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June 22, 2007

Comments

JD

Jimmy-

Even if the Rota did serve as a court of third instance, there still would be no definitive declaration of nullity (I don't like the term annulment because it implies action, instead of declaration, which is partly where folks get the impression that an 'annulment' is a Catholic divorce) until all appeal options had been either exhausted, or declined. So, an appeal to Rota has suspensive effect on any prior decisions whether the Rota is serving at second or third instance.

JD (one month till I'm a canonist!)

Cajun Nick

Jimmy,

Thanks for posting this; and thanks to you and Dr. Peters for clearly explaining the process.

I only wish that everyone who read the Time article could be given the opportunity to read this, too.

bill bannon

Absolutely excellent post. Where does this overturning of the annullment leave Joseph Kennedy? Is he sinning within his new marriage with every motion of sexuality? Is he now duty bound to revive his marriage to Sheila? Whew...I'm just glad my biggest problem this week was buying hub caps an inch too big...yeah... it was rough getting them on.

Al Stakhanov

In the light of your recent post, Jimmy, did Time do a fair depiction? (Or have my MSM standards sunk too low?)

JD

Bill-
Joe Kennedy is living in a state of objectively grave sin, by virtue of the fact that he's stably living with a woman who is not his wife. This was as true two weeks ago as it is today.

Brian

(Or have my MSM standards sunk too low?)

Sunk? has the MSM ever reported religion well?

If Jimmy was able to get this basic information about how annulments work from a canon lawyer's blog and JD, who is studying to be a canon lawyer, can confirm it, then how hard could it be for a TIME magazine reporter to get in touch with a canon lawyer (or parish priest who serves on a tribunal, or anyone who knows this stuff) for a 15 minute crash course on annulments? TIME is TIME, they shouldn't write a story as if they're the Podunk Post.

bill bannon

JD
Yes...I just went over to the Peter's article and hadn't known til then that Joe married outside the Church even before the first instance results. So we're not faced with a sensitive conscience. But if he suddenly became a person with a sensitive conscience, then before God (and assuming any appeals face further decisions on the side of the bond), his objective obligation it would seem would be to divorce his current wife and seek reconciliation with Sheila. Sheila does not seem to have been aware or to have been informed by the diocese of this second instance requirement at the time of the annullment but only later became aware of the something different...the right to appeal.

JD

Bill-

I don't think he has an obligation to seek reconciliation with Sheila. The Church, as Ed and Jimmy pointed out, doesn't objectively condemn divorce, just divorce and remarriage. While Sheila is his wife, and he can't marry anyone else, I think the way his relationship with her plays out has to be determined in light of the circumstances, what is best for both of their souls, etc. It may be that celibate separation is best for both of them.

With respect to appeal: All ordinary first instance decisions must be reviewed through a de iure appeal to a second instance court, even if the parties don't want to appeal, every case is looked at in second instance. If someone is unhappy after that, they have the right to appeal to a third instance court (usually the Roman Rota, but not always), and that appeal has suspensive effect on the sentences of th prior two.

What Sheila did was exercise her right to appeal in second instance to the Roman Rota--an option rarely exercised, and probably with good reason.

(Ed- the reason I said "all ordinary first instance decisions..." is because I can't remember what happens after a sentence is given by the Rota in cases where it (that is, where the Holy Father) has exclusive competence in first instance.- can you remind me?)

bill bannon

JD
Things that make you go....hmmmm. The Church does not condemn civil or legal divorce since She needs them as accompaniements to Her real annullments. But She must condemn spiritual or moral divorce within the heart and against the sacrament which sacrament remains if the couple are not annulled.... since their sacrament is to sign God's love of us until death....Christ's love of the Bride, the Church, wherein He may not divorce Her ("husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church"). So that the obligation remains to seek that person's sanctification as a remaining primary goal of one's particular life and to seek cohabitation unless the abuse conditions that justify a temporary separation are present (physical abuse in the 1917 canons and that plus emotional in these new canons I believe?). But that latter reality..separation... always presumes working toward a reuniting be it through therapy etc. If the sacrament remains, it cannot remain as a dormant thing the way the Holy Orders of a laicized priest seem to. And that is so because of the bond between Matrimony and the way Christ loves the Church which is with lastingness.

