August 31, 2015

I want to pose a question to moral theologians about Church laws or doctrines on marriage.

Why does the Catholic Church only recognize the first marriage even though in a number of cases, that marriage has often become a source of evil - addictions, abandonment, adultery, physical and emotional abuses - for the wives involved?

Why should the Church insist on the validity and give permanent recognition to an abusive, sadistic, woeful marriage just because it was the first?

Why would it consider immoral (that is, as adultery without an annulment) the second marriage even though the second marriage is happy and based on love, respect and fidelity - an earthly "heaven" compared with a "hellish" first marriage?

After reviewing people's comments on the Internet regarding this issue, I can say that many regard annulments as hypocritical and/or impractical for a number of marital cases.

For example, decades after the first marriage, it is not easy to find three witnesses to vouch and cite instances that would qualify that marriage as null and void. People die, move and forget details of the distant past.

I agree with Pope Francis' principle of mercy and compassion. His background has made him aware of the real life situations and sufferings experienced by ordinary people, especially the poor.

There should be some leniency on Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. Why deprive the victims of marital cruelties of Communion (especially since the Eucharist can help them heal) just because they have remarried to a decent loving man?

What would Jesus do? As merciful, compassionate and nonjudgmental as Jesus is, I can only imagine what his response would be (despite the biblical passage on the indissolubility of marriage).

Jesus, after all, is a "radical" in his embrace and love for all, especially poor and marginalized people of whatever circumstance.

Celia Paz

Letter to the Editor - 09/14/15