I was deliberately dismissing the President Bio getting married hoopla in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church because I thought it was just APC being mischievous and spreading their fake news.
Since however, I’m starting to hear this news from people who don’t peddle in fake news, I’m going to also weigh in on the matter.
Before i start, let me just say as many other members of the Catholic faith have said, these are the times when they miss leaders like Arch Bishop Joseph Ganda, because as Shepherd of the Catholic flock in Sierra Leone, they could be rest assured that there would be no flouting of cannon law to suit anybodies marriage preferences .
But its seems there is now a new breed of Catholic clergy in Sierra Leone. Some of whom are so enamoured with being invited in the halls of power that they may be forgetting that it is not within their scope of power and responsibility to bend and twist the Catechism and doctrines of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church to meet any bodies convenience.
The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is not a democracy where those who scream the loudest can demand what they want done and the Church does it. If that were the case, they would have had women priests or allowing gay marriage by now.
So, If the President of Sierra Leone, professes to be a member of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church, we expect him to abide by its doctrines and theology. Catholic theology states , you cannot enter into the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the catholic church, if you have an existing matrimonial sacrament that that has not been annulled or Papal dispensation has not been granted rendering the previous one null and void.
Please notice I am using the term Holy Matrimony and not the secular term wedding. In the Catholic Faith marriage is a sacrament, just like baptism, first holy communion etc.
Just like anybody cannot just get up one day and without following the proper steps go and receive Holy eucharist, a Catholic man cannot just say, i’m going to enter into Holy Matrimony with a second woman, a third woman etc. Etc. I advice that any man wanting such flexibility of partners join another Christian denomination that accommodate that. The Catholic Church does not accommodate such behavior.
The President can if he so chooses «wed» as many women as he wants ex cathedra (outside the church) but it would not be considered Holy Matrimony according to Catholic cannon law so long as the previous matrimony sacrament has not been anulled. Even if he goes to court and obtains a «civil divorce» , that does not render the previous holy matrimonial sacrament invalid per catholic theology.
To shed better light on the Catholic understanding of Holy Matrimony and how seriously they take the issue, let me share the exact words from the Catechism of Catholic Church on the matter:
2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.17
2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.
So,as far as we know, the man sitting on the Chair of St Peter, and Vicar of Christ Pope Francis has not issued an annulment of President Bio’s matrimonial sacrament to his first wife. As far also know , ArchBishop Tamba Charles has not issued any proclamation or documentation from the Archdiocese of Kenema that an annulment of the previous matrimonial covenant President Bio entered into has been nullified. Without this, any Priests/Deacons/Bishops/Archbishops that officiates a new matrimonial sacrament for President Bio are in flagrant violation of Catholic church doctrine.
President Bio is not the first Catholic man to find himself in this quandry of wanting the Catholic Church to bend it’s theology and doctrine because of amourous relationship with a new women.
Even the King of England, Henry VIII wanted the church to bend it’s rules on matrimony for his behalf. The Church refused, he stormed off and formed his own church. That is how the Church of England (Anglican) came about.
Interestingly, he sited lack of his first wife producing a male heir as grounds for the Catholic Church to nullify his matrimonial sacrament, He ended up marrying I think seven additional wives and none produced a male heir.
Now let me speak directly to the Catholic Clergy.
Please be reminded that you took vows not to Presidents, Kings, Chieves etc. You took vows to defend and uphold the doctrine and faith of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic faith as handed down by St. Peter who Christ gave the keys to the Kingdom in these words:
«Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram. Aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, Et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam: »
Be careful to not let the vanities of this world and the powers that be in society beguile you. The Catholic Church has stood the test of time against Kings, Presidents,Pagans, and all sorts of immorality, and it was not by obeying the demands of powerful men. It was because it stands for the TRUTH.
The Catholic Church is fully cognizant that some of it doctrines hurts peoples feelings and make some people feel guilty, uncomfortable or hatred for the Catholic Church, but they are fine with that because as Christ Himself said:»If the world hates you, realize it hated me first»