Uncle Joe

If only the media informed themselves sufficiently to report the scandal of 'justice delayed' by the Roman Rota, rather than the scandal of 'annulment anulled' (sigh).

JD

Bill-

That may well be true, I hadn't thought about it like thatbefore. Good point, I'll have to think about it, though I will say that it is entirely plausible that reunification would not be at all possible in this life.

JD

I'd be careful about judging the Rota too carefully. While the case in question, as a second instance appeal, does fall under their purview, the Rota has a lot of work to do in what might be called their more ordinary duties, a small budget, and a small staff. Tribunals everywhere, even in the Vatican, are very hard-pressed to get things done in a timely manner, and there could be any number of very legitimate reasons why this case seemed to process so slowly.

AnnonyMouse

Forgive me if I am wrong but did this finding or the length of this process seem to affect them marrying again? Did it make Kennedy go..hold on..I need to wait and see what they have to say? If he had been waiting 10 years to "be" with his mistress, you better believe at 6 months he would have been pounding down doors, writing letters, making trips. Did Kennedy really care how they ruled? Did he or Does?

Different

In answer to did Kennedy really care? I don't think so, considering he married his girlfriend in a civil ceremony even before the first tribunal had made a decision.

Many have speculated that the process was influenced by the Kennedy's. They are obviously powerful and I am pretty sure there are several clergy relatives. It all makes me wonder if the Kennedy influence was brought to bear and on the Rota sitting on this for 10 years. It would seem to be to Kennedy's advantage to have his own case stalled in Rome while he makes a new life for himself...just a (scary) thought.

JD
In many cases, reunification would fail the way Judas failed...sin... but not the way Professor Lisa Sowell Cahill of Boston College is talking about "dead marriages" in periodicals like "Theological Studies" two springs ago I think it was (she envisions eventual Catholic divorce where a marriage is dead). We are specifically supposed to believe in resurrection from the dead. Some marriages reach the Lazarus state wherein as his relatives noted to Christ in the old King James words about Lazarus... "he stinketh". That can happen. It happened to Osee who was told by God to marry a harlot.... "taketh unto thee a woman of fornications since the land by fornication will depart from Me." Osee was to symbolize God's lasting love of Israel by his recurring foregiveness of his wife who was a promiscuous harlot(thank God for lighter charisms and missions). But we are to believe that all things are possible with God. Impossible for apostates to return to Christ...yes (Hebrews 6:4)...but Christ said that things that are not possible with men are possible with God (Mt 19:26).
So it is with dead marriages. The OT says: " Pro 30:18 ¶ There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
Pro 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

The first three things are about the final thing...the way of a man with a maid. What does an eagle do if it wants to travel very very far and not beat its wings into exhaustion? The eagle gets near a mountain and rides thermal updrafts (we now know their physics but they always were observable) and he rides the thermal updrafts higher and higher up the mountain and once that high, he can glide for far more miles than had he stayed low where he would have had to beat his wings constantly. The husband...if he is the more innocent one in the troubled marriage.... must ride the thermal updrafts up near God and from there he will be able to glide for many miles even in a tough situation.
The snake and the ship you will have to solve yourself.
But doesn't a snake use the rough parts of the rock precisely to go forward?

Sancho Panza

The whole process is very confusing. Maybe Kennedy honestly thought that the finding of the first tribunal meant his first marriage was annulled. Waiting ten years seems to go way above and beyond any reasonable time limit though. It really seems that waiting ten years would place an undue burden upon people waiting to have another relationship validated in the eyes of the Church.

AnnonyMouse

Sancho Panza,
Having relatives go through this and have been told they can "remarry" and receive communion because of "internal forum" by a priest, I tend to think that if he was told anything it was in his favor. Really, my b-i-l is not at all bothered that he can not receive communion and if he can't the rest of his life, then oh well. He was never told after his divorce, wait. do not get married. you could jeopordize you soul/you could be in grave sin. My ex s-i-l is active in the parish she is in. Just told to go somewhere where no one "Knows" her. Receives communion and I am the one with the problem when I quesiton her....not her or the priest. They have not received a ruling and in their minds it really doesn't matter, they have gone on to do what they "felt" right.

AnnonyMouse

One more thing, our family ONLY applied for annulment because they were told they "had to" to claim "internal forum" and to be free to receive communion. BTW, my b-i-l was told this but he does know it is not right to receive communion that is why he doesn't. But he doesn't seem to connect the fact that he could be jeopordizing his soul.

