The issue of divorce in the Contemporary Catholic Church

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Abrahamic Religions. University of Religions and Denominations (Corresponding Author).

2 PhD Candidate of Comparative Religious Studies, Theology of Christianity, University of Religions and Denominations.


Impermissibility of divorce in Christianity and canons deriving from it, like privation of participation in Holy Communion, always causes many difficulties for Christians, particularly for Catholics. In contemporary world the problems, such as civil marriage without following Christian laws and cohabitation in which two persons live together without any canonical and formal marriage, has confronted the church with a great challenge. Finding out that it is necessary to present new ideas about family issues, some theologians like Hans Kung has demanded to reform and alter marriage and divorce laws. In contrast, traditional theologians persist in keeping Christian traditions and speak purely of more pastoral cares, without any alterations in laws. Meanwhile, some theologians like cardinal Kasper, though considering the prohibition of divorce as a dogmatic and inconvertible law, sympathetically accept reconsidering the established divorce dictums in the church. General demands and new ideas of Christian thinkers made the church to form an episcopal council and make decision on the subject. This council didn't make any changes in the biblical laws related to divorce, but showed some flexibility toward its consequences and permitted participation in the Eucharist in the case of the local church identification. This flexibility shows that, though the alteration of Christian dogmas and laws is difficult, it is possible to alter some Christian laws.


کتاب مقدس، ترجمه انجمن کتاب مقدس
تعالیم کلیسای کاتولیک (1393). ترجمه: احمدرضا مفتاح، حسین سلیمانی و حسن قنبری، قم: انتشارات دانشگاه ادیان و مذاهب.
Catholic Church (2004).  Catechism of the Catholic Church, London: Burns & Oates.
Peters, Edward (2006). Excommunication and the Chatolic Church, Ascension Press.
Prepared under the Auspices of the Canon Law Society of America (1983). Code of Canon Law, Canon law Society of America.
Bacchiocchi, Samuele (2001). The Marriage Covenant, A Biblical Study on Marriage,Divorce, and Remarriage, Biblical Perspectives, USA.