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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What does the "indissolubility of the Sacrament of Marriage" mean?

A. 1. At first, I was going to restrict my "Question and Answer" to the word "indissolubility." Then after reviewing its meaning and its association to the Sacrament of Marriage, I came to the conclusion that the two words "indissolubility" and "marriage" could not be separated. Accordingly, I provide you with the following answer.

From the Encyclical, "Casti Connubii," Pius Xl, of Dec. 31, 1930, I quote "3700 Denzinger 2225 First, then, let this remain as an unchangeable and inviolable basis; marriage was not instituted or restored by man but by God; not by man but by the very author of nature, God; and by the restorer of the same nature was it fortified, confirmed, and elevated through laws; and these laws, therefore, cannot be subject to any decision of man and not even to any contrary agreement on the part of the spouses themselves. This is a doctrine of Holy Scripture (Gn 1,27 f.; Gn 2,22 f.; Mt 19,3 ff.; Ep 5,23 ff.); this is the continued and unanimous tradition of the Church; this is the solemn definition of the Sacred Council of Trent, which declares and confirms [sees. 24; see n.969 ff.] that the perpetual and indissoluble bond of marriage, and the unity and the stability of the same emanate from God as their author."

In the word of Denzinger, I quote, "The permanence of marriage which cannot be dissolved either by the withdrawal of consent of the married partners or by civil authorities. Christian marriage is absolutely indissoluble, as defined by the Council of Trent, condemning anyone who says, "The Church errs when she has inculcated and continues to inculcate in accord with evangelical and apostolic teaching, that the bond of marriage cannot be dissolved by reason of adultery on the part of one spouse, and that both parties, even the innocent one who gave no reason for adultery, cannot contract a new marriage while the other spouse is alive; and that both the man who marries another wife after dismissing an adulterous one commits adultery and the wife who marries another husband after dismissing an adulterous one commits adultery" (Denzinger 1807).

In simple English, the Sacrament of Marriage has been instituted by Divine Law and no one can change that, not a priest, not a Bishop, not even the Pope. If someone who is already married, decides to marry a second person while the first partner is still living, that person is committing adultery. And while living an adulteress life, that person cannot receive the Sacraments of Confession or the Holy Eucharist for whatever reason.

There are five essentials for a good Confession to be valid. They are:

a. The penitent must examine his conscience.

b. The penitent must be contrite. He must feel sorry for his sins.

c. He must make a firm resolution not to offend God again through a sinful behavior.

d. He must confess his sins to the priest.

e. He must make satisfaction. That means he must fulfill the penance that he received from the priest who absolved him (received absolution) during the Sacrament of Confession.

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