By St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Mexia
It’s no secret that the institution of marriage is in a crisis. Divorce, spousal abandonment, trial marriages, co-habitation, abortion, out-of-wedlock children, civil unions, homosexual “marriage” - the problems are numerous.
The Catholic Church teaches that a valid, consummated marriage between two Christians cannot be dissolved by anything but death. Most other churches today look at divorce a merely an embarrassment and are willing to marry divorced people into second, third, and even more marriages regardless what Scripture teaches. As a result, if a person who has been married and obtains a civil divorce and then wishes to remarry, the Church must look at the first marriage and see if it was valid from the beginning. If it was valid, the person, or persons is not able to marry someone else. To attempt to do so will result in the person living in a state of ongoing adultery. Like anyone who engages in unrepented grave sin, those who engage in unrepented adultery has put their security for eternal life in jeopardy. There are possibilities for an annulment, though. An annulment is a declaration that a particular marriage, for one reason or another, was not valid from the beginning. Such declarations are issued by the Church authorities after the circumstances of a marriage has been thoroughly investigated and sufficient grounds for nullity has been discovered.
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