Catholics/Death do us part.

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QUESTION: I think in traditional Catholic religion divorce is still not allowed? Only through death is a marriage disolved? What does the church proclaim happens when people die that makes the marriage void? Is a person's spirit no longer the same person?

ANSWER: Hi the RCC does grant annulments in special circumstances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annulment_%28Catholic_Church%29

But that's not divorce. Annulment means the marriage was never valid. As for marriage, these might help:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_(Catholic_Church)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_(Catholic_Church)#Validity

And you might wish to pursue your question here:

http://forums.catholic.com/

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Note, for some reason these two links are not coming out as intended:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_(Catholic_Church)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_(Catholic_Church)#Validity

Please copy and paste all the text (for each one) to get the right links.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The links appear to have showed up fine, but which one of them addresses the reason a marriage ends at death? And the churches opinion on what happens to people when they die.

Answer
Hi.. the Catholic belief is that the afterlife involves an utterly transformed kind of existence. So marriage becomes a moot point. There is Biblical support for this. I suggest you search here:

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

http://www.biblegateway.com/

and, as I mentioned, you can discuss further here

http://forums.catholic.com/

In your discussion you might be surprised to find that there are debates within Catholicism on many of the finer points. Enjoy your research!

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Michael Clark, Ph.D.

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I'm a progressive Catholic--not a liberal, conservative nor a single-minded critic of Catholicism. I simply believe that adults in the 21C should use the mind God gave them and not just repeat ancient and medieval modes of thinking.

I can probably help with questions that intelligently and respectfully question those aspects of Catholicism that are not infallible. But if you're looking for someone to vigorously defend or perhaps refute Catholicism as a whole, that's not me. So please ask another expert.

Experience

I run an educational website earthpages.org and know what the web has to offer. I might suggest hyperlinks and/or book titles as I have a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a considerable personal library.

Publications
Print Media:
My table from "Religions and Cults" at earthpages.org is reproduced with permission in L. Lindsey, S. Beach and B. Ravelli, Core Concepts in Sociology, 2nd ed., p. 157

World Wide Web:
My online article "Letter to God" coauthored with Buddhist monk, E. Raymond Rock, appears on several different spirituality-based websites, including http://tinyurl.com/db7a5o

I've interviewed, as a Christian, a self-proclaimed mystic: http://tinyurl.com/cawykr

My articles appeared at the former New View magazine nuvunow.ca and are published at earthpages.org.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Religious Studies
M.A. in Comparative Religion
B.A. Hon. in Psychology/Sociology
For more info, please see my CV and letters of recommendation and my blog at michaelwclark.com.

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