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57 Jurist 485 (1997)
Divorce, Remarriage, an Reception of the Holy Eucharist

handle is hein.journals/juristcu57 and id is 493 raw text is: THE JURIST 57 (1997) 485-516

DIVORCE, REMARRIAGE,
AND RECEPTION OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
JOHN J. MYERS*
At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ expressed his will to the Apostles that
they and all in the Church which he was to establish should live a pro-
found unity: Ut omnes unum sint. This unity is nowhere so palpable as in
the Holy Eucharist, for in the words of canon 897 of the 1983 Code of
Canon Law,] the Holy Eucharist signifies and effects the unity of the
people of God and achieves the building up of the Body of Christ.2
The unity of the faithful, however, is intensely reflected in the sacra-
ment of matrimony, as well. St. Paul beautifully identifies the love be-
tween the spouses with the love and solicitude that Christ has for his
Church.3 This identification is also eloquently expressed in canon 776 §2
of the 1990 Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches:
From the institution of Christ a valid marriage between baptized
persons is by that very fact a sacrament, by which the spouses, in
the image of the indefectible union of Christ with the Church, are
united by God and, as it were, consecrated and strengthened by
sacramental grace.4
Given the fundamental significance of these two sacraments with re-
spect to church unity, one of the most pressing issues before the Church
* S.T.L., J.C.D. (The Catholic University ofAmerica, 1977). Bishop, Diocese of Peo-
ria, Illinois.
1 Codex Juris Canonici auctoritate loannis Paul Pp. I promulgatus (Vatican City:
Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1983); English translation in Code of Canon Law, Latin-Eng-
lish Edition (Washington: CLSA, 1983).
2 .'... quo significatur et efficitur unitas populi Dei et corporis Christi aedificatio per-
ficitur.
3 Eph 5: 25-30.
4 Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium auctoritate loannis Pauli Pp. Hpromul-
gatis (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1990); English translation in Code of
Canons of the Eastern Churches, Latin-English Edition (Washington: CLSA, 1992).

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