Table of Contents
According to the Catholic Church, the seven sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation (Penance), Matrimony, and Holy Orders are considered the outward showing of salvation and inner grace. Only if the sacrament was not lawful from the moment it was conferred, can it be renounced. The Catholic Church has created the annulment process that declares a sacrament invalid from the very beginning. An annulment is referred to as a Declaration of Nullity.
The Catholic Church holds that a married couple cannot divorce for any reason whatsoever. However, marriage annulments are granted for a variety of reasons by the Catholic Church. Some of these reasons are a lack of due discretion, defective consent, psychological incapacity and a defect of form (that includes marriages performed by a non-Catholic minister or weddings held outside of a Catholic Church).
Divorce for Sexual Immorality
Jesus taught that divorce was only written into the law because of human stubbornness. “He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8)
The original intent of God was for the spouses to never separate. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Jesus permitted divorce in cases of sexual immorality and marital unfaithfulness. He said, “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32).
The annulment process is not found in the Bible. Jesus only allowed divorce for sexual immorality while the Catholic annulment allows dissolving the marriage for several other reasons, but not for sexual immorality.
The Lord has never repealed the law of marriage He had given in the beginning. It was not God’s plan that divorce should ever be necessary. Therefore, believers today, who want and plan in their hearts to follow God’s plan will not, without scriptural grounds, resort to divorce as a way to ending their marital problems (Matthew 19:9).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,