Sandro Magister stellt in seinem blog "chiesa" die Frage nach der Orthodoxen Praxis und leitet zum Beitrag von Erzbischof Cyril Vasil, dem Sekretär der Kongregation für die Orientalischen Kirchen über, der Klarheit in diese verworrenen Dinge bringt.
Hier geht´s zur englischen Fassung der Originalversion klicken:
Bei der fliegenden Pressekonferenz auf dem Rückflug vom WJT 2013 in Rio sagte Papst Franziskus zu den begleitenden Journalisten zur Frage nach den wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen:
"...aber - in Klammern gesprochen- die Orthodoxen haben eine andere Praxis. Sie folgen der Theologie der,-wie sie es nennen- oikonomia- und sie geben eine zweite Chance, sie erlauben es. Aber ich glaube, dass dieses Problem-und hier schließe ich die Klammer- im Kontext der Ehepastoral studiert werden muß."
Die Orthodoxen Kirchen, die eine zweite Ehe erlauben, werden von denen, die die Verweigerung der Kommunion für wiederverheiratete Geschiedene abschaffen wollen, Kardinal Kasper an ihrer Spitze, immer wieder als Beispiel angeführt. Leider zeichnet sich auch der Pontifex nicht durch fundierte Kenntnisse aus.
Allgemein wird geglaubt, daß in den Orthodoxen Kirchen eine zweite oder auch dritte Ehe sakramental geschlossen werden kann, und die Kommunion den wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen erteilt wird und das in der Kontinuität einer "barmherzigen Praxis" seit der Kirche der ersten Jahrhunderte.
Die Wahrheit aber ist weit von diesen Phantasien entfernt. Zweite Ehen tauchen in der Praxis der Orthodoxie erst am Ende des 1. Jahrtausends auf -unter dem massiven Einfluss ziviler Gesetzgebung, deren Exekutivorgan die Kirche war.
In keinem Fall wurde zweite und dritte Ehen als sakramental betrachtet. Sie wurden unter verschiedenen Gesichtspunkt mehr oder weniger großzügig-je nach Gegend- erlaubt. Die Auflösung der ersten Ehe war für diese Kirchen eine einfache Abschrift des Scheidungsurteils durch eine zivile Autorität.
Diese Wissenslücke füllt Erzbischof Cyril Vasil aus, der 49- jährige slowakische Jesuit, Sekretär der Kongregation für die Orientalischen Kirchen und früherer Dekan der Fakultät für Kanonisches Recht am Päpstlichen Orientinstitut in Rom
Der Text ist ein Auszug des ausführlichen und gutdokumentierten Artikels, den Vasil, dem Thema des 5-Kardinäle Buches widmet, das im Oktober in den USA und Italien erscheinen wird
"Remaining in the Truth of Christ. Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church", Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2014.
Das Buch, als Beitrag zur kommenden Familiensynode gedacht, hat lebhafte Reaktionen ausgelöst-besonders wegen der beteiligten Autoren (Müller, Caffarra, De Paolis, Burke, Brandmüller) die alle den Ideen ihres Kollegen Kaspers sehr kritisch gegenüber stehen. Der hat einen Gegenangriff gestartet in dem er versicherte, dass Franziskus mit ihm übereinstimme und deshalb "Ziel der Polemik nicht er sondern der Papst sei."
Aber während die 5 Kardinäle ihre Position bereits in früheren Erklärungen abgegeben hatten, die im Buch mit ihrer ausdrücklichen Zusammenarbeit noch einmal präsentiert werden, nicht so wie im medialen Geklingel um Kaspers Vorhaltungen- ist der Artikel Erzbischof Vasils über Scheidung und zweite Ehen in den Ostkirchen, eine absolute Neuheit zu einer Materie, die zu den am wenigsten bekannten und am meisten mißverstandenen gehört und doch von außerordentlicher Bedeutung und Relevanz ist.
Cyril Vasil, SJ "Trennung, Scheidung, Auflösung des Bundes und Wiederverheiratung; Theologischer und praktischer Zugang der Orthodoxen Kirchen"
Er beginnt mit einem Abriss des Römischen und Byzantinischen Zivilrechtes für Scheidung und Wiederverheiratung.
