Celtic Cross

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Message From The Parish Priest

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My Dear People,

How many people get this teaching of our Blessed Lord wrong when it comes to divorce. The Church lost England as a Catholic nation because of King Henry VIII's demand for a divorce (1530's) and the Pope of the day said that he could not have a divorce for his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon was validly married to him. He tried to get all the universities of Europe to rule and judge on the matter in his favour but the Holy Father would not have it. So - Henry set up his own Church with a subservient Archbishop in Thomas Cranmer who immediately granted him a divorce, then another and another and another and so it went on - as the old joke says "I won't keep you long".

Marriage is made by God. Man perverted it by marrying more than one wife in polygamy or practised sequential bigamy. Elizabeth Taylor said that she never slept with a man who was not her husband!!

Once you start divorce people see it as a solution to their problems which it isn't. But we are referring to divorce AND RE MARRIAGE. Sometime you have to get the civil effects of a divorce to get on with your life or to protect rights or property or the welfare of children etc. However it is not permissible or according to God's Law to take another spouse - "til death do us part"... this is meant to be a solemn oath to God as well as to your spouse in marriage.

Once divorce and re marriage becomes common and easy then the sacred bond becomes trivial and is cheapened and that is why so many couples do not marry these days even though they have the fruits of marriage in children, family life and sexual relations. Who can blame them when divorce is made "no fault" and dead easy. I once asked a father why he would not marry after I had baptised their third child and he responded to me by saying - "Why break up a winning team?" What could I say? I told him that with God's grace he would make a good marriage but to no avail.

It is against the Natural Law to have divorce. The fruits of it we see in the lives of the children ruined by having to experience separation from parents they love. Even when the children are grown up they are crucified by split up of mature parents. I have seen it happen and its fruits are untold suffering. It is also a question of JUSTICE. To break a vow - to impoverish your spouse, to make your spouse live apart from you and to take another to love and cherish instead is deeply destructive of human happiness and can never be made right. Cabinet Ministers galore divorce. Jack Straw did it after nearly 30 years of marriage. It does not make it right.

Is it any wonder that in this Gospel today ends with the touching of children by our Blessed Lord's sacred hands? The parents brought their kids to our Lord just as they do to the Holy Father today for them to be "touched" and be blest. It is these very children who weep for their dad or mum when divorce takes place.

If you break the Natural Law there are grave consequences. It is like putting sand instead of petrol in the engine - it won't operate. That is one of the sicknesses of our age. Christian couples have a job witnessing to the beauty and God given blessing of Marriage and married life. It is one of the great Blessings of the Creator not lost by original sin.

If a marriage lacked some essential elements like "Consent" you can bring it before the Bishop and he will judge if it was a valid marriage bond or not. Sometimes a Decree of Nullity is granted and the person can marry again in Church. If this is you - see one of he clergy to begin with and he will take you through each step in a helpful fashion.

Long live Marriage - three cheers for married couples.

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

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