Marriage is God’s Institution, Not Papal Rome’s

  • Home
  •  / 
  • Articles
  •  / 
  • Marriage is God’s Institution, Not Papal Rome’s

The old adage that states, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” could more aptly be declared as “the hand that controls marriage rules the world.”  Before we can critique the Catholic Church’s legal control of marriage, we must first examine the biblical source of marriage and establish that it is of divine origin.  As creator and sovereign over His creation, God in His wisdom instituted marriage in the commandment that male and female should at a proper time leave mother and father and cleave one to another, “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”[1]

Scripture shows from the beginning that both believers[2] and unbelievers[3] married because the ordinance of marriage applies to all mankind.  Mankind cannot overthrow or nullify this creation command.  God has used families, clans, tribes, kingdoms, and states as instruments to facilitate, promote, and enforce the institution of marriage.  However, because man is fallen and his nature is sinful, these organized institutions in varying degrees have not followed the divine command of permanent monogamy as the law of marriage.  Too many of God’s people have followed the corrupted norms of society rather than the law of God.  God’s judgment is upon human institutions and governments that allow the divine pattern of marriage to fall into disrepute.[4]  The Lord Jesus Christ reinforced the creation command and explained how it was God’s will for His people, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.[5]  The relationship between married believers should be a reflection, dim though it might be in this life, of their union with Christ.[6]  The true people of God should be the preeminent instrument that God uses to uphold marriage, because they have the revelation of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit.  No church or so-called church, such as the Roman Catholic Church has authority to make laws concerning the validity of marriage or its abrogation.  Marriage is a divine creation ordinance applying to all mankind.

The Word of God does not prescribe anything in respect to the form a marriage ceremony might take.  Ceremonies differ in various nations but should never be regarded as anything more or anything less than a public recognition of a relationship entered into by a man and woman before God their creator.  Yet, as marriage is a matter of important consequence involving public as well as private obligations, it is appropriate and necessary that some public ceremony should be performed publicly so that the reality of the marital union should be without doubt.

Rome’s Alleged Absolute Power Over Marriage

While the Catholic Church gives lip service to marriage as fashioned by God in its basic meaning and structure, what she practices and enforces as law stands in stark contrast.  The Catholic Church claims to have absolute authority over marriage and legislates its validity and annulment.  For example, Pope Leo XIII tried to vindicate the Catholic Church’s usurped authority over the institution of marriage when he declared,

“When Christ, therefore, renewed matrimony and raised it to such a great [i.e., sacramental] excellence, He gave and confided to the Church the entire legislation in the matter.”[7]

In Papal Rome’s Code of Canon Law she states, “Marriage cases of the baptized belong to the ecclesiastical judge by the proper right.”[8]  Rome is unapologetically clear as she makes her claim that marriage belongs to her.  Thus she officially proclaims,

“But the grace which was to perfect that natural love, and confirm the indissoluble union, and sanctify those united in marriage, Christ Himself, institutor and perfector of the venerable Sacraments, merited for us by His passion.  The Apostle Paul intimates this, when he says:  ‘Men, love your wives as Christ loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it’, directly adding: ‘This is a great Sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the Church.’”[9]

This statement is a fabricated lie in the face of the very text of Scripture itself when it states, This is a great mystery:  but I speak concerning Christ and the church.[10]  The Apostle gives express warning that no man should understand him as speaking of marriage.  The subject that the Apostle was exalting is “Christ is the head of the church.[11]  He explains that this truth is more fully expressed as a great mystery,” that is to say, that Christ breathes into the church His own life and power.  Twisting this to mean that marriage is “a great sacrament” is one the grossest examples of the perversion of Scripture and gives a foothold to the Catholic claim to power over marriage.  Because of Jerome’s translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible, the Roman Catholic Church substitutes the word “Sacrament” for the word “mystery.  Thus, on the mistranslation of a single Bible word, the Catholic Church has constructed a whole theology whereby she claims absolute power over the most intimate and private relationship of millions of people.  This error is no small thing when one sees the havoc it wreaks upon the lives of those who belong to the Catholic Church and the great pain a
nd difficulty it brings to those who are trying to live out their marriage under her jurisdiction.  Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is so adamant in maintaining her claim that she puts a curse on anyone who denies that marriage is truly a sacrament,