Sancho Panza

I couldn’t imagine going 10 years not knowing if I was married or not in the eyes of the church. The emotional stress has got to be very bad for someone who actually cares about their faith, especially for an innocent party whose spouse decides to leave them for another. Just imagine if Mrs.Rausch was Catholic and waiting on the findings of the tribunal to know how to move on with her life. I don’t know if there is any evidence but if Kennedy used his influence to hold up the whole process or get a favorable verdict he is just scum.

Sancho Panza

That is sad AnnonyMouse. I do know couples who stopped living together and waited six months, living as brother and sister, to have their marriage brought into the church. So there are people who care enough and are either coming to the church for the first time or are returning after a time away. The state of the institution of marriage is just sad though. Kinda makes you wanna cry.

Brian

AnnonyMouse,

I don't mean to pry into your ex s-i-l's life, but I just ask this to understand the Church's teaching. Why was your sister told to go to a different parish? As has been stated, the Church doesn't deny communion for civil divorce per se if one remains single. And determining spiritual or moral divorce, as Bill called it, is very subjective (which it is why that judgement usually relies on easily observable things like living with someone else or remarrying civilly). And even if she was unable to receive communion why would she be asked to go to a parish where no one knows her? Again, if this involves the politics of her parish I'm not interested in the gossip, I'd just like to know how Church law is supposed to be applied to situations like this.

Also what is internal forum?

Different

Internal Forum is liberal-theologian-speak for go ahead and do what you 'feel' is right. If you 'feel' you are in the state of grace, now validly married, and in the process of making things right with the Church, then go ahead and receive communion.

AnnonyMouse

Brian,
I have no idea unless it is to NOT create a scandal which she already has in our family because she is our daughters Godmother.

She remarried outside the Church with the priest knowing this the whole time.

Internal Forum in this case is an abuse and does not apply because THE PERSON can not internally say this was never a valid marriage so therefore I am free to marry. Internal forum applies with personal matter (eg person applying for seminary but had paid for exgirlfriend to receive abortion) while he applies to (?) forget the council name, he can say, internally he is very sorry and knows it is wrong. But this can not be used to say whether a marriage is valid or not.

I am just speculating on what we have been through and what we know happens in the parishes around us. AND BOY you should see how made the people get who were told they were in good standing because of "internal forum"....

My point about Kennedy is knowing this is a trendy escape from a previous marriage...I would not be surprised if he was told something like this.

PLUS he didn't care enough to WAIT for the answer to begin with.

It does make you want to cry.

Leah

I've read that, for instance, if a couple that is civilly but not canonically married is living as brother and sister (presumably until they can have their marriage convalidated), they are free to receive Communion but should receive at a church where they are not known, so as not to give scandal. Perhaps the situation with AnnonyMouse's former sister in law is similar.

JD

Leah-

That's a good point.

As to the "ten years, poor Ms. Rauch" folks: Sheila Rauch chose to appeal, irregularly, to the Rota, which is very backed up, and slower than American tribunals, knowing that the thing would move to a second instance court in the US if she didn't...she chose the risk that the case would take a long time.

Dago

Internal forum applies with personal matter (eg person applying for seminary but had paid for exgirlfriend to receive abortion) while he applies to (?) forget the council name, he can say, internally he is very sorry and knows it is wrong. But this can not be used to say whether a marriage is valid or not.

Curious, I know this may seem hardly relevant to the topic at hand, but if a guy got his girlfriend pregnant, would he, therefore, as a Catholic, be required to marry her?

What are the rules there?

AnnonyMouse

Leah,
They have recently had a child and she has made it clear to me and our family that she would not say to no to her husband in anyway.
You are right tho because we have 3 separate couples in our parish that were advised by these two priests who ARE trying to get everything RIGHTED and of course I am not going in the particulars with them and they DO have children which the Church would not require them to separate because of this.
BUT they were not COUNSELED to begin with like this. They are NOT returning Catholics who have been away. When I complained about these two priests giving this horrible advise, I was told it is none of my business and I had probably misunderstood what the priest asked of them.
THESE PEOPLE WERE TOLD IT WAS OK TO MARRY OUTSIDE THE CHURCH AND THE ONLY THING THEY HAD TO DO TO MAKE IT RIGHT WAS TO START AN ANNULMENT...IT DIDN'T EVEN MATTER WHAT THE TRIBUNAL FOUND! That is wrong. That is an abuse of power and it has happened in our diocese at least 4 times. So that is why I am not surprised in the Kennedys situation. I am sorry for her that it took soo long but again, it didn't seem to matter to him or he was given horrible advise.

