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  #1  
Old 12-21-2009, 01:21 PM
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Default Pauline and Petrine Privilege?

I was listening to a Q & A session on a Catholic talk radio show a few weeks ago and they mentioned "Pauline Privilege". I wasn't familiar with the term, so I Googled it. In the process, I also found out about "Petrine Privilege". Here's one explanation, courtesy the Archdiocese of Chicago:

Quote:
39. What is the "Pauline Privilege"?
The Pauline Privilege is a dissolution of marriage in which both parties to a previous marriage were non-baptized throughout the entire duration of their married life. It can be requested when one of the parties either wishes Christian baptism or has been baptized Christian and the other party remains unbaptized. These cases remain here in the Chicago Tribunal, and are decided by the Archbishop of Chicago.
40. What is the "Petrine Privilege"?
A Petrine Privilege or Privilege of the Faith is a dissolution of marriage in which at least one of the parties to a previous marriage was non-baptized throughout the entire duration of their married life. If the petitioner is the non-baptized party or was baptized in another Christian church, he or she must either wish to be baptized or received into the Catholic Church, or seek to marry a baptized, practicing Catholic. If the petitioner is a baptized Catholic who was married to a non-baptized person, he or she must either wish to enter into marriage with a baptized Christian, or promise to enter marriage with a baptized Christian in the future. Privilege of the Faith cases involve a special petition to the Holy Father and are decided in Rome.
Now... I'm somewhat familiar with the Church's stance on marriage: I've read what the Catechism has to say on the subject, and I went through a Catholic marriage preparation course myself. The general theme that I took from this is that marriage, in the Catholic view, is a permanent, indissoluble bond in all cases, as long as there was a valid marriage in the first place.

How does the Church reconcile this position with the ideas of Pauline and Petrine Privilege?
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:40 PM
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This a real good article on it:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/03/dialogue-annulment-vs-divorce-with.html

Take the time to read it when you have time.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Victor View Post
This a real good article on it:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/03/dialogue-annulment-vs-divorce-with.html

Take the time to read it when you have time.
I'm okay with the distinction between annulment and divorce. That part I get.

I quickly searched through the article, and the only mention I could find of Pauline Privilege called it "a type of annulment". But that's not correct, is it?

From what I've read, and from what the host on the talk radio show that put this bee in my bonnet said, Pauline and Petrine Privilege are distinct from annulment, since in an annulment, the judgement of the Church is that a valid marriage was never present, while in the case of Pauline and Petrine Privilege, a valid marriage is recognized, but special permission is given to dissolve it. Am I right in this understanding?

I looked through the Catechism sections on marriage, but they don't mention Pauline or Petrine Privilege at all. They do talk about the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, though... and while I might be able to understand an argument about Pauline Privilege being okay because it doesn't break a sacramental marriage (and therefore doesn't break a covenant with God, even if it could nominally be considered a form of divorce), I can't see how this could apply in the case of Petrine Privilege, since one of the members of the couple would be baptized.

When I got married, the priest told my wife and I that because she's baptized and I'm not, our marriage would be a sacrament for her but not for me... is this incorrect? If it's true, I don't see how Petrine Privilege can be reconciled with the stuff in the Catechism about the indissolubility of the sacrament of marriage.

I guess this is all my long-winded way of asking whether Pauline and Petrine Privilege are actually forms of annulment, or whether they do dissolve a valid marriage.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:04 AM
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This is one hell of a question. One I've never stumbled across before. I didn't even know about the Pauline and Petrine Privileges until I done a bit of research to answer your question.

Just my luck.. !

In the end though I found a source that can say it better than my self. I cannot link to the source though due to not having reached my 15 post-count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-10ths_Penguin View Post
I guess this is all my long-winded way of asking whether Pauline and Petrine Privilege are actually forms of annulment, or whether they do dissolve a valid marriage.
Quote:
The Pauline Privilege

Some have called the Pauline Privilege a “Catholic divorce.” It is not. A Pauline Privilege is the dissolution of a purely natural (not sacramental) marriage which had been contracted between two non-Christians, one of whom has since become a Christian. The Pauline Privilege is so-named because it is based upon the apostle Paul's words in I Corinthians. As you read further, you will see that the Pauline Privilege is no simple formula, and is certainly not a divorce. Neither Christ nor the Church accepts divorce, and as we have seen, marriage is truly sacred. Some marriages however, were not sacred from their beginning. In these marriages, neither party was a Christian or a Catholic. When at a later time, one partner converts and is baptized, questions about the marriage may arise. The Pauline Privilege differs from an annulment because it dissolves a real but natural marriage. An annulment is a declaration that there never was a valid marriage to begin with.

