and receive a guaranteed annulment because of "lack of due discretion" when the contract runs out. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . And then, do it all over again with a different hot Catholic babe.
Government issued temporary, (2-year long), marriage licenses are one more step down the slippery slope to pagan dystopia.
They also happen to be both a reasonable, as well as practical, civil law response to the Catholic marriage annulment scandal.
Since the visible Church so easily disregards the marriage vow, why should we expect better from the secular government?
Virtually no man or woman has ever been known, when ruled on by a marriage tribunal, to have ever had due discretion when he or she contracted marriage. And since "lack of due discretion" is sufficient grounds to annul a marriage. It follows then as a practical matter that we can assume virtually no one is actually married.
And if virtually no one is actually married, then what we are in effect practicing is something akin to licit fornication. And such a right as licit fornication is not binding in the same manner as marriage is.
The marriage vow is for life, where as licit fornication is only licit due to an error of assuming there is a contacted marriage. So that as soon as the marriage is discovered to not exist then in turn licit fornication ceases as well. But what matters here is it’s known that virtually no one is actually married in the eyes of marriage tribunals, and so in turn as a practical matter what is in effect being contracted for all practical purposes is a licit right to fornicate.
[ Of course, virtually all of us in reality are married, but that small detail is neither here nor there because what matters on a practical level is how we can assume marriage tribunals would rule on any given marriage. ]
Now civil laws reflect divine law, for instance the law against driving over the speed limit falls under the fifth commandment, and so forth. And so in turn we cannot promulgate a law which directly abrogates a divine law, which is all very practical because the divine law is designed according to our nature. Which in turn makes the civil law likewise designed according to our nature and in turn designed according to society's nature because a society exists in its citizens.
In other words, the law exists for our good, and should be designed to best fit each society according to characteristics of that society and be promulgated and enforced according to what is prudentially best for each given society. Which is why St. Thomas wrote that a city could have a red light district. Not by giving licit authorization to the district, but by not enforcing the law in that district because to enforce the law would have caused more harm than good for the city as a whole.
Red light districts are practical, where as an ideological enforcement of the law would not be practical because it would cause greater harm than good because it did not take into account the actual state of affairs of the citizenry. A similar state of affairs for us is that virtually none of us are actually married. In both instances the state of affairs is due to some type of deficiency which the law in turn recognizes and in turn makes allowance for because that allowance is a greater good.
[ The deficiency is the marriage tribunals who's authority the civil law properly recognizes ]
Divorce laws are a practical response to the current state of affairs making allowance for the deficiency, with the latest development of Mexico City lawmakers issuing temporary marriage licenses being a natural development. It's not that divorce laws are enforcing an evil, but are instead making allowance for the current existing evil by not enforcing marriage contracts beyond what is practical.
While some Catholics are rather upset by this latest development turning marriage into a two year contract, as practical matter the Mexico City law is a very good reflection of the current state of affairs and if anything is too old fashioned restrictive.. Given that virtually no one is married anyway, its rather silly to complain about a government which treats marriage with the same respect, (or should I say contempt?), as the visible Church does.
Temporary marriage licenses reflect on a practical level the virtual non existence of Catholic marriages because if virtually no one is married then the law should likewise reflect that non existence. So that by dividing marriage contracts into two year increments a couple could apply for annulment and separate with the same amount of care as the Church gives.
I don’t know all the ins and outs of the annulment process, but two year increments I suspect is probably a good working length of time.
Some of course complain, what about the children who are harmed?, but the visible Church treats those same harmed children as purely accidental, so it makes sense that the civil law should do the same.
In times past all children born to a mother where considered legitimate even when to the casual observer it was rather obvious that the husband was not the father. This was a practical response which protected the family and protected the children. In times past marriages also stayed together and priests told wives to remain with their husband for the good of the family and the good of the children, which was also good practical advice.
Which is what is in turn missing today, i.e. good practical responses and good practical advice to actual affairs. What we are missing is prudence. What we have instead is ideological purity. The same ideological purity St. Thomas argues against whether it be red light districts, or theft where he argues that a man can take a loaf of bread from a bakery window ledge without payment for it depending on circumstance.
In this regard there’s nothing unusual about the current annulment process which treats men as disembodied spirits removed from original sin where only angels can contract marriage. The same disregard for the practical in favor of the ideological is a common occurrence found among the Catholic intellectual class whose solutions are invariably impractical.
Their incompetency to devise practical solutions to the task they set before themselves to solve is I suspect due to lack of experience. It’s not that a priest must be married to understand marriage, but he must at the least have some previous experience of normal family life living in community or some similar experience from which to apply principle.
Similarly, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, when ever I read articles by intellectual class agrarian types what is immediately obvious is their incompetency, because what they praise as practical and desirable are blatantly obviously neither practical or desirable to anyone with practical experience.
Intellectual class agrarian types are akin to a girl who has never sewn before who places her stitches too far apart. To anyone who has practical experience the sewing error is all too obvious, but not to the poor girl who considers herself well adept. What they have is an a ideological solution without practical knowledge of how to implement it.
Another way this ideological separation from the practical shows up is when the intellectual class discuss issues such as the common good where they describe the common good in Platonic terms such as saying the common good is justice. A description completely disembodied from the practical reality that Justice, like Virtue, or Evil do not exist in themselves but must exist in a subject. So that finally the common good exists in society as subject according to subsidiarity as method of application. But what matters here is how the common good was approached, because as opposed to approaching it from a common sense practical angle, it was instead approached from a disembodied angle.
How we approach a problem has much to do with what solution is finally devised. From good beginnings come good results such as the aforementioned solution to marriage infidelity by recognizing all offspring as legitimate. And from bad beginnings such as ideological purity come bad results.
As an aside. This same ideological purity extends beyond the Catholic intellectual class, because while most people think we live in an age of compromise where anything goes, it is to the contrary quite the opposite. Just think of the new expressions such as ‘tolerance’. Tolerance as used today signifies rigid conformity to modernist ideology.