Grace and peace, to the Saints of God, and greetings to those who have yet to make a decision for the Lord Jesus.
The media has always portrayed the Roman Catholic Church as a stark advocate of marriage, family, and family values. Roman Catholics have always maintained that it is because of its belief in the sanctity of marriage that the Catholic Church has historically denied Catholics the right to divorce.
In support of this claim, the case of King Henry VIII of Great Britain is often cited. It is said that the Protestant Reformation got started in England because the Catholic Church refused to grant a divorce to King Henry from his wife Catherine in order for him to marry Ann Boleyn.
But while it ostensibly upholds and defends marriage, the Catholic Church’s own doctrine actually destroys marriage. You may find it interesting to learn that the Catholic Church not only permits, but actually encourages a Catholic husband or wife not to perform their marital duties if he or she is married to a Protestant, or heretic, as Christians are referred to by Catholics.
The Roman Catholic Council of Constance (1414-1418), the same council that burned the Bohemian Reformer John Huss at the stake in 1415, decreed:
“A Catholic wife is not obliged to any duty to her heretical husband, because by the husband’s heresy she is freed from her duty. In like manner, a Catholic husband is freed from all duty to his wife, if she be a heretic. Nevertheless, they cannot marry with others, because the bond of matrimony is not dissolved.
“A husband cannot be forced to cohabit with his wife, if she is fallen into heresy, even though she is reconciled: nor is he bound to maintain her, because her dowry is confiscated by heresy: and as she is stripped of her dowry by her own fault, the husband is not obliged to maintain an unendowed wife.”
Moreover, Pope Gregory IX said, “A Catholic wife is not obliged to perform the marriage contract with a heretical husband.”
And Zanchinus Ugolinus, author of a highly regarded Roman Catholic work on heresy, wrote:
“Yea, the very bond of matrimony with [a heretic] is dissolved. For if one departs from the orthodox faith, and falls into heresy, his [Catholic] wife is not obliged to cohabit with him, but may seek to be separated from him by the judgment of the church: such separation from the bed being as reasonable on account of spiritual fornication, as for carnal.” [brackets mine.]
With this decree, the Roman Catholic church denies the will of the Lord Jesus Christ who, with regard to marriage, said:
“What therefore God hath joined together, let no man [or church] put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9). [Brackets mine.]
And Roman Catholicism not only comes between a man and wife, but also between parents and their children, as Ugolinus adds:
“The very children, brothers, and sisters, ought to forsake them (Protestants).”
This is further evidence that the Roman Catholic church are the modern-day Pharisees, who taught the children of Israel that they were not obliged to respect their parents. Jesus told them:
“Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whosoever curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, it is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoevr thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition…” (Mark 7:10-13).
Now, if the Catholic Church advises the children of a Protestant parent to disown that parent, then, it must follow that parents of Protestant children are permitted to do the same. “Mother Church” even severs the natural bond of love and affection between a mother and her children! And it adds that a Catholic should forsake his Protestant brother or sister, thus completely destroying the family.
An obedient Roman Catholic, therefore, cannot love anyone unconditionally. If the husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, or even child of a Roman Catholic is a Bible-believing Christian, then the Catholic is not bound to love, honor, obey, respect, or keep faith with him or her in any way, shape or form. Is this not a manifestation of the lack of “natural affection” which the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:3 said would characterize the last days?
And, since the Council of Constance was a very important general, or ecumenical council, and the Roman Catholic church considers itself infallible, meaning it does not make mistakes, then this decree regarding the relationship of a Catholic to a Protestant is still in full effect today and will never be repealed.
Let me say that I offer this information not to cast any dispersion on Roman Catholics in general, but only to offer further evidence to Protestant Christians that the Roman Catholic church has always been and will always be the implacable enemy of Protestant Christianity, and their history and doctrines prove it. While this information may not reflect the personal beliefs of some Catholics, it nevertheless happens to be a doctrine of the Catholic church, which means that any good Catholic will be called upon at some point to obey this decree and will consider it his duty to hold to this doctrine if he wants to be obedient. He may do so neither openly nor consistently, but, make no mistake: at some point, he will do so.
The faithful Christian needs to be aware of this doctrine and allow it to inform his relationship with Roman Catholics, remembering always that the Lord Jesus commanded us to love our enemies.
This information may help explain some things that may be going on in your personal life that seem to be inexplicable from any other perspective. If, for instance, you are a Christian, such as I, who is married to a Roman Catholic, and your spouse does not do what a spouse is supposed to do and/or your children do not behave as your children should behave, and are disobedient, disrespectful, or unloving, it may very well be that they are doing so out of obedience to Roman Catholic church doctrine. The same may be true if you are a Bible-believing child of a Roman Catholic parent(s) who behave(s) in the same manner.
Remember, the Catholic wife or husband is under no obligation to keep their marital vows or perform their marital duties if the husband or wife is a Bible-believing Christian. And, by the same token, Catholic children do not have to honor or obey their Protestant parents.
Catholics fervently maintain that Jesus Christ Himself established the Roman Catholic church, yet Romanism disobeys the Lord Jesus.
“Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition…” (Mark 7:13).
Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.