“A marriage entered into by two non-baptized persons is dissolved by means of the Pauline Privilege in favor of the faith of the party who has received baptism by the very fact that a new marriage is contracted by the same party, provided that the non-baptized party departs.”8

The Pauline Privilege is based upon St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians,

“To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him…But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case, the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.”9

Valid Christian marriage performed without impediment as noted above cannot be dissolved or annulled. “The marriage bond has been established by God Himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved.”10

God does however, dissolve the marital relationship in certain circumstances. The simplest example would be the death of a spouse.

Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning her husband. … But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.11

We can see then, that the marriage relationship can be dissolved under certain circumstances and that God recognizes this dissolution. In the case of dissolution by the death of a spouse, He recognizes the right of the living spouse to remarry.

The Pauline Privilege does not apply to the death of a spouse, but recognizes that certain marriages, while valid, were not sacramental (not “Christian”). A marriage between two unbaptized persons is not a sacramental marriage. St. Paul’s inspired words in I Corinthians tell us that when one of the married persons has been baptized into the Catholic faith and the other remains an unbeliever, unwilling to live in peace with the believer, then the believer is not bound by the marriage. While Paul does not say specifically that the marriage is dissolved, the Church takes it to mean so, or the believer would not be free to remarry and the words would not contain the full truth. We know that St. Paul was divinely inspired to write those words, and therefore they do contain the full truth. The Church has then determined exactly how and under what conditions the “Pauline Privilege” may be exercised. According to the Church’s interpretation, the dissolution of a marriage that was contracted before the conversion and baptism of one of the parties does not take place upon mere separation of the parties, but only when a new marriage was entered into by the believer invoking this privilege.

Then only may the yoke of the matrimonial bond with an infidel be understood to be loosed when the convert spouse…proceeds to another marriage with a believer.12

If the non-believing party agrees to live with the believer in peace, then they should remain married. However, if the non-believing party does not agree to live in peace, then the believing party can be released from the bond of the non-sacramental marriage and is free to remarry. Even if the non-believing spouse agrees, but then acts contrary to this by abusing the Christian religion, tempting the Christian to infidelity, prevents the children from being raised in Christian faith, or becomes votia temptation for the Christian to commit mortal sin, then the latter retains the right to proceed to a new marriage. 13

Because of the serious and threatening conditions of a believer living with a non-believer, the Church determines in most circumstances to interpret the meaning of living in peace as whether the non-Christian is willing to accept the faith. In the case that the non-Christian refuses, then permission may be granted to the believing party to enter into a new marriage and thereby dissolve the previous one. This is what is meant when the Pauline Privilege is used in favor of the faith. The Church has then, the right to – in favor of the faith - dissolve a marriage that was contracted in infidelity (unbelief). Since according to I Cor. 7:12-15, these marriages are not absolutely indissoluble according to Divine right as stated by St. Paul, it then follows that the power to make this decision resides with the Church. This power was granted to the successor of St. Peter:

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.14

The Pope has determined that the local bishops exercise this authority. The diocesan Tribunal reviews each case for final determination.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
The Petrine Privilege

The Pauline Privilege does not apply when a Christian has married a non-Christian. In those cases, a natural marriage exists and can be dissolved for a just cause, but by what is called the Petrine Privilege rather than by the Pauline Privilege. The Petrine Privilege is so-named because it is reserved to the Holy See, so only Rome can grant the Petrine Privilege. The Petrine Privilege is rarely approved. It is the dissolution of a valid, but non-sacramental, natural bond of marriage by the Holy See in certain, specified cases. The determination is based on case-specific facts and circumstances, and is not often used.

A biblical precedent for the Petrine Privilege, where some of the faithful marry unbelievers and then are permitted to divorce them, is found in the book of Ezra where the Jews put away their foreign (pagan) wives.

…We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the people of the land…Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord…

…separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.15

It is unfortunate in our society today that divorce has become a fact of life. Even otherwise good and faithful Catholics have been affected by this sad situation, and they then find themselves outside full communion with the Church. John Paul II has issued numerous letters to the bishops reminding them that divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist if they do not have a decree of nullity, or approved and invoked Pauline Privilege or Petrine Privilege. This is not a new “rule” of the Church, but simply reaffirms the Church’s constant teachings on the indissolubility of sacramental marriage and the conditions necessary to worthily receive Communion.

It is true that some well-meaning priests and some dissenting theologians have offered contrary advice in the name of “pastoral considerations” not wanting to “punish” or alienate otherwise “good people” who have suffered in some way from a first marriage. The answer seems harsh, but is simple – the bond of a valid and sacramental marriage lasts until death – period. If the person’s conditions warrant, application should be made through the local priest to the diocese for consideration of a Pauline Privilege or other status as discussed. However, a word of caution is advised in this situation. A divorced Catholic who is waiting on the judgment from a diocesan tribunal is not even free to date, much less remarry until he receives the decree. A person in this situation must rely on God’s grace to carry the cross of loneliness, and attempt to use his time productively for the good of the Church. The person should talk with his priest as often as necessary and attempt to understand that our union with the Mystical Body of Christ can provide us with both consolation and with the strength to fulfill our moral duties in any given situation.

