The pope can dissolve the bond of marriage in certain cases




The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the pope – that is, the head of the Roman Catholic Church - can dissolve the bond of marriage. Here are some of the causes for which the pope can dissolve the bond of marriage.

Unconsummated marriage: ‘For a just cause, the Roman Pontiff can dissolve a non-consummated marriage between baptized persons or between a baptized party and a non-baptized party at the request of both parties or of one of them, even if the other party is unwilling.’ (Code of Canon Law, Can. 1142) Impotence is one of the ‘just causes’: ‘Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have intercourse, whether on the part of the man or the woman, whether absolute or relative, nullifies marriage by its very nature.’ (Can. 1084 §1)

Sacred orders: ‘Those in sacred orders invalidly attempt marriage.’ (Can. 1087). That means that if a married man becomes a priest, his marriage becomes unlawful and as a consequence is dissolved by the pope.

Perpetual vote of chastity: ‘Those bound by a public perpetual vow of chastity in a religious institute invalidly attempt marriage.’ (Can. 1088). Therefore if a man becomes a Franciscan or a Dominican or a Capuchin friar, his marriage is dissolved.

In favour of the faith of the party who has received baptism: ‘A marriage entered into by two non-baptized persons is dissolved by means of the Pauline privilege in favor of the faith of the party who has received baptism by the very fact that a new marriage is contracted by the same party, provided that the non-baptized party departs.’ (Can. 1143 §1). This so called Pauline privilege is based on 1 Corinthians 7:12-15. Therefore if one of the non-baptized spouses becomes a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and the other party does not want to turn to the Catholic Church or to live peacefully with the ‘converted’ party, the pope can dissolve their marriage so that the converted party may marry a catholic person.




Jesus said: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6 – NKJV). As you can see, Jesus made it clear that no one can separate what God has joined together. Is it not enough clear? The Son of God, who spoke the words of God, said : “What God has joined together, let not man separate,” while the pope claims that he has power to dissolve a marriage in the name of Christ! Which of the two tells the truth? The pope? Certainly not, for he lies against the truth as his predecessors did. The pope has not received any power to dissolve the bond of marriage for Christ cannot deny Himself. Christ, after He was taken up into heaven, did not change His mind on the indissolubility of marriage, nor did He reveal to Peter that he had the power to loose even marriages in certain cases and he had to hand down that power. That’s why we reject the catholic teaching according to which the pope has power to loose the bond of marriage on account of the divine authority he has received from Christ; for this teaching contradicts the truth.

The bond of marriage is dissolved only by death, this is what the Holy Scriptures teach. Let no one deceive you with empty words.