“If anyone says that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of the evangelical Law, instituted by Christ the Lord, but that it has been invented by men in the Church, and does not confer grace:  let him be anathema.”[12]

Megalomaniac Power Even in Civil Law

The Roman Catholic laws on marriage should shock anyone knowing its divine source as coming from the creator Himself.  In Scripture it is declared to be respectable in all its facets, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.”[13]  Marriage is the institution of God so designed that it frees men and women in every part of the habitable world to be united in this bond.  Marriage is God’s ordinance and falls under the jurisdiction of no church.  It should be esteemed by all and denied by none for whom God created it.  Marriage is honorable because God instituted it for man from the beginning.  He married and blessed the first couple, the first parents of mankind, to direct all to look to God in this great institution.  This is so abundantly clear that one would think that all humankind would be in agreement.  Nevertheless, the Church of Rome does not agree.[14]  All of the secular features of marriage expressed above are strongly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church.  This opposition was first expressed in the twelfth century when Papal Rome took control over marriage and began legislating on the validity or invalidity of all marriages, whether kings or peasants.[15]

This takeover of marriage by Rome proved to be one of her most powerful tools in her quest for power over Catholics worldwide.  In her 1983 Code of Canon Law, the Vatican has taken steps to consolidate her power over marriage.  For example, the Vatican sets the age at which a person may enter marriage when it legislates that “a man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age and a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age cannot enter into a valid marriage.”[16]  Further, according to Catholic law, the marriage of a Catholic with an unbaptized person is legally invalid:

“A marriage between two persons, one of whom has been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is not baptized, is invalid.”[17]

The same Vatican also legislates that sexual impotence on the part of a man or wife makes a marriage legally invalid.  Thus she decrees, “Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have intercourse, whether on the part of the man or the woman, whether absolute or relative, nullifies marriage by its very nature.”[18]

The Pope further reserves the right to dissolve a non-consummated marriage, even if a person is unwilling.  Thus the Vatican in Canon 1142 legislates,

“For a just cause, the Roman Pontiff can dissolve a non-consummated marriage between baptized persons or between a baptized party and a non-baptized party at the request of both parties or of one of them, even if the other party is unwilling.”

While public recognition of a relationship is essential to marriage, the Vatican in Canon 1130 legislates even for secret marriages, “For a grave and urgent cause, the local ordinary [the bishop] can permit a marriage to be celebrated secretly.”  This “secret marriage” is so covert and surreptitious that the Vatican solemnly declares, “A marriage celebrated secretly is to be noted only in a special register to be kept in the secret archive of the curia.”[19]  This is only a small portion of the more than 110 laws concerning marriage that the Cardinals and Bishops of the Church of Rome legislate for Catholic people around the world.[20]

On the issue of marriage, the Vatican acts as if she has the power of God.  For example, this power is assumed in the above quoted statement regarding the Pope’s alleged power to dissolve a non-consummated marriage regardless of both parties’ willingness.  If this alleged power were confined just theoretically and strictly to the Papal Church, it would still be unacceptable although predictable.  However, the difficulty is that the Vatican power is that of both a Church and a civil state.[21]  As a sovereign state, the Vatican is recognized by one hundred seventy-four other nations with whom she exchanges ambassadors.  With some of these nations she also legally enters into what is called a “concordat,” which is an international contract legally binding her with the nation involved.  It guarantees to the Roman Catholic Church and Catholics within that nation such “rights” as worship, instruction of their people in their religion, and the acceptance of Roman Catholic law regarding marriage and annulment.  This last factor, the control of marriages within nations, is recognized even by secular academic writings.  We quote from The International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law,

“The Catholic Church [in most Latin American countries] was basically the only church with a legal presence, and it did not operate under the aegis of governmental laws or regulations.  The law applicable to the Catholic Church was its own canon law.  The Catholic Church’s dealings with governments were not regulated by legislation or executive decree, but by treaties or agr
eements with the Vatican.  Other churches, to the extent they existed or operated at all, could not enter into such treaties because they were not independent sovereigns.”[22]

The age-old ambitions of the Vatican have not changed, including the desire to control her people even in the most intimate aspects of their lives.  Consequently, her hold on Catholic marriages will not be relinquished without the power of the Gospel.  Under the Gospel, men and women are brought into a state of liberty in which they are freed from the burden of the rigorous control of Roman Catholic marriage law.  It is, therefore, the glorious duty of men and women to stand fast in this liberty and to adhere to the Gospel of grace and the freedom it brings.  This is the basic and essential way for Catholics to be rid of this yoke of marital bondage.

