From a reader…
A local, newly Ordained, Priest has told my wife that it is NOT a sin to divorce me so long as she does not remarry. I believe that it is a sin to divorce since there is no abuse, physical or emotional, no addictions on my end, etc… Should I confront this priest or is he correct?
First, I don’t know what the priest said, and it sounds like you don’t either. You should ask the priest what exactly he said. Note: I said “ask” not “confront”. The priest may respond that he is not free to say. So confronting the priest may not provide opportunity to clarify the matter. More on that later.
Now to another point.
Is divorce a sin?
The Catholic Church certainly seems to think so.
“But Father! But Father!”, ….
SHHH! Be still for a moment.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2383 says:
“If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.”
But wait! There’s more!
Par. 2384 says:
“Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death…Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society.”
Canon law has a little known procedure called “separation while the bond remains“. Canons 1151-1155 outline the reasons and the logic behind the process. Canons 1692-1696 outline the process.
There are certain times and situations that warrant drastic measures.
Divorce is always awful. It means that an attempt to build a bond of marriage failed. Yet, there are situations and circumstances that warrant a couple separating and even seeking a civil divorce.
Sometimes these circumstances are apparent to one spouse, and not at all apparent to the other.
What damage “no fault” divorced caused, back when!
It is impossible for me to diagnose from afar the situation mentioned by the questioner. I can’t determine if there is a need for a divorce or if one party is committing sin either by seeking a divorce where none is warranted, or behaving in such a manner that the other spouse thinks divorce is the only recourse.
But please note well: The interlocutor brings up the notion of “confronting” the newly ordained priest about his advice to the young woman.
Instead of “confronting” the priest, who allegedly told your wife that it’s not sinful to divorce, perhaps the best thing to do would be to seek out some spiritual guidance for yourself. Seek some objective feedback about your situation. Pray for your wife! Pray for your whole family if you have children. Ask the intervention of the Holy Family. Trust the Lord.
I see I have to turn on the moderation queue. I should have done that from the onset, I suppose.