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2. Of Divorce

Antiquities of the Christian Church
XIX. Of Marriage

2. Of Divorce

On this subject it is sufficient to say that the church, with few exceptions, has uniformly adhered to the rules laid down by our Lord and his apostles, Mark 10:2, 12, Luke 16:18, Matt. 5:31,32, 19:2-10, 1 Cor. 7:10, 11, Rom. 7:2, 3. But under the term adultery the primitive church included idolatry and apostasy from the Christian faith, to which may be added witchcraft and other magical arts. The laws of Constantine, Honorius, Theodosius the younger, Valentinian the Third, Anastasius, and Justinian, also favor this construction. The canonists enumerate twelve causes of divorce, which are also regarded as suitable reasons for not assuming the marriage vow, impedimenta quae matrimonium conirahendum impediunt et contraclum dirimunl. The same causes which are a bar to assuming the marriage covenant dissolve it. These causes are set forth in the following lines:

Error, conditio, votum, cognatio, crimen,
Cultus disparitas, vis, ordo, ligamen, bnnestas,
Si sis adfinis; si forte coire nequibis (al negabis)

The reader is directed, in the index, to a full explanation of these terms. 

The error relates to a mistake in regard to the parties, as in the case of Leah and Rachel, conditio to the marriage of freemen with those who are in bondage, cognatio to prohibit degrees of consanguinity, votum and ordo relate to the marriage of monastics, ligamen to cases of bigamy, honestas to prohibited connections between persons already related by marriage.

Hermae Pastor, lib. ii. mandat. iv: Jo. Gerhard, tom. xvi. p. 178, 79.

Bingham, bk. xxii. c. 5: Assetnann*s orient. Bibl. im. Ausz. S. 340, 526.

Jo. Gerhard. Loc. th. xvi. p. 218–242.


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