AnnonyMouse

Dago,
No, as far as I know you are not required to marry but you are required to help care for the child/to be responsible.

Dago

Dago,
No, as far as I know you are not required to marry but you are required to help care for the child/to be responsible.

Thanks, AnnonyMouse!
That I have heard of (re: paternal obligations), but wasn't too sure.

Brian

Dago,

It can hardly be required, what if the girfriend refused marry him? I do think that the guy should face the consequences of his actions, but the way to do that certainly depends on a combination of what's best for the girlfriend and baby. If she wants him as a husband, I think that marrying her would be the right thing to do and would certainly exemplify the self-sacrificing love of marriage which puts the interests of his spouse and children ahead of his own. On the other hand the girlfriend should also marry the guy if that's what's in the best interest of the child. But you still can't force anyone to marry, especially when a marriage requires the consent of two people not just one.

Dago

If she wants him as a husband, I think that marrying her would be the right thing to do

Brian,
What if you (the guy) don't want to marry her or even love her; instead, you found out you love somebody else and want to marry that somebody else; that the night that led up to the conception of the child was all due to an act of human weakness in that one instance?

Should you, the guy, be required to marry the girl you got pregnant?

That is the question.

As you rightly mentioned, "you still can't force anyone to marry, especially when a marriage requires the consent of two people not just one."

Brian

Dago,

I agree with you, objectively he should marry her but he's not required to (and I'm sure there are some circumstances where it may be best for everyone that they don't marry). Not marrying someone is not a sin in and of itself. So as long as the guy supports the woman and child in a reasonable way I think he's ok.

It's like if a man feels called to the priesthood but instead chooses to marry. I don't think its a sin to marry and raise a family instead of becoming a priest, but it's not God's first choice for how that man should live his life.

Karl

I would venture to guess that around the time of her book, there was another book by Bob Vasoli that brought attention to the Annulment Crisis in the Catholic Church, which Rome did not want to inflame (because Rome knows that what Vasoli charged was and remains true (in contradiction to Mr Akin and Mr Peters). They simply waited for people to grow tired of this issue before they addressed it(as has happened in a Catholic world that loves adultery and finding new ways to find another warm body to join, with the blessing of the Catholic Church(while holding your fingers crossed behind your back).

Having the Rota rule one way to contradict the American Church allows the Pope to continue speaking as if he gave a damn about marriage while he allows the American bishops to disregard Rotal jurisprudence in their own tribunals, with cover. It is ingenious. They destroy marriages, he boo hoos it in only words, but his lack of action sends them the sign(much like the manager to the coaches in baseball) for business(corruption) as usual. Bingo(a famous catholic saint) nothing changes, the collection plates jingle, a few formerly committed catholics abandon their faith, people find new people to sleep with and everybody else is happy because of course the tribunals are honest and well run.

And Catholic bloggers of intellect and standing say little or nothing, when they should be brutally assailing this corruption openly and demanding a full accounting of the annulment process by an independent, qualified, respondent(in the annulment process)-run statistical study of the annulments processed in the United States over the past 30 years versus Rotal jurisprudence.

But no one will do a damn thing, lousy Catholics that they all are.

JD

Karl-

I've read Bob Vasoli's book, its so full of garbage, misinformation, and misinterpretation that its not worth the paper it is printed on. Selling anecdotes about how bad the Church is doesn't make Vasoli a scholar.

Would the Holy Father have required the Dignitas Conubbii be issued if he wasn't serious about effecient, effective, and fair tribunals? Would the Congregation for Catholic Education have made it harder to become a canonist by adding an additional year to the program?

Karl, do you have any idea what you are talking about, or are you just spouting off at the mouth because you are angry? To be honest, its clear you are angry, but why you are angry is a mystery to me!

Brian

Question. Does an annulment make the original marriage vows invalid, or does it merely confirm that a marriage was never valid from the start?

