Divorce among Catholics may be Possible...
But only if the Sacrament of Matrimony was Faulty
Originally published in February 2002
Please Note: We strongly recommend that the relevant NOTES added after
the initial publication of this document, and that may be found at its end, be carefully reviewed.
The following letter was sent, on August 1998, to His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, with
copies to a selected number of Cardinals and Archbishops worldwide. It seemed to have been well
received by the Hierarchy which gets caught in the cross-fire between the Faithful
It is the sincere hope of The M+G+R Foundation
that appropriate action continues to be
taken to relieve the suffering which the termination of a marriage imposes upon the Catholic
The Church rightfully teaches that a divorce cannot break a Sacramental Matrimony; however,
this is an issue only if there really was a Sacramental Matrimony
Letter to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith
miguel de Portugal
His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect
Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith
Peace be with you, Cardinal Ratzinger!
The one single social disorder which is causing the most concern to Roman Catholics worldwide is
the increased amount of failed marriages and the conflict with the rightful teaching of the Church
about the indissolubility of the Sacrament of Matrimony (1)
Precisely, the underlying reason for the increase in failed marriages —the improper pre-nuptial
instruction— provides the groundwork for the theological solution to what appears to be an
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke so clearly against divorce that engaging in debates, as many do, to
find a different interpretation, of the very clear and correct position of the Church, is an
exercise in futility.
However, the reality of so many fine and faithful Catholics who, after trying all possible
remedies, had to seek separation from their spouse and wish to marry again needs redress. Would
God allow such a tragic scenario without showing a coherent remedy?
No, He would not. Only man is capable of sowing so much misery and only man, with the Grace of
God, can right such wrong. Allow us to elaborate.
The Seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, with the exception of the Baptism of a newborn,
have one common visible thread: Proper instruction before receiving the Sacrament
conscious awareness of the commitment which we are about to make, and in which God is a real
participant, is one of the necessary requirements for it to be valid
The confirming fact that proper instruction is the key to engaging in Heaven what is being engaged
on Earth lies in the very Sacrament of Confirmation in which a cognizant soul acknowledges and
its acceptance of the Holy Spirit and its responsibilities as a Christian, thus
its Christian initiation. (2)
We do not need to belabor the point that, to partake in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, prior
instruction must be extensive. Its attendant corollary, the Sacrament of Penance and
Reconciliation, also requires that faithful be properly instructed. The same applies to the Holy
Orders which even require a more extensive instruction period before making a final
The Sacrament of Matrimony (3)
is no different. The Sacrament of Matrimony
is the human level parallel of the sacrament of the Holy Orders, through which the consecrated
soul, in effect, become like a spouse to God. (3a)
Therefore, not only the Sacrament of Matrimony (4)
, it requires a more extensive and intensive level of
instruction than any other of the Sacraments except that of the Holy Orders.
We all know that the president of the United States and his wife, as a result of an ecclesiastical
error, received the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Republic of
South Africa. However, we cannot consider that President and Mrs. Clinton received their First
Sacrament of the Eucharist with all its attendant benefits.
We also know that to undergo the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation without a real
understating of sin, contrition and the concept of Divine forgiveness (6)
serves no purpose since the absolution imparted will not be engaged in Heaven – the interior
condition of the penitent would not be the required one.
The very existence of the Sacrament of Confirmation underscores the point at hand:
Improper instruction and understanding by participants invalidates a Sacramental act. That is,
regardless of the Sacrament act – it is not valid. It did not meet the necessary requirements
for it to be bound in Heaven.
As you well know, a Sacrament is not an act of magic. A Sacramental act is a Divine-human
interactive event which requires full understanding by the human engaged in it. A simple and
uninformed acknowledgment of the Sacrament, i.e. “I do” in the case of Sacramental Matrimony,
by the human being does not constitute a valid commitment with God.
Therefore the resolution of the multitude of Sacramental Marriage anomalies lies in the hands of
the local Bishops (7)
since a pronouncement of “Not Valid” identifies a
faulty Sacramental act (8)
and harmoniously resolves the problem.
What God has not joined together
, may be separated by man, thus the Vatican approved
annulment is not necessary. There is nothing to annul. The Church teachings remain intact and in
perfect accordance to the very explicit Word of God (9)
on said matter.
Those who are married under a faulty Sacramental Matrimony may renew their vows as a post de facto
act of Matrimonial Confirmation. Then it shall be bound in Heaven
We encourage your Congregation to prayerfully meditate on the above considerations and act upon
them as the Holy Spirit dictate.
