Anglican Communion.

    I believe if you are going to make a vow before God that you should keep that vow for as long as it binds you. When you marry someone your vow before God is that you marry that person for the rest of your life. Now I know relationships can break down. Nevertheless, today, it seems to me people are too quick to throw away their relationship rather than work at it and attempt to overcome difficulties. But, sometimes the relationship can break down so badly that it is better for the spouses, and any children, for them to separate. Seeking appropriate allocation of joint assets, the provision of maintenance, the care and custody of children, etc. are all important things and these can be dealt with by divorce. However, that only settles those matters. It does not dissolve the marital bond between the couple made when they made their vows. I, believe, therefore, very firmly, that after divorce re-marriage is not possible. (I know it happens but I mean it should not be possible because of the vow made.)
     
  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Then you might really enjoy reading "A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity" by Nick Page. Entertaining, informative and amusing.
     
  17. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    Thanks I am going to add it to my amazon wish list
     
  18. Brigid

    Brigid Member

    Posts:
    70
    Likes Received:
    33
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    High LCMS/High Anglican
    I will add it, too. I love history and I also love finding out about the Church.
     

Share This Page