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party, who give no cause to the adultery, cannot contract another marriage whilst the other party is alive, and that he is guilty of adultery, who, putting away the adulteress, marries another, as is also she who, leaving the adulterer, marries another, let him be anathema,” Sess. xxiv, can. 7. Here we see the infallible authority of the Church of Christ declaring the indissolubility of marriage to be the evangelical and apostolical interpretation of all the above texts of Scripture, and condemning all those who teach the contrary.
Q.10. But when Jesus Christ says, “whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery,” Matth. xix. 9. Does not this exception seem to insinuate, that by the fornication of either party, the marriage bond is indissoluble, and that, at least, the innocent party may lawfully marry again?
A. In answer to this, we must observe, (1.) That St. Mark, when relating what passed on this occasion, makes no mention of this exception, but tells us, that our Saviour, when in the house with his. apostles, declared to them in general terms, that, " whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her," Mark x. 11. Which clearly shews, that the exception mentioned by St. Matthew, is not applicable to the husband's marrying again, but to the lawfulness of his putting away his wife for any cause but fornication only. (2.) That this text of St. Matthew is very obscure as it lies, and especially if not compared with the account given by St. Mark, which opens the door to the true sense of it; but all the other texts on this subject are clear, decisive, and without all exception, consequently the true meaning of the Holy Ghost is not to be sought from the
ambiguous expression of an obscure text, in opposition to so many plain texts, but its ambiguity is to be explained, and its true sense ascertained, by those other clear and express texts upon the subject. (3.) If it be supposed lawful for the husband to put away his wife on account of her fornication, and to marry again, as being the innocent party, then either the bond of marriage is dissolved, or it is not; if it be not dissolved, it can never be lawfnl even for the innocent party to marry; if it be dissolved, then even the guilty party can lawfully marry, because no less free than the other, and yet our Saviour expressly says, " he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery, Matth. xix. 9. ; which manifestly shews, that even when she is put away for her guilt, the marriage tie remains in its full force. (4.) The Church of Christ has never understood the above exception as implying a dissolution of the bond of marriage, even in the case of fornication, or as in any respect favouring the innocent party, and condemns in the strongest terms those who teach it does so.
Q. 11. What then is the meaning of the above text of St. Matthew ?
A. All these reasons just mentioned demonstrate that it cannot mean that the bond of marriage is dissolved even by the crime of either of the parties, and consequently it makes nothing against the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Its true meaniug, then, is to be sought for from the circumstances in which Christ spoke it, and from the question to which it was the answer.
The Pharisees asked our Saviour, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” Matth. xix. 3. Before he gives a direct answer to tbe question, he puts them in mind, that marriage at its original institution was indissoluble, and consequently could not be broken by
any cause; he then declares, that he, by his supreme authority, restores it to this its primitive perfection, and that the infringement made upon it by the Jews was only a permission on account of the hardness of their hearts; after this preamble, he gives a direct answer to their question, in these words: “I say to you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and sball marry another, committeth adultery." This sentence contains two parts, first, an answer to their question; secondly, a confirmation of what he said in his preamble of the absolute indissolubility of marriage, which he was pleased to join together, rather, indeed, in obscure terms. Their question was, “ Is it lawsul for a inan to put away his wise for every cause?” To this he answers, No; it is not lawful to put away his wife for any cause, except for furnication; and he who puts her away, “except for fornication, committeth adultery, by being the occasion of her committing adultery; but that none might think that when he puts her away for fornication, the tie of marriage is broken, and the husband at liberty to marry another, he adds, that even when lawfully put away for fornication, if the husband “ shall marry another, he committeth adultery;" and "he that shall marry her that is so put away committeth adultery also.”'
Q. 12. How does it appear that this is our Sa. viour's true meaning ?
A. From these reasons, (1.) Because, as we have proved above, by this sentence, the marriage bond is by no means broken, even in the case of fornication ; (2.) Because it follows from this, and we have also shewn above, that the exception cannot fall upon the indissolubility of marriage; and, therefore, must fall upon the lawfulness of putting away the wife at all; and (3.) Because, in. another place,,
our Saviour says, in express terms, “ whosoever putteth away his wife, excepting the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery ; and whosoever shall marry ber that is put away, committeth adultery,” Matth. xix. 9. Where it is manifest, that, if the husband put away his wife for any other cause except for fornication, he is deemed the cause of her future crime, because the cause for which he puts her away was not just ; but if he put her away for fornication, and she marry another, that other is guilty of adultery, by marrying another man's wife; but the husband is free of the guilt, because he bad a just and lawful cause for putting her away.
Q. 13. What are the conditions which the laws of God and his Church require for the lawful celebration of the sacrament of marriage ?
A. They are chiefly these following: (1.) The proclamation of the banns, where the decree for such proclamations is in force; (2.) The consent of the parents; (3.) That it be done by their proper pastor, and before witnesses; (4.) That there be no lawful impediment; (5.) That they contract marriage with Christian dispositions.
OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE BANNS.
Q. 14. What is meant by the proclamation of tho banns.?
A. It is, that when two persons intend to marry, their intention be published from the altar by their pastors, during divine service, for three different Sundays or holidays; and that all who may know
of any lawful impediment why the marriage should not take place, be called upon in the name of God to declare it.
Q. 15. For what reasons is this publication required ?
A. The Council of Trent gives this reason in general : because, “ the Church of God for the most just reasons, has always detested and prohibited clandestine or private marriages ; but seeing that these prohibitions, by reason of the disobedience of men, had not the desired effect, and considering the grievous sins which arise from clandestine marriages, therefore ordains, that for all time coming, before marriage be contracted, it be three times proclaimed," &c. Wherefore, the particular reasons for ordaining these publications, are chiefly these: (1.) To prevent all clandestine marriages, which the Church has always had in abhorrence, on account of the fatal consequences that too often flow from them. (2.) That it may be discovered if any of the parties be otherwise engaged, by promise, or from any other cause. (3.) That, if there be any lawful impediment to the marriage, it may be made known; and (4.) That the parents, and all others interested in opposing the marriage, may be advertised of it, and have time to propose their jast objections, if they have any, and so prevent the fatal consequences which might otherwise ensue. .
Q. 16. Would it be a sin to marry without these publications. ?
A. It certainly would be a very grievous sin of disobedience, both in the pastor who should assist at the marriage, and in the parties themselves, be cause the Church of Christ, with the whole weight of her autbority, strictly commands them, and has published this eommand in two of her general