sourceThe separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.
Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
- If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.
It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.
I am quoting the Catechism about divorce because most Catholics do not know about this teaching. Nor do they know that divorce is not only an offense against the teachings of the Church, they are unaware that it is an offense against the natural law. I didn't know it myself, until I looked it up after my divorce was finalized. A divorce to which I felt I had to consent or lose my means of support. I walked into a spiritual group for single women and found a number of divorced men and women--most of them much younger than myself--who as it happened were divorced. Since I usually carry the Catechism to these things (you never know what's going to come up in the conversation) I showed them the above passage. They were all surprised. Is it a sin for a Bishop to allow his priests to foster an ignorance of church teaching this blatant? I've met Catholics who got divorced because they were bored.
Can anyone maintain, with a straight face, that homosexual marriage is the real problem here?