MARRIAGE IN THE ROMISH CHURCH
It is a well known fact that the Roman Catholic Church forbids divorce and remarriage. This position is, of course, in harmony with Scripture, and the Romish Church has often been commended for their stand.
Nevertheless, although this is officially the stand of the Church, there are all kinds of ways m which a Catholic can get out of an undesirable marriage. One of these ways is through annulment of the marriage. There are many reasons why a marriage can be annulled according to Roman Catholic law. A partial list of reasons for annulment was recently given in a Roman Catholic newspaper.
The reasons are of three general types:
1) There may be a defect in real matrimonial intention. This is explained to mean that a marriage must be by the free choice of will on the part of both parties, and that both parties must be capable of giving such consent. Under this heading therefore, the following defects are mentioned:
a) Marriage can be annulled when performed as a joke or a prank.
b) One of the two parties is insane and thus incapable of giving real consent.
c) One of the two parties has absolutely no knowledge of what marriage is all about.
d) A person may marry someone else than he or she thinks: For example, one may marry an identical twin of the supposed fiancÃ© and unwittingly marry the wrong one.
e) One may marry with the intention beforehand of securing a divorce after a short period of marriage.
f) One of the parties may have the definite intention of refusing to have children in the marriage.
g) Force is exerted upon one of the parties so that he or she marries without free consent.
These are all reasons for annulment if proved.
2) The second type of reason for annulment is to be found in a possible defect of form. That is, a marriage is only truly a marriage if it is performed by a properly credited clergyman and in the presence of two or more witnesses. Some instances are:
a) A marriage is performed before one witness or without any witnesses besides the pastor.
b) The pastor was outside his own prescribed territory when he married the couple. For example, he married someone outside his diocese without proper permission.
c) The pastor was not properly appointed or installed.
d) The pastor acted under duress so that he did not perform the marriage of his free consent.
e) A priest was not properly delegated when he performed the ceremony.
3) The third type of defect that makes an annulment possible is some impediment in either of the parties. Some examples:
a) Age. A boy must be 16 years old and a girl 14.
b) Impotence. If a man cannot fulfill the contract of marriage, there is ground for annulment.
c) A man validly married to one wife cannot take another.
d) A marriage between a baptized person and a nonbaptized person is not valid. Although what is called a “dispensation” may be obtained under certain circumstances to permit this.
e) Any marriage attempted by a sub-deacon, a deacon or a priest would be annulled.
f) Any one under a vow of a religious order who marries must have the marriage annulled.
g) Kidnapping is a valid ground for annulment.
h) Crime is a ground.
i) Any marriage between first cousins or closer relatives is ground for annulment.
j) Any marriage between two who have a “spiritual relationship” can be annulled. This refers to one marrying a godchild, godmother or someone whom he or she baptized.
While some of these reasons are recognized also by law and by all churches, nevertheless, it is obvious that with their law upon law and precept upon precept” they make of none effect the law of God.
NEWS OF UNIONS
One of the chief objections against labor unions has always been that they take for themselves the authority of the employer which has been conferred upon him by Christ. They become a law to themselves and do as they please.
This has been possible in this country because the government has stood behind them in their greedy pursuit of power. Whatever they have done has had the sanction of the government, and they have used this favored position to acquire more and more power in labor relationships.
This trend continues and is getting worse. Several recent news items show this.
One recent ruling gives unions tremendous power over their own members. But these powers have direct effect upon employers as well, and take from them additional rights which are reserved for them alone. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently ruled that unions have the legal right to make and enforce their own internal rules. The particular issue up before the NLRB was a case involving production quotas set by the United Auto Workers at Wisconsin Motor Corporation. The union determined exactly how much work could be done by any given worker in the plant. Some workers exceeded these quotas and were fined for this by the union. They refused to pay and the case went to court. The NLRB ruled that the members had to pay the fines because the union did have the right to determine how much each employee would produce in any given day.