While a civil divorce in and of itself does not prevent Catholics from receiving the Eucharist, this assumes that they are living chaste lives and are in a state of grace free from mortal sin. A remarriage outside the Church however is an adulterous and therefore sinful relationship. Such people commit a mortal sin each time they engage in marital relations. A person in the state of mortal sin cannot receive Communion. This denial of access to the Eucharist because of remarriage after divorce is addressed in the Catechism:

“…they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.” 16

These are difficult words to say to fellow human beings and especially to fellow Catholics whom we love. Being “sensitive” however does not help them, but only advances their state.17 We do not advance their salvation by reaffirming them in error. Dealing with people, most especially friends and loved ones, who are in invalid marriages is not easy. However, we do them good by telling them the truth.

We must also understand that having a failed marriage, and even entering into a second - if invalid marriage, does not make them “bad people.” Our sinful culture is the result of a society that advances contraception, divorce, homosexuality, pornography and even the denial of God. It comes as no surprise that some Catholics along with others will be lulled into a false belief. It is our duty however, to educate them and if possible assist them in determining a way back into full communion with the Church. If we love them and wish the good of their immortal souls, we must implore them to get themselves back on the straight path with our Lord and His Holy Church.

everal options have been pointed out. For some, a decree of nullity will be the appropriate option. Many others will find that the Pauline Privilege will allow them to re-enter the Church in the fullness that Christ intends. A few may find that the Petrine Privilege is required. All of these options take some time and it is the petitioner’s responsibility to get the facts, discuss the situation with his priest and then act according to his conscience as educated by Christ and the Church.
Christ's blessings, Mary's Prayers
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:50 PM
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Thanks, Northern Papist.

It's this bit that has me confused:

Quote:
The Pauline Privilege does not apply when a Christian has married a non-Christian. In those cases, a natural marriage exists and can be dissolved for a just cause, but by what is called the Petrine Privilege rather than by the Pauline Privilege. The Petrine Privilege is so-named because it is reserved to the Holy See, so only Rome can grant the Petrine Privilege. The Petrine Privilege is rarely approved. It is the dissolution of a valid, but non-sacramental, natural bond of marriage by the Holy See in certain, specified cases. The determination is based on case-specific facts and circumstances, and is not often used.
I'm confused because it seems to me to contradict what my wife's parish priest told us when we got married.

Here's my situation: I'm unbaptized, my wife's a baptized Catholic who's gone through all the normal sacraments. After having our "petition for difference of cult" approved by the local bishop, we got married in a Catholic church in what the priest said was a sacramental marriage for her (because she's baptized) but a non-sacramental marriage for me (because I'm unbaptized).

Now, I'm not worried about this happening, but would Petrine Privilege allow (with the Pope's approval, of course) my wife to have our marriage dissolved in the eyes of the Church? If so, was her priest wrong about our marriage being sacramental for her?

Or is Petrine Privilege more about cases where the marriage isn't sacramental for either party... i.e. when a Catholic gets married outside the Church?
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9-10ths_Penguin View Post
Thanks, Northern Papist.

It's this bit that has me confused
I'm confused because it seems to me to contradict what my wife's parish priest told us when we got married.
Here's my situation: I'm unbaptized, my wife's a baptized Catholic who's gone through all the normal sacraments. After having our "petition for difference of cult" approved by the local bishop, we got married in a Catholic church in what the priest said was a sacramental marriage for her (because she's baptized) but a non-sacramental marriage for me (because I'm unbaptized).
Now, I'm not worried about this happening, but would Petrine Privilege allow (with the Pope's approval, of course) my wife to have our marriage dissolved in the eyes of the Church? If so, was her priest wrong about our marriage being sacramental for her?
Or is Petrine Privilege more about cases where the marriage isn't sacramental for either party... i.e. when a Catholic gets married outside the Church?
1st Corinthians 7:13-15 If a woman has a husband that does not believe but is agreeable to live with her she should Not leave him. The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife.......If the unbeliever departs, let him depart.....

Please notice there is nothing in Scripture about having marriage dissolved.
See also Peter's words at 1st Peter 3:1-7.

At Matthew (5:32; 19:9) The only reason Jesus gave for divorce was fornication. The reason the word adultery is not used is because fornication is more comprehensive. Fornication comes from the Greek word: porneia. Porneia includes all forms of illicit sexual relations outside of Scriptural marriage. (Lev 18:22,23; Rom 1:24-27; 1st Cor 6:9,10). Porneia is where the English word pornography comes. So the only thing that can Scripturally sever the marriage bond is porneia (fornication) in order to free the innocent one to divorce and marry again if desired.- 1st Cor 7:39.
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