Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Some Justice | Main | A Last Chance & Two New Rules »

June 21, 2007

Comments

Doug

Question for you.

Are there any rules about Catholics attending the weddings of two nonCatholics (one or more of whom is divorced)?

On the one hand, I think that there should be since a marriage is a marriage no matter whether the person is Protestant or Catholic. One shouldn't give credence to a marriage that wasn't and the burden of proof should be on proving the original marriage did not exist.

On the other hand, I doubt the church would require a non-catholic to submit to the annulment process when there is no Catholic involved in the wedding. Since no Protestant denomination has a process to determine nullity (to my knowledge), then I would think a Catholic is free to attend the wedding without inquiring further.

Doug

Jeb Protestant

"But there is also concern that some Catholics, particularly in the U.S., abuse the practice."

This seems to be a reasonable statement. If an individual Catholic seeks an annulment knowing that he doesn't have a case for one (i.e., it would not be granted if the tribunal was doing its job right), I think it's fair to say he's "abusing the process."

Mike Petrik

Fair point, Jeb, but I doubt most Catholics understand canon law well enough to know whether they have a case. Moreover, even those that do would have an exceedingly difficult time making an objective discernment. I'll wager that substantially all Catholics seeking an annulment believe they have a case.

Mike Petrik

The frustrating thing about the media's portrayal of Catholicism is that when their errors are brought to their attention, they all too often respond by saying something to the effect of, "Well, that is just your opinion -- I got my facts from a Catholic and their understanding is as valid as yours." Sigh.

BillyHW

Those wacky Boston "Catholics."

SteveL

Jimmy you ought to send this as a letter to Time.

SDG

Wow.

I mean. Even by the usual indifferent religion reporting standards of the MSM, even by the usual level of journalistic imprecision and broad "truthiness" that anyone who actually knows about anything always notices in news stories dealing with that subject, this is considerably beyond the usual boneheadedness, at least for a major publication like Time.

I mean, we aren't talking "both religious conservatives" boneheadedness here. This is above-and-beyond journalistic failure to do minimum due diligence.

Marcel LeJeune

I agree. You should send this to Time.

I was blessed to study canon law under Dr. Peters. I learned how much I didn't know. Time hasn't learned that lesson.

Tim J.

Ditto what SDG said.

Wow.

The story sounds like it was composed off-the-cuff and dictated over a cell phone while the writer was driving between the dry cleaners and the dog groomer.

No knowledge of the subject, and no research to attempt to even fake it. It's like if I decided to write an article about particle physics and figured that because I had read a couple of OMNI magazine articles a couple of decades ago about quarks and gluons that I could just wing it.

Grrrr.

labrialumn

I find it very difficult to believe that there are -that- many cases of sacramentally-invalid marriages in the US - forced at gunpoint, marrying your sister, things like that, such as the Sermon on the Mount was referring to.

I'm afraid that it is abused far more frequently than rightly used, and has become 'Catholic easy, no-fault divorce'. A deeply tragic situation.

Question: If Henry VIII attempted to get an annulment for his 2nd marriage during our time, would he have had any problem at all?

AnnonyMouse

Times may have gotten it "wrong" BUT I wonder if...
Ted was given the "go ahead" to marry 2nd wife with the assurance of someone from the tribunal office.

Just from personal experience, my b-i-l was told BEFORE he ever started the annulment process that it was ok if he married again (but not in the Church) and even his new wife could come into the Church during Easter (2nd marriage for her too)....the Internal Forum nonsense. Luckily they moved and changed parishes and now they have to wait for the decision from the tribunal.

But my point is this. If Times got it wrong, are we HELPING them misunderstand it by "internal forum" nonsense....etc

SDG

I find it very difficult to believe that there are -that- many cases of sacramentally-invalid marriages in the US - forced at gunpoint, marrying your sister, things like that, such as the Sermon on the Mount was referring to.

I'm not so sure, given the divorce/serial-monogamy/prenup culture in which we live, as well as the suckitude of modern catechesis. Valid marriage requires the intent to contract a lifelong union. How many couples today really, truly get it? How many fully understand and intend that there is no back door, no exit strategy, no irreconcilable differences? The actual rates of valid marriages in our culture might be shockingly low.

Not that that gets the Church off for its failings. To whatever extent we give the tribunals the benefit of the doubt, we must lay corresponding blame at the feet of the Church's catechesis and pre-Cana preparation. Perhaps the real question is not "Why are so many annulments granted?" but "Why are so many couples making it to the altar so woefully prepared for the commitment of marriage?"

I've heard stories about testimony given before marriage tribunals in which witnesses were called who actually said things like, "Oh, sure, John and Mary knew their marriage was indissoluble -- they had no intention of ever divorcing. I mean, unless it didn't work out, of course!" (Hm, perhaps Bishop Trautman has a point about John and Mary Catholic after all. Perhaps instead of worrying about dumbing down the liturgy he should start worrying about smartening up pre-Cana instead?)

Mike Petrik

I agree with SDG, at least somewhat. While I'm perfectly prepared to believe that the process suffers from considerable abuse, in making that evaluation one must be mindful of the realities he expresses so well.

Marty Helgesen

Sometimes it is worth pointing out that annulments exist in civil law as well as in canon law. In recent years Britney Spears and Renee Zellweger each got a civil annulment. Since they are celebrities, this fact can be documented by googling on either of their names and the word "annulment".

o.h.

Maybe someone here knows the answer to this, but what about Catholic marriages that almost certainly were contracted invalidly--in that no tribunal would have any trouble reaching a finding of nullity--but which the spouses remain happily in? Presumably the spouses don't greatly care, but are they in fact not married?

I think particularly of a very sweet elderly Catholic lady I used to know. She married when she was barely 15--at the time, the minimum marriage age for girls in this state--to a boy (18) she hardly knew, solely to escape from her abusive family. She grew to love him deeply, and they have (when I met them--her husband has died since) great-grandchildren and a deeply loving marriage.

If things had gone badly, it would be hard to imagine a tribunal failing to find nullity, given her age and motives for marrying. But I can't bring myself to believe their marriage didn't somehow become valid, even if it didn't start that way. But as far as I know, there's no such concept in Catholic canon law as "developing validity"--if there were, tribunals would have to work much harder, as they'd have to show both no validity at the outset, and no validity developing later on.

Webster

the correct word for removing the sanctityof a thing would be desecrate or deconsecrate, not "de-sanctify."

Main Entry: desanctify
Function: transitive verb
: DESACRALIZE : to divest of sacred qualities or status

Tim Brandenburg

Labrialumn said:

"I find it very difficult to believe that there are -that- many cases of sacramentally-invalid marriages in the US - forced at gunpoint, marrying your sister, things like that, such as the Sermon on the Mount was referring to."

You are mistaken as the grounds for a declaration of nullity (there are many). Also, the process cannot be abused to give "no-fault divorces." The local tribunal makes a declaration and it goes to an appeal tribunal. After a finding of nullity by both, it is conclusively established that the attempted marriage was not valid. End of story. Whatsoever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven, and whatsoever the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven.

We have to trust that the Holy Spirit guides the Church when the Church determines the validity of marriages. Otherwise, an individual would be committing adultry if he/she remarried with the Church's blessing.

In the interest of full disclosure, both my wife and I hadd previous attempted marriages back before we came to the Catholic Church. Both were declared null. We were only granted admittance into the Church after this was done.

Eric G.

"Triple huh? What's something like this doing sitting on someone's desk for two years? It doesn't take that long to prepare a written notice!"

It takes Pope Benedict XVI that long. He's been over two years in office, and thus far has done nothing substantive to reform the Church, get rid of bad clergy, etc.