Mixed Marriages

The Vatican’s control over marriages and the marriage bed becomes especially manipulative in the way she handles “mixed marriages.”  Mixed marriages have been and continue to be one of the more successful ways of increasing the numbers of those who submit to Catholic ways.  I remember in all my twenty-one years as a priest in Trinidad how stringently I insisted on the Catholic laws.  I performed marriage after marriage in which the papers were filled with the resolution that all children born of the union would be brought up in the Catholic Church.  This is the Catholic law, “Without express permission of the competent authority, a marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons of whom one is baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is enrolled in a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church.”[23]  The real clinching law is Canon 1125,

“The local ordinary [i.e., a bishop] can a grant permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause.  He is not to grant it unless the following conditions have been fulfilled.  1. The Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith and to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church; 2. The other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party; 3. both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage, which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude.”

When Rome first began its campaign to win Protestants to Catholicism in the United States, one strategy of its plan was to entice them by mixed marriages.  In 1810, Roman Catholic Bishop Brute wrote a report to be sent back to Rome in which he mentions under the topic of “Conversion of Protestants” that “It is necessary to consider the conversions: By direct teachings. By education among Catholics. By mixed marriages…”[24]  Regrettably, these humanistic plans, by means of mixed marriages, have been quite successful in augmenting the power of Rome.  Such unbiblical practices, however, are in total opposition to the means of establishing the kingdom of God as taught in the Scriptures.  Christ Jesus declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.[25]  His kingdom is not a political institution regulated by worldly laws to gain more subjects.  Rather, His kingdom is a spiritual regime, regulated by the Truth, and His gracious Gospel is the means He uses for its enlargement.

Divorce

Biblically, when it comes to divorce, there are four important and relevant statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Two of these reflect total opposition to divorce while two others indicate acceptance of divorce on the grounds of sexual unfaithfulness and accordingly the right to remarriage for the innocent party.  Before God, marriage is a lifetime relationship that should never be brought to an end by human action.  The fundamental divine law of marriage is that a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife.  The nature of the marriage contract is that the two persons joined in such a union become one flesh, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”[26]  Husband and wife, being joined together by the ordinance of God, are not to be separated by any decree of man.  God says that He hates divorce.[27]  God’s perfect will is the safeguarding of society and future generations by the preservation of marriages.  God will give anyone great help in sustaining a marriage of estranged marriage partners.  Only two biblical grounds exist for divorce and remarriage.  When sexual unfaithfulness has taken place, a divorce can be obtained because adultery has already severed the marriage relationship and divorce is a formal acknowledgment of what has already taken place.  “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery:  and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”[28]  The law of Christ reinstated man in his initial integrity; i.e., the institution and preservation of marriage between a man and a woman was from the beginning.  When we consider what evil is perpetrated on families and nations through Papal laws on annulment of marriage, and the arbitrary civil divorces that are prevalent in society, we shall see how much this law of Christ stands in the interest of all mankind.

Divorce—Annulment Style

The Catholic Church declares that marriage between baptized people is in fact a sacrament.  This is reiterated in canon law, “…a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.”[29]  What the R
oman Catholic Church means in declaring marriage a sacrament is that it is an institution by which God gives grace and over which Rome has control.  Rome sets up a hierarchy of marriages whereby the Catholic marriage takes precedence over other marriages.  Marriages that are civilly valid can be considered null and void from the point of view of Catholic law.  For example, a marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic that did not take place before a Catholic priest is considered null and void and it is only a matter of time before the parties can be released from their marriage covenant.

