A few days ago, a comment was left here, and I promised to respond, but had not been able to do so until today.
I have to begin this with reminding everyone that I have been in divorce courts myself. I do not know if my visitor knew that or not when he left his comment.
So here is my response:
I have been praying about how to respond. There are several ways to go, as you have actually brought up many different topics unintentionally, I believe.
One, and most important, is your statement that you prefer the 'God of the New Testament" to the 'God of the Old Testament". There is a problem with your theology, as there is only One God, not two. The God of the NT IS the God of the OT, 'reformed conservative'. He does not change. He always was, always will be, and is today one and the same Triune God.
There is a section of Scripture that fits here very well. 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
2Tim.4:1-4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
So how to respond to the various topics that are contained in one comment...So, Jesus Himself spoke of the one wanting a divorce, the one that he/she divorces, the one that he/she marries after the divorce, AND the one who marries the person who was divorced. He did not make any exception.
I'll take it one at a time.
Your wife committed adultery. This resulted in her saying things that nearly every human being says to justify their sin, and divorce. There isn't a one of us who has been to the no fault, forced, unilateral divorce courts that has not heard exactly what she said to you at some point along the line. "I never loved you, I had doubts before I married you, I made a mistake', and on and on. The enemy has only so many lies.
However, Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of His day when they asked Him to clarify a question on divorce, and tried to trick Him. There were conflicting groups teaching different things about divorce even then. Jesus turned the tables on them.
Some groups today teach that 'porneia' means adultery, and give that as a justification for divorce and marrying someone else. But that isn't the meaning of the Greek word, and our Church has never taught that adultery sets you free of marital indissolubility.
Jesus is the One who has told us that man cannot separate One Flesh. No divorce court in the world has the power to do so. Your vows, as your wife's, were til death parted you. (NOT eternal... ).
Does God know what it is like to have His partner, His Bride turn to another? Yes, He does. Hosea is His teaching on that. Malachi gives His clear thinking on what HE thinks of divorce.
He hates it.
He does not change. He does not give into the whims of society and suddenly tell us that He was only kidding, or only speaking to people of a certain time, and now that we are so enlightened, He will give us different rules to follow.
Jesus makes it very clear about divorce and a subsequent second marriage. He speaks to each individual involved in four different places in the NEW Testament. This isn't 'the Church' speaking. It is Jesus Himself speaking, and no matter where you go, in your own protest, He also does not change.
Mal.2 And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand.
 You ask, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.  "For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless."
Matt.19  And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"
 He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,  and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."  They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"  He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery."
Mark.10 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"  They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away."  But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.'  `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,  and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." 
And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.
 And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her;  and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Matt.5  "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
 But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress ( 'causes her to commit adulteryis the wording in some versions--if she also marries someone else...); and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Luke.16  "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
1Cor.7  To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband
 (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) -- and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
 To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy.  But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.  Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
Verse 15 is often given as a statement that means you are free to remarry, but it does not say that. And Paul was also speaking of non-believers (unBaptized) not just anyone. The command from the Lord in verse 10-11 still stands.
There is an excellent diagram
to show this visually, but it does not go far enough.
This diagram takes the original married couple, and shows that they cannot be divided and be the same 'persons' that they were before marriage. They each take something of that other with them when they rip apart that One Being created on their wedding day (or try to).
This diagram shows one of those people ("Jill") marrying someone who was not married before (the whole body on "Dave"... but it could JUST as easily be to another divorced person who is NOT able to be illustrated with that whole body... say 'Tom"... OR, "Jack" could attempt to marry "Torie", never married before, or "Samantha", who had been.
Jesus touched on every single person in those different settings! Jesus said it was adultery. The Church only passes on what He taught.
It makes no difference if every other denomination/non-denomination says differently, or if every other person on the face of this earth says differently.
Jesus said it.
Jesus meant it.
Jesus does not change to suit today's easy divorce, and rampant sin.
So, where does that leave us?
If we separate, we are to aim for reconciliation.NULLITY/VALIDITY
There have always
been some marriages that are not marriages for various reasons.
We cannot marry a sibling.
We cannot marry a liar who tries to say that there was no previous marriage, only to find out later that there was.
We cannot be kidnapped and forced into marriage against our will.
Those are just a few examples.
Because of that, there has been a way for us to be free to marry in the Church by having a Tribunal examine the marriage and give a judgment about its validity. IF found to be NULL, then there was no marriage, and the person is free to marry in the Church (for the first time).
HOWEVER, all marriages are to be assumed to be VALID until proven not to be. A married person, going through a divorce is NOT free to date. They are not free to marry again, nor to be looking for a new spouse. They are not 'single again'. Man's divorce cannot change that fact.Divorce by itself does NOT mean that we cannot receive the Eucharist.