Look how long it took him to come out with an unimpressive Apostolic Exhortation, not to mention his foot-dragging of the fabled motu proprio liberalizing the True Mass.

The Holy See is a whore, and a rotting corpse that would put off doing anything remotely good, true, and beautiful, if only they can buy more time practicing sodomy, and living comfortably wearing pretty dresses and wearing Prada.

Jimmy Akin

ERIC G: THIS IS YOUR RULE 1 WARNING. THIS KIND OF LANGUAGE ABOUT THE HOLY SEE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

SDG

Main Entry: desanctify
Function: transitive verb
: DESACRALIZE : to divest of sacred qualities or status

Webster: "Disfellowship" is also a word in the dictionary, but if a journalist used that word in a story about an excommunicated cleric, that would be an absurd blunder. In Catholic usage there is a well-established vocabulary for discussing religious matters, and sacred things are deconsecrated or desecrated, but not "de-sanctified."

Webster

In Catholic usage there is a well-established vocabulary for discussing religious matters

Honey, it's Time magazine, not Catholic Weekly.

Jordan Potter

Honey, it's Time magazine, not Catholic Weekly.

Sweetums, Time magazine doesn't get a free pass to use words erroneously just because they're secularist.

Dago

Honey, it's Time magazine, not Catholic Weekly.


Webster:

Terms of art should be followed even by such publications.

If Times were doing a science article, you would naturally expect them to utilize the appropriate terms, no?

SDG

Webster: Did you even read my first sentence? Do you or do you not agree with my observation that a journalistic reference to an excommunicated cleric that used the word "disfellowship" instead of "excommunicate" would be a journalistic faux pas?

Should reporters call Baptist congregations "parishes," or should they call synagogues and Kingdom Halls "churches"? Should reporting on a religious community not use the established vocabulary of that community?

Dr. Brumerling

"Are there any rules about Catholics attending the weddings of two nonCatholics (one or more of whom is divorced)?"

I don't think these so-called rules even exist. I've known very devout Catholics who attended the weddings of Catholics that were not "sacramentally valid". I think it's just a way to show disaproval by not going to the wedding. In any case, it seems strange that a Catholic could go to a civil wedding of a non-Catholic with no problems and then said to be breaking the rules when he attends a wedding of a Catholic that isn't "valid."

Webster

If Times were doing a science article, you would naturally expect them to utilize the appropriate terms, no?

If you are a Time magazine reader and you don't find a term to be appropriate, then it's not appropriate to you. That doesn't mean it's not appropriate and acceptable to the many millions of other readers, to the writer and to Time magazine itself.

Webster

Should reporting on a religious community not use the established vocabulary of that community?

No, it should use the vocabulary of the people to whom the report is being delivered.

Dago

If you are a Time magazine reader and you don't find a term to be appropriate, then it's not appropriate to you. That doesn't mean it's not appropriate and acceptable to the many millions of other readers, to the writer and to Time magazine itself.


Webster:

You completely disregarded/ignored/did not comprehend my point.

The fact of the matter is that if an article is to address a topic that touches on something specific whether it concerns a particular branch of knowledge, a certain government, or even religion; the journalist of the article is responsible for the accurate reporting as well as the appropriate utilization of terms particular to the subject of the article.

In other words, if this were a piece in Time magazine about the advances of modern science, would you actually applaud the journalist who uses something as ridiculous as "DNA Reproduction" rather than the proper term "DNA Replication"?

Mike Petrik

Webster,
But the article would still contain the same inaccuracies even under that standard.
So your point is....?
The article is just wrong. Get over it.

Webster

the journalist of the article is responsible for the accurate reporting as well as the appropriate utilization of terms particular to the subject of the article.

No, the journalist is welcome to accurately report using the terms of his audience, whatever they may be. Now, if "desanctify" does not accurately describe annulment, that is one thing, but it's not an inappropriate word to use if the journalist is attempting to describe what the word "desanctify" means, i.e. "to divest of sacred qualities or status."

if this were a piece in Time magazine about the advances of modern science, would you actually applaud the journalist who uses something as ridiculous as "DNA Reproduction" rather than the proper term "DNA Replication"?

I would applaud the journalist if the readers got what the journalist was trying to report, and particularly so if the journalist described it accurately in the terms the audience understands.

But the article would still contain the same inaccuracies even under that standard. So your point is....?

My point is what the dictionary says: desanctify does in fact mean to divest of sacred qualities or status. I made no comment as to whether that term accurately describes annulment or whether it's the word Catholics would prefer to be used.

Webster

Oh, and the correct word for removing the sanctityof a thing would be desecrate or deconsecrate, not "de-sanctify."

Main Entry: desanctify
Function: transitive verb
: DESACRALIZE : to divest of sacred qualities or status

Main Entry: desecrate
Function: transitive verb
1 : to violate the sanctity of : PROFANE
2 : to treat disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously

Main Entry: deconsecrate
Function: transitive verb
: to remove the sacred character of

Mike Petrik

Yes, Webster, that is what "desanctify" means, and using that definition the article is wrong. The Church does not divest a marriage of its sanctity, it determines that there was no sanctified marriage from the beginning. It is that simple. One does not need to be either Catholic or well-educated to understand this simple distinction, and many readers would regard it as important. The problem isn't in preferred word choice, the problem is that the article communicates inaccurately. A journalist can and should exercise judgment with regard to the level of precision required; but not the level of accuracy.

Dago

I would applaud the journalist if the readers got what the journalist was trying to report, and particularly so if the journalist described it accurately in the terms the audience understands.

And what would those terms be exactly???

So, in a Time Magazine science article, let's not have the journalist use the proper terms such as 'quantum', 'electron', etc.; since these terms may be too much for the audience.

Incredible!

Doing this not only makes for inaccurate reporting but also it's intolerably condescending; not to mention, promotes ignorance.

Webster

The problem isn't in preferred word choice

Jimmy said the word choice was wrong, claiming "desanctify" is not "the correct word for removing the sanctityof a thing".

Dago

By the way, if a journalist were to use "DNA Reproduction" over "DNA Replication", I doubt that any well-informed reader would respect that journalist or find his/her article credible.

Webster

So, in a Time Magazine science article, let's not have the journalist use the proper terms such as 'quantum', 'electron', etc.; since these terms may be too much for the audience.

If he wants to communicate, he should use the terms his audience will understand. That may be terms such as 'quantum', 'electron', etc. Or it may not be.

Doing this not only makes for inaccurate reporting

Accuracy does not require that I use the word 'quantum' or 'electron' if I can communicate with other words instead.

it's intolerably condescending; not to mention, promotes ignorance.

It's not condenscending nor does it promote ignorance when I communicate in terms my audience will understand. It promotes communication.

Dago

It's not condenscending nor does it promote ignorance when I communicate in terms my audience will understand. It promotes communication.


So instead of saying that Lefevbre got "excommunicated"; instead, let's say something simple that a wider audience can understand since "excommunicated" is surely beyond their personal vocabulary.

How's about:

Lefevbre got "kicked out" of the Catholic Church.


Also, I'll make sure to note that journalists should for now on use "DNA Reproduction" since replication in "DNA Replication" may likely be far too complex for ordinary folks to handle as well!

But hey, that's not promoting ignorance nor is it condescending; as long as these are terms anybody can understand, it promotes communication and is accurate!

Ridiculous!

Dago

It's not condenscending nor does it promote ignorance when I communicate in terms my audience will understand. It promotes communication.


So instead of saying that Lefevbre got "excommunicated"; instead, let's say something simple that a wider audience can understand since "excommunicated" is surely beyond their personal vocabulary.

