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At that conference the Anglican Church decided to permit the use of contraceptives, and were soon followed by all other Protestant denominations. The couple remains truly married before God, and before the Church until one spouse dies, even though the State declares it dissolved and no longer recognizes the marriage.

But because of the Protestant denial of the sacramental character of Christian marriage, what takes place during that ceremony, from the Protestant point of view, is still only the formation of a legal bond, one that the State has the authority to dissolve.

This sacramental understanding of the papal policy is borne out by the Reformation when the rejection of the sacramentality of Marriage was at the same time a rejection of indissolubility [of marriage].

And this is deeply harmful not only to the souls of those persons committing adultery in this way, but also to marriages, families, spouses, children, and society.

Anyone concerned about recent State legislation regarding same-sex marriage ought to be much more concerned about State-sanctioned adultery through the rejection of the sacramental character of marriage, because as I will show below, the Protestant rejection of the sacramental character of marriage lies behind and makes possible the more recent same-sex legislation.

The reason for considering the patristic evidence first is so that we may approach Scripture in and with that very same living Tradition in which it was given, rather than interpreting Scripture within a man-made tradition of our own time. Matthew’s Gospel, we find two passages relevant to this question.

In the first, Jesus says: It was also said, “Whoever divorces [ἀπολύσῃ] his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except for the reason of fornication [παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας], makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (St.

So why does the Catholic Church teach that a consummated marriage of two baptized persons is dissolved only by death?

The answer is that this is what Christ and the Apostles handed down to us.

To see this, we need to examine the evidence both from Scripture and from the Tradition. New Testament Scripture on Marriage Here I will very briefly set out the relevant passages from the New Testament concerning marriage.

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