I imagine it's the latter. But if that's true then from a purely logical standpoint, if you never file for an annulment you would never know if your successful marriage is valid or not until you go to heaven. It almost makes you wonder if we should all file for an annulment right when we get married just to have them rule that the marriage is valid. Could you do that to prevent your spouse from ever filing an annulment in the future?

Actually why don't we do something like this? Why don't we go through a marriage validation tribunal (kind of the opposite idea of annulments) as part of the pre-Cana process. That way they can rule that both parties are entering into the marriage validly. You may still need to have an annulment or two if it later comes out that one of the parties was threatened into marriage or something like that, but for the most part it would stop almost all invalid marriages before they start. Wouldn't that be way better for all the souls involved?

Have I got the concept of annulments all backwards?

Leah

Here's my take on what Brian suggests:

Yes, a declaration of nullity means that the marriage was never valid (was never in existence). But until such a declaration, one's marriage is presumed to be valid.

The whole "what you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; what you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" - I understand this to mean that what the Church recognizes, God recognizes. If in the eyes of the Church a couple is married (which they are until proven otherwise via the annulment process), that's good enough for God.

And it does simplify matters considerable that no one is married in heaven! By the time you get to heaven (presuming you get there), the validity of your marriage(s) is irrelevant.

aj

This picture is worth a thousand words:

http://graphics.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/galleries/law/26.jpg

AnnonyMouse

who is the priest/bishop? That is Ted Kennedy..and who else?

Theca

The World Over on EWTN just announced that the Kennedy annulment was reversed. In fact they said it a couple of times. It was my first time watching The World Over. Now I'm really disappointed in it. Huh.

Mary

Because of many benefits marriage brings to the child, the burden of proof belongs on the not-marrying side, and neither "being in love" nor feeling like you want to marry someone is a requirement for marriage, but certainly there are other things to be weighed in balance -- just as you can rightfully obtain a civil divorce from the other parent of your children, in some circumstances.

The question is whether this marriage would be beneficial to you, to the other parent, and to the child.

Eileen R

Can I further muddy the waters by pointing out that the declaration of nullity can be objectively wrong? The Church doesn't claim that the declaration is infallible. It's the best judgment based on the facts presented. If the facts presented are in error, either out of deceit or ordinary human error, the declaration of nullity may be in error too.

This all underscores the point that the couple are ultimately morally responsible for taking the sacrament of marriage seriously. If they were to lie to the Church, the Church isn't the one responsible for the danger they then put themselves in spiritually.

Karl

JD,

I saw the corruption with my own eyes. I lived through twelve years and three decisions of the annulment process. So, did Bob Vasoli. He did not speak of a pithy account or a detached incident. He spoke from the corruption he saw, personally, and what others saw, personally. He also saw nothing done about it but talk. But neither did he attack the Church. He exposed the corruption of the tribunals, which is not proven by what data he cited but his data certainly gave sufficient cause for a pause to investigate what he observed.

Nothing has ever been done of a statistical evaluation of the American tribunal decisions. Nothing! There is absolutely no excuse for not doing a large study. This failure is a huge indictment of the complete insincerity of the Pope, the bishops and whomever else has the juice to get such a study done and done so outside of the control of the Catholic Church. This is what should be done to look into the statistics Vasoli quoted.

BTW adding fifty years of study to any curricula means nothing if the people being taught have been culturally inbred to a western understanding of things, particularly if they have been influenced by the cancer of American liberal, hedonistic culture. Put a smart chimpanzee before a class on morals and he will still behave like a chimpanzee. Most americans, not all, are too corrupted to be sufficiently objective, regardless of their education otherwise, to judge the validity of a marriage.

My wife was told to divorce me because the priest who told her knew of the statistics of the likelyhood of an accepted annulment petition ending in nullity (over 90%). He never spoke to me about our marriage. He laughed at my wanting to reconcile with my wife when I found out his involvement and called him. He sponsored a perjured annulment petition, which he himself knew was false. The judicial vicar, who eventually ruled against our sacrament in the first instance, did nothing about this, when, on the first day I met him in response to receiving a copy of the perjured petition, I offered to call in three separate witnesses to that perjury. He refused and NEVER investigated it. NEVER! These are just a couple of factual examples which have been know to the Catholic Church, on countless levels, since the very beginning. No one has been held accountable. No one. I saw alot more corruption than this. These are NOT anecdotes. I begged for investigations and action on the part of the Church but have been completely ignored.