How's about:

Lefevbre got "kicked out" of the Catholic Church.


Also, I'll make sure to note that journalists should for now on use "DNA Reproduction" since replication in "DNA Replication" may likely be far too complex for ordinary folks to handle as well!

But hey, that's not promoting ignorance nor is it condescending; as long as these are terms anybody can understand, it promotes communication and is accurate!

Ridiculous!

Webster,
Your last post to me suggests that you are being either deliberately obtuse or impenatrably obdurant. Instead of answering my substantive point, you change the subject in a feckless attempt at gotcha.
Selecting different words can enhance precision at the expense of practical communication, fair enough -- that is where judgment is called for. But in this case the writer used words that conveyed inaccuracies to the reader. This is different and cannot be defended on the grounds you suggest, especially when it is plain to reasonable people that accurate wording would not have confused typical readers.
The point is that the words selected did not simply render the article imprecise; they rendered it inacurrate on more than one material point. That is an important deficiency in my view. But perhaps not yours, in which case you should apply for a job at Time.

Mike Petrik

Not sure why that last post didn't include my name. Apologies to Jimmy....

Mary

To follow up on SDG's comment --

I started to read Shattered Faith. I couldn't get through it. But from the opening chapters, I had a distinct impression that Joseph Kennedy had an open-and-shut case on the ground of simulation of consent: that Sheila never intended to not have a back-door out. She objected, for instance, to the children visiting while he lived with his girlfriend, but that was because she thought they ought to get married.

Mary

The tribunal might find a marriage contracted at 15 invalid -- but that might be the tribunal. Escaping your family might not involve unreasonable fear.

Webster

Instead of answering my substantive point, you change the subject in a feckless attempt at gotcha.

No. As I have stated, my point is in regard to Jimmy's statement about "the correct word for removing the sanctityof a thing." That is not the same poinr as whether "desanctify" is an appropriate word to describe annulment or whether it rendered the article imprecise overall. Those are additional issues, and I'm not arguing for or against them.

The point is that the words selected did not simply render the article imprecise; they rendered it inacurrate on more than one material point

You're welcome to your point. Here's my point: the use of the word "desanctify" in regards to divestment of sacred qualities or status is not inaccurate. That is my point. Whatever else the writer did or didn't do, to include whether the word is appropriate in the context of the writer's overall article or whether it rendered the article imprecise overall, are additional issue. If you want to argue those other issues, be my guest.

SDG

No, the journalist is welcome to accurately report using the terms of his audience, whatever they may be.

That's so dumb, I'm quickly coming to suspect you are a troll.

No demographic data is going to support the argument that what Catholics call "deconsecrate," TIME's audience calls "desanctify." (Come to think of it, I bet a lot of Catholics read TIME!)

The TIME writer didn't substitute "desanctify" for "deconsecrate" because the latter was more suited to his audience. He used "desanctify" willy-nilly without ever being aware of the issue because he didn't bother to do due diligence familiarizing himself with the appropriate concepts and vocabulary in the context he was writing about, which, if he had done it, would have resulted in him writing more appropriately about the concept of annulment.

Brian

The ease in which annulments are granted in the US really burns me. I disagree with claiming ignorance of what Catholic marriage means if you've gone to pre-Cana classes (yes, even poor quality ones). Couples have to go through pre-Cana classes and they receive material explaining marriage - if they don't take it seriously it's their own fault.

Take real life examples. If you sign a mortgage without reading it, does the bank just declare it null and void 3 years into it when you change your mind? What if we held this same standard to all our sacraments? I know my parents didn't intend to teach me to believe the parts of the magisterium they disagreed with when they had me baptised. And thanks to our great CCD program and my own disinterest I didn't have a clue about Catholicism at my confirmation. But these are still valid sacraments which I am now starting to experience the fruits of. When it comes to marriage, if it's your own fault that you're ignorant you don't have a claim on ignorance.

Many couples think when they get married that things will always be the way they are at that moment and things will be perfect. But just because they're not expecting to ever be tested in their marriage, and then want to bail as soon as they hit hard times doesn't mean their original promise of forever was invalid. For example, I don't expect to ever face martyrdom. But if it ever comes down to that I'm expected, as a confirmed Catholic, to witness unto death rather than renounce my faith to save my skin. I can't imagine that many people when they get married are thinking about divorcing down the road, instead they're not even thinking about the possibility of the fairytale ever ending. Wishful thinking is no ground for an annulment in my book.

I could very well be wrong, but even if I am the rate of annulments in the US indicates a huge problem with adult Catholics not having the slightest idea of what it means to be Catholic. The reason no one takes marriage seriously is because no one sees it being taken seriously. Many parents don't exhibit the ideals of Christian marriage to their kids. Many of the people teaching religious education are heterodox. Many homilies are all fluff and sunshine (no wonder engaged couples can't conceive of their marriage being anything but more of the fluff and sunshine they hear about every week). Give us meat. It doesn't have to hurt. Teach the faith in a way that soars up to God - that shows how awesome He is and how much greater His plan is for us than any idea of "liberation" from Him we can dream up. Everyone's worried about making Catholics uncomfortable in a way that turns them away from the Church. But the answer isn't to make us comfortable; we don't become saints by staying where we are. Instead we need to be made uncomfortable in a way that encouranges us to run to God.

Sorry. End Rant.

Mike Petrik

OK, now I understand. Your quibble (and that really is all it is) is only that the reporter's use of the term "de-sanctify" was at least as appropriate as "desecrate" or "de-consecrate." I agree, now that I understand you. I just think this is an exceedingly unimportant point. The key reason that "de-sanctify" was the wrong word is because Catholic annulments are not desecrations, de-consecrations or de-sanctifications. The article was deficient in a serious way because of its failure to communicate Catholic practices not its failure to use Catholic vocabulary. I regret this debate since (i) it was grounded in a misunderstanding and (ii) it centered on such an utterly unimportant issue.

Webster

the reporter's use of the term "de-sanctify" was at least as appropriate as "desecrate" or "de-consecrate." I agree, now that I understand you. I just think this is an exceedingly unimportant point.

Yes, that's what I thought. I wondered why Jimmy didn't think so too.

Webster

No demographic data is going to support the argument that what Catholics call "deconsecrate," TIME's audience calls "desanctify."

No demographic data is going to support the idea that most Time readers understand "deconsecrate" over "desanctify."

He used "desanctify" willy-nilly

Perhaps as willy-nilly as Jimmy's remark on the meaning of the word.

SDG

Troll.

Mike Petrik

I agree, SDG. Webster is one of those people who (a) thinks they are superior and (b) likes to argue to prove it.

The fact is that you are absolutely right. While I don't really think that the use of "de-sanctify" instead of de-consecrate was that big a deal, it was wrong in the sense of being imprecise. There are times when a generic word is substituted for a technical one in order to better communicate to the audience. But that is only true if the generic word is more likely to be understood, and that is just not the case in this instance. It is almost certainly true that the author's use of "de-sanctify" betrayed a lack of understanding not a deliberate choice. Webster's claim otherwise marks the behavior of a troll.

Fr.Bill P

I have been rather interested in this thread, aside of the semantic games, in why the Roman Rota sat so long on this case and as to why there are so many annulment cases that are passed in this country.

First, I would imagine the caseload in Rome is rather heavy and they don't have an unlimited budget nor manpower with which to expedite cases. Most dioceses have long waits for annullments because the case lod is so heavy and the judges so few. That long time factors into this is neither a surprise nor an act of negligence nor politics, I would presume.

