Divorce Laws are Highly Problematic – Radio Monsignor
- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On June 20, 2018
On Relevant Radio’s “Go Ask Your Father,” Monsignor Stuart Swetland fielded a question on June 14 from a caller who wanted him to point out that divorce need not be a sin.
She read one sentence from paragraph 2383 in the Catechism; however she omitted the preceding sentence, which specifies by its note that canon law is required to be implemented in these cases (canon 1151-1155). The canons do not stand alone either, and must be implemented in according to the procedural norms in canon 1692. Separation of spouses leading to divorce is not a private matter for which a party is supposed to be her own judge. That judgement is reserved to the bishop only, or his mandated delegate who manages separation cases.
In his answer, Msgr. Swetland, slammed no-fault divorce (even thinking it was worse than he said, but he had to be diplomatic for radio).
He says that divorce is tolerated (something we don’t like) and only as a last resort to defend legal rights and to protect children. As an example of something we tolerate, he described the unjust cruelness of Nero in New Testament times. He believes that situations in which divorce would be tolerable are rare. He finishes, “I would be very, very careful, especially in the United States, where the marriage law is so problematic.”
Excerpt was 35min:35sec in original here
During the same program, Msgr. Swetland got another call from a woman who asked if a woman “should stay in the marriage” even though her husband is mentally ill.
Msgr. Swetland said the woman is obligated to keep her vows and cannot “get out of the marriage.” She will stay married regardless of the situation. If his mental illness leads him to be dangerous to wife or children, then he needs to be separated while he deals with it.
There can and be physical separation and the marriage goes on. That is part of the marriage commitment, in good times and bad, sickness and health. The whole community should be supportive to woman whose husband has any kind of sickness, the community should respond help.
I’m so glad Msgr. Swetland stands for marriage compared to other diocesan personnel or self-professed marriage experts who would tell the caller that the goal should be divorce and easy annulment. My regular readers know the type.
Excerpt was 8min. of original here
Mary’s Advocates teaches a spouse who wants to keep the family together how to petition the bishop asking for the implementation of the Code of Canon law: Petition Bishop, Try to Stop a Break-Up
Using language like this, "not functionally operative" seems to imply the law is defunct and doesn't have force.
But I believe, just as with canon 915, which is also "not functionally operative" in most of the USA and Europe, the law is promulgated and retains it force.
What he is really saying, is that practically the entire Church hierarchy in the USA and elsewhere are breaking canon law in a serious matter, and this is not surprising, given the abuse of annulments and the failure to oppose the civil society's attack on marriage via no fault divorce, which is unjust, since any separation is either a serious crime or legitimately excused for the reasons listed in canon law, and this apart from the question of claiming to dissolve the marriage.
The requirement to get a civil divorce before considering an annulment shows the formal cooperation of the Church in the USA with the grave and scandalous evil of no fault civil divorce in the USA. Since this requirement appears to be in all dioceses, it would appear that the entire hierarchy in the USA has fallen into sin and error.
So it is not surprising they don't preach against separation, or civil divorce, or explain who has authority to allow permanent or temporary separation of spouses.
This happened before in the 1960s with regard to the use of the pill as an artificial contraceptive, the vast majority of the clergy failed to teach what Saint Pope John XXIII said with regard to the pill, and told people to follow their consciences instead of informing their consciences. Thus it is not surprising that the clergy in the USA also failed with regard to no fault divorce in the 1970s, a natural fruit of artificial contraception.
Under Henry VIII in England, every bishop except one gave in to an unjust civil law, as well as all the nobles, except one.
It is also not surprising that almost all canon lawyers will find reasons to twist these canons from their obvious meaning and application to soothe the consciences of the bishops and clergy and the vast number of people who have obtained no fault divorces and those who have cooperated with them and failed to preach against this grave abuse.
And it is not surprising that the victims of no fault divorce are treated with suspicion and hostility, and the guilt is laid on them, not on the spouse who illegitimately separated, and further, it is treated as a private matter, not a public one, which prevents fraternal correction, since it is none of your business.
And those who do have legitimate reason to separate are left unprotected since no one will publicly declare their innocence. This is especially malignant in the case of Catholics, since it is the duty of the bishop to protect the innocent spouse's reputation and to make clear that canon 915 does not apply to them, as well as his duty to see that canon 915 is applied to the guilty spouse.