BASIC R.C. BELIEF
According to Roman Catholic Teaching, the State has the power to regulate
marriages, but no power to grant divorce. This is still the backbone of the
Church's teaching, but in some circumstances and areas, annulments are
easier to get.
POST VATICAN II
Bishop Dozier of Memphis, Tennessee made headlines by allowing divorced
Catholics to participate in a rite of general confession, absolution and
Holy Communion. 12,000 people participated, but Roman Catholic officials
refused to authorize the procedure as sacramentally valid.
In 1979, the Pope decreed that divorced Catholics who re-married were no
longer excommunicated; nevertheless, they were not admitted to full
communion or allowed to partake of the Sacraments.
In 1982, in York, England, Pope John Paul II acknowledged "some marriages
fail." Those hoping that this was a prelude to a softer stand on divorce
were disappointed when, in the same sermon, he said marriage was
"indissoluble and irrevocable."
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