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    • Deacon Ed Peitler

      “Divorce violates the Social Teaching of the Church. Laws that facilitate divorce are socially destructive. If that is true, then all the more may we say that concubinage and fornication violate the Social Teaching of the Church”
      The ‘Seamless Garment of Life’ crowd in the Church hate that abortion is considered first among the ‘social justice’ issues. Now what will they say when divorce and fornication must also be considered among those acts which violate social justice? Yikes!

    • Pingback: Leo XIII Decried the Pernicious Impact of Divorce | Crisis Magazine « News for Catholics

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Portalis, a Catholic who had suffered for his faith during the Revolution and one of the leading draftsmen of the Code of 1804, was ambivalent on the subject of divorce.

      He observed that “Christianity, which speaks only to the conscience and guides by grace the little number of the elect, forbids it. The Mosaic law, which was the civil law of the Jewish people, permitted it.”

      The reprobate, he once remarked, can only be restrained by force, “as God does the devil.”

    • Briana

      Your example of the Norman Rockwell painting reminded me of something that happened this past weekend. I’m 23, and one of my high school classmates got married this past weekend. I wasn’t invited to the ceremony since he and I were never that close, but it’s hard to describe how I felt seeing pictures of the bride and groom’s first dance at the wedding reception. Just looking at them and seeing how madly in love they were, there was that purity and innocence that you described about Norman Rockwell’s work, and yet there was maturity, too. It was the type of manhood and womanhood between the two of them that wasn’t spoiled by vice, or by being jaded or disillusioned or crude. It just was a beautiful thing to see. :)

      • Briana

        Oh..forgot to mention, if anyone wants to send up some prayers that their marriage is long, happy, and blessed, you are more than welcome to do so! :)

    • Pingback: Leo XIII Decried the Pernicious Impact of Divorce | Catholic Canada

    • Ford Oxaal

      Marriage requires two consenting adults — that’s the problem. Adulthood is in short supply in a society that worships ‘self’ and fixates on ‘sex’. When husband and wife start fighting, it sounds like spoiled teenagers. It would be great if the values of ‘self’ were really true, because the adolescent-like breakup of marriages would be laughable. Unfortunately, society is interconnected — a broken marriage sends waves upon waves of tragedy throughout the whole of society, sometimes over many generations. We can’t see the things that might have been — if we could, we would not behave so poorly. Yet, I see so much good in the younger generations — there is great hope for the future in spite of the past.

    • Pingback: St. Francis Xavier Pope Benedict XVI Joins Twitter @Pontifex | Big Pulpit

    • Mariana T

      Presently, the problem goes much deeper than divorce. It is not news that most couples who marry today are not virgins. Many even have other partners before their marital partner. The more serious problem that currently exists is that couples partake in “conjugal unity” before they recite their marital vow, thus, the marital vow has become an after thought, or simply a document necessary for appearance sake so the couple may begin the child bearing process. And many couples copulate in the very early stages of their relationships before they really know each other. Many young people today seek fulfillment in another person instead of truly finding out who they are personally. In other words, many do not even know themselves.

      Self-mastery, self-possession, and self-determination are essential qualities for man to be “the author of genuinely human activity,” as JP II says. One must first possess oneself before one is able to give oneself to another. In order to do so, one must first forge a relationship or partnership with God. Otherwise how can we form any authentic subsequent relationships? This is why divorce is such a problem today…not because couples are giving up, but because couples are not consulting God before they decide to bond. This is why there is a legitimate invalidity of marriage on a grand scale.

      • Guest

        The result being that man is only dividing what God never joined together in the first place.

      • Mariana T

        The result is that man winds up dividing what God never joined together in the first place. What needs to be restored today is for man to seek a personal relationship with his Holy Father so he may prayerfully discern God’s will in his choice for a lifetime partner. Only then will we have less marriages ending in divorce. The problem today with marriage is not the church’s leniency on divorce, it is our lack of faith, period.

    • Elise Ehrhard

      Mr. Esolen, you are brilliant. Your articles are always a joy to read.

    • J G

      As a canonist I always remind myself that one of our primary duties is to defend the sacrament of matrimony and not just grant annulments. Yes, annulments are granted. Yes, there are many invalid marriages out there. Yes, we need this kind of message sorely in our hedonistic culture. Why hasn’t Pope Leo been canonized?