"In der vorchristlichen Zeit erlaubte das Römische Recht die Scheidung aus 2 Hauptmotiven heraus:
bei Einverständnis beider Partner ( dissidium) und auf der Basis eines Fehlers einer der beiden Parteien (repudium)
Der größte Reformer des Römischen Rechts, Kaiser Justinian ( 527-565) wünschte persönlich, dass dieses Recht auch innerhalb der Kirche angewendet würde. In Justinians Novelle 117 findet man einen Kompromiss zwischen der Tradition der Ostkirchen, die die Scheidung aus Gründen von Ehebruch oder wegen des Willens, in ein Kloster einzutreten, erlaubte und dem Römischen Recht, das Scheidungen aus wesentlich mehr Gründern zuließ." (....)
Weil ich überzeugt bin, daß so gut wie alle Leser gute Englischkenntnisse haben, lasse ich den englischen Text so stehen
Quelle: Sandro Magister, chiesa, L´Espresso
SEPARATION, DIVORCE, DISSOLUTION OF THE BOND, AND REMARRIAGE:
THEOLOGICAL AND PRACTICAL APPROACHES OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHES
by Cyril Vasil, S.J.
Influence of Roman and Byzantine Civil Law on Divorce and Second Marriages
In the pre-Christian era Roman law permitted divorce in general for two sets of motives: upon agreement of the parties (dissidium), or on the basis of a fault by one of the parties (repudium). […]
The greatest reformer of Roman law, the emperor Justinian (527–565), personally desired that his reform of marriage law be applied also within the Church. […] Novella 117 of Justinian was a compromise between the tradition of the Eastern Church, which permitted separation for reasons of adultery or in order to enter a monastery, and Roman law, which permitted divorce for many more reasons.
It is often asserted that the Eastern Church, in its desire to live in harmony with civil authorities, often made concessions at the cost of compromising the message of the gospel. However, during the first millennium we can say that even in the East the Church adhered to the axiom of Saint Jerome: “aliae sunt leges Caesarum aliae Christi” (the laws of Caesar are one thing, the laws of Christ another). […]
We first notice a real change in the Nomocanon in 14 titles compiled by Patriarch Photius of Constantinople in 883. This collection affirms the indissolubility of marriage while it also provides a list of causes for divorce introduced by Justinian’s legislation. The successive development in the Byzantine Empire reinforced the role of the Church, while the Church accepted a new relationship to the State. […]
Up until the end of the ninth century, it was still possible to contract a civil marriage, but by the year 895, on the basis of Emperor Leo VI’s Novella 89, the Church was declared the only institution with legal competence for the celebration of matrimony. In this way, the priestly blessing became a necessary part of the legal act of marriage.
Thus, the Church became the guarantor of marriage as a social institution. Following this, ecclesiastical tribunals gradually, and then in 1086 definitively, received exclusive competence for the examination of marriage cases. As a consequence the Eastern Church had to conform its practices to State and civil legislation. Then once civil legislation began to allow divorce and successive remarriages, the Eastern Church was obligated to recognize these practices. […]
The successive spread of Christianity from its center in Constantinople to other missionary territories and nations brought about the geographical extension of the judicial-disciplinary practices of this tradition as well as the diffusion of the theological principles that founded such practices.
In this context today, we see diverse Orthodox Churches, which, despite the fact that they are institutionally and hierarchically separate, nevertheless follow most of the same disciplinary and spiritual principles.
Divorce in the Russian Orthodox Church
Once Christianity arrived in Russia from ancient Byzantium, the provisions of Byzantine law regarding divorce were incorporated into its laws along with some modifications regarding the Russian situation. […]
In the so-called synodal period (1721–1917), a fixed number of reasons for divorce was established and clarified by State authorities in collaboration with ecclesiastical authorities. […]
In 1917–1918 the Pan-Russian Council (Vserossijskij Pomestnij Sobor) of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted new regulations concerning divorce, reacting to recent secular laws established by the Soviets. […]
The Synod established on April 7 and 20, 1918, that marriage blessed by the Church is indissoluble. Divorce “is admitted by the Church only in condescension to human weakness and out of care for the salvation of man”, on the conditions that there has been a breakup of the marriage and that reconciliation is impossible. The decision to concede an ecclesiastical divorce falls under the competence of the ecclesiastical tribunals, which work at the request of the spouses, provided that the reason presented for divorce conforms to those approved by the Holy Synod. […]
The Russian Orthodox Church today admits fourteen valid reasons for permitting divorce. […] However, from the study of actual divorce decrees or declarations issued by the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, it seems that it is not possible to deduce any particular method for conducting a canonical investigation, or to understand clearly the reasoning behind the application of a given motive for granting divorce. Often one simply finds in this documentation an ecclesiastical divorce decree, together with the request presented by the interested party, a statement that the couple has not been living together, and an indication that a civil divorce has been granted. Following this, the dissolution of the religious marriage and permission to remarry is granted.