The necessary consequence of marriage as a sacrament is the establishment of a system whereby Catholic marriages surpass and take precedence over all other marriages.  Catholics are conditioned from childhood to accept the idea that marriage must be done before a priest and to look down on marriages that have not been so performed.  The way that this teaching is applied under Catholic law is very serious because it is quite easy to get a decree of annulment when a marriage was not performed before a priest.  It is much more difficult to get an annulment for those marriages that have been carried out before a priest and are called Sacramental.

The Catholic Church continually enunciates that there can be no divorce for a marriage that is lawfully performed between consenting baptized man and woman.  However, study of the Roman Catholic laws regarding an annulment shows that great technical skill and ingenuity is used in dispensing ecclesiastical annulments.  An annulment, in actual fact, amounts to exactly the same thing as a divorce in practice.  In law, it goes beyond the concept of a divorce.  The Catholic Church, in granting an annulment, declares legally that a marriage never was.  This means that one can end up in the absurd situation of having been married and having had children from that marriage—a tangible evidence of the marriage—and yet the marriage is declared to never have been!  Furthermore, without an annulment the Catholic Church does not recognize civil divorce as valid.  Having a civil divorce in turn keeps Catholics from taking the Eucharist, which, after baptism, is the central means of obtaining ongoing grace that purportedly flows through the sacrament.  Being cut off from the Eucharist has extreme consequences when Catholics think of dying without that necessary sacramental grace in which they have been taught to trust.

One of the chief implements used in gaining an annulment is called a “diriment impediment.”  A diriment impediment is an impediment that is serious enough to nullify a marriage automatically.  One such impediment could be a lack of consent of either party or a deficiency in “the form of marriage.”  The required form of marriage according to Rome is that it is performed before a priest and two witnesses.  Many marriages are declared null because of the laws the Catholic Church has regarding “diriment impediments.”  Then, too, the Catholic Church has evolved a terminology that outclasses even the Pharisees.  An example of this is a “radical sanation.”[30]  A radical sanation is a decree that is retroactive and can stabilize and make a marriage valid that had started out invalidly.  Present-day canon law states,

“The radical sanation of an invalid marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent, which is granted by the competent authority and entails the dispensation from an impediment, if there is one, and from canonical form, if it was not observed, and the retroactivity of canonical effects.”[31]

Even the Pharisees would have marveled at this intricate legislation that is purportedly able to retroactively make a marriage valid that had not been valid.  The same canon continues, “Convalidation occurs at the moment of the granting of the favor.  Retroactivity, however, is understood to extend to the moment of the celebration of the marriage unless other provision is expressly made.”[32]  Such destruction and production of marriages contravenes Divine law.  It is done by the same Papal Rome that outlaws marriage for her priests.

Papal Destruction and Production of Marriage

The Catholic Church claims apostolic power to both annul marriages and declare their legitimacy.  The Catholic Church exercises such power even if both parties know nothing of what is being done.  Thus Rome proclaims in her law, “A sanation can be granted validly even if either or both of the parties do not know of it; nevertheless it is not to be granted except for a grave cause.”[33]  This mysterious power she declares is held in the heart of Rome herself, “The Apostolic See can grant a radical sanation.”[34]  In reality, marriage is not validated at the command of Rome; scripturally, marriage is regulated according to the will and counsel of God.  The Lord Christ Jesus said, “a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife.[35]  This alone is how a marriage becomes valid before God.  To decree that celibate prelates in Rome, even though the involved parties themselves do not know of it, can make a marriage legitimate is pharisaic totalitarianism gone wild!  This bizarre power is claimed because Rome claims that marriage is a sacrament, and therefore within her power to make or break marriages according to her own will and purposes.

The unmaking of marriages is sometimes done by what is called “interior consent,” that is, the consent that either the man or woman had or did not have from the beginning.  On different ecclesiastical investigations, this can be produced in an ecclesiastical court, either to make or to break a marriage.  Catholic annulments are a big business inside the Catholic Church, and in the United States it is known in which of the states it is easiest to get an annulment.

