There is so much confusion about love and marriage in our church.
So here are ten things every Catholic should know about marriage.
1. Marriage is something given by God – Marriage is not a social construct or a romantic idea. Marriage is not a sentimental occasion or the chance for a great party. Marriage is not something we made up either as individuals, a tribe or a society. Marriage is given by God. The beginning of the Bible shows man and woman together by God’s design. This was affirmed by Jesus Christ, human society, common sense and the universal experience of the human race. Marriage might have taken slightly different forms in different societies, but the essence of marriage–a man and woman together to complete one another and be united for life is a universal given.
2. A Valid Marriage is Between one Man and one Woman – Marriage is forged from the natural order. Men and women fit together. They fit together to make love and make babies. Two men or two women can love each other and that love can be a good and beautiful thing, but this is called friendship. It’s not marriage. Friends do not have sex together. That’s something husbands and wives–men and women do. Therefore, even if society makes laws that contradict this obvious truth, a marriage cannot take place between two people of the same sex.
3. Marriage is a lifetime commitment – For Catholics, marriage is for life. If you are validly married to a person you are married to that person until one of you dies. If you separate from that person you are still married to him or her. If you obtain a civil divorce, in the church’s eyes, you are still married to that person. If the marriage is valid you are married for life. If you are separated or divorced you cannot marry another person because that would be adultery which is a serious sin. You also cannot make love to another person because that too would be adultery.
4. For a marriage to be valid the man and woman must both be free to marry – You can’t marry someone who is already married.
5. For the marriage to be valid the man and woman must understand the nature of marriage and make their vows with full and willing consent – For all sorts of reasons people get married, but they either do not truly understand what they are doing or they have not made full and willing consent. If there are any circumstances or intentions which limit their ability to make full, mature and willing consent the marriage could be invalid. Continue Reading
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