Adultery and Divorce

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The WORD in other words (2018) by Fr Honorio Mateo SVD – Paraguay

Friday 10th Week in Ordinary Time

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

THE LAND OF NO DIVORCE! That is what we claim the Philippines to be! THE LAND OF NO ADULTERY! That we cannot say of the Philippines!

Today the gospel talks about adultery and divorce. Speaking about adultery, Jesus affirms the sixth commandment and expounds His teaching on conjugal chastity. Here, Jesus prohibits adultery and states lust as an offense against chastity. He declares that it is immoral not only to commit adultery but it is also immoral just to look at a woman with lust.

Speaking about divorce, Jesus affirms the indissolubilityof marriage and expounds His teaching on adultery as an offense against the dignity of marriage. Here, Jesus prohibits divorce and insists on the original plan of God which unites the spouses as one and can never be separated by man.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains adultery and divorce. Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations – even transient ones – they commit adultery. Christ condemns adultery. The sixth commandment forbids adultery. The prophets denounce adultery (2380).

Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture. The remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery. If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself (2384).

“Grant us, O Lord, to be one heart and one soul; from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; until death do us part.” That is the prayer in the marriage rite that we would like to remember today as we reflect on the theme of adultery and divorce.

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