- (Photo: Reuters)
A British Catholic woman who claims she didn't know that finalizing her divorce proceedings would lead to the end of her marriage recently attempted to sue her former lawyers for professional negligence, charging that they did not consider her faith in the process.
The revelation was made in the transcript of an appeal against the dismissal of the lawsuit filed by Jane Mulcahy who said she wanted to avoid a divorce because of her Catholic faith, according to a report in The Independent.
The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church defines divorce as a very grave sin, according to archden.org.
"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 until death. Sacramental marriage is the sign of the covenant of salvation, to which divorce does incredible injury," it states.
"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, becomes involved with 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," it noted.
Divorce, it says, is also seen as immoral 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."
Mulcahy argued that her lawyers should have recommended judicial separation, an alternative under British law which gives the benefits of a divorce.
British divorce specialists Terry & Co Solicitors explain that judicial separation "is not a divorce and the parties remain married but, in effect, there is marital separation all the normal marital obligations come to an end."
It also notes among the reasons people seek judicial separation over divorce is that "at least one of the parties to the marriage is opposed to divorce for some reason – typically for religious reasons."
In an appeal court judgment last month, however, Lord Justice Briggs said: "The most striking of Mrs. Mulcahy's many allegations of negligence against her solicitors was that, having regard to her Roman Catholic faith, Mrs. Boots had failed to give her the advice which was requisite in view of her firmly held belief in the sanctity of marriage…
"…either in terms of the alternative of judicial separation, or about the impossibility of pursuing divorce proceedings to a clean break settlement, without thereby inevitably bringing about the final termination of her marriage, which she wished to avoid."
He dismissed Mulcahy's appeal.