Church of England Views on Divorce
According to the Church of England, marriage is a blessing that should never be broken. However, it is also cognizant of the fact that there are situations whereby divorce can be allowed. The Church of England teaches that if at all there is a problem between married couples, it is important that an amicable solution is found to avoid breaking the holy matrimony that is joined by God. Despite the wishes of the church that two married couples should live a lifetime of love that grows within the protection of God, it is not blind to the fact that there are situations when certain marriages do fail.
The decision for divorce according to the Church of England can be arrived at due to a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons why divorce can be pursued between two people who are married can be adultery, unreasonable behavior, the parties have lived apart for at least two years and both consent to the divorce among others. Despite the reason for misunderstanding between spouses, it is always recommended that the two need to first engage each other and settle the differences.
The Church of England was formed or rather started by Henry VIII who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church. The reason why Henry VIII broke away to form the Church of England is because the Catholic Church would not allow him to divorce his wife; Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. In this regard, he was paving way for anyone who felt dissatisfied in matrimonial union to seek divorce without any restrictions.
The Church of England teaches that marriage should be for life. In fact, this has been its long standing position until very recently. In 2002, the synod of the church passed a motion stating that in exceptional circumstances, a divorced person may again marry in church during the lifetime of a former spouse. For any act to be termed as divorce, both parties have to be present and sign a document confirming that they have officially separated. In the event that one of the spouses is reluctant, the church may come in to compel him or her if the alleged reasons for divorce are genuine.
Just like it happens during marriage, the two parties that are getting divorced need to sign a document confirming that they are legally separated. The Church of England provides a way through which people who have divorced can be married again in the church. However, there is no automatic right to do so since it views marriage to be a lifelong commitment. It is left to the discretion of the Priest to decide if a person who has been divorced can remarry in church.
Before one who has divorced can be able to marry again in the Church of England, they must talk to their Vicar concerning their past and hopes for the future. It is then that a decision can be made for re-marriage.
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