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.


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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