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Catholics/Views on Marriage & Divorce?


Hello there,
I am currently doing a religion assignment on how Christians view marriage and religion, and whether ones views on the topic come from the sacred text (in this case the Bible) or from somewhere else.
So i was wondering if you could help me out here.

1. Do you read the Bible much? If so, do you use its messages or teaching much in everyday life?
2. What are your views on marriage and divorce?
3. Does the Bible have an influence on or help shape your views of marriage and divorce?
4. If your views on marriage and divorce did not come from the bible, where did they come from? For example, Family, culture.
5. What are your views on homosexuality and homosexual marriage?

thank you :)

I do read the bible, probably some every day.  I think there are messages for teaching, and I preach from the bible every week, sometimes more often.  I also turn to the bible to help me with moral and ethical decisions.
As for marriage and divorce, I believe that a real marriage (covenant between two mature adults able to give total consent) is permanent (until death of one spouse).  Jesus told his disciples that "Moses told you that you could divorce, but that was because of the hardness of your hearts.  It was not so in the beginning ... for this reason a man leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh.  What God has drawn together, let no man separate".  Seems pretty clear to me.  However, we Catholics believe that there are "marriages" which in retrospect are not covenants between two mature fully consenting adults.  When this is the case, and the marriage is failing, a declaration of annulment can be given.  For example, a man may marry a woman under pressure, because she is carrying his child.  Over time, that marriage might become a true marriage, as they continue to give their consent to each other.  On the other hand, things may deteriorate, in which case the church may recognize that the marriage took place under pressure, therefore full and free consent was not given.  In the first case, what may have started out as an "invalid" marriage became valid, because at some point over time, the requirements for a valid marriage were met.  In the second case, they never were.  We Catholics believe that the husband and the wife confer marriage on each other; it isn't the priest who witnesses the marriage.  
My views on marriage and divorce are grounded in the bible and the teachings of my Church, which I believe elaborates the teachings from the bible.
If a homosexual couple want to live together, I don't have a problem.  If society wants to call that a "marriage" I wish it weren't so, but that's society's problem.  Within the Church we would never recognize such a union as a marriage.  So you can certainly have society saying one thing and the Church saying another.  The Church says that marriage in some sense is a mystery, and meant to bring about salvation for the people involved.  A lot of that comes from the fact that a man and woman are fundamentally different, and neither ever completely knows the other; there is always mystery about the other.  Also, a man and a woman love each other in completely different ways, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.  These two things are not present in a homosexual "marriage" so even though society may call it that, it really can't be anything like the union between a man and a woman.  
Hope this answers your questions.  


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Donald Higby


Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.


Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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