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Marriage, divorce, and annulment

23 Aug 2018, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Doctrines

Marriage or the sacrament of matrimony in the Catholic Church has a powerful and unbreakable binding force that keeps those who go into it together in good times and bad, till death do them part. It is a sacrament through which the grace of marriage is conferred, and the union confirmed.

No doubt, marriage is beautiful, and many are catching their fun in it. However, so many others are experiencing tumultuous moments in their marriages, a threat to their togetherness. I certainly do understand the challenges that come with marriage, but the Church consistently insist on no. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), and so does the Church.

There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, even though some consider annulment as a form of Catholic divorce; they are completely two different things.

Divorce is the dissolution of a sacramental marriage, which is not allowed in the Catholic Church. A sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church is indissoluble; they become one flesh till death do them part. Divorce may be allowed in civil and customary marriages and even in some other Christian denominations. But it is certainly no in the Catholic Church.

Annulment, on the other hand, is the declaration of the invalidity of the so-called marriage. A validly ordained minister may have worthily celebrated it but invalidly contracted by the couple. In other words, the marriage never existed, and so one cannot talk about the dissolution of what did not exist.

There are grounds for a marriage annulment in the Catholic Church, which includes insufficient use of reason, deception, and many others to be considered by the marriage tribunal by the code of Canon law . The Church, therefore, encourages proper marriage preparation; and in marriage, she encourages understanding, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

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