AS far as the number of annullments in this country, well, I would speculate two things. A) that in Europe, where in most countries religion and the expression thereof is rather, shall we say, timid, that annullments are not seen as necessary by those who have left there marriages and sought a second. IN the US, religion, at least on the lip service level, is more attended to. Young couples know what I as a pastor want to hear during rather intensive marriage preps. Some couples were patholoigcal liars, wanting to acheive an end at any cost. I have had guys lie about prevous relationships (oh...yeah I was married in the Church before...that's was a trip), one didn't inform us that he had a girlfriend on the side, one didn't tell about his boyfriend on the side, one hid the fact that she knew she couldn't have children, and I have had many other couples who I knew had no business getting married and tried to stop get married. Too many times, they will go into the marriage with the western idea that we stay together as long as they see fit (seeing it as a disposible relationship). Do they tell me this when I ask them if the committed to a lifelong marriage? Nope. I have only been a priest ten years and I have seen about 40% of the couples I have wed divorce and then tell me afterwards they lied through their teeth during our meetings because they knew full well I had some grounds by which to say no.

If we truly want to stop annullments we have to overhaul marriage prep and expectations. How many parishes actively advocate against co-habitation? Has anyone read the studies on co-habitation? It is scary. Notwithstanding a moronical article that came out, co-habitation is insidious in that it bolsters the disposibility of marriage. Heck, half the time I just want to give them the anullment papers when we're filling out the wedding papers. WE also need to wrestle away wedding from wedding planners who treat this beautiful sacrament as if where the Rose Bowl Parade. So many times so much emphasis is put on the wedding planning that marriage prep is seen as a side note. There is so much to be done...but it needs to front-loaded on marriage prep.

But that's just my lowly opinion.

Brian

Thanks Fr. Bill,

Many of the examples you cited sound like one of the people was deceiving the other at the time of the marriage. But in other examples I don't think dissent from Church teachings alone should invalidate a marriage (co-habitation, birth-control, etc). For example if the couple talked it over ahead of time and one of them doesn't agree with the Church's teachings that a marriage can never be divided, that shouldn't invalidate the marriage vows because they both knew the Church's teachings and they both knew the other's intentions. They knew exactly what they were getting into when they got married. Otherwise we're just rewarding couples who want to be able to have the option of a "Catholic divorce" when they get married. And that's just considering the "forever" part of marriage. If you consider the Church's teachings on sexuality and raising children, most marriages would be invalid if they were judged solely on dissent at the time of marriage. I don't deny that there's a lot of wishful thinking going on in marriages (She'll eventually change her mind about insisting on birth control until she's 32 and a VP... He says Catholics can divorce just like everyone else but he'll never divorce me... etc) but poor logic on your part doesn't mean your spouse deceived you when you got married.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that marriage prep just can't compete with wedding planning today. That's why the Church's teachings need to be preached and lived always. Pre-Cana should be the last review session before the big exam, not the first time young people are exposed to doctrine on marriage and sexuality.

Mary Kay

Fr. Bill P, amen to marriage prep being essential. I'm not surprised at hearing people being um, less than truthful beforehand.

People have no idea of marriage as a sacrament, as a covenant relationship.

John

Father

Great post

And lets not forget the loose language of the new code of canon law that makes canon lawyers froth at the mouth and keep them employed!

(Is discussion of Canon law on a thread about divorce and annulments hobby horsing??)

Jimmy Akin

It is hobby-horsing to continually criticize the current state of the Church. If you're constantly criticizing the state of the Church then that is what your hobby-horse is.

Leah

Fr. Bill mentioned above:

...one hid the fact that she knew she couldn't have children...

Was that a problem because she lied to Fr. Bill, or to her fiance, or just neglected to mention it? Fertility is not required for a valid marriage, so I'm curious why this made the list.

Canon 1083ยง3 Sterility neither prohibits nor nullifies marriage, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1098.

Can. 1098 A person contracts invalidly who enters into a marriage deceived by malice, perpetrated to obtain consent, concerning some quality of the other partner which by its very nature can gravely disturb the partnership of conjugal life.

My understanding is that if she lied to her fiance about her sterility, then that would invalidate the marriage. If she just didn't mention it, though, I don't see that as "deceiv[ing her fiance] by malice". And I'm not sure where either lying or not mentioning it to the priest falls in there.

I'm curious about this point for a couple of reasons (one of which is that my husband and I are training to be a presenting couple in a diocesan marriage preparation program). I hope Fr. Bill P. doesn't mind my asking!

FR Bill P

In marriage prep, at least in my diocese, there are questions asked that if answered incorrectly will give the priest reason to disallow a wedding: One cannot be closely related to one's fiance, one cannot be in Holy Orders or have taken Professed Religous Vows without a dispensation and still get married, one must be willing to have children/ open to life (marriages late in life after such possibilities are by the wayside is another matter), one must intend a lifelong covenant of lasting fidelity, one cannot be in a marriage currently. These are impediments. My understanding is that the couple, who in the Sacrament of Matrimony are the 'minister' (for lack of better word) in that it is their action (exchange of vows and rings) that gives consent to allowing the grace of God to make them one in every factual way. To deliberately not intend to carry out this covenant relationship invalidates the sacrament as the exchange of vows becomes an act of deceit.

Given the society we live in, which sees marriage as a disposible and convenient relationship, has poisoned the well with our youth. That is why solid catechesis is needed and priests who preparing couples to lay aside any tendancy to be a 'Fr. Friendly' and ask the hard questions and force the issue of their intent. Solid catechesis will also have the wonderful effect of getting couples, particularly brides, to understand that the wedding day isn't about dresses, flowers, candles, receptions, and all the inane frilly stuff that eclipsed the sacrament...it is about the exchange of vows and rings, an act which must be with full use of free will and in conjunction with the intent of Church.

Also, do the brides-to-be you know a favor...burn the Bridal magazines and lose the wedding coordinator's number...it'll help keep the focus on the sacrament where it belongs!

BTW, Mr Akin, can I rail on society and its constant stream of nonsensical morality without it being considered a hobby horse? :-)

Fr Bill P

Sorry Leah, all that I didn't answer your question. In the case I presented earlier, the young man wanted children and was under the impression that she was able to have children. She knowingly kept her sterility from him for fear of losing him. This is an act of deceit. Had he known before hand and gone ahead with the marriage, that is OK. But one is not allowed to knowingly dupe someone into a marriage.

Leah

Thanks, Fr. Bill, for that follow-up! Reflecting on this situation helps me put into perspective my own (future) role in this process.

It occurs to me that this particular matter of deceit may not strictly come up in the required list of interview questions as described above by Fr. Bill. Of course, I can't think of any list of questions that would cover everything "which by its very nature can gravely disturb the partnership of conjugal life".

My involvement in marriage prep will be presenting with my husband (and often another couple) at a weekend retreat (after the aforementioned interview at the parish). Each presentation (society's view of marriage, communication, sex, sacrament, etc.) ends with time to reflect separately on the topic and then share privately with one another. The climax of the weekend is a presentation that urges couples to serious discernment about their decision to marry, which can be painful.

This process of serious, deep, thorough communication (as modeled by the sharing of the presenter couple throughout the weekend) may bring to light things that might escape that parish interview.

Of course, you can only lead a horse to water. But the goal of the whole weekend is honest communication and discernment, having been instructed more deeply about the sacrament. There have been many miracles on these retreats!

John

Thank you for the clarification Jimmy

I will make an effort to be more careful, I guess frustration????

