Bishop of the Diocese Rulenge-Ngara Rev. Severine-Niwemugizi explained that the Catholic Church can not allow divorce or dissolution of any valid marriage.
Bishop Niwemugizi who is a specialist in the Church law (Canon law) made the remarks recently while speaking to Kiongozi newspaper about the new procedure Pope Francis tendered on a trial to run Catholic Church married cases. This came after sections of the media recently reported that the Pope had allowed divorce in the Catholic church.
“Pope Francis, who is the leader of the Catholic Church in the world would never allow divorce or advice to dissolve the valid marriage as this is contrary to scripture,” says Bishop Niwemugizi. He further added that the recent statements by the Pope on the guidelines have been misunderstood or misinterpreted by the society who concluded that the Pope has allowed divorce in Catholic Church.
It is true people want divorce even among catholic faithful but the church can’t contradict itself and it can not allow. We have guiding laws about marriage and we are systematic in dissolving only illegal marriage. So let the world know that the catholic church’s court of marriage cannot deal with valid and legal marriages but only with marriages which are not valid from the beginning.” He insisted.
He also explained that Pope cannot go against the principles of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church can not change the Bible by separating people united by God inspite of the challenges they face.
Bishop Niwemugizi highlighted the church’s procedures and guidelines as pertains to marriage as laid out in Cans. 1083-1125 which address the issues of consent to marriage and the barriers o marriage. He also mentioned that there is a commentary on the 12 barriers to marriage which include; age to marry, fraud, forced marriage, fiancé mistake eg identical twins who resemble etc.
Commenting about Marriage between a Catholic and a member of another denomination, he said that ” Procedures of Catholic Church explains that Catholic believer who wants to marry a Muslim, Lutheran denomination etc. Should get permission from the bishop of the diocese in order to marry outside the Catholic Church. If he/she doesn’t follow the procedure the Church does not recognize that marriage as valid. “Another barrier is married to a close relative, marying with conditions.
Bishop Niwemugizi explained that the Holy Father can not violate the laws of marriage and if he should , he must change all the rules of marriage, guidelines and procedures something which is not easy.
He said that, for those with marital disputes according to the 12 barriers of marriage as mentioned earlier should provide information to the court of the Catholic Church.
The court will deal with the issue with different parameters and witness according to the principles of the Church. If found invalid the court will announce that the marriage did not exist.
After that, if they possess properties, they have children, the court will refer them to civil court for help to separate, how to divide property and how to care for their children as well as address matters related to the rights of the children born of the marriage.
However he is in agreement with the papal guidelines on how to pursue the case, saying it is systematic and that it will assist in simplifying the whole process of marriage trial and reduce costs.