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I hear non-Catholic Christians quote this verse often. I often wonder, do they know what God
means by Divorce and Annulment?

From a Catholic Church pamphlet:

An annulment is a judgment of a Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Church concerning the
invalidity of a particular union.
If an annulment is granted, it means that in the eyes of the Church a basic element was
missing from the union in question from the very beginning, and that on account of this, the
marriage was not valid from the start. The annulment does not deny that a real relationship
may have existed, nor does it imply that the union was entered with ill will or moral fault.
Rather, an annulment states that the relationship fell short of at least one of the elements
seen essential for a true, valid Christian marriage. Finally, an annulment does not seek to
establish guilt or innocence, but, rather, validity or invalidity. In the U. S., a Church annulment
has no civil effects.

Children: Church law specifically states that children born of a marriage that has been
declared null are considered legitimate by the Church.

Expenses: A fee is asked (Florida $250.00) Orlando petitioners may pay this fee anyway they
feel they are able, and if anyone needs a reduction or a total waiver of the fee, the Tribunal
will readily honor this request.
Under no circumstances will an annulment be denied or delayed because an individual cannot
meet the expenses.
{end pamphlet}

Kimberly Hahn   [Mt. 19:7]
"Why did Moses "command" divorce?

Moses, according to Jesus in v. 8: because of the "hardness of heart" of the Hebrews
"allowed" divorce, NOT COMMANDED!  But, Jesus goes on to say: this was never God's
intention! v. 8b, "but from the beginning it was not so."

v. 9, Jesus goes on to say: the only reason for divorce, is. . .if the marriage is "illegal".
The question for us would be; "What did Jesus intend His statement here to mean"?

The following is from the USCCB website:
[It seems, however, that the unlawfulness that Matthew gives as a reason why a marriage must
be broken refers to a situation peculiar to his community: the violation of Mosaic law forbidding
marriage between persons of certain blood and/or legal relationship (Lev 18:6-18). Marriages
of that sort were regarded as incest (porneia)]
Matthew 5

(Incest, marriage between persons of certain blood/ legal relationship [Lev. 18:6-18])
This is a basis for the Catholic teaching on Annulment. Jesus only allowed the dissolution of a
marriage if the marriage was not sacramentally valid in the first place - if it was "illegal". The
Church says that the only reason for a husband and wife to dissolve a marriage - is if there
was never a sacramentally valid marriage in the first place. Some Bibles use the word
"adultery", but that is not the word used by Jesus as we can easily see by the entire teaching.  

It makes
NO SENSE to say Jesus goes through this entire dialogue saying there is NO
for divorce and then at the end, he adds: "Oh, by the way, I forgot, there is a


The Greek word used here for "unchastity" is P O R N E I A - which literally means an "illegal"
or "incestuous" marriage! (We see this is the ROOT word that we get pornography -
Scott Hahn )

Christianity is the only religion that requires monogamy.

(ME) Jesus is telling the Pharisees in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 19; that there is never a
reason for divorce! That although Moses allowed not commanded divorce, it was never God's

(NOTICE: the word "commanded" was the Pharisees interpretation)

But, only because of the "hardness of men's hearts".

And now, many (if not all) of our separated bretheren seem to have the same attitude as the
Impediments to a Sacramental Marriage

Main article: Canonical impediment -

A reason for annulment is called an diriment impediment to the marriage. Prohibitory
impediments (which do not exist in the Latin Church), such as being betrothed to another
person at the time of the wedding, make entering a marriage wrong but do not invalidate the
marriage. Diriment impediments, such as being brother and sister, or being married to another
person at the time of the wedding, prevent such a marriage from being contracted at all. Such
unions are called putative marriages.

Diriment impediments or grounds for annulment include:

Psychological state precluding ability to consent
No intention, when marrying, to remain faithful to the spouse (simulation of consent)
No intention, when marrying, to have children
Deception of one party by the other in order to obtain consent, and if the partner had been
aware of the truth, would not have consented to marry
Abduction with the intent to compel marriage (known as
raptus), constitutes an impediment as
long as she remains in the kidnapper's power.
Failure to adhere to requirements of canon law for marriages, such as
Impediment of Crime, bringing about physically (or through moral cooperation) the death of
one's own spouse or the spouse of another, with the intention of marriage
Undispensed lack of form
Annulment or Divorce?

One of the most common misunderstandings about Catholic teaching is the difference
between an annulment and a divorce. Often people say an annulment is just a Catholic
divorce -- nothing could be further from the truth. To Catholics there is no divorce (ref Mt 5:32;
19:9, Mk 10:2-12, Lk 16:18, 1Cor 7:10). An annulment is a statement by the Church that a
sacramental marriage has never taken place.

Take for example someone who is forced into a marriage. The Church would say that is not a
Christian marriage. Civil law is exactly the same. A shotgun wedding is not a Christian marriage.

For Christians there are other reasons for granting an annulment. The Church has always
taught that a marriage should be open to children. If a couple gets married but has no plans
for children, then the Church might rule that marriage is not sacramental and is in fact null. (Be
careful not to read this to mean you must have children to have a valid marriage -- you must
only be open to children.)

An annulment is a statement by the Church that a sacramental marriage did not occur.
A divorce is a statement by a civil authority that a marriage is dissolved.
Validation of Marriage (New Advent)
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