Sunday, November 02, 2008

Church Fathers vs. Eastern Orthodoxy II: Divorce

Christ Himself teaches that divorce is forbidden, and the Lord even said in the Old Testament that He hates divorce [Mal 2:16]. This means that the bond of a consummated sacramental marriage is not dissoluble except by the death of the spouse. The "porneia" exception clause does not mean one of the spouses cheating during the marriage (Christ did not say "moicheia"), but pertains to some irregularity prior to the marriage which would allow for an annulment. The saintly Eastern witnesses to this truth include St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea, St. Clement of Alexandria, Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor), Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis, and Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor). The saintly Western witnesses to this same truth include Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor), Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Stridon (Doctor), Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor Gratiae), Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor), Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome (Doctor), Pope St. Innocent I of Rome, and Pope St. Zachary of Rome. The Eastern Orthodox Church deviated from this Apostolic truth.

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