Divorce in the Greek Orthodox Church
[…] Beginning in the twelfth century, divorce was received in canonical legislation and in practice by the Greek Church. Slowly, causes for divorce were introduced that were modeled on the morals and the situation of society. […]
Beginning in the seventeenth century, divorce was made more difficult. […] At the end of the eighteenth century the compilation of laws known as the Pedalion allowed only one motive for divorce: adultery. […]
However, both husband and wife are excommunicated if they are divorced for reasons other than adultery and then take a new spouse. Such persons are subject to the canonical punishment of seven years’ prohibition from the Eucharist. The Pedalion recalls that according to the Council of Carthage (407), spouses divorced for reasons other than adultery must reconcile or never remarry. The Pedalion was published with the consent of the patriarch and became above all the recognized text in the Greek Church. However, it did not have a strongly restrictive influence regard- ing the practice of divorce.
Greece obtained its independence in 1832; matrimonial affairs were regulated by a royal decree issued in 1835. […] The Greek State recognized the sacramental character of marriage and entrusted marital affairs to the competence of the Greek Orthodox Church, except for questions of divorce, which remained an affair of the State. […] If this tribunal decreed a divorce, the bishop was obliged by civil law to grant a “spiritual divorce”. […]
The divorced spouse (whose civil divorce was recognized by the ecclesiastical authority) who wished to contract a new marriage had first to perform an assigned penance (epitimia). Following this, the Church ritual for the second marriage had a penitential character. […]
A third marriage was conceded only to those previously divorced persons who were at least forty years old and without children. However, these individuals were prohibited from receiving the Eucharist for five years. […] Fourth marriages were prohibited. […]
In 1982 a further reform of family law took place in Greece. This reform introduced an option between civil and religious marriage. […]
In the case of divorce, only the civil courts have competence, according to the actual Greek judicial structure. Only after the civil decree of divorce has been issued can the Church decide whether to grant a religious divorce. This canonical dissolution of matrimony pertains only to those who have celebrated a canonical marriage and wish to contract another. […]
Looking now at both the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Churches’ policies and practices, we see that valid motives for divorce can be divided in three groups:
1. Adultery and other similar immoral acts;
2. Physical or legal situations similar to death (disappearance, attempted homicide, incurable illness, detention, separation for a long period, etc.);
3.Moral impossibility of a common life (encouragement of adultery).
Juridical Procedures in Countries with “Personal Statutes”
[…] In Lebanon, as in other countries in the ex-Ottoman Empire, the life of these single, Christian communities is governed by so-called personal statutes. In these personal statutes, each Church defines itself and its relationship to the other ecclesial communities. […]
In this way, each Church was “obligated” to define reasons and conditions for the declaration of nullity of a marriage, the dissolution of the marriage bond, the separation of the spouses while remaining in the bond of marriage, and divorce, as well as the possibility to contract a new marriage.
A look at these approaches to marriage questions in some Orthodox Churches leads us to conclude that, in concrete practice, the Orthodox Churches either endorse civil divorces or recognize them more or less covertly. […]
In actual practice, long-term separation of spouses is considered the equivalent to divorce because in Orthodox theology, common life is the essential element of marriage, and the conception of separation "manente vinculo", as it is applied in the Catholic Church, is unknown in the Orthodox Churches.
Indissolubility of Marriage: Does a Common Orthodox Doctrine Exist?