John

Father

I think if we had the ability to clone you (I know, its against church teaching!) then we probably wouldnt have 95% of the problems that exist today in and out of the church today! Your insight is amazing

God bless you

CPT Tom

Not considered by anyone here is mental illness that doesn't show at the time of marriage or is concealed by the person marrying. Some thing like this can be hidden by someone good at facades and a break doesn't happen until after children and the pressure of the world happen. Manic / Depression (bipolar) and obsessive compulsion being a small part of the list of mental illness that can destroy a Catholic Marriage after the marriage ceremony. So it isn't all about people looking at marriage as temporary...sometimes they're just too crazy to be married.

John

I question the validity of someone using the excuse posted above (bipolar, etc) for getting out of a marriage. Are we not marrying someone "for better or worse"? What if your spouse developed Alzhimers (sp?) or Parkinsons in the marriage-Ok, divorce and annulment-they are now wacko!

Marriage is never bowl of cherries as it is a Vocation (which my wife and I learned as we sat for (8) 3-hour pre-cana sessions with various priests when my wife and I were married, had a book to read and got tested on called "Marriage Preparation Course" all 440 pages long of it that we still have today in our home, written in the 1940's and 50's) where today it is given over a weekend at either someones home or in a group setting with other couples all who are really embarrassed to ask the questions we asked.

Not everyone is meant to be married, as I think Father stated above, as it is a vocation and one should not get married because they never got the calling to the religious life/clergy and just assumed that marriage was then their calling.

Mary

A mental illness that doesn't show at the time of the ceremony would only invalidate the marriage if it was, invisibly, corrupting the judgment of the insane person. Concealing it -- or, for that matter, a family history of it or other predisposition to it -- from the other would fall under the rule of deception: only if it was done in order to get consent.

OCD can indeed make life difficult, but I doubt it often corrupts the judgment to the extent necessary. (I suppose if the person is actually obsessing about getting married, it might.)

BJ

I believe the annulment process is being a religious divorce for the people to have a second time around..marriage and I know of one lady who had (2) annulments.....
AND how can AMYONE get in to the head of the husband or the wife and know their thoughts, at the time of the wedding ceremony as they receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony bestowed on them by a Catholic priest.....

Always, the people to be married want good for their lives and are not there for an act or for drama.....They are then married by a priest with all that is necessary for a good Catholic marriage...Instead of taking all of the time and years of discerning about the validity of the union....which is impossible for another human and the tribunal to REALLY know... STOP this annulment process AND Dissolve the marriage and Say it was valid at the time of the ceremony, it was good, it was sincere and the intent to stay married was there, unless, why would anyone get married....
My marriage of 17 years, was good and true and sincere.....It was not nurtured my children and myself were not respected and we were put second (my children and myself) in our Family unit.....SOOO our marriage died.....SO Catholic Church and Tribunal.....Respect my marriage, respect my children. respect the marriage that we lived and is a part of the history of my Family and DON'T say it never was and don't EVEN imply that my children were conceived in a union that was not Holy and withing the Sacrament of Matrimony...Never, Never can a human being take away the truth of my marriage AND it was real and that part of my life was real...SOOOO, again, I say put it to rest and it is over and dead.....
The Church has Many ideas and ways to work this out, I am sure!! They should have a way to allow a second marriage (if this be the case) for a second marriage....STILL KEEPING THE RESPECT OF THE FAMILY'S FIRST MARRIAGE AND RESPECT, MOST OF ALL, THE CHILDREN...
(For the second marriage, have a waiting period, have counseling - by a respected and good counselor and, by all means, have a good waiting period...BEFORE A SECOND MARRIAGE CAN TAKE PLACE! THIS MAY TAKE PLANNING AND EXTRA FINANCING TO HAVE THESE SERVICES AVAILABLE IN EVERY PARISH....BUT IT WOULD BE LESS EXPENSIVE, LESS TIME CONSUMING AND EASIER ON THE EMOTIONS AND HEARTS A N D LIVES OF THE FAMILY AND ALL CONCERNED.....

MUCH LESS TIME, I BELIEVE AND MUCH LESS MONEY FOR THE TRIBUNAL AND ALL OF THE PAPER WORK THAT HAS TO GO ALONG THE THIS ....ARCHAIC ANNULMENT PROCESS THAT IS ONLY FOR POLITICAL REASONING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH......WHICH I TRULY LOVE, FOR THE MOST PART, AND THE BLESSINGS OF THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST IN THE LIVES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH...
THE PRESENT ANNULMENT, IN MY THINKING, MY EXPERIENCE....ONLY FROM SEARCHING FOR THE DEPTH OF THE ANNULMENT PROCESS AS I HAVE BEEN DIVORCED FOR 30 YEARS AND I LIVE A GOOD CATHOIC LIFE, WITH THE GRACE OF GOD, IS A STUPID, NOT CARING ANNULMENT PROCESS, BY THE TRIBUNAL.....

AND TO NOT DESECRATE THE INTEGRITY OF EITHER HUSBAND OR WIFE, ANY MORE THEN IT HAS BEEN - DURING THE DIVORCE OF SAME, IN THE PRESENCE , MOSTLY, OF THE CHILDREN OF THIS FAMILY....AGAIN....THE MARRIAGE DIED....PLEASE PUT IT TO 'REST'....CATHOLIC...
CHURCH....TAKE CARE OF THE HEARTS AND SPIRITS OF YOU FLOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jarnor23

Luke 16:18 - Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery, and the man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery.

Direct words of Christ about the indissolubility of a valid marriage. The Church frankly has no authority to override Him. This statement of Christ's is backed up twice more in the gospels. Some who hear this in Matthew say it would be better then to never marry. Christ doesn't back down then and say "geez, well, I don't want you to feel bad about it like that", He stands by it.

BJ

Answering Jarnor, then ONLY God can say and decide which marriage is valid.....Going back to Luke.......ONLY God can proclaim if a marriage is valid or NOT.... Only God......no tribunal or any human...........Annulments are then, obsolete!!!!!

JoAnna

BJ,

The Catholic Church has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and is the voice of God on Earth. Therefore, when the Church annuls a marriage, it is God speaking through the Church. That's why one of the titles of the Pope is "The Vicar of Christ" -- he is Christ's representative here on Earth.

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." -- Matthew 16:19

BJ

Again, I say JoAnn, The people who sit in on the Marriage Tribunal are following the Rules that were set up for the Annulment process, and you are quoting Mathew 16:19.....It SOUNDS great, but the Tribunal binds and loosens.....Under these rules, and ARE they really, really hearing God's truth voice or are they going by rules.....Just as the witnesses whom they take facts from to assist them in deciding if the marriage is suppose to be valid...These witnesses (most of them - if not all) have not seen this husband and wife who are wanting to annul their marriage....AND what truth and guidance can they base the words of these witnesses....
All, I believe from personal opinion in this Tribunal......
I know of a priest that is encouraging me to get an annulment (and he is a Holy priest)
I believe, because he has two brothers that are divorced and DO NOT have an annulment and they are dating, now...This priest, being a priest wants his brothers to get an annulment so they will not marry outside of the church...(that may not be the only reason)
AND just like this priest, the Tribunal has their personal opinions, and I DO NOT believe their decisions are all divinely inspired...AND Of Course God, alone, only knows if my statement is true..... THIS IS ALL WHAT IS SO SCARY - WE DO NOT KNOW IF GOD IS REALLY INSPIRING THESE MEN IN THE TRIBUNAL
AND THESE MEN DO NOT CARE, ONE BIT, IF MY CHILDREN WERE NOT CONCEIVED WITHIN THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY....AND IF THEY MAKE MY SACRAMENT INVALID...THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING....IT MEANS THEY WERE NOT CONCEIVED WITHIN THE SACRAMENT!!

Do go to the Internet and click on SaveOr Sacrament.org this will let you see what the Tribunal has done to young people who are 20 and 30 and how they feel about the marriage of their parents being annuled -!!!!!!