“The statistics are interesting.  In 1968 there were in the US a total of 338 annulments.  In 1992 there were no less than 59,030, that is one hundred and seventy-five times as many.  Another interesting figure is that the total number of annulments in the Catholic Church world wide in 1992 was 76,286, which means that no less than 75% of all annulments were from the US, that is from a little over 5% of the world’s Catholi
c population.  Moreover, not only do one in two Catholic marriages here in the States end up with a divorce, but one in five is officially annulled, 90% of the demands for annulment being successful.”[36]

The Catholic “Family Life Center International” states the following, 

“American tribunals have been mass producing annulments without interruption for a generation.  The criticism does not emanate mainly from benighted pre‑Vatican II Catholics still living in the past. Indeed, the most trenchant and sustained criticism has come from the Roman Rota, the Apostolic Signatura, and the Holy Father himself.  Vatican displeasure with the American way of annulment is not of recent vintage.  It has existed for at least a quarter of a century.[37]

The procedure for obtaining an annulment is explained by local Roman Catholic dioceses across the world.  For example the diocese of Saint Cloud, Minnesota USA, state, “The annulment process, in its most simple form, involves any person coming to the Church and asking to be heard.  Information is gathered by us and in the end, we answer that person’s request: the marriage was invalid or valid according to the laws of the Church.”[38]

The casual and arrogant manner of dealing with marriage is not surprising.  All is done “according to the laws of the Church.”  Bishops and priests, all of them celibate, are the ones who make judgments on these matters.  Like indulgences, the whole annulment industry of the Roman Catholic Church—from the propounding of the laws to the sale of the contraband article—is in total violation of Scripture.

Marriage and the Catholic Travesty Against It

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, clearly spoke of the dignity and sanctity of marriage.  When questioned about marriage, He went back to the narrative in Genesis, “Have you not read that he which made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh’?[39]  Christ Jesus’ endorsement of the sanctity of marriage was simply a re-endorsement of the original revelation given by God.  Marriage is a creation ordinance, unlike baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are ordinances of the New Testament directly from Christ Himself and for believers only.

Marriage is from the beginning and it comes under the jurisdiction of the civil state as instituted by God.  For Christians, the laws regarding marriage are clearly laid out in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments.  A Christian pastor can counsel a couple regarding their marriage according to these biblical norms.  He is never to take jurisdiction over their marriage to make or break it.  The Lord Jesus Christ is abundantly clear when He states that what God has joined together, no man should put asunder.  The only biblical cases that can be found for divorce is that which the Lord Himself allows for in the case of sexual unfaithfulness and the case that of the desertion of a believer by an unbelieving spouse as described I Corinthians 7:12-15.[40]

Nevertheless, the Catholic Church has manufactured a whole set of rules and regulations that requires a Roman Catholic canon lawyer to fully understand.  They are such that even the Pharisees would blush.  Papal Rome says she upholds the sanctity of marriage, but she allows marriages to be declared null and void based upon a terminology of her own making.  For example, “validity” when granted by Rome’s ecclesial courts is not just a simple statement.  It allows for different interpretations.  For example Canon 1684 states,

“After the sentence which first declared the nullity of the marriage has been confirmed at the appellate grade either by a decree or by a second sentence, the persons whose marriage has been declared null can contract a new marriage as soon as the decree or second sentence has been communicated to them unless a prohibition attached to the sentence or decree or established by the local ordinary [the bishop] has forbidden this.”

Thus, the very decree that a marriage is null and void is muddied by theological terminology whereby, if someone is to act on Catholic teaching, he needs trained lawyers to lead him through the labyrinth of canon law.  In total contrast, the Bible gives a clear message that God, who is the All Holy One, has decreed what makes a marriage.  This is wonderful for both the people of God and for all mankind.  It is a common blessing of God’s grace.  The Catholic Church has abducted this divine institution and used it for its own purposes.  Papal Rome has granted hundreds of thousands of annulments and allowed remarriage.  Many of these unions, called marriages, are in fact, before the Lord and His Word, nothing more than officially blessed whoredoms.  Such sinful unions take away the hearts and souls of men and women.  These are real situations, blessed by the priest and the Church of Rome; they are like a deep ditch and a narrow pit, out of which it is almost impossible to escape.

