Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Indissolubility of Marriage Based on Misinterpretation of Ephesians 5, Augustine, Council of Trent" by John Chuchman

The indissolubility of marriage
is based on a misinterpretation of Ephesians 5,
which likens the relationship between husband and wife
to the relationship between Christ and the church.

The latter relationship is a mystery,
mysterion in Greek.
Unfortunately the Latin word for mystery was sacramentum,
and Augustine mistakenly argued that
the mystery found in the Christ-church relationship
must also be found in the husband-wife relationship.

Since Augustine believed
the Christ-church relationship could not be broken,
he erroneously concluded that
the husband-wife relationship must be indissoluble.

Centuries later, medieval schoolmen or scholastics
compounded the error
by misinterpreting Augustine
thinking that when he said that there is a sacramentum in marriage,
 he meant that marriage confers a sacrament
like baptism, confirmation, and so on.

This is how scholastic theology came to the false conclusion
that marriage is a sacrament
and that it is indissoluble.

Little did the bishops at the Council of Trent realize
that their doctrine was based on a bad translation of Augustine,
whose theology in turn
was based on a misunderstanding of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

Christian marriage is not indissoluble
and there is no need for annulments,
and Catholics do not sin when they divorce and remarry.

An edited and reformatted excerpt
of an article on Catholica
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