The Bill O’Reilly divorce has the Catholic Church involved, with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy being reprimanded publicly for taking part in communion and also telling her children that remarriage is valid in the eyes of God.
But what would Jesus do in the case of the Bill O’Reilly divorce?
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Bill O’Reilly divorce shows that Maureen “McPhilmy has been formally reprimanded in writing by her church for continuing to take communion in her Long Island parish despite having been divorced and remarried—a no-no according to the Pope. The reprimand also instructed her to stop telling her children that her second marriage, to the Nassau County detective O’Reilly tried to destroy, is valid in the eyes of God. It warned her that if she didn’t comply, harsher measures may be in order.”
The Catholic Church is very strict when it comes to divorce and remarriage. Pope John Paul II wrote on the subject of divorce back in 1981:
“Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that, like the others, is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. … [T]he Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.”
So the treatment of Maureen McPhilmy after the Bill O’Reilly divorce should not be considered an instance of her being singled out by the Catholic Church. There are methods that the Catholic Church allows for members to regain the ability to perform the Eucharist. This ability is limited to “people who have undergone divorce, but, being well aware that the valid marriage bond is indissoluble, refrain from becoming involved in a new union and devote themselves solely to carrying out their family duties and the responsibilities of Christian life.” Fellow Catholics are encouraged to support divorced people who maintain a celibate lifestyle.
But what would Jesus do in the specific case of the Bill O’Reilly divorce? As the Gawker reports, “[Bill] O’Reilly used his connections with the Nassau County Police Department (and the potential for donations to a nonprofit affiliated with the department) to try to launch an internal affairs investigation into McPhilmy’s new boyfriend—a Nassau County detective—for the crime of sleeping with Bill O’Reilly’s wife.”
This alleged act of infidelity was before the Bill O’Reilly divorce papers were finalized on September 1, 2011 and before Bill O’Reilly attempted to annul his marriage within the Catholic Church. Essentially, the Bill O’Reilly divorce was caused by alleged infidelity from both parties. And that’s where Jesus comes in.
The controversy over whether divorce and remarriage is allowed according to the Bible revolves primarily around Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. Jesus uses the phrase “except for marital unfaithfulness” or “except for sexual immorality.” If the alleged mutual infidelity took place, then both Bill O’Reilly and Maureen McPhilmy would fall into this category.
Jesus even tackles remarriage, saying, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Still, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that Jesus hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and that reconciliation and forgiveness should be the aim of a Christian (Luke 11:4;Ephesians 4:32). This exception clause is also typically interpreted to apply to only the innocent party, which supposedly neither are, but that’s a subject of debate since it’s not clearly defined anywhere else in the Bible.
What do you think about the Catholic Church’s stance on the Bill O’Reilly divorce?