Okay, the folks at Time Magazine have once again demonstrated their incompetence.
CHT to the reader who e-mailed asking confirmation of the fact that the Church does not "de-sanctify" marriages.
Time doesn't know what it's talking about.
What it does do is sometimes declare them null from the beginning. Hence: an-nul-ment.
Saying something was null from the beginning is not the same as stripping it of sanctity. It has to be there before you can remove its sanctity. No thing, no sanctity.
Oh, and the correct word for removing the sanctityof a thing would be desecrate or deconsecrate, not "de-sanctify."
But the stupid stuff in the story doesn't stop there! Oh, no! That would be too easy!
The annulment was the subject of Rauch's 1997 book Shattered Faith, which lambasted her ex-husband and was severely critical of the Catholic Church's proceedings, which made the marriage (which had produced twin boys) null and void in the eyes of the church.
How many children a union produced has nothing to do with whether the marriage was validly contracted on the wedding day. Time is presenting criticism of the concept without presenting the rejoinder.
Rauch argued that Kennedy was able to unilaterally "cancel" nearly 12 years of marriage because of his clan's influence in the church.
How long a union lasts has no direct bearing on whether it was validly contracted on the wedding day. Same problem as before, and petitioners cannot "unilaterally cancel" anything. Both parties are given the opportunity to provide evidence, and it's the tribunal that makes the decision.
Few observers thought the appeal to Rome by Rauch, an Episcopalian, had a chance against the well-connected Kennedy.
Time needs better observers. First, the fact Rauch is an Episcopalian is not going to have a material impact on the decision, and Kennedy's connections--whatever they may be in Massachusetts--are not going to be decisive in Rome.
With divorce strictly prohibited in Catholicism, annulments allow Catholics to remarry before a priest and continue receiving the sacraments.
Civil divorce is not "strictly prohibited in Catholicism." Civil divorce can be legitimate for any number of reasons. What you can't do is get remarried just because you have a civil divorce.
Several years after his 1991 civil divorce to Rauch, Kennedy obtained an annulment from a Church tribunal in Massachusetts so he could have a Church ceremony with Kelly. The couple had already been married in a 1993 civil ceremony, but needed the Roma Rota appeals tribunal at the Vatican to uphold the Massachusetts annulment verdict before they could be married by a priest.
The Rota does not weigh in on each and every finding of nullity in the world. It's agreement isn't necessary unless one of the parties appeals to it. (Oh, and you don't have to be married by a priest in order to observe the Catholic form of marriage.)
At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has indicated that he wants to streamline the Roma Rota to respond to the desire of divorced Catholics to stay inside the Church.
Huh? When did he do that? He's never made any statements about streamlining the Rota. On the contrary, he's stressed that tribunals around the world should follow the detailed instructions of Dignitas Connubii.
But there is also concern that some Catholics, particularly in the U.S., abuse the practice. "People think it's their right," says one Rome-based canon lawyer. He adds sternly, "It's not a right."
Double huh? It's not individual Catholics who "abuse the practice" of granting annulments. Only Church tribunals can grant annulments. If there is a generalizable problem (and this is something that is quite arguable) with the annulments being granted then the fault lays with the tribunals granting them, not simply the people asking to have the validity of their marriages examined.
The story also refers to multiple unnamed "sources," meaning that there is a shadow of doubt over the whole thing.
It also says this:
The Roma Rota's ruling, written in Latin, was reached in 2005, and had been kept secret while the official written notice was being prepared, said a source in Rome familiar with the case.
We can't know if this is true since the source is unnamed, but if it is: 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!
While Time Magazine has demonstrated what it doesn't know about this case, Ed Peters has some sage advice to remember what we all don't know about it.
GET THE STORY.