Respectfully presented by
— End of the Letter —
NOTES to the Letter
(1) Except in the very rare occasions of a valid annulment and, of course, when “...death
do us part.”
(2) Paragraphs 1212 and 1306 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC]
(3) Paragraph 1601 CCC
(3a) Paragraph 1579 CCC
(4) Paragraph 1632 CCC
(5) Paragraphs 1626-1628 CCC
(6) “Your sins are forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you, go in peace” [St. Luke
7:48 & 50]
(7) Authorization confirmed by His Holiness John Paul II in: (a) His Homily of the
Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, 29 June 1998. L’Osservatore Romano; N. 27; 8 July 1998;
English Edition and (b) The message he delivered to a group of U.S. Bishops on Tuesday, March 31,
1998; Catholic World news, March 31, 1998
(8) We recognize that this act will be admission of human error by part of the Church.
However, we must not forget Joan of Arc, Galileo, et al. The delay in correcting those human
errors caused much damage to the Church.
(9) Matthew 19:6
NOTE Added On May 5th, 2001
On May 2, 2001, the Spanish Press
reported that bulimia,
anorexia and addiction to gambling are the causes of the increase in petitions for marriage
annulments in Spain, ecclesiastical judges report.
Given the inability of those suffering from these pathologies to give valid consent and assume
their marital responsibilities, the Church’s courts are having to study these new
“illnesses” of modern societies.
López Zarzuelo noted that people suffering from anorexia, especially young women, often “reject
marriage so that they won’t lose their slimness and beauty.”
We praise God that the Ecclesiastical authorities are beginning to realize, and apply the
knowledge, that the ...inability to give valid consent and assume marital
are valid grounds for annulment.
It naturally follows that anyone ill prepared to give valid consent and assume marital
responsibilities, as it would be the case if the couple did not go through the appropriate
ecclesiastical preparation to responsibly undertake the Sacrament of Matrimony, should be able to
apply and secure an annulment.
NOTE Added On January 31th, 2003
On the 20th and 30th of January, 2003, His Holiness John Paul II again stressed the
indissolubility of the Sacrament of Matrimony, and, once again, he did not address the fact that
just a “Church wedding” does not guarantee a valid Sacrament. [The above letter to
Cardinal Ratzinger lays out the theological and traditional foundations for this statement.]
Without a valid Sacrament there is no Sacramental Matrimony. What takes place is no
more than, what is called, a “Civil Ceremony” which the Church does not even recognize as
valid, Sacramental speaking.
Thanks be to God that some members of the Hierarchy are responding well to the theology presented
to Cardinal Ratzinger regarding this matter. [For an example of its application, review the
preceding Note dated May 5, 2001]
NOTE Added on October 25th, 2003 (1)
reports on October 23, 2003: Receiving the bishops of England and Wales at
the end of his "ad limina" visit, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that any "definition" of marriage
that does not recognize it as a lifelong union between a man and a woman violates its sacredness
miguel de Portugal reaffirms categorically, once again, that, if the Sacrament of Matrimony did
not fulfill the biblical and ecclesiastical requirements, it has no sacramental validity as we
clearly explained in the letter appearing in this Document; there is nothing that unites man and
woman other than a civil contract.
We recognize and appreciate H.H. John Paul II's desire to continue to cling to the Throne of
Peter, but we are also saddened to see that with each passing day, John Paul II himself causes
more damage to the great Pontifical work that he accomplished until the mid-1990s. Once again,
, the devil triumphs protected by a false
cloak of piety and religiosity.
NOTE Added on February 4th, 2004 (2)
On February 3, 2004, EFE reports through El MUNDO (Spanish newspaper) that:
The Spanish Episcopal Conference has prepared a directory of almost 250 pages in which it
analyzes the causes of the current crisis in the family and presents a series of measures to help
The M+G+R Foundation comments:
The directory points out that "in today's Spanish society, possibly the main source of human
problems are those related to marriage and the family. This is the source of great discomfort in
many people who remain wounded forever".
They add that "one cannot be neutral in this field because the lives and destinies of so many
people are at stake, as well as the right of the younger generation to know the truth about love
and human sexuality.
"It is clear," the document adds, "that we are faced with a multitude of men and women who have
failed in the fundamentals of their lives and who have experienced the breakup of marriage as a
very traumatic process that leaves deep wounds.
