Today's newsletter: second marriage in Orthodoxy, academic publishing, and God's nets
Thank you so much for this. The description of oikonomia sounds like what happens when a priest is laicized or a religious is dispensed from his or her vows. When I was in formation, this was described as an extraordinary act of mercy on behalf of the Church and I've often wondered why that same mercy has not been extended to married couples.
Interesting - I'd never heard of "oikonomia" before, but I like the concept. It's kind of unfair that a Catholic could theoretically cohabitate with someone for years, even conceive children, yet if they break up, they could still receive a sacramental marriage with someone else. Divorce is horrible and painful and should not occur at the rates that it does today, but there are some circumstances where I do think "mercy" can and should be extended. The commenter below makes a good point that even priests have been laicized and dispensed of their vow of celibacy.