Marriage, divorce, and annulment

Marriage, or the sacrament of matrimony in the Catholic Church has a very strong and unbreakable binding force that keeps those who go into it together in good times and in 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 comes with marriage, but the Church consistently insist on no . For 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 completly 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. It may have been worthily celebrated by a validly ordained minister, 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 marriage annulment in the Catholic Church which includes insufficient use of reason, deception and many others to be considered by the marriage tribunal in accordance with the code of the Canon law. The Church therefore encourages proper preparation for marriage; and in marriage she encourages understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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