Catholic Marriage is seen as a sacrament. It should be permanent, exclusive and it should allow for new life to be created. In the Orthodox Church but not in any of the other churches.
Most Christians observe the “rules” about marriage but many do not. Most people enter the commitment of marriage with the right intentions and plan to stay with each other forever and start a family. But nowadays statistics are able to tell us that at least 1 in 3 marriages breakdown and the couple separate.
There are many reasons why marriages do not last and break down.One reason very common why marriages often breakdown is adultery. Adultery is the act of having an affair with another person that you are not married to. Adultery in today’s society is not uncommon and people must believe that it is ok as long as they don’t get caught. This attitude often leads to a form of adultery taking place and marriages breaking down. Another very common reason is substance abuse. The fact that alcohol and drug abuse is very common in today’s society mean that many married couples fall victim to it.This can them spark rows in the relationship and even lead to physical abuse in which no partner is expected to tolerate and the couple may break up.
The Catholic Church accepts that there are some instances such as the case of a wife who is being battered by her husband, when separation (short or long-term) is justified though even here there should always be a willingness for true reconciliation and they should try and make the marriage work, if this is possible and safe.The Catholic Church is totally against divorce, as they believe that divorce tries to break what God has joined together, as told in Marks Gospel. What God has joined together let no man separate”. The Christian marriage vows allow no room for divorce there is no loop hole. You cannot agree to be married and at the same time allow for the possibility of divorce. However, between the time of the marriage and some time later in the relationship, people chance, circumstances change, their whole lives change. All or any of these changes may be of the kind which affect the relationship in such a way that the two partners feel a separation or divorce is the only right and sensible solution. Other Churches have different views on divorce.
Orthodox Christians can remarry but without the full marriage ceremony. Church of England will accept divorce but will not officially remarry divorced people. Annulment is the cancellation of a marriage – in other words, a declaration that the marriage never took place. This could happen if one partner was forced to marry or one of them did not understand the vows. Annulment is very different to divorce as the Catholic Church do not recognise divorce but they do recognise annulment as a sign of separation.
Annulment is a very lengthy process and it can be very costly.The only reason a Catholic may seek an annulment is if they intend to marry again within the Catholic Church, as the Church recognises an annulment as a declaration that the marriage never took place the person can then marry again in the Catholic Church. Marriage is exclusive. The couples love is exclusive and it cannot be shared with another person. Marriage demands faithfulness to one person. Marriage is a commitment to one person.
The reading of St. Paul to the Ephesians 5:21-33 tells us of the exclusiveness of marriage. “Each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband. “If the couple are to honour their vows they must honour the exclusiveness of their marriage. They must stay faithful to their husband/wife. In today’s society many married couples do not seem to understand the importance of exclusiveness in a marriage. They nearly seem to think that it is ok to have an affair with another person as long they do not get caught. This attitude often is the cause of the great number of married couples splitting up.
If a married couple are having an affair or have had an affair with another person then they clearly do not understand the exclusivity of marriage and they should not have married.Cohabitation is the act of living and having a sexual relationship with a partner. The Catholic Church are completely against Cohabitation. The Catechism of the Catholic church says ” The fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim.
” The Catholic Church believe that this should be honoured and a couple should not live or have sexual relations before they get married.Other Churches such as Liberal Protestants believe that sex before marriage is acceptable as long as the couple love each other, they are in a long term relationship, they intend to marry eventually. Church of England believe that cohabitating couples should be welcomed and supported by the Church.
Adultery is when two people have sex by consent, but one or both of them are already married to someone else. It is sometimes called ‘having an affair’. Adultery beaks the exclusiveness of marriage, because if the marriage is to be exclusive the married couple must be faithful to each other which in adultery they are not.Catholics are completely against adultery. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “By its very nature conjugal loves requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses.
” The 6th Commandment “You shall not commit adultery” supports this and Catholic believe in this teaching. Most other Churches also believe that adultery is sinful and they also base this teaching on the 6th Commandment. Contraception is the act of using artificial methods to prevent the conception of a chid.
Some contraception’s include the ‘condom’ and ‘the pill’. The Catholic Church are completely against the use of artificial contraception.The Church believe that the act of sexual intercourse should allow for the birth of a child which cannot happen if artificial contraception is used. The believe in using the ‘Billings Method’ which is based around the woman’s fertile time. Other Churches such as the Church of England and Methodist teach that contraception is an acceptable way of preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Society believe that contraception is a very acceptable way to prevent the unwanted birth of children who may not be looked after. Sex in the eyes of the Catholic Church is not acceptable unless the couple are married, no matter what the circumstances.The Catholic Church do not believe in artificial family planning even though the cost of rearing children and the importance of careers have to be considered. The Catholic Church are completely against abortion. They believe that abortion is against the 5th commandment: “You shall not kill”. All other Churches are completely against abortion, unless the mothers live is in danger in which some Churches accept abortion.
From my studies I can conclude that marriage is still expected to be permanent, exclusive and live-giving, but in today’s society many factors hinder the expectations and marriages often break down.