My second query, followed by Cardinal Burke's reply:
Is it acceptable for a couple not validly married and with offspring for whom they are responsible to argue that, for the good of that offspring, they may lawfully continue to live as husband and wife because it may prudently be foreseen that their relationship, if not sustained by adulterous intimacies, would fail to survive?
A couple who are living in an irregular matrimonial union may argue that they must continue to live under the same roof for the sake of their offspring, but they must live without recourse to adulterous acts, that is, they must live as brother and sister. In other words, the need to live under the same roof for the sake of children or elderly grandparents is not an argument which justifies acts of adultery. Both reason and faith tell us that adulterous acts can never be justified, can never serve the good of either the parties or of their children.
28 December 2016
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I am an abandoned spouse, husband and father who barely practices Catholicism any longer over the issues related to my abandonment, my wife's long time continuous adultery, the Catholic annulment process and the Catholic pastoral practices which are focused on finding nullity, not healing wounded marriages.
I have been scandalized by the "brother and sister" accomodation, since I learned of it in the aftermath of my wife's abandonment and her adulterous civil marriage, with the two children conceived in her adultery.
I want to know, in exact detail with clear references and unchallengeable rational logic, how living as "brother and sister", is ever an "objective good", while there is a living valid/sacramental spouse?
This accomodation negates and does scandalous damages to ALL the other obligations involved in marriage, simply on the condition of having no intercourse.
If this accomodation is an objective good, then I see no sense in marriage in the first place.
This accomodation cannot be neutral, it must be objectively good or objectively evil, period.
For me, unless my mind is changed(which I doubt) and the Catholic Church radically does an about face regarding marriage and declares the "brother and sister" accomodation as heresy(by an official act), I hope to have the courage and faith in my own better judgment, to die while positively rejecting Jesus Christ.
I mean this seriously and not to merely be argumentative. My life has been destroyed and my faith has been destroyed as, for the past 27 years, I have seen, first hand, the Catholic Church openly accept and encourage my wife in her public and permanent adultery, while accepting my wife and her lover as the parents of OUR FIVE CHILDREN and as a married couple, while for the whole time ignoring my pleas for help, even as I successfuly defended our marriage against two separate nullity investigation(20 years apart) and have remained faithful to our vows.
I would ask you to forward this post to each of the 4 Cardinals involved with the dubia, if you would be so kind and are able to, but especially to Cardinal Burke and to Jorge Bergoglio as well.
I want answers. I am completely serious.
What strikes me about this entire discussion is the fact that many will STILL be and likely are already scandalized by the two receiving communion EVEN IF THEY ARE LIVING AS BROTHER AND SISTER for they are still living together and in the eyes of the world, living together as husband and wife. How does this allowance reconcile with past teaching and approvals?
We can say that such an allowance constitutes an act of mercy but is it merciful for those who are scandalized by it, those who see the couple w/ or even without family and living publicly as husband and wife? It begs...like other things...to be called "more Catholic hypocrisy", making up phony rules that nobody abides by all just for show.
As I understand it, the original "allowance" stipulated private communion, not public communion where such a morally confusing thing could occur. Yet in discussions of the topic I rarely hear that mentioned anymore. If private communion is dispensed with then the impact on the faithful will STILL be negative and serious.
But alas, no one seems to care about the new rules for divorce, either. Rules that would make me and my wife, arguably in possession of a wonderful marriage by any measure, able to split should we desire, for the new rules in my opinion manifestly create in effect a form of "Catholic Divorce" first by dumbing down those rules and secondly by sticking the whole issue in front of Catholic bishops, a breed I have, alas, lost most all my respect for.
Is ANYTHING "black and white" in the Catholic Church anymore?
Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that 'adultery' is committed when one is married to someone other that the current sexual partner. Those not thus inhibited commit 'fornication'. Would this change things?
"Both reason and faith tell us that adulterous acts ...can never serve the good of....their children."
This is just such common sense that I don't know why people find it so difficult to understand.
One of the main arguments for "changing the discipline" of the Church has been "for the sake of the children", where the adulterous couple express the intention of raising any offspring in the Faith. However, how can it seriously be claimed that a couple living in an adulterous relationship could raise their children in the Faith in the first place? How can they in any seriousness teach their children God's Commandments when the children know that their parents are living in flagrant violation of those Commandments? How can they avoid giving scandal to their own children? How can they avoid teaching their children that violating the 6th Commandment is acceptable, and if the 6th, then why not the rest?
Children of people living in such relationships would find it very difficult to learn the Faith at all. If they did perchance come to the fullness of the Faith, it would be in spite of their parents - not because of them.
I, sincerely, thank you for posting this.
Fornication is included under adultery if one thinks about the commandment, and it's adultery against Christ the bridegroom.
The series is of replies from His Eminence, Cardinal Burke.