Mike Petrik

BJ,
Frankly, I don't see how the "feelings" of these young people are especially relevant to the issues at hand. Best I can tell your posts are nothing more that emotional outbursts of unwarranted accusations clothed in sola scriptura nonsense.

Karl

There is nothing wrong with an annulment decision that is truthfully based upon the facts that reflect reality in any given marriage.

But the only way that an American can feel comfortable and reasonably certain that his or her tribunal decision is accurate is to seek the decision from the Roman Rota, period.

BJ

Mike,
I did make sense in my Post, and from what you posted, you really don't make a point or describe anything.....ONLY reger to sola scriptura nonsense...which is a weak answer, with no base.....only yout culmination OF WHAT.........??

BJ

Kari, I tend to agree with your statement regarding the Roman Rota and it being - we hope- the truth.....As someone posted about the Holy Father, who is the Vicar of Christ, AND I would pray that he would be the decision maker (final) on an annulment going before the Roman Rota....
Thanks, Kari, for your post.........

Karl

I would ask you all to spend some time to study and reflect on the many articles and Rotal decisions present on the following website:

http://www.cormacburke.or.ke/

This man is world class as both a Theologian and Canonist.

Our own second instance decision is among his English decisions published herein. He accurately understood the facts of our troubled marriage, generally (but not perfectly) saw us for who we were and the three judge tribunal issued the decision that nullity was not proven.

There is much to be learned on his site.

Please, if you call yourself a Catholic, do not believe that the Church has no right to make a decision regarding marital validity. It certainly does. To say otherwise is not a Catholic position that can be defended.

But a just decision can be very difficult to reach, when you are dealing with often competing interests of two, now divorced people. As Father Bill alluded to in his own experience, he has been lied to often. The same holds for tribunalists. The consequences are eternal. To lie to a Church tribunal is a very grave wrong. To be less than completely, objectively honest is gravely wrong.

There is no point to obtain an annulment through falsehood. The potential marriage that could result from such a fraud would be null before God, regardless of its standing in the human Catholic Church. The power to bind and loose does not and cannot negate the metaphysical reality of a sacramental, valid marriage.

My experience, and you will read the same in Monsignor Burke's writings, is that the pastoral aspect of tribunal decisions is rarely understood. This is particularly true of negative decisions, or those where the finding upholds the presumed validity of the sacrament.

In such cases it is the constant teaching of the Catholic Church that these valid, sacramental marriages be healed and the marital relationship be completely restored. In fact, where there are children involved and nullity has been proven, it remains the hope of the Catholic Church that, in the interest of the good of the children of this union, together with the societal interest in the stability of the instituion of marriage, the that the parents try to solve their differences and convalidate the relationship.

Those of you who read this letter, please read Msgr. Burke's work and spread it to others whom you know.

Thank you

BJ

WE don't just need JUST decisions....
When we are talking of our children who are hurt by this annulment process...

We need infallible decisions when it comes to the welfare of our CHILDREN....isn't that what it is all ABOUT..... The truth - the example, and the sacredness of instructing our children about the church....even if it is the annulment process.....that does not put the children FIRST... It is the husband and wife that they put first; their desires and feelings and wanting to be married again for the second time or third time, as I have heard and seen people; even receive (2) annulments!!!

Again, I ask you to look at the Web Site of:
SaveOurSacrament.org and read the letters from the young adults who have had their famiy and the marriage of their parents annuled.......I ask who is gaining from this???

Karl

Dear BJ,

Children are NOT first. The parents come first.

You must act on a certain conscience; you do not act on a feeling. You act based upon the facts and you pursue truth and justice in every act, period. Rarely are families destroyed by facts. More often it is emotion.

Our children were 9, 7, 6, 4 and 1, when my wife ended our life together. Our children are now 26, 25, 23, 21 and 18. I know well the ordeal they have experienced and that they continue to suffer under. I do not have to read the letters that you refer to on that site that is not run by a faithful Catholic. Avoid it. They have a non-Catholic agenda.

This is not about gain. It is about truth and the just administration of it.

Read Cormac Burke's writings and you will see how
spouses should behave.


BJ

The Site SaveOurSacrament speaks the TRUTH... AND I can tell you of many non Catholic men and women who speak the truth and face the truth about the need to respect our children and cherish them especially when there is a divorce....they come first to protect...
Read the writings and listen to James Dobson,
He is a great father and family man...He speaks the truth....Pat Robertson is not Catholic and for the times I have heard and seen him he speaks the truth....
I love the Roman Catholic Church.....but it is full of politics for keeping people happy and receiving the offerings in "the basket"....they don't want to walk on anyone's toes....

Priests do not know how to deal with marriage issues....because they have never been there, and it is impossible to have any counseling that is beneficial...they can read books but they don't know about IT!!!

All they do is refer one to another person....

About 12 years ago, I wrote a letter to, then the Holy Father...John Paul II....a 3 page letter telling him of my marriage and divorce...did not want an annulment.....telling him that I wanted to dissolve my marriage....and to put the marriage - to rest - in some religious manner (don't know how they would do it) Give it to the marriage tribunal....they are smart and I am sure with all the"stuff" they do they could figure it out~!! I received a letter back within 10 days, from an aide of the Holy Father...telling me to consult with my parish priest....and that the Holy Father had sympathy for me and would offer prayers and Mass for me and my children....Another referral.....
Went to the parish priest and he was wanting me to secure papers for an annulment.

I sent for the papers and read them (a bit) and decided not to disrespect my children by getting an annulment and burned the papers...

AND excuse me, I do believe spouses know how to behave...!! With the stupid tempations in the world and all that is necessary to maintain a good family life, some spouses and a lot of them fall to temptation..."It is said..part of being human" AND I don't believe that is the truth of the matter.!!!

BJ

The Site SaveOurSacrament speaks the TRUTH... AND I can tell you of many non Catholic men and women who speak the truth and face the truth about the need to respect our children and cherish them especially when there is a divorce....they come first to protect...
Read the writings and listen to James Dobson,
He is a great father and family man...He speaks the truth....Pat Robertson is not Catholic and for the times I have heard and seen him he speaks the truth....
I love the Roman Catholic Church.....but it is full of politics for keeping people happy and receiving the offerings in "the basket"....they don't want to walk on anyone's toes....

Priests do not know how to deal with marriage issues....because they have never been there, and it is impossible to have any counseling that is beneficial...they can read books but they don't know about IT!!!

All they do is refer one to another person....

About 12 years ago, I wrote a letter to, then the Holy Father...John Paul II....a 3 page letter telling him of my marriage and divorce...did not want an annulment.....telling him that I wanted to dissolve my marriage....and to put the marriage - to rest - in some religious manner (don't know how they would do it) Give it to the marriage tribunal....they are smart and I am sure with all the"stuff" they do they could figure it out~!! I received a letter back within 10 days, from an aide of the Holy Father...telling me to consult with my parish priest....and that the Holy Father had sympathy for me and would offer prayers and Mass for me and my children....Another referral.....
Went to the parish priest and he was wanting me to secure papers for an annulment.

I sent for the papers and read them (a bit) and decided not to disrespect my children by getting an annulment and burned the papers...

AND excuse me, I do believe spouses know how to behave...!! With the stupid tempations in the world and all that is necessary to maintain a good family life, some spouses and a lot of them fall to temptation..."It is said..part of being human" AND I don't believe that is the truth of the matter.!!!

Karl

Dear BJ,

I have been where you are and it is a mistake.

It sounds condescending, I know, But I have lived through it all. At least you received a Papal reply, mine were all ignored.

