Montesquieu
 

XXVI.8 That one must not determine by the principles of what is called Canon Law things determined by the principles of civil law

By Roman civil law, a man who remove a pri­vate item from a sacred place is puni­shed only for the crime of theft1 ; by canon law, he is puni­shed for the crime of sacri­lege.2 Canon law takes cogni­zance of the place, civil law of the thing. But to take cogni­zance only of the place is to reflect nei­ther on the nature and defi­ni­tion of the theft, nor on the nature and defi­ni­tion of sacri­lege.

As the hus­band can ask for sepa­ra­tion on the grounds of his wife’s infi­de­lity, the wife used to ask for it on the grounds of the hus­band’s infi­de­lity.3 This prac­tice contrary to the pro­vi­sion of Roman laws4 had made its way into church courts,5 which consi­de­red only at the maxims of canon law ; and indeed, to see mar­riage only through purely spi­ri­tual notions and in rela­tion to things of the after­life, the vio­la­tion is the same. But the poli­ti­cal and civil laws of almost all peo­ples have rightly dis­tin­gui­shed bet­ween these two things. They have requi­red of women a degree of reserve and conti­nence which they do not require of men, because the vio­la­tion of chas­tity sup­po­ses in women a renun­cia­tion of all vir­tues ; because the woman, by vio­la­ting the laws of mar­riage, aban­dons the state of her natu­ral depen­dency ; because nature has mar­ked the infi­de­lity of women by clear signs, and the woman’s chil­dren born of adul­tery neces­sa­rily belong to the hus­band and are the hus­band’s res­pon­si­bi­lity, whe­reas the hus­band’s adul­te­rous chil­dren do not belong to the wife, nor are they her res­pon­si­bi­lity.

Law 5 ff., ad Legem Juliam peculatus et de sacrilegis et de residuis.

Ch. Quisquis inventus, XVII, question 4 ; Cujas, Observationum, book XIII, ch. xix, vol. III.

Beaumanoir, Coûtumes de Beauvaisis, ch. xviii.

Law I, Codex, ad legem Juliam De adulteriis et de stupro.

Today in France, they do not deal with this sort of thing.