In seeking a common Orthodox doctrine regarding the indissolubility of marriage, divorce, and the marriage of divorced persons, we confront the question of whether it is possible to speak of a common doctrine or of a “magisterium” of the Orthodox Churches. […]
The first difficulty we encounter is the fact that in the past, few Orthodox authors attempted a profound theoretical reflection on the question of common Orthodox doctrine. […]
In general, we can say that on the basis of the Gospel text, all the Orthodox authors at heart recognize the indissolubility of Christian marriage as one of its characteristics and teach this doctrine to all Christian spouses as an ideal toward which to aim. […]
At any rate, even as Orthodox bishops acknowledge the possibility of divorce and remarriage, they admit this only as an exception that confirms the rule of the unity and indissolubility of marriage.
Among Orthodox authors and bishops, opponents to divorce are not lacking. Some of these authorities uphold the complete observance of the indissolubility of marriage and the impossibility of divorce for any reason.
For example, the Russian Archbishop Ignatius (in the Russian Orthodox Church, Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov, 1807-1867) did not permit divorce for any reason, not even for adultery.
More moderate, but nevertheless appreciable opposition to divorce has also been evidenced both by Archbishop Iakovos (Coucouzis, 1911-2005), the Orthodox Metropolitan of North and South America (1959-1996), who insisted already in 1966 that concessions of divorce should be limited, and by the Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III (1923–2012), who following his enthronement in 1971 reduced the many reasons considered valid for granting divorce in the Coptic Church to one: adultery. […]
[…] For the Catholic canonist accustomed to reasoning according to categories of matrimonial procedural law, it is often difficult to understand the fact that, in the Orthodox Church, there is no talk ever about procedural questions about marriage cases per se, that is, there are no roles for an advocate, a promoter of justice, a defender of the bond, and there are no instances of appeal, among other juridical structures.
The Orthodox Churches have practically never elaborated a clear doctrine regarding the indissolubility of marriage that could bring the New Testament requirements to the judicial level. This fact is the key that allows us to understand why the Orthodox Churches, even through the expressions of their supreme authorities – oftentimes only passively – accept the sociological reality. […]
The Position of the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church does not recognize the procedures involved in the declaration of the dissolution of a marriage bond, or those applied in the case of a divorce on account of adultery, in the manner in which these procedures are employed by a number of Orthodox Churches, nor does it recognize the Orthodox application of the principle of oikonomia (which, in this case, is considered contrary to divine law), because these dissolutions presuppose the intervention of an ecclesiastical authority in the breakup of a valid marriage agreement.
In the decisions in these matters reached by the authority of the Orthodox Churches, the distinction between a “declaration of nullity”, “annulment”, “dissolution”, or “divorce” is usually lacking or is practically unknown. […]
Many Orthodox Churches do little more than simply ratify the divorce sentence issued by the civil court. In other Orthodox Churches, as, for example, in the Middle East, in which ecclesial authorities hold exclusive competence in matrimonial matters, declarations dissolving religious marriages are issued solely by applying the principle of oikonomia.
At the beginning of this essay we asked whether the Orthodox practice could represent “a way out” for the Catholic Church in the face of the growing instability of sacramental marriages, by providing a pastoral approach toward those Catholics who, after the failure of a sacramental marriage and a subsequent civil divorce, contract a second, civil marriage.
Before responding to this question, another question should be posed. Is it thinkable to resolve the difficulties that Christian marriages must confront in the contemporary world by lowering the demands of indissolubility? […]
Christ brought his new, revolutionary message, one that was “countercultural” to the pagan world. His disciples announced his good news, fearlessly presenting near impossible demands that contradicted the culture of that age. The world today is perhaps similarly marked by the neo-paganism of consumption, comfort, and egoism, full of new cruelties committed by methods ever more modern and ever more dehumanizing. Faith in supernatural principles is now more than ever subject to humiliation.
All this brings us to consider whether “hardness of heart” is a convincing argument to muddle the clearness of the teaching of the Gospel on the indissolubility of Christian marriage.
But as a response to the many questions and doubts, and to the many temptations to find a “short cut” or to “lower the bar” for the existential leap that one makes in the great “contest” of married life, in all this confusion among so many contrasting and distracting voices, still today resound the words of the Lord: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk 10:9).