The corruption is the reason I have formally left the Catholic Church. But I am Catholic and will remain so, in spite of also knowing some decent non-Catholics. I cannot deny the truth, but I will not support the institution until it drastically changes course regarding marriage and puts some saber teeth into its defense. The corruption is so ingrained I cannot try to work from the inside. It is the only way I know to follow, faithfully. It is lonely and dangerous for me but I will persist, God willing.

bill912

Karl, my heart understands your feelings toward the Church, and I will keep you in my prayers. But, as you so well pointed out, we must make decisions based on facts, not feelings. The Church, for all the faults of her members, is still the Body of Christ. To formally remain outside her, knowing that she is the Church instituted by Christ, knowing that it is necessary for one's salvation to be a member of the Church, is to condemn oneself to hell. You bear a heavy cross. You need to return to the sacraments so that it will be Christ bearing this cross through you. This morning, I will pray at Mass that you will come home.

Brian

Priests do not know how to deal with marriage issues....because they have never been there, and it is impossible to have any counseling that is beneficial...they can read books but they don't know about IT!!!

I can't agree with this statement. Many priests lead a parish overrun with people who want to practice their faith their way instead of God's way. Priests courageously live their entire lives in what we would call a bad marriage, but instead of one spouse who stubbornly refuses to live up to their end of the bargain they have hundreds or thousands. If anything, the way our priests endure in their vows to emulate the role of the True Bridegroom prepares them to relate better to the self-sacrificing love of marriage than other types of counselors.

Mike Petrik

Well said, Brian. The assertion that priests cannot understand marriage because they have never been married it specatacularly simplistic. My parish priest is married (Episcopal convert), and I'd bet he would agree with your post.

Skygor

Don't forget the (married) Orthodox Catholic priests as well.

Some Day

Well, you'll have to forgive me, but the abuse of judgement is at an all time high. I don'mean to be disrespectful of the Sacred Hierarchy, but they are not being the guiding pastors in the complete asspects of being one. Sure they preach (overly in my humble opinion) about the mercy of God, but fail to mention that living in mortal sin, getting married to satisfy a disordered passion without the correct intentions does not beget mercy, but rather wrath from God.
And I agree that most marriages could very well be null, because of lack of lumen rationis and the ability to therefore make a firm decision to contract marriage with all the requisites. But the way they proclaim annulments is pretty corrupt MANY times. How many times have people said the priest offered a platter and said "$300 gets me to sign, $500 garantees you'll have it".

There is abuse, but you are right to point out that satanical media has no right to point fingers.
Todays readings are an example of who may judge and who may not...

Some Day

Priests do not know how to deal with marriage issues....because they have never been there, and it is impossible to have any counseling that is beneficial...they can read books but they don't know about IT!!!

You don't need to get sick to be a doctor.

Marion (Mael Muire)

The corruption is the reason I have formally left the Catholic Church.

Dear Karl,

You and I have spoken before some months ago.

I agree with you that there is much sin and corruption in the Catholic Church - that is, in the Church Militant, here on earth. This is truly hideous - revolting. But, Karl, neither sin nor corruption is to be found in the Head of the Catholic Church, which is Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified.

Karl, it is Jesus Crucified who is your Lord and Savior. It is He who suffered for you, who died for you, who rose for you, left His Word, His Body and Blood to nourish you.

Jesus.

Him Alone.

All for Him.

You and I owe Him everything.

He was abandoned. He was betrayed. He was spat upon, beaten, mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns, stripped, marched through the streets, thrown to the ground, jeered at, nailed to the wood, hauled up to die, naked, in front of everyone, including His own mother.

Meanwhile, His dearest companions and brethren, betrayed Him, denied Him, ran away, and hid themselves.

You want to talk about corruption? Corruption has been with us - with the Church - since day 33 AD!

What losers those disciples were in those days! How shameful, how useless!

But not Mary, and not John. They were there with Him, through to the end. Suffering with Him. Watching over Him. Mary's pure and immaculate heart breaking as His heart was pierced by the sword.

What must have been her thoughts on that day, Karl, about sin and corruption among the followers of Christ?

Karl, down through the centuries, the saints have knelt in profound reverence before images of the Crucified One, and have whispered the heartfelt words, "My Jesus, let the only reason for my very existence - for me drawing my next breath - be to console You in Your sufferings, in Your abandonment."

Being outside the Church is not safe for you, Karl. There is nothing out there for you. No food, no word, no light, no Jesus. Don't go there. While we are here on Earth, our choices are the Church, with our fellow sinners and their corruption, or Hell on Earth. You are right to hate the corruption within the Church. He does, too.

The only really safe place for people who have suffered as you have, Karl, is to find your way into the wound in His heart and to hide yourself there. That is to be your home. That is to be where you will find food and sustenance. Directly from Him.

You've got to stay with Him, you've got to trust Him, even amid the corruption of sinners. These others have abandoned Him, Karl, will you do the same?

Jesus. And Him crucified.

And some days, you just can't, can you look at the immaculate face of Mary our Mother, into her eyes, into what she suffered . . . and walk away?

A man with a heart and spirit like yours, Karl, cannot do that.

.

Brian

I don't mean to be disrespectful of the Sacred Hierarchy, but they are not being the guiding pastors in the complete aspects of being one.

Some Day, I wonder if part of the reason for the state of annulments is that it's not an appealing job for a priest to take on. I might guess that the type of priest who would be drawn to serving on the tribunals is the kind who might tend to think that allowing the couple to remarry is always the best thing to do if something can be found to indicate the original vows were invalid.

If this is the case, there may be hope that as the situation worsens the motivation for priest to join the tribunals for the sake of reform will increase. The tribunals must be balanced to do what's best for the souls of the spouses and children involved.

On the other hand, if the tribunals continue to see their job as finding any possible grounds for annulments, maybe it needs to be countered with stricter requirements for marriage. That way, for example, while a couple might get their annulment they wouldn't be allowed to get the civil remarriage they've been living in for a year while they waited for the ruling sanctioned until they show that they understand what marriage is and that they intend to fulfill its requirements. If we stopped the "your first marriage was invalid because you never intended to fulfill its obligations so we'll grant you an annulment so you can enter into another marriage you don't intend to live up to" mentality, I don't think I'd be quite as bothered by the number of annulments.

BJ

With the Grace of God, and I am sincere, when I say by the Grace of God!!......I continue to believe and say that the Tribunal needs to respect the first marriage ---- do not desecrate the marriage, the husband and wife who stood before God and were married in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and (most of the time) conceived children within the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony!!

The Church can discuss the issue of this archaic annulment process forever and forever and forever and the Tribunal will never, never really know what truly is in the minds of a bride and groom on their Wedding Day....they can speculate obtain signed statements from people who knew them and know them.....and also continue to update the present process AND it will still not respect the first marriage for the Family and the sacredness of mother, father and children within it.....

