This is my last year at the Theologate and we have to work on our Final Year Thesis! So all my batch mates are venturing into various areas of interest to figure out what they want to do.
So one of my friends dropped me an e-mail with her Thesis proposal yesterday. She wanted my opinion on what I thought as a spectator/ audience. Her subject area was “Canon Law” and she wanted to find answers to the questions,
- Are marriages really made in heaven??
- By granting divorce is the Church unbinding what IS ALREADY bound in Heaven??
- Or by NOTgranting divorce is the Church binding what is NOT bound in Heaven??
Clearly, this is hard meat for my first post on the blog! But facing reality, this is seriously a question that some of the canonists take into account as well as all of us keep on questioning.
I checked out her documentation and the tone of the documentation seemed very “Accusatory”. It picked on how the Church was forcibly binding people in marriage and a divorce was granted only based on Canon 1095 and any other reason had to find its way through this canon. She sounded more like she was heading for another Council :D. So this is how I basically analyzed the situation.
- Church’s View on Divorce
- My Friend’s View on Divorce
Church’s View on Divorce
As I see, the view of a family from the Church’s point is a team comprising of different players. Each player has their own strengths as well as weaknesses. One player’s strength is used to complement another player’s weakness. No Coach is obviously looking for a player who’s Jack of all trades. Likewise, in marriage, husband and wife complement each other. Divorce seems to be a rigorous process because the Church does not want a family to break so easily. It’s a fragile institution, not something that can be built in a day and then when certain cracks occur, you demolish the entire construction. Marriage is something sacred, hence it’s a sacrament. And you don’t go breaking sacraments just like that. And if the Church was to grant permission for divorce even for the slightest reason, what would be the end result of it?? It would be the visa for all individuals to flee from their responsibilities and not get into the world of “commitment” – where no matter what, you are bound to the person YOU chose to be bound.
My Friend’s View on Divorce
Getting back into the shoes of my friend, yes, I do agree with her that the Canon has certain loop holes as well as tight knots in it. As the Pope has also mentioned in two instances that the Canon has to be revised, it certainly should be implemented. So with regard to her Thesis outcome, what I suggested that she could do is, either proposes a new canon (though I’m not sure if it’s actually possible) or provide refinements for the existing canon.
At the end of the day, you question the Church means you question yourself, caz YOU are the Church. So help yourself in finding a solution to your problem. We are not the enemies of the Church nor is the Church the enemies of Her own body. Sometimes when we question the Church we tend to act like frogs in the well without even having a sneak peak into the greater reality out there. So when we are questioning or trying to find answers, we should make it a point to Think like the POPE!!