And, in the same way, "we are faced with an alarming increase in domestic violence; with abuse and
sexual violence of all kinds, even of minors in the same family; with a multitude of children who
have grown up in the midst of family disagreements, with great affective deficiencies and without
a real home".
These gentlemen, like their colleagues in the Vatican, refuse to accept that the problems plaguing
society today are solely the result of a thunderously failed Evangelization. It was not God
who failed nor the Holy Catholic Faith
; it was those to whom He entrusted such work and
who have devoted themselves to amassing very temporal powers in the last 2000 years instead of
carrying out their Evangelizing mission by spreading, with love, such a correct Faith.
To deny this would be to concede satan a power superior to God's. Would the Bishops have such
The following Note contains a convincing example of what we are referring to.
Distinguished Bishops - as the popular saying goes - "may God help your souls", since the real
failures here are you.
NOTE Added on May 22, 2004
We are issuing this NOTE on the day when the Heir to the Throne of Spain, Don Felipe de Borbón
has been united in Sacramental Marriage to a young divorcee Doña Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.
The reason we are bring this event to the attention of the Faithful worldwide is to illustrate,
once more, that many of the “teachings and postures”
Roman Catholic Church, especially the ones that weigh down the Faithful to the point of almost
despair are more the result of political or financial profit and not of Divine origin.
Why then should we wonder that the number of “registered” Catholics is increasing while
the true Faith continues to decline
Let us analyze this particular case...
The Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain ruled
there were no canonical impediments to the Sacramental Marriage of Don Felipe de Borbón and Doña
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. Said ruling is in perfect harmony
with the theological concept
transmitted by miguel de Portugal to Cardinal Ratzinger.
The problem is that such ruling directly contradicts the words of H.H. John Paul II as reported by
ACI Prensa on October 23, 2003:
During the “ad limina” visit of the Bishops from England and Wales, the Pope confirmed that
“any” definition of matrimony which does not recognize the union of a man and a woman “for
life”, violates its holiness and value.
That is, without complicated interpretation, H.H. John Paul II would judge that Doña Letizia was
married “for life” when she married her first husband, therefore, her marriage to Don Felipe
de Borbón would be canonically invalid. That judgment would be completely wrong –
infallibility or not
This is the same wrong theo logic used by H.H. John Paul II and a very vocal group within the
Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian churches when they condemn the civil
union of a homosexual couple. As we have discussed elsewhere, “Marriage" is a Biblical
institution which fall under the jurisdiction of a religious establishment and not
the jurisdiction of a civil court. Conversely, a civil union is not under ecclesiastic
Without a doubt, Church authorities may give their opinion regarding such issues; unfortunately it
is done in a very negative and derogatory way... without remembering that all social ills —real
or imagined— are the result of a failed Evangelization; an Evangelization style which, in the
Roman Catholic Church alone, has sown needless suffering and death
many who implicitly trusted in such “Shepherds"
. The current world
condition is the accusing evidence.
Therefore, dear ones, do not lose heart. The problem does not
lie in the Faith
, the problem continues to be the Administrators of the Faith who
have more faith in Mammon than in God
and who have become
Masters of Denial
NOTE Added on June 15, 2004
Providence had it that we come across the Vatican’s response to our letter of August 1998 to
Cardinal Ratzinger with copies to all heads of Episcopal Conferences worldwide and which
constitutes the core of this document.
was issued anonymously via
L’Osservatore Romano on November 28, 1998. It was briefer than their response to our document on
– to which they dedicated one page articles for several
consecutive weeks. It took many fancy words to smoke screen their denial of the clear words and
instructions of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In their rebuttal to our document about a faulty Sacramental Matrimony, the Vatican
Administrators, once again, confirmed that the only thing that matters to them is the survival of
the Church as an institution regardless the price the faithful —or for
that matter— the world has to pay
May God have as much Mercy on them as they have Faith in Him.
En Español: El
Divorcio entre Católicos es Posible – pero sólo si el Sacramento del Matrimonio fue
(1) The "NOTE Added on October 25th, 2003" was originally
issued only in Spanish. We have translated it into English on January 26, 2024.
(2) The "NOTE Added on February 4th, 2004" was originally
issued only in Spanish. We have translated it into English on January 26, 2024.
Em Português: O Divórcio
entre os Católicos pode ser Possível – Sómente se o Sacramento do Matrimónio for
Originally published worldwide in English for an Ecclesiastical audience in August 1998. Texas,
U.S.A. • Spanish translation published worldwide in February 2002 – European
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