SO, please, save the heartbreak, the disrespect of the Family again, ( when they went through the civil divorce there was much pain) PUT THE FIRST MARRIAGE TO REST - AS I SAID BEFORE - IT IS DEAD...HAVE THE CHURCH HAVE A RESPECTFUL MANNER - WITHIN CERTAIN PAPERS AND DOCUMENTS - DOING THIS.....
AND HAVING A VERY GOOD AND BENEFICIAL WAITING PERIOD (FROM 2 TO 5 YEARS) COUNSELING, ALSO HAVE A GROUP WITHIN THE PARISHES TO WORK WITH SAID COUPLES DURING THIS TIME....MAYBE WRITTEN TESTS,
WEEKEND OR " A WEEK" RETREATS AND MOST OF ALL PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS....BEFORE A SECOND MARRIAGE CAN TAKE PLACE.....
INSTEAD OF GOING "BACKWARDS" GO "FORWARD" GOING BACKWARD BRINGS, I REPEAT, HEARTACHE, LOSS OF MONEY AND TIME FOR THE CHURCH AND THE FAMILIES, CONFUSION, YES, FOR THE PRIESTS AND COUPLES AND THEIR CHILDREN AND, I AM SURE THE CHURCH AGREES WITH ME ON "THIS ONE" CATHOLICS LEAVING THE CHURCH AND BEING MARRIED OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH, IN ORDER, TO NOT DESECRATE THEIR GOOD, RESPECTED, HOLY FAMILY!! (BELIEVE ME, I HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS) IF I EVER LOVED A GENTLEMAN. WHO WAS NOT CATHOLIC, ENOUGH TO MARRY, AND BELIEVED THAT IT WOULD WORK FOR ALL CONCERNED, I WOULD CONSIDER BEING MARRIED BY A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE AND WOULD KNOW THAT GOD WOULD UNDERSTAND MY HEART!!!!!!!

Tim Brandenburg

Some Day,

You are mistaken about paying for annulments, at least in the Dioces of Dallas. Annulments are FREE OF CHARGE (including the appointed advocates), even for non-Catholics. The Bishop of Dallas correctly recognizes that there are many non-sacramental marriages in existence and wants to assist people in clarifying their marital status. No money... not even a dime... all the way from the local tribunal down to the appellate review tribunal. There might be a charge for the Rota, but I don't know one way or another.

ASlso, even if annulments were being charged for, it doesn't negate the Church's decision as to the validity (or invalidity) of marriages.

Once again... whatosever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven and whatsoever the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven. We must recognize the authority of the Church in all things, including annulments, or we are just a different flavor of Protestant.

Marion

Dear BJ,

Why have vows or promises at all?

Why not just the white, lace, flowers, music, engraved invitations, and photographers, and then the actual promises part will be:

Priest: Do you intend to appear before all present to basically that you totally love each other, and if it doesn't basically, you know work out . . . down the road, . . . then, whatever, and you totally respect families, and all that, and don't want to cause heartache?

Right?

Bride: Basically, yeah.

Groom: Pretty much.

Priest: Cool. I now pronounce you in debt up to your eyeballs from this day forward until basically you guys want to do something else.

As long as nobody's feelings are hurt. That's the important thing.

Bride: Definitely.

Groom: Totally.

Priest: Cool. Peace out.

Brian

PUT THE FIRST MARRIAGE TO REST - AS I SAID BEFORE - IT IS DEAD...

Can Trinity divorce? No. Can God back out of His covenant to Abraham? No. And neither can a Marriage be ended just because the two people no longer want to fulfill their covenant. There's no such thing as a dead marriage, it's alive as long as the two people are. The Catholic Church has no power to kill a valid marriage.

Esau

The Catholic Church has no power to kill a valid marriage.


Of course, the converse of that isn't really the case as well since if it is indeed an INVALID marriage; the Church doesn't necessarily use its power to kill it since it wasn't even alive to begin with.

BJ

Brian,

I did not say the Church killed the Marriage....

The Marriage died because it was not nurtered,
the wife and children were not respected and the husband did not want to go for counseling!! SOOO, the Tribunal seems to be so merciful toward the annulment processs and bends over backward to help people get annulments and listens, as I mentioned, to people witness that have not seen with partner for years, so why don't they have "that mercy"
to bury the first marriage because the marriage was not care for or nurtered and respect....AND have a very reverent way of putting the marriage to "rest" instead of the drawn out, heartbreaking, and time and $ consuming archaic annulment??
AND NOT desecrate the character of the husband or wife.....(whichever one) because of the children...!!! Tribunal - from all you do, I DO BELIEVE YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE A REVERENT AND HOLY WAY TO DO THIS!!!!
ALSO FROM A QUESTION OF 1, 2 OR 3, ETC.
AGAIN, HOW CAN "MAN" DECIDE THE VALIDITY OF A MARRIAGE AND GO INTO THE MINDS OF THE HUSBAND AND WIFE.....
ONLY BY TH 1,2,AND 3 ETC. IN THE ANNULMENTS BOOKS THEY READ AND DERIVE THE ANNULMENTS FROM!!!

Esau

...so why don't they have "that mercy"
to bury the first marriage...


BJ,
The Church CANNOT 'bury' a VALID marriage.

They cannot UNDO what God has ordained to do.


Mk 10:9:
9 What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. (DRV)

Esau

BJ --

Also, what you said here:
...and listens, as I mentioned, to people witness...


Mind you, the Church is only doing what Christ commanded of it:


Matthew 18:16-18
16 And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.
17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.
18 Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

Tim Brandenburg

BJ,

How can "man" determine if a penitent is truly sorry and humbly repents of the sins confessed? How can a "man" impart holy orders? How can a "man" change wine and bread into the Body and Blood? These acts, and others are done by the Church through the Holy Spirit as part of the binding and loosing charge of Christ. The Church decides if a marriage is valid or not. End of story.

Your concerns about the validity of the children born of the "marriage" are misplaced. Children born of invalid "marriages" are not made illigitimate.

BJ

Esau,

Then with the poiwer, scripture, that the Church receives, (AND you are evading my statements, by quoting scripture) and by the way the annulment process is not in scripture, that I have seen!!!
So, continuing.......with the power and rules that the Church has, why (AND I say this with respect) In the Name of Jesus....didn't they and, now, don't they investigate the motives of the husband and wife before the marriage and tell them what to expect if they ever want an annulment??? AND Church, don't say that sometimes you are lied to in pre-marital counceling, or even in the annulments, as you tend to cop out on.....(regarding lies)....
If the Church has such solid rules for the reasons for annulment and can decide the fate of a Marriage.......then Church DO IT before you pronounce them Man and Wife!!!!!!! AND then.......now you may kiss the bride....You claim this and pronounce this as Authority as they stand lovingly before you, Church and Priest......

bill912

"And you are evading my statements, by quoting scripture."

No, Esau was pointing out where you are wrong, and why.

On the other hand, maybe Jesus was an idiot for imparting to the Church His Authority to bind and loose, and maybe we are just blind fools for obeying that Christ-given Authority.

Brian

BJ, I know this is very emotional but please try not to write in all caps. It makes your posts difficult to read.

In it's most basic sense a Catholic marriage is a covenant made between a man, a woman, and God. Living together and (God willing) having children are how we live our marriages, but those things aren't the marriage itself.

That's why a marriage can never be dead unless one of the people who entered into it die. Even when a husband and wife stop trying to live according to their vows, the covenant still exists.

You say that the Catholic Church desecrates a marriage by issuing annulments. But this is not the case. The Catholic Church will, if a couple wishes and has reason to believe they didn't meet the conditions necessary to enter into the marital covenant, investigate to rule whether or not a valid marriage occurred. If the covenant was never entered into, there is no marriage to desecrate. If a valid marriage was entered into, the Church can do nothing to end it. I've been critical of the way annulments have been carried out the past few decades in America, but I stand by the Church's teachings about marriage and annulments.

What desecrates a marriage is living as though a valid marriage is dead. If a civilly divorced couple wants to honor their marriage they should reunite. If that's not possible, they should live single lifestyles each trying to do the best they can to support their spouse and their children even though they are unable to live together. No one claims this is easy to do, but it is the way to honor the vows of self-sacrificing love a couple promises to each other when they marry.

The idea of putting a dead marriage to rest is a lie. It denies the existence of a valid marriage. Living this lie is what truly desecrates a marriage, not an annulment.

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31