Divorce and Remarriage: A Theological Assessment

A group of eight Dominican theologians in the United States has released in the Dominican journal Nova et Vetera, a study in preparation for the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family: “Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological Assessment.”

This study is important because it places in a necessary theological, doctrinal and canonical context all proposals for the reform of marriage, the streamlining of annulments, and the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to the Eucharist. It establishes, in effect, the due Catholic limits within which any changes must be made, and thus the boundaries that such proposals cannot cross and still remain Catholic.

The study demonstrates why proposals like that offered by Cardinal Walter Kasper—and any other proposals which call the lifelong binding character of marriage into question—cannot be accepted. Nor is any proposal acceptable which privatizes judgments of marital validity, for the Church defines matrimony as an inescapably public act, both natural and sacramental, which can be judged only by the authority of the Church through an orderly process.

The text of this study is available on line: http://nvjournal.net