« Who's Older? Special Presidential Edition | Home | New Level of Absurdity in Terror War: Look Out for Almanacs »

December 29, 2003


Marriage, Divorce, and the Catholic Church

While the Pope continues his anti-gay-marriage stance, the people of Chile are fighting for their rights too, the right to get divorced. Chile is the only country in the western hemisphere where divorce is illegal (Malta and the Philippines are the only others in the world. ADM notes that divorce only became legal in Ireland in 1997--it was passed by 1/2 of one percent in a referendum.) The only legally sanctioned method of dissolving a marriage is annulment, which is a popular option among US Catholics as well. Annulments are acknowledged by both the Catholic church and governments, and allow marriages to end by claiming that they never legally took place. Common reasons given for the invalidity of marriages are usually "blatant fictions": couples often claim some administrative error or the emotional immaturity of either partner. Chileans also are allowed to end a marriage by claiming that a spouse who leaves them is "presumed dead" if the absent spouse is not available to prove otherwise. It's not much of a surprise to learn that wealthy and powerful people are often the ones who are able to pay the applicable lawyers' fees and marry many times, using the nullification system to their advantage.

Perhaps the Pope would be interested to see how the sacred institution of matrimony is being practiced in Chile, and maybe reassess the "divine gift" that has already been degraded very handily by straight people. -amy

But Catholics in America don't really have to worry about all this, since there are so many non-Catholics. If we marry one of them, and get divorced, we don't even need an annulment. The marriage is invalid by its nature, so we can move right on to the next one! Besides eternal salvation, this is probably one of the few unmitigated perks Catholics get. -adm

categories: Culture, International, Religion
posted by amy at 12:03 PM | #