Loading
Catholic mother continues to fight unwanted divorces

.- A Catholic mother and a law professor are proposing that couples entering a religious marriage sign a simple contract designed to give marriage safeguards that civil law no longer provides.

Marie "Bai" Macfarlane, 43, founded Mary's Advocates, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the sanctity of marriage. She's also collaborating on the True Marriage Project, set up by Professor Stephen Safranek, a co-founder of the Ave Maria School of Law, reported The Anchor, the diocesan newspaper of Fall River, MA.

They're in touch with others in a growing national grassroots movement to reform no-fault divorce and rescue marriage from being "optional, disposable, and redefinable."

Safranak's True Marriage Project has designed to assist couples who want their religious vows legally protected. It offers a pre-nuptial contract - a Solemn Marriage Covenant Proclamation – that would ensure disputes would be managed by the Church or by mediators who share the Church's view’s on the Sanctity of marriage.

The couples agree to submit to the Church's teachings and canon law as the basis of their understanding of the legal duties and responsibilities in marriage.

Bai started in this new apostolate after being subjected to a divorce herself. She married William "Bud" Macfarlane Jr. in 1990. The couple had four sons whom she home-schooled as they grew. Bud left in 2003, then obtained a no-fault divorce and full child custody.  

According to The Anchor, Safranak appealed Macfarlane's divorce case to the Ohio Supreme Court, asking that it recognize the religious nature of the marriage and its attendant rights and responsibilities.  

Bai claimed she and her husband had bound themselves in a lifelong sacramental covenant and no civil judge could dissolve this. She claimed divorce was a violation of her religious freedom and asked that jurisdiction be transferred to an ecclesial court.

“The only reasons for licit separation according the terms of my marriage agreement would be if I was dangerous, had committed adultery, or was making it impossible for my family to practice their faith," Bai told The Anchor, referring to Church law. "Since I did none of those things, I can't be forcibly separated from my family."

According to Bai, the court punished her by giving Bud primary child custody because she refused to stop home-schooling (one of Bud's demands which was supported by a court ruling) and because she fought the divorce. In the custody case Bai was characterized as a "religious extremist."

In November, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear her appeals case. She followed up, however, by submitting a canon law petition to the tribunals of the Diocese of Cleveland and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, asking them to investigate and to inform Bud that he should uphold the terms of their marriage since it had not been annulled.

When these tribunals declined to hear her petition, she appealed to the highest ecclesial court possible, the Roman Rota, where her petition is now pending.

Louisiana, Arizona, and Arkansas have passed statutes allowing for more committed marriages. In 1997, Louisiana passed a law allowing couples to enter into a "covenant marriage," which would bind the spouses legally and allow divorce only for "definite cause," such as adultery, a felony conviction and imprisonment, desertion for over a year, or abuse of the spouse or a child. Those who voluntarily enter into covenantal marriages must take marriage preparation courses and marriage counseling should problems arise.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: