Divorce :: Catholic News Agency

"All who have been twice married by human law, are sinners in the eyes of our Master."  St. Justin Martyr, "First Apology," c. 160 A.D.


"A wife must not depart from her husband.  Or, if she should depart, she must remain unmarried."  St. Cyprian of Carthage, "Testimonies," c. 250 A.D.


"A man who marries after another man's wife has been taken away from him will be charged with adultery in the case of the first woman; but in the case of the second he will be guiltless."  St. Basil the Great, "Second Canonical Letter to Amphilochius" c. 375 A.D.


"No one is permitted to know a woman other than his wife. The marital right is given you for this reason: lest you fall into the snare and sin with a strange woman. 'If you are bound to a wife do not seek a divorce'; for you are not permitted, while your wife lives, to marry another." St. Ambrose of Milan, "Abraham" c. 387 A.D.


"You dismiss your wife, therefore, as if by right and without being charged with wrongdoing; and you suppose it is proper for you to do so because no human law forbids it; but divine law forbids it. Anyone who obeys men ought to stand in awe of God. Hear the law of the Lord, which even they who propose our laws must obey: 'What God has joined together let no man put asunder."' St. Ambrose of Milan, "Commentary on Luke" c. 389 A.D.


"Do not tell me about the violence of the ravisher, about the persuasiveness of a mother, about the authority of a father, about the influence of relatives, about the intrigues and insolence of servants, or about household [financial] losses. So long as a husband lives, be he adulterer, be he sodomite, be he addicted to every kind of vice, if she left him on account of his crimes he is still her husband still and she may not take another."  St. Jerome, "Letters" c. 396 A.D.


"Wherever there is fornication and a suspicion of fornication a wife is freely dismissed. Because it is always possible that someone may calumniate the innocent and, for the sake of a second joining in marriage, act in criminal fashion against the first, it is commanded that when the first wife is dismissed a second may not be taken while the first lives." St. Jerome, "Commentaries on Matthew" c. 398 A.D.


"If a man leaves his wife and she marries another, she commits adultery."  St. Augustine of Hippo, "On the Good of Marriage" c. 401 A.D.


Printed with permission from Catholic Defense.

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