I keep finding it asserted that Catherine of Aragon was advised to enter a convent, in order that she may retire honorably and allow her husband, Henry VIII, to remarry lawfully. I first came across this watching The Tudors, and now again watching the BBC miniseries "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"
I feel this needs to be corrected - Catholicism does not, and never had, taught that a CONSUMMATED marriage might be dissolved by one spouse having entered a convent. Once a Christian marriage is consummated, it may only be dissolved by death - a spouse may consent to his mate entering into religious life, but the spouse "left behind" in the world is not thereby free to remarry. He is still married, if continent, to his wife in religion.
Does anyone know that I am wrong on this, and if so, where is the documentation? I can't seem to find any documentation for Catherine having been told her marriage can be dissolved by entering a convent, just passing references to it, from sources apparently oblivious to Catholic doctrine.
In terms of my own sources, I cite my former seminary education, along with this from St Thomas Aquinas:
Also, see the old Catholic Encyclopedia articles, "Sacrament of Marriage" and "Religious Profession".
Religious profession only dissolved a marriage that has not been consummated, which would not apply to Catherine.
PERHAPS it was the case that Cardinal Campeggio and other hierarchs meant simply for Katherine to retire to the convent, take vows, and not dispute Henry's case for annullment? Which IS what happened to her contemporary St Joan of France, and which is something VERY different from saying her religious profession would have dissolved her marriage.
Do I have this right/