An Example from Early American History

John Adams, the second president of the United States, addressed ecclesiastical tyranny as he asked the question, “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?”[41]  He so clearly saw the dangers that he called “Catholic Christianity” “Cabalistic Christianity.”[42]  In his “Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” Adams pinpointed the problem when he wrote of the early Christian Puritans in America,

“[that their] greatest concern seems to have been to establish a government of the church more consistent with the Scriptures, and a government of the state more agreeable to the dignity of human nature, than any they had seen in Europe, and to transmit such a government down to their posterity, with the means of securing and preserving it forever…. &n
bsp;They saw clearly, that of all the nonsense and delusion which had ever passed through the mind of man, none had ever been more extravagant than the notions of absolutions, indelible characters, uninterrupted successions, and the rest of those fantastical ideas, derived from the canon law, which had thrown such a glare of mystery, sanctity, reverence, and right reverend eminence and holiness, around the idea of a priest, as no mortal could deserve, and as always must, from the constitution of human nature, be dangerous in society.”[43]

In this day of false ecumenism with the same Roman Catholic Church, John Adams’ question should again be asked.  Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic marriage laws?

Conclusion

The extravagant demands of Roman Catholic law impinge on the freedom of any nation.  If Christian people are truly informed, they must become aware that marriage, the very basis of society, is being controlled and manipulated for millions of Catholics.[44]  It applies to not only the millions of Catholics in United States, in different Western nations, and across the world, but it also applies to the millions of Christians and others who are also deeply ensnared by Papal canon law as they enter into a marriage with a Catholic.  If Catholicism is to be addressed seriously, the infringement on marriage must be dealt with scripturally, as it stands at the very heart and structure of civil society as given by God.

The true believer can understand that the difference between the Church of Rome and the true Church is parallel to the difference between a wanton woman adorned with gold and jewels, scarlet and purple, and a pure virgin chastely and modestly adorned, about to be united in bonds of love to an upright husband.  The Scripture declares, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”[45]  The true believer has washed his robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; the wedding blessings he did not purchase by any price of his own, but received them as the gift and inheritance of his blessed Lord.  Great and awe-inspiring events are before the true believer.  Now is not the time for flabby Christianity that will not face the legal consequences of faith.  It is time to fully investigate the social price tag of Papal law on marriages.

We cannot maintain a biblical and evangelical testimony for the Gospel of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone while granting legitimacy to Roman Catholic laws on marriage.  It is impossible to claim to be a Bible-believing, Evangelical Christian who accepts both the inspiration and authority of the Word of God while still giving legality to Roman Catholicism; a system that rejects the final authority of Scripture, as their laws on marriage show.  Such behavior is an affront to Christ in His work of redemption and likewise to the Holy Spirit in His ministry of convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  The Apostle Paul wrote under the direction of the Holy Spirit, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”[46]

Who can bear the devouring fire of God’s everlasting wrath?  The good news is that personal faith and salvation is also from His hand, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”[47]  The Scripture proclaims, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”[48]  The Lord Himself declared, “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.”[49]  The Lord will always be merciful to those who turn to Him in faith for the remission of sins.  “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.[50]  Before the all-holy God, according to the Bible, an individual is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  Following on this, all glory and praise is to God alone!  ♦

[1] Genesis 2:24

[2] For example, see Genesis 5

[3] For example, see Genesis 4:16-17

[4] “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).  The word “ungodliness” includes all crimes against God and all crimes against fellowmen in marriage or otherwise.

[5] Matthew 19:6

[6] “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing…  This is a great mystery:  but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:24, 32).

[7] Neuner and Dupuis, Para. 1821

[8] Code of Canon Law, Canon 1671

[9] Denzinger, # 969  Emphasis is not in original.

[10] Ephesians 5:32

[11] Ephesians 5:23

[12] Denzinger, # 971

[13] Hebrews 13:4

[14] Marriage in Muslim societies is unfeasible in biblical terms, and there are other exceptions such as Communist China where the State dictates even the number of children that a couple is allowed to have.