Another case was closely related to this. A trial examiner of the NLRB ruled that if a union could fine its members for exceeding production quotas, a union could also fine its members for crossing picket lines. Usually, in the past, the union has relied on its power to pressure all its members into refraining from working in a plant that is being struck. But this has not always been totally successful. If this new ruling stands, (it is being contested in the NLRB) the union now has the additional power of fining any of its members if they want to work when the union itself has voted to strike. If therefore a union member is not in favor of a strike and wishes to go to work anyway, he can be subjected to heavy penalties and expect that the courts will back up the union. The result is that when a union member wants to fulfill his obligations to his employer (although, being a union member, his motives are generally monetary), he is kept from this by the threat of severe penalty.
How any Christian can belong to a union under these circumstances is a mystery.
In another ruling, a court of appeals agreed with a decision: of the NLRB that an employer had no right to establish a profit sharing plan for its employees unless it included in this plan also the union members in the plant. This ruling had to do with a company that had working for it both union and non-union members. It had decided to establish such a profit-sharing plan for the non-union members. The union went to the courts and obtained this favorable ruling.
It has also become increasingly popular for unions to have some measure of control over the decisions of corporations to move elsewhere. Usually corporations move because of union troubles and the high cost of labor. Naturally the union does not like this because its members are thrown out of work.
A certain factory had decided to move from Michigan to Tennessee. This meant that the employees were out of a job. The union went to court to force the company to consider the needs of the employees that would be fired. A settlement was reached out of court according to which the company paid 237 workers a total of $200,000 to cover wages and benefits of those who would no longer be working for it. No doubt the settlement was reached out of court because courts have already consistently ruled in favor of union members on similar cases.
Now an employer cannot even move any more without the consent of the union.
Gradually all the rights and the authority of employers are being taken away. Presently a plant will be entirely run by the union and the management will have nothing more to say. Every decision will have to be made subject to union approval. This can only lead to anarchy, for it is a flagrant denial of the authority of God vested in the employer; and therefore an open evidence of opposition to the sovereign authority of God over the life of men.
RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATIION IN SPAIN
A most important result of the Vatican Council that recently held its second session in Rome is supposed to be the granting of religious freedom to Protestants by Roman Catholic authorities in countries that are under the control of the Romish Church. Perhaps in the long run this will be the case. But it is not yet.
A recent news item in the Presbyterian Journal told of a press conference held by Benjamin Cardinal de Arriba y Castro, Archbishop of Tarragona. In this press conference the archbishop strongly stressed that if Protestants were ever given legal status in Spain (which they do not have now), they would not be permitted to engage in any forms of proselyting. He said that there was no need of this since Spain was already a Christian country and had the gospel. Protestants must be kept from making converts of any Roman Catholic members. Inasmuch, he said, as they deny the Mass, the devotion of the church to Mary and allegiance to the pope, they are guilty of serious heresies, and must be prevented from making propaganda for these in any form.
The general atmosphere in the world may be one of brotherly love between Catholics and Protestants. But if you want to join in this spirit of brotherly love, you better be prepared to adopt Roman Catholic theology. If you maintain the truth, you are not welcome. The spirit of brotherly love” excludes you.
MORE ABOUT RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Supreme Court has ruled that the public schools must be neutral with respect to matters of religion. No devotions may be held; no Bible read; no religion taught.
We have, on several occasions, pointed out that this means not that the public schools will really be neutral, for neutrality is impossible. Rather these schools become the agents of false religion and forums of evolutionism and atheism.
That this is really true is shown from a recent ruling by a State Board of Education in California.
Two housewives, according to the Presbyterian Journal, requested the Board to stop teaching evolution as a fact and present it only as a theory on the grounds that teaching it as a fact made instruction atheistic. These women maintained that their children were being denied equal rights because they believe in a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.
Similarly, the state superintendent of public instruction requested the board to edit text books so that evolution would be presented as “an important scientific theory or hypothesis,” and not as a fact.
But the Board turned down both requests and ruled that teaching evolution does not violate the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. So, legally, the truth is outlawed and the lie is given legal standing. The truth denies “equal rights”; the lie preserves them.
This is certainly peculiar reasoning. But it is the only logical outcome to the miserable dilemma the State gets itself into when it begins to tamper with education.