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Pope has only issued guidelines for prosecution of illegal marriages – Rt. Rev Severine Niwemugizi

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.

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Pope has only issued guidelines for prosecution of illegal marriages – Rt. Rev Severine Niwemugizi

The Chairman of Lay Apostolate Rt. Rev. Desiderius Rwoma says he wants the Church to be close to the youth, encouraging them and paying attention to their potentiality as young people in the Church.

He said this during a three days’ workshop on Christus Vivit aimed at creating awareness of Pope Francis’ message to pastoral workers on the role of Young People, which was held at Tanzania Episcopal Conference’ Kurasini Centre in Dar es Salaam. “Looking at it from the context of the Association of Catholic Bishops in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), I invite you to deliberate on the Pope’s message in his post-synodal letter Cristus Vivit (Christ is Alive) where the Holy Father has raised pertinent issues regarding pastoral care for the young people in all the institutions – families, schools and houses of formation. 

The task before us is to create awareness about Christus Vivit to all pastoral workers on the role of young people as protagonists of Evangelization in the Church,” he said. The participants in the workshop were also to discuss how to building the capacity of youth chaplains and youth leaders; and to draw a pastoral plan for effective chaplaincy in AMECEA region.

He said that the youth constitute the majority of the faithful in the Catholic Church in all AMECEA countries. They are good agents of evangelization through their singing in choirs, their participation in pilgrimages and Church associations such as the Young Christian Students (YCS), the Legion of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus.

He further noted that the youth are the most targeted group by emerging sects, and that they can easily abandon their Catholic faith due to poverty, shallow knowledge of faith and other mundane incentives which the sects use to woo them.

“This being the case, there is urgent need for the Catholic Church in the AMECEA Region to be abreast with the Pontiff’s message

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Pope has only issued guidelines for prosecution of illegal marriages – Rt. Rev Severine Niwemugizi.

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.

Read more