St. Matthew 19:1-12
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; and large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”
Whilst perusing the many online discussions taking place on the very issue raised in this blog, I came across the following comment at Joe Heschmeyer's excellent site, Shameless Popery, a comment by a women abandoned by her husband that speaks volumes to the point raised.
Thank you, Joe. After 33 years of marriage, my husband has "civilly" divorced me. I regularly go to confession and receive communion. He does not - yet he regularly attends mass and cantors. And, yes, he is now applying for a marriage license while our marriage is considered "valid and sacramental". I pray for him daily - it's like having a prodigal husband. I plan on moving far, far away once I can sell my home because it is difficult to be in the same town - but I would be offended to my very core if all of a sudden the Church said that my vows meant nothing, and that he was free and clear, after having once said that my marriage was valid and sacramental. I am still living my vows. I have never betrayed him. My focus is on my faith and my family. It's difficult to put into words - but what protections do we, who are left behind have - other than the Church? No one else is telling him that his actions are wrong. Everyone else is applauding him for finding a young girl - the same age as his daughters. Society once "shamed" men who did such things - not anymore. Now we wives are considered throwaways - and, because of "no-fault" laws - we are left destitute in the process. Mercy for the divorced and re-married - not feeling it.