Rules against Remarriage Driving Souls Away

By Unsworth, Tim | National Catholic Reporter, April 20, 2001 | Go to article overview

Rules against Remarriage Driving Souls Away


Unsworth, Tim, National Catholic Reporter


In one of the more distant Chicago suburbs where there are no alleys, there is a mega-church that can draw over 15,000 worshipers on a Sunday in Ordinary Time and over 30,000 on holidays of the first class. From time to time, I'm told, the minister will ask for a show of hands. "How many of you are Catholics?" he asks.

And half the crowd stands to acknowledge their cradle faith.

One reason that Catholics take their souls to a heretic church is that they feel they have forfeited their membership in the Roman church because they violated one or more of the complex marriage laws. Their numbers are growing faster than some other branches of the tree of Christianity. But the church does not seem inclined to relax the rules. In fact, just last July 6, the Vatican announced that divorced and remarried Catholics are prohibited from receiving the Eucharist while sacramentally bound by a previous valid marriage. Fortunately, I can't think of a parish that bar codes its parishioners in order to insure adherence to this cruel prohibition.

In the Dec. 16 issue of America, Michael Hout, professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, presents some disturbing statistics on the impact of the current discipline in the church.

According to Hout, one-half of American Catholic marriages end in divorce. Half of the divorced Catholics remarry, thus affecting about 10 million people. Perhaps as many as 10 million Catholics will marry these divorced Catholics.

Currently, 17 to 20 percent of divorced and remarried Catholics leave the church. Sixteen percent of the 51 million adult Catholics in the United States are currently divorced, and 9 percent have been divorced and remarried in the past. All told, some 17 million Catholics have experienced divorce. In fact, by the 20th anniversary of their first marriage, Hout concludes, 48 percent of Catholics have been divorced.

While divorced Catholics attend Mass as regularly as married Catholics their age, about one in five of those who remarry consider themselves ex-Catholics, and at least one-third join and become active in a congregation of another faith.

If any other faith or social group were experiencing such leakage, its leaders would be in a panic. Further, in the church's canon of sins, an invalid marriage may be the only sin left that bars one from a place at the table. Sadly of late, the pastoral church has become the Pentagon church, drowning in rules and regulations.

I am saddened when I scan the obituary notices in the public prints each morning and discover people with names and detailed backgrounds that reflect a Catholic heritage. I discover that they are being buried from the funeral home or following a service at another Christian church. Many list stepchildren that suggest a second marriage and thus an exit visa from the Catholic church.

The information brought me back to a cluster of theology courses I took at Fordham University during summers in New York over 40 years ago. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rules against Remarriage Driving Souls Away
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.