Separation and Divorce, Comparative
- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On July 25, 2016
Page 128-129: “[C]auses for temporary separation […]: malicious desertion, intolerable hardships imposed on one spouse by the other, joined with hardened aversion or hatred; very grave loss of temporal goods; danger threatening the wife’s fortune, if the only means of removing the danger is separation; an extremely avaricious and niggardly character which makes life unbearable; and excessively extravagant tendency to squander money to the detriment of the fortune of the other. There would be no particular advantage gained from further speculation as to possible causes. No complete listing would be possible.”
“The reason that the effect of separation is different in these instances from the effect produced when adultery is the cause is the fact that in these cases the grounds for separation are extrinsic to the nature of marriage. They do not directly contradict its nature adultery does, and there is less evil in them for this reason. Their effect on the marriage is only temporary. Thus the result is that when the cause ceases, the right of separation ceases also.
“But even after the right of separation no longer exists, there will not in every case be an obligation to begin community of married life immediately. This will depend on the manner in which the separation came about. If the innocent party departed on his own authority, then he is obliged to restore community of life as soon as the cause for the break has ceased. If the Bishop has intervened in the case and issued a decree of separation, then the obligation to take up the common life again will depend on the terms of the decree.
“It is possible that the separation was granted for a definite, limited time. If this is the case, then there is an obligation on the part of both spouses to begin living together as soon as the time has elapsed. If the innocent spouse contends that the use for separation is still present, he must submit the case to the Judgment of the Bishop again and abide by whatever the new decision states. A refusal, either to begin married life again or to re-submit the case to the judgement of the bishop, would make the innocent party guilty of injustice to his spouse and he would have the right to seek the intervention of the Bishop
“In a case in which the separation was granted for an indefinite time, the innocent spouse is under no obligation to begin common life again with the guilty partner until there is a new decree from the Ordinary stipulating that the cause has ceased and that the parties must reconcile. The canon makes this provision in order to assure that the innocent party will not be compelled to restore the community of life unless there are sure signs of amendment on the part of the guilty spouse, and sufficient guarantees from him that his spouse will not simply be subjected to the same abuses as before the break-up of the marriage.
“A further point that should be noted regarding the effects of separation is that, when a separation takes place on the private authority of the innocent spouse, its effect is not always final without the ratification of the Bishop. In the case of certain and public adultery, the effect is final immediately without ratification. The reason for this is that in this case the innocent party has a right to separate based on the words of Christ Himself. Any ratification of the Bishop would be purely declarative. But if there is any doubt concerning the crime of adultery, then the offended party must go to the Bishop for ratification of the separation.”
Page 143: “If both of the spouses are Catholic, it is most likely that the innocent spouse would see to the Catholic education of the children most effectively”