Author Topic: Divorce in eastern orthodoxy  (Read 1275 times)

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Offline PG

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Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
« on: November 21, 2014, 12:55:22 PM »
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  • As the title says, when did the eastern orthodox implement divorce and remarriage?  If it was 1000 or so years ago, surely we could read about it as one of the reasons for the schism; but we don't, and catholics have never approved of it.  It is also interesting that they don't even have a marriage rite; their marriage rite is no right at all, it is just a celebration of the natural attraction.  There are no vows.
    "A secure mind is like a continual feast" - Proverbs xv: 15

    Offline PG

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 01:14:15 PM »
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  • I have tried researching this online a few times, and could not find anything.  Hopefully someone hear knows a date or a relative date.
    "A secure mind is like a continual feast" - Proverbs xv: 15


    Offline PG

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 02:22:21 PM »
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  • I just read in another article stating that ratzinger from 1972 mentions Basel endorsing a practice similar to what the orthodox implement.  Ratzinger apparently abandoned that position when elected cardinal, but it said that Basel approved of the second marriage for I think only extraordinary cases after a period of penance.  That is similar to the orthodox, who implement periods of penance/penances for 2nd and 3rd marriages.  
    "A secure mind is like a continual feast" - Proverbs xv: 15

    Offline Cantarella

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 05:39:47 PM »
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  • Good question! It seems that "divorce" and "remarriage" as understood by the Orthodox does trace back their roots to the 4th century with st. Basil the Great

    Quote from: st. Basil

    "A man who marries after another man’s wife has been taken away from him will be charged with adultery in the case of the first woman; but in the case of the second he will be guiltless" (Second Canonical Letter to Amphilochius 199:37 [A.D. 375]).


    Here are the Canons of St. Basil:

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xvii.xi.html

    Quote

    Canon IV.

    They that marry a second time, used to be under penance a year or two.  They that marry a third time, three or four years.  But we have a custom, that he who marries a third time be under penance five years, not by canon, but tradition.  Half of this time they are to be hearers, afterwards Co-standers; but to abstain from the communion of the Good Thing, when they have shewed some fruit of repentance.


    However, officially allowing for remarriage did not happen in East until the 8th century. Removing  the penalty of lengthy excommunication for those contracting a second marriage, is much more recent, in 19th century.

    As a separate note, Orthodox canon law can permit a second and even a third marriage, but strictly forbids a fourth. In theory divorce is only recognized in the case of adultery, but in practise is also recognised in light of other reasons.

    Here is a list of reasons for divorce in the Russian Orthodox Church:

    http://eadiocese.org/Court/en.reasonsdissolution.htm

    Quote

    The Holy Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1917-18 recognized as being legitimate the following reasons for dissolution of a marriage sanctified by the Church:  

    - apostasy from Orthodoxy  

    - adultery and unnatural vices  

    - incapacity for marital cohabitation  

    - affliction by leprosy or syphilis  

    - unknown absence  

    - jail sentence with deprivation of rights  

    - infringement upon the life and health of spouse and children  

    - incest or prostitution of spouse  

    - entering into a new marriage  

    - serious, incurable mental illness  

    - intentional desertion
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.

    Offline PG

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 10:22:33 PM »
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  • Cantarella - Thanks!  That 8th century date places it right smack dab in the middle of the east west schism.  From what I understand, the schism took about 400 years to officially materialize.  
    "A secure mind is like a continual feast" - Proverbs xv: 15


    Offline shin

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 11:43:18 PM »
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  • What part of those quotes has anything to do with divorce and remarriage?


    The first is about a man who marries legitimately for the first time after having an adulterous relationship beforehand.

    The second is about second and third marriages each time after a spouse has died.
    Sincerely,

    Shin

    'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus.' (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)'-

    Offline Tridentine MT

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 07:24:41 AM »
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  • "Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful" Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani

    "Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop

    Offline Tridentine MT

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 07:34:35 AM »
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  • Another article from the same Blog which seems apologetic to Ratzinger.
    "Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful" Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani

    "Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop


    Offline Cantarella

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    Divorce in eastern orthodoxy
    « Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 11:33:14 AM »
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  • Quote from: Tridentine MT
    This article, titled Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Orthodox Church might be useful.


    Thanks!

    From the article:

    Quote

    DIVORCE

    A question we can ask ourselves is whether Christ considered marriage as being indissoluble? We need to be very clear in this as when Christ teaches that marriage may not be dissolved that does not mean that He is stating that it cannot occur. The completeness of the marriage relationship can be tainted by erroneous behaviour. In other words, it is the offence that breaks the bond. The divorce is ultimately a result of this break. This is also the teaching of the Eastern Church fathers. A quotation from the testimony of Cyril of Alexandria will be sufficient to make our point here: “It is not the letters of divorce that dissolve the marriage in relation God but the errant behaviour”.

    The violation of a marriage relationship is divided into two groups:

    •those resulting from adultery (unfaithfulness and immoral behaviour)
    •those proceeding from the absence of one of the partners (this absence must however have certain distinctives).

    The Church recognizes that there are cases in which marriage life has no content or may even lead to loss of the soul. The Holy John Chrysostom says in this regard that: “better to break the covenant than to lose one’s soul”. Nevertheless, the Orthodox Church sees divorce as a tragedy due to human weakness and sin.

    7. REMARRIAGE
     Despite the fact that the Church condemns sin, she also desires to be an aid to those who suffer and for whom she may allow a second marriage. This is certainly the case when the marriage has ceased to be a reality. A possible second marriage is therefore only permitted because of “human weakness”. As the apostle Paul says concerning the unmarried and widows: “If they can not control themselves, they should marry” (1 Cor. 7, 9). It is permitted as a pastoral concession in the context of “economia,” to the human weakness and the corrupt world in which we live.

    .....

     Orthodox canon law can permit a second and even a third marriage “in economia”, but strictly forbids a fourth. In theory divorce is only recognized in the case of adultery, but in practise is also recognised in light of other reasons. There is a list of causes of divorce acceptable to the Orthodox Church. In practise the bishops sometimes apply “economia” in a liberal way. By the way, divorce and remarriage are only permitted in the context of “economia”, that is, out of pastoral care, out of understanding for weakness. A second or third marriage will always be a deviation from the “ideal and unique marriage”, but often a fresh opportunity to correct a mistake”.


    What it is highlighted sounds quite Modernist indeed, and definitely not "orthodox". It contradicts the clear command of Our Lord about the indissolubility of the Holy Sacrament of Marriage.  

     :thinking:
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.


     

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