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DIVORCE: WHY IS IT A MORAL ISSUE?

Making moral choices in our modern world can be confusing and difficult. With so many
temptations and influences pulling us in all directions, and the pressures of life driving us toward the
seemingly easy path, it is comforting to know that Jesus Christ, through His Church, has blessed us
with clear moral framework to guide us toward a happy, fulfilling life.
Understanding the Sacrament of Marriage
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Part II, Section 2, Chapter 3 Article 7 par.
1601: "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a
partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the
procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ
the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
When two individuals accept the sacrament of marriage, they recite theirs vows which would go
like this: "I, ___, take you, ___, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." "I, ___, take
you, ___, to be my husband/wife. Is their love enough to endure all the hardships and sufferings they
encounter as a married couple? To better understand the context of marriage, we must reflect upon this
poem:
On Marriage
Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?"
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Derived from the poem of Kahlil Gibran in the book The Prophet is not to be taken literally.
Interpreting it, this is rather a warning, instead of an advice, on how a marriage is broken:

How to Have a Difficult Marriage

1. Love one another, but make not a bond of love.


2. Fill each others cup but drink not from one cup.
3. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
4. Stand together yet not too near together.
In brief, the poem implies safely: Dont lose yourself. Dont give too much. Guard yourself and
your possessions. Keep a clear boundary between yourself and your spouse. Otherwise you might get
hurt. But, it is through marriage that we have the opportunity to experience the joy that comes with selfgiving, and the powerful love that is generated when two people care for one another more than they care
for themselves. It isnt easy, but its the only option for a healthy, happy marriage that lasts.
So, if you want to have a great marriage, skip On Marriage as a reading at your wedding, and use
it as a reverse how-to guide: Stand close together, eat from the same loaf, drink from the same cup, and,
with God at the center, make an unbreakable bond of love.
Why is Divorce a Moral Issue?
During marriage, they will get to know each other deeply. They would share and endure everyday
challenges hand in hand. But if one of them breaches, becomes unfaithful, or any unfortunate
circumstance comes that would ruin their marriage, the idea of giving up on their marriage is an option.
The Churchs position is that divorce destroys the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. It is
written in the New Testament that Jesus condemns divorce:
What therefore God hath joined together, let no man asunder. Mark 10:9
Roman Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a sacrament and no one has the right to unmake
something created by God.
Today, many Christian Chirches accept that some marriages do break down and a divorce is the
only way forward. Anglican Church and other Protestant denominations allow divorce, although only as a
last resort.If marriage has become destructive, then it is in the best interests of those involved for the
marriage to end.
World Statistics on Divorce
United Nation (UN) Demographics and Social Statistics Division keeps track of the ratio of
marriages to divorces in each country in order to gauge the social acceptance of divorce including
various religious and cultural conventions in a nation may in part contribute to this, as indeed may the
ease and expense with which a divorce may be carried out. They named the Worlds 10 Most Divorced
Nations, namely: USA (53%), France (55%), Cuba (56%), Estonia (58%), Luxembourg (60%), Spain
(61%), Czech Republic (66%), Hungary (67%), Portugal (68%), and Belgium (71%).

America seems to have a high divorce rate (53%) with Nevada as a large contributor because of
the shotgun weddings that happen there. "Las Vegas wedding" is more than a statement of fact. Thanks to
movies, TV shows and comedy routines, it has become a stereotype, a cliche, a descriptive phrase for a
quickie, spur-of-the-moment marriage that's doomed to fail.
Surprisingly, Paris, which is dubbed as The City of Love, ranks 9 th worldwide. It has the
highest divorce rate in all of France. Next is Cuba wherein their Communist form of government covers
the marriage cost from the wedding to the honeymoon. The trend of co-habitation or live-in is explored
by most of the people in this place. Estonia, Luxembourg, and Czech Republic are all coming from the
European continent. Estonia does not offer any tax breaks to married couples, only those cohabiting,
meaning that there is no legal or logistical incentive for couples to marry. Luxembourg is one of the
smallest nations in Europe but its marriage rate is declining. While in Czech Republic over 90% of
women in the country are granted full custody of their children in the aftermath of a divorce and the
arguments of rights groups for fathers in these situations remain largely ignored. It is also shocking that
Spain, one of the nations that is historically known for close Catholic ties, is moving away from its
cultural heritage as divorces tend to increase: which indicates that Catholicism has become more of a
cultural identity rather than a religious practice. In Hungary, courts grant a divorce either by mutual
consent or if proof is given that the marriage has irrevocably broken down. Portugal may have high
divorce rate, but it also competes with marriage rate that suggests the firm attachment of Portugal to
marriage. Lastly, Belgium has the highest divorce rate which is significantly caused by the decline of the
Church. Belgian courts will grant a divorce on the grounds of adultery, excesses, physical or mental
cruelty and actual separation.

Divorce in the Philippines


The fact that Philippines is the only country in the world aside from Vatican City, that does not
have a divorce law, it makes it harder for spouses to get out of their broken marriage due to unfortunate
circumstances that brought the idea of divorce to solve their problems.
The recent film, A Second Chance, is a best example of facing difficulties through married life.
Marriage takes work. A LOT of it. Your joyous wedding day is just the beginning. When the bills arrive
(trust us, A Second Chance proves that bills can be a source of a big argument) or when real life kicks in,
the honeymoon is over. Love is not enough. Commitment, maturity, respect, and trust should be part of
your marriage.
You cant just leave your partner. Think hard if your marriage is worth saving. If you think it
deserves another shot, then the both of you should work on it together. At the honeymoon stage, couples
are so in love with each other, as exemplified in the line of Popoy:
"Pangako mamaya huling beses na nating maghihiwalay. Ito na ang huling gabi
na merong ikaw at ako. Simula bukas ang meron nalang ay tayo. Tayo habang buhay.
Hindi kana matutulog ng mag-isa at hindi kana gigising ng wala ako sa tabi mo. At itong
mga kamay na ito, hindi kana bibitawan ha? I will never let go." Popoy
"Gusto na kitang iwan ngayon, Poy. Gustong gusto ko na. Pero hindi ko gagawin
kasi nangako ako na kahit ang hirap hirap mong mahalin, mamahalin kita. Kahit na
nasasaktan ako, susubukan ko pa. Kasi nangako ako. I promised to love you even if it
hurts and to love you more when it hurts." Basha
But marriage is like that. Couples have to accept it because they entered willingly
into it and they must commit themselves to stay in the marriage.
"Our marriage is everything we never hoped for. Masaya siya, minsan malungkot,
minsan masakit, minsan ang pangit. Pero yun siya. Thats marriage." - Popoy.

References:
http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/family/quickie-las-vegas-wedding-always-bad-idea
http://www.catholicscomehome.org/your-questions/marriage/divorce-annulments/
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/should-i-get-a-divorce/how-should-achristian-view-marriage-and-divorce
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/11697477/Pope-says-it-can-be-morally-necessaryfor-couples-to-split.html
http://www.rappler.com/nation/88762-divorce-marriage-rappler-talk
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jennifer-fulwiler/please-dont-read-this-poem-at-your-wedding
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303544604576430341393583056
http://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/264/ccc-matri.htm
http://www.ajeinomoto.com/2015/12/a-second-chance-most-memorable-movie.html