From a professorial reader concerned about the Church’s teaching on marriage, divorce, and the reception of Communion by the “remarried” come a helpful contribution. He describes it (slightly edited):
I have to admit that I am concerned about the upcoming Synod, not because I think the Holy Spirit will allow the Church to teach error, but principally because [there is a great deal of] chattering, misunderstanding, and false opining as possible beforehand, creating a situation just like that which reigned before Humanae Vitae, when the “majority opinion” was in favor of contraception but the Pope disappointed everyone by re-affirming the traditional teaching.
If all of this hullaballoo is just a prelude to reaffirming the teaching, why bother to cause so much agitation, false hopes, and national schismatic behavior among Germans and Swiss, etc.?
Anyway, I believe it is time to spread, far and wide, authoritative statements of the Church’s unchanging teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. We may take it for granted, but it seems as if vast numbers of people have never even heard the teaching spelled out.
To that end, I gathered some especially clear and strong passages from Pius XI’s great encyclical Casti Connubii and hope that you might consider posting them in some fashion.
He put together a little document of helpful quotes, HERE.
34. And this inviolable stability, although not in the same perfect measure in every case, belongs to every true marriage, for the word of the Lord: “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder,” must of necessity include all true marriages without exception, since it was spoken of the marriage of our first parents, the prototype of every future marriage. Therefore although before Christ the sublimeness and the severity of the primeval law was so tempered that Moses permitted to the chosen people of God on account of the hardness of their hearts that a bill of divorce might be given in certain circumstances, nevertheless, Christ, by virtue of His supreme legislative power, revoked this concession of greater liberty and restored the primeval law in its integrity by those words which must never be forgotten, “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” Wherefore, Our predecessor Pius VI of happy memory, writing to the Bishop of Agria, most wisely said: “Hence it is clear that marriage even in the state of nature, and certainly long before it was raised to the dignity of a sacrament, was divinely instituted in such a way that it should carry with it a perpetual and indissoluble bond which cannot therefore be dissolved by any civil law. … And so, whatever marriage is said to be contracted, either it is so contracted that it is really a true marriage, in which case it carries with it that enduring bond which by divine right is inherent in every true marriage; or it is thought to be contracted without that perpetual bond, and in that case there is no marriage, but an illicit union opposed of its very nature to the divine law, which therefore cannot be entered into or maintained.”
35. And if this stability seems to be open to exception, however rare the exception may be, as in the case of certain natural marriages between unbelievers, or amongst Christians in the case of those marriages which though valid have not been consummated, that exception does not depend on the will of men nor on that of any merely human power, but on divine law, of which the only guardian and interpreter is the Church of Christ. However, not even this power can ever affect for any cause whatsoever a Christian marriage which is valid and has been consummated, for as it is plain that here the marriage contract has its full completion, so, by the will of God, there is also the greatest firmness and indissolubility which may not be destroyed by any human authority.
Now that’s a Pope who knows how to Pope. Crisp. Clear.