Thinking Anglicans

Divorce in Jerusalem: Anglicans must convert first

Jill Hamilton writes in the Guardian today, Christians in the Holy Land shouldn’t have to convert to Islam to get divorced.

“We cannot wait for politicians to sort things out, we have got to make a difference ourselves,” concluded Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, at the conference on Christians in the Holy Land co-hosted at Lambeth Palace with archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales.

As they explored ways to support Christians in the Middle East, I sent a query to Lambeth Palace asking why Anglicans in Jerusalem convert in order to get divorced. The reply from the press office was disappointing: “Each province has its own canon law, so the archbishop wouldn’t have any jurisdiction over this in another province … “

Yet it is time that foreign churches, as well as sending money and priests to the Middle East, used their influence to reform family law in the region. Who will bring pressure to bear to modernise the dense muddle of Christian personal status laws in the Middle East? The majority of the 14 million Arab Christians there cannot divorce. Many are locked into dead marriages – or convert to another religion so they can divorce…

And more precisely she reports that:

In the Holy Land, Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans can only separate; to remarry they first have to convert to Greek Orthodox or Islam to obtain a divorce. Annulment is possible, but there are only about five cases finalised in the region annually. Converts for divorce, though, are welcomed by the Greek Orthodox church. Metropolitan Cornelius, the Greek Orthodox judge in Jerusalem, has said the majority of divorces he handles are for former Catholics.

Information about the Lambeth Palace conference referred to at the beginning of this story can be found here, then here, and finally here.

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
9 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
Robert ian WiulliamsPat O'NeillRobert ian Williamsdavid rowettRobert ian Wiliams Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

TYPO CORRECTED!

Yes you can obtain a Church divorce in the the Greek orthodox Diocese of Thyatira ( which covers the Uk and ireland) for as little as £ 200.See their web site.

They call it sacramental economy.

Plus you can contracept as well….look what happens when you give up the successor of St Peter.

However maybe they are one set ahead of the Church of England where the personal whim of the incumbent decides the day.

david rowett
Guest

“where the personal whim of the incumbent decides the day” I’m offended by the implications of that RIW. ‘Whim’ implies capriciousness and lack of principle. There are guidelines which I follow faithfully and prayerfully, as I’m sure my brother and sister priests of the CofE do also. And better, surely, than the artifice of ‘annulment’, which seems to devolve on ‘how canny a canon lawyer can we find to discover a loophole in our original marriage?’ To proclaim that a couple were never ‘really’ married is a pretty underhand way of being faithful to a dominical saying, and the impression… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“…look what happens when you give up the successor of St Peter.”

Yes, you get to join the modern world.

Robert ian Wiliams
Guest
Robert ian Wiliams

So a vicar in parish A will marry a divorcee , but parish B’s incumbent denounces it as sin. Parish c’s rector will not marry, but offer a blessing….utter chaos.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

“Utter chaos”…or a church in which individual conscience is held higher than blind obedience.

Oh, and is that any worse than a church in which, depending on the diocese, an annulment is available to anyone who asks or only to those with political pull?

david rowett
Guest

“when you give up the successor of St Peter”

Au contraire! I’ve never given up on Gregory the Great:-)

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Marriage tribunals are conducted under pain of mortal sin.. if there has been abuse that is due to an abuse. Abuse of Catholic teaching does not disprove it.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

What does it say about a teaching when people feel moved to “abuse” it almost all the time?

Robert ian Wiulliams
Guest
Robert ian Wiulliams

The key is original sin, Pat.