MOSAIC Fall 2015 - Page 7

ural law” (no. 2384). Divorce is likewise immoral “because it introduces disorder into the family and society” that “brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them” (no. 2385). The harm that is done to children through divorce has a “contagious effect, which makes it truly a plague on society” (ibid.). While divorce is a great tragedy, the Church recognizes that there are situations in which civil divorce can be tolerated when “it remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance” (no. 2383). Catholic ministers must also show love and compassion for men and women who have been divorced, as well as their children. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church feels bound to uphold “unity and indissolubility” as the essential properties of marriage (Code of Canon Law [1983] 1056§2) not only because it conforms to divine law, but also because it contributes to the common good of society. As St. John Paul II taught, “To bear witness to the inestimable value of the indissolubility and fidelity of marriage is What Leo XIII taught in 1880 has been one of the most precious and most urreiterated numerous times by the Magiste- gent tasks of Christian couples in our rium. Not only does divorce contradict the time” (Familiaris Consortio, no. 20). The divine and natural law (CCC, no. 2384), same pontiff also recognized that the init is also a source of grave harm to chil- dissolubility of marriage concerns “one of the cornerstones of dren. Pius XII, in his 1942 Allocution to Newsociety,” and he belyweds, underscored the lieved efforts should Church’s concern for be made to obtain “the “To bear witness to children who depend public recognition of the inestimable value indissoluble marriage upon their parents f ܂