I too was an abandoned spouse, Karl. My situation was rather clear-cut, as it had been obvious for quite some time that my husband was not faithful and never had an intention to be so. The Church did grant nullity and I have since married a good faithful Catholic who bravely took us into his home. But the children have fared terribly because of the breakup and their father has done all he can to destroy their faith in God. I won't mince words and say this isn't a mess of horrific proportions--it is, and some influential Catholics, including priests, have hindered our efforts. I have begged God to forgive my own sins in this mess and offered to Him my sufferings for their restoration. Believe me, it hasn't been--I'm a complete wimp in these matters. But after 20 years, I'm beginning to see the dawn, and as time passes I am more and more convinced we're going to win. (Now, if only their father will convert...) May God bless you, Karl. My best advice is to put your trust in Jesus, and to stay far away from those who lie--they will only cause you more pain.
I agree with Karl.
I don't see how "living as brother and sister" in a new union can be a legitimate option for someone who has abandoned a spouse.
When Karl married, he acquired certain rights. One of those rights is the right to a conjugal relationship with his spouse.
How can he satisfy those rights when his wife is living with another man, even if they were living "in continence"?
St. Paul addresses this issue and refers to "defrauding" a spouse.
Doesn't Karl have conjugal rights here?
Karl J - I am also scandalised by your situation, I'm very sorry to hear it. I agree with you. In the case where you already had children with your wife then how can her subsequent co-habitation be necessitated by her subsequent children's need to be with their father? That co-habitation violates your children's rights to be with their father.
Perhaps we could remove a complicating factor - the adulterous relationship - and consider what is the church teaching on admitting to communion someone who has abandoned their spouse. Can anyone point to an authoritative answer?
When I was 5 my mother who was already a divorcee, took a job in a small town to support the 2 of us. Her boss an older man showed an "interest" in her. Both had been married in the Church but civilly divorced. I recall the demure civil marriage that followed to make the situation "respectable". They had three children. We attended Mass weekly and appearances were maintained. Back in 1966 the parish priest who was very much a Vatican II liberal suggested they both receive communion. My mother declined. I want to make the following points. Those that marry civilly don't really value their religion. It's just expediency which the government has induced by legislating a generic called civil marriage. The Church is correct in stipulating those living in adultery not receive Holy Communion as they are living in sin and not wanting to make moral choices. The only option is to live together without sexual relations. That is the issue. People often place sex above principles or truth. They and their children suffer through twisting of conscience, pride, bad example, marriage dysfunction and a lack of genuine love.
My step father beat us, hit us while sleeping, punched and hit my mother. I had to endure a stranger in my mothers bed. He sexually abused her. My point frequently second unions of divorcees are dysfunctional because they are damaged by abandoning spouses or failing and are unfit. As for the point of staying together in an adulterous but legal union for the Children. No child respects parents have no moral sense, self possession, conceiving them because they had no self control and wanted sex. Having no principles is pathetic. I wanted my mother to leave this man and so did my half brothers and sisters. Now 50 years later the damage and harm these two dysfunctional parents have perpetuated is enormous. Now both divorced and my step father remarried in the Greek Church they are an example of two people who were cowards, did great damage to each other, others and we their children are trying to correct the damage in our own lives and families. The Catholic Church was the only brave part of our lives that did not buckle to suit expediency. Here we are in this new Vatican II Church and Francis and Kaspar are so corrupted by expediency they deceive those stuck in adulterous second unions. A lie that told with good intend beats all the lies you can invent!
"One of the main arguments for 'changing the discipline' of the Church has been 'for the sake of the children'"
"For the sake of the children" is a favorite slogan of politicians to justify whatever they want to do. Prelate/politicians use "for the sake of the children" in the same way.
Karl, my I humbly suggest the following: Go to a Catholic Church. Sit in front of the crucifix and study our Lord's body nailed to the cross. Start with His head, bleeding from a crown of thorns made and placed by men who relished in placing it there, making fun of Him, spitting in his face, hitting him with a reed. Look then to his arms, stretched out on both sides, pulled from the sockets of His shoulders, nails through his hands, placed by men just doing their job. Go then to His feet, and look at the blood dripping from the wounds of the nail driven through them, with a hammer, by a man who didn't know Him and didn't care to know him. Then look up to His right side, pierced by lance, by a man who wanted to make sure that our Christ was indeed dead. Our Lord, yours and mine, was scourged, beaten, berated, humiliated, and then nailed to a cross until he died for actions which He never did or took part in. Like you, He was abandoned by his closest friends and ridiculed by others who should have supported Him in His defense. After you have carefully studied our Lord on the cross, take your frustrations and hate from the situation you have been in for the past many years, a situation that you did not choose, a situation that you have wrongly been placed in, lay them, all of them, at the foot of Christ's cross. Then, immediately, find a priest at the Church you are in, ask him to hear your confession and let him, as the ear of God, relieve you of all these burdens you have carried for all these years. Let him give you peace of mind and soul. And when you have done that, Karl, do what our Lord asks us all to do: Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him. I will pray for you everyday Karl. By name you will be in my daily rosary. God Bless you, Karl, and keep you.
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