I can, if I am not in the state of sin.
But once we take that further step and marry again without knowing if we are really free to do so, we fit into one of the categories that JESUS says is adultery
. And that sin does
make us unable to receive the Eucharist just as much as any other Grave (Mortal) Sin does
. The problem comes in when one tries to 'confess' simply to be able to go to Communion the next day without being willing to change the situation that is the cause of that sin...
The US Tribunals have come up with 'a myriad of ways' to say that a first marriage was never a marriage. I personally would go to the Rota for the Second Instance, and any further appeals that could come. But many here in the US simply accept the word of the US Tribunals. That is the route that is in place for you and any other person in the Catholic Church to be in good standing, be able to marry and free to go to Communion IF NOT IN THE STATE OF SIN.
When one speaks to those who promote this route ('annulment' or 'Nullity'), one is told it is 'healing'. You say you are avoiding it because it would bring back the pain.
I have another thought. Fear
For there is ALWAYS the possibility that even here in the US, a Tribunal will rule that a first marriage of one of the partners is VALID...and what to do if that is yours
You also say that the Church should simply accept your word for it, and let you alone... not in so many words, but that is essentially what you are saying... however there are two problems with that.
, Jesus gave the keys to His Kingdom to Peter, and with those keys, He gave the authority to bind and to loose... he did not give them to us.Second
, your wedding was a public pronouncement of Vows til the death of one of you. Private thoughts/convictions cannot undo this fact. It is therefore, not something that can be taken care of 'privately' and the Church 'be damned'.That is why Internal Forum cannot be used other than for VERY rare exceptions. And they should be VERY RARE.
As for spending money on a petition for Nullity...it isn't very much at all, especially when one considers how much was probably spent on getting the Civil Divorce.
And since it is truly a matter of one's Eternity
, it is a 'drop in the bucket' to know where one really stands. There is also the matter of some people honestly not being able to afford it, and that is readily taken care of by showing that one CAN'T afford it. Each Diocese has ways around that.Unforgiveness
We are commanded by Him to forgive. Hard as it may be, even adultery must be forgiven. Even the hurtful words delivered in the course of a civil divorce and its aftermath.
And take it one step further... we are also to go to the other person and ask to BE forgiven for whatever WE are guilty of having done (and don't tell me that you never sinned against your wife, for there is only ONE who has not sinned on His own, and His mother was preserved from sin by Him and her consent to do His Will.... ).
Without that forgiveness, and asking for forgiveness, we are not able to approach His altar. This is what Reconciliation is all about.. the Sacrament of Penance. We examine OUR conscience (not our spouse's), confess OUR sin (not our spouse's), make OUR OWN Act of Contrition, do our own penance, and then
go and make restitution/reparation for what we had done...NOT for what our spouse did.
We also can be guilty of the same sin that Lucifer was guilty of... Pride, Disobedience... "I will be like Him'... I will be my own authority, I will do it my way...Responsibility
It is not the Church who is at fault. It is not the Church who must make reparation for our sin against our spouse, nor the continued unforgiveness we may harbor in our hearts. It is not the Church who must conform to society. It is us. WE are to be conformed to Him. And this is His Church.
It won't make one iota of difference where we go, or what we do if we do not take responsibility for our own actions, our own choices, our own sin. Oh, we can find a 'church' that will tell us what we want to hear, but that church may not be speaking TRUTH. God still knows our heart, and He knows that He has written His word on our hearts
When I tried to pray that God would change my spouse, it was firmly brought home that He was going to begin working on ME. My own walk with Him needed correction, and by concentrating on praying for the other to be changed, I could conveniently NOT look at myself. I could examine HIS conscience, not mine.
I am not responsible for what he chooses to do. I am responsible for my choices.The Eucharist
This is not just a matter of walking up and taking a host, putting it into our mouth and walking away 'remembering' Him, nor is it a 'commemoration', a symbolic gesture.
This is Jesus.
Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity.
Second Person of the Trinity.
HOLY God, MIGHTY God. IMMORTAL God.
KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.
ALPHA and OMEGA.
He cannot dwell in an unholy space. When we choose to receive Him in a state of Sin, we bring our own judgment on ourselves. That is why we are to refrain from going to Communion when we are in the state of Grave (Mortal) Sin of ANY kind, not just adultery.
God bless, and I really mean that.
"Right is right, even if no one is right.
Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong."
~~Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Labels: 'Annulment', "Two Become One", Adultery, Catholic, Catholic Teaching, Divorce, Forced divorce, Indissolubility, Marriage, No fault Divorce, Nullity, Remarriage, Stander, Vows