Coptic Orthodox Views on Marriage

Marriage in the Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the seven Mysteries or Sacraments of the Church, established by Christ Jesus Himself. The bond of marriage is one that unites a man and a woman to Christ and as such is to be cherished and protected. Following the teachings of the Lord and the cannons of the Church, this bond can only be broken by divorce in the case of adultery. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, when asked the conditions for divorce, Our Lord declares, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mt 19:4-7; see also, Mk 10:5-10). The Lord continues, and sets the guidelines for divorce, maintained by the Church through the ages and says, “whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Mt 19:9; see also Lk 16:18 and Mk 10:11-12).