Pius VII…

…judges Francis’ idea on matrimony

  • Divorce is so grave that even the judge who applies it commits a mortal sin

Every divorce, among living Christians, sin ce it implies the dissolution of the conjugal bond legitimately contracted and confirmed, is nothing other than a grave attempt, if not against the natural law (which the Scholastics dispute among themselves), at least against the positive written divine law, as the Holy Council of Trent clearly teaches (sess. 24, Doctr. de Sacr. Matr.), and copiously demonstrated by Benedict XIV in De Synodo Dioec. lib. XIII, cap. 22, § 3 and the following sections. Thus, every project of law, that affirms and disposes this attempt, is by its own nature, invalid and null, it is more of a violation than a law (D. Th. 12, q. 46, a. 4), more precisely a corruption of the law, since it treats of a question that is truly sacred by divine institution and, for this reason, superior, and, as such, outside of the ambit of any earthly power: which, consequently, manifestly contradicts the divine law, before which all human power should incline and yield. Thus, before all else, they abuse an authority they do not possess, no less the legislator from which this corruption proceeds, than the judge, who serves and applies it to the particular cases, and brings it to its fulfillment. This is to sin mortally, the former does so by usurpation of power, and the later, by usurpation of judgement (Leonard. Lessius De Iust. et Iur. Duben. Lib. 2, cap. 29, p. 288). (Pius VII. Instruction Catholica nunc, from the Holy Office to the Prefects of the missions of Martinica and Guadalupe, July 6, 1817)

…judges Francis’ idea on divorcees as Godparents

  • Grave attempt against the divine and natural law

Every divorce, among living Christians, as supposing the dissolution of the conjugal bond legitimately contracted and confirmed, is nothing other than a grave attempt, if not against natural law (about which the scholastics dispute among themselves) at least, against the positive written divine law, as clearly taught by the Holy Council of Trent. (Pius VII. Instruction Catholica nunc, from the Holy Office, to the Prefects of the Missions of Martinica and Guadalupe, French Antilles, July 6, 1817)