chapter  XV
29 Pages

DIVORCE

T HE HISTORY OF DIVORCE. Among th e Romans of the Empire period and amo ng th e ancient T eutons marriage and divorce were matters of civil con tr act. During th e Middle Ages the ch urc h gradually arroga ted to itself the control over marri age and divorce. These came under th e cano n (church) law rather th an th e civil law. Ecclesiastical contro l reached its climax in th e declaration of th e Council of T rent in 1563, whic h redeclared marr iage indissoluble for an y reason. This has rem ained the official doctrine of the Roman Cathol ic Church to this day. Ca tho lics cannot be prevented, of cou rse, from making use of th e civil divorce legislation, but if they do so th ey risk expulsion from th e church.