VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope John Paul II said Catholic civil lawyers must not take divorce cases if the client’s intent is to break the marriage bond.
Speaking on January 28 to the Roman Rota, a Vatican tribunal that handles annulment appeals, the Pope said the Church must oppose divorce in society by promoting a “mentality, social custom and civil legislation in favour of indissolubility”.
Pope John Paul said Catholic judges might find it impossible not to take divorce cases, but they “must find effective means to promote matrimonial unions, above all through a wisely conducted work of reconciliation”.
But he said Catholic lawyers who are free to choose their cases “must always decline the use of their profession for an end that is counter to justice, like divorce”.
“They can only collaborate in such an activity when it, in the client’s intent, is not aimed at the breaking of the marriage, but to other legitimate effects,” he said.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, separated couples are permitted to obtain a civil divorce if it is “the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance”.