[15] For most of its history from the sixth century to the time of the Reformation, the Catholic Church controlled religion, morals, politics, art, and education in what was known as the Holy Roman Empire.  In all those centuries of the Dark Ages, it was the priest and bishop who governed peoples’ lives in regards to morality and therefore, marriage.  It was not until the Reformation that the institution of marriage achieved any freedom from Roman ecclesiastical control.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, some governments established an independent civil institution of marriage for all people on an equal basis.  There were, of course, Christian groups independent of the Catholic Church throughout all of the Christian era, as, for example, the Vaudois, the Waldenses, and others.  From its beginning, the United States as a nation built its governmental structures in both church and state upon the Reformation understanding of separation of religious and civil jurisdictions.  Because of this biblical understanding, the United States was free from Catholic dominion from the very beginning.  The United States is compromised however by the fact that it now has civil relations with the Vatican.  The general state of affairs in Europe for most of its history was that the Catholic law was the moral law.

[16] Canon 1083, §1

[17] Canon 1086 §1

[18] Canon 1084 §1

[19] Canon 1133

[20] So comprehensive are these laws that they are organized into chapters.  Canons 1055 – 1165:  Ch. I. Pastoral Care and Those Things Which Must Precede the Celebration of Marriage.  Ch. II. Diriment Impediments in General.  Ch. III. Specific Diriment Impediments.  Chapter IV. Matrimonial Consent.  Ch. V.  The Form of the Celebration of Marriage.  Ch. VI. Mixed marriages.  Ch. VII. Marriage Celebrated Secretly.  Ch. VIII. The Effects of Marriage.  Ch. IX. The Separation of Spouses, Art. 1. Dissolution of the Bond.  Art. 2. Separation with the Bond Remaining.  Ch. X. The Convalidation of Marriage, Art. 1. Simple Convalidation.  Art. 2. Radical Sanation.

[21] The term “Holy See” always refers to the Roman Catholic Church as a political entity and is used in her relationships with other nations.

[22] The International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law, Vol. Six, Issue One Sept 2003 p 3

http://www.icnl.org/JOURNAL/vol6iss1/rel_isaacsonprint.htm 5/28/05

[23] Canon 1124  Emphasis added

[24] Documentary Reports on Early American Catholicism selected and introduced by Philip Gleason (New York:  Arno Press, 1978) p. 229

[25] John 18:36

[26] Matthew 19:6

[27] Malachi 2:16

[28] Matthew 19:9

[29] Canon 1055, §2

[30] The Latin words ‘sanatio in radice’ leterally mean‘healing in the root’. It is Papal Rome’s attempt to heal a marriage without securing a renewal of consent.  Such ‘sanatios’ can be granted only by her.

[31] Canon 1161

[32] Canon 1161, §2

[33] Canon 1164

[34] Canon 1165

[35] Matthew 19:5

[36] http://www.sspx.org/Canonical_Commission/august_1995_ltr.htm 11/18/2008

[37] http://www.familylifecenter.net/article.asp?artId=64   11/18/2008

[38] http://www.stcdio.org/annulment.htm   11/18/2008

[39] Matthew 19:4-5

[40] “If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband:  else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases:  but God hath called us to peace.”

[41] John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821  www.historicist.com/articles2/historicwarnings.htm

[42] Ibid., John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 16, 1814.  “Cabalistic Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound….”

[43] John Adams, “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” printed in the Boston Gazette, August 1765.  Text is on: www.ashbrook.org/library/18/adams/canonlaw.html  5/30/05

[44] On September 12, 2005 FoxNews.com brought to light one of the insidious tactics used by the Roman system to gain greater control of Catholic marriage through civil law in its article, “Ontario Rejects Use of Islamic Law”.  “Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, has allowed Catholic and Jewish faith-based tribunals to settle family law matters on a voluntary basis since 1991.  The practice got little attention until Muslim leaders demanded the same rights.  Officials had to decide whether to exclude one religion, or whether to scrap the religious family courts altogether.  McGuinty [Premier of Ontario] said such courts ‘threaten our common ground,’ and promised his Liberal government would introduce legislation as soon as possible to outlaw them in Ontario.  ‘Ontarians will always have the right to seek advice from anyone in matters of family law, including religious advice,’ he said, ‘But no longer will religious arbitration be deciding matters of family law.’”  The Catholic Church’s foothold into Canadian civil law has suffered a set-back for the moment by this decision of Premier McGuinty.

[45] Revelation 19:9

[46] Romans 1:18

[47] Acts 5:31

[48] Acts 16:31

[49] Mark 16:16

[50] Matthew 11:28-30