Sacramentality Of Marriage

Today's readings spoke to us regarding the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage. It is in these readings that Jesus stipulates that husbands should not divorce their wives. The question then arises as to why the Church allows so many previously married couples to receive a Declaration of Nullity (Annulments).

The simple truth is that one must look at the Sacramentality of the Marriage, not just the legality of the union. To be a Sacrament, the Marriage must contain three clear conditions. First, the couple must recognize that a marriage is permanent, lasting until death. This means that the couple must have no intention to end the marriage; therefore, pre-nuptual agreements are out of the question since they place a condition upon the union and the possibility of the marriage failing. Second, the couple must intend to be faithful to one another. Fidelity is something that causes many marriages to fail, but it does not simply mean another individual becoming involved in the relationship. There are many other distractions that cause one to be unfaithful: addictions, possessions, job, etc. Finally, the couple must have an agreed openness to life, meaning that they do and intend to have children by this marriage (procreation).

These three conditions, when shared and honored between the couple demonstrate to the Church that the Sacrament of Marriage is indeed there. Where all three are not present the Sacrament is in question. Check the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops website at http://www.foryourmarriage.org