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Maronite patriarch denounces divorce attorneys

Catholic World News - December 24, 2013

The Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, criticized divorce attorneys who facilitate conversions to other ecclesial communities so that Catholic spouses may divorce.

In Lebanon, marriage and divorce are governed by the laws of the religion that the citizen professes.

“Every lawyer who helps a married couple to convert in order to divorce them is banned from representing cases in religious courts,” said Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï. “We call on religious courts and the courts of two well-known churches to stop committing this sin in return for a fistful of money.”

Father George Massouh of the University of Balamand told the Beirut-based Daily Star that the Patriarch was referring to the Assyrian Church of the East, which ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Council of Ephesus (431), and the Syriac Orthodox Church, which ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Council of Chalcedon (451).

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