The two Rotal decisions upholding our sacramental marriage are not worth toilet paper.
They do nothing but agree with what I said when I asked the Catholic Church to help me save our marriage long before our divorce!!!!!

I know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

You bet your a*# I am angry. I lost everything, including the opportunity to raise our five children. My wife's lover did that and was accepted into the Catholic Church while he impregnated my wife-with the BLESSINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

You, sir, know theory. I know facts. The Catholic Church is afraid to face what I could teach it.

Karl

Leah,

This is for you regarding marriage in heaven:


ROME, NOV. 11, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of a commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on the readings from this Sunday's liturgy.

* * *

There came a poor widow
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (b)
1 Kings 7:10-16; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44

One day, Jesus was standing before the temple treasury, watching people deposit their offerings. He saw a poor widow come and put in all she had, two copper coins, which make a penny. He turned to his disciples and said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than the others. All have given from their excess, but she, in her poverty, put in all she had, all she had to live on."

We might call this Sunday the "Sunday of the widows." The story of a widow was also told in the first reading, the widow of Zarephath who gave up all she had left to eat (a handful of flour and a drop of oil) to prepare a meal for the prophet Elijah.

This is a good occasion in which to turn our attention toward both the widows and the widowers of today. If the Bible speaks so often of widows and never of widowers it is because in ancient society the woman who was left alone was at a greater disadvantage than the man who was left alone. Today there is no longer this difference. Actually, in general it now seems that women who are alone manage much better than men.

On this occasion I would like to treat a theme that is of definite interest not only to widows and widowers but also to all those who are married, especially during this month in which we remember the dead. Does the death of a husband or wife, which brings about the legal end of a marriage, also bring with it the total end of communion between the two persons? Does something of that bond which so strongly united two persons on earth remain in heaven, or will all be forgotten once we have crossed the threshold into eternal life?

One day, some Sadducees presented Jesus with the unlikely case of a woman who was successively the wife of seven brothers, asking him whose wife she would be after the resurrection. Jesus answered: "When they rise from the dead they will neither marry nor be given in marriage but will be like angels in heaven" (Mark 12:25).

Interpreting this saying of Jesus wrongly, some have claimed that marriage will have no follow-up in heaven. But with his reply Jesus is rejecting the caricature the Sadducees presented of heaven, as if it were going to be a simple continuation of the earthly relationship of the spouses. Jesus does not exclude the possibility that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth.

According to this vision, marriage does not come to a complete end at death but is transfigured, spiritualized, freed from the limits that mark life on earth, as also the ties between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In a preface for the dead the liturgy proclaims: "Life is transformed, not taken away." Even marriage, which is part of life, will be transfigured, not nullified.

But what about those who have had a negative experience of earthly marriage, an experience of misunderstanding and suffering? Should not this idea that the marital bond will not break at death be for them, rather than a consolation, a reason for fear? No, for in the passage from time to eternity the good remains and evil falls away. The love that united them, perhaps for only a brief time, remains; defects, misunderstandings, suffering that they inflicted on each other, will fall away.

Indeed, this very suffering, accepted with faith, will be transformed into glory. Many spouses will experience true love for each other only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

Some will ask of course about those who have been legitimately married to different people, widowers and widows who have remarried. (This was the case presented to Jesus of the seven brothers who successively had the same woman as their wife.) Even for them we must repeat the same thing: That which was truly love and self-surrender between each of the husbands or wives, being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved. In heaven there will not be rivalry in love or jealousy. These things do not belong to true love but to the intrinsic limits of the creature.

labrialumn

Karl,
That is very interesting. What then about those who longed to marry and have children and grandchildren, and who never got to? Will they suffer eternal loss, even if they aren't aware of it? Or will their lack be truly supplied?

labrialumn

the annulment situation -is- a scandal. I have a higher (and I think more Biblical) view of the covenant and mysterion of marriage.

I hear too often "oh, well we got the annulment" but the reason that they did was no different than easy divorce in our culture, such as adultery or "we didn't love each other anymore" or "we didn't know what we were getting into" (in their 20s, and who really knows what they are getting into? The Book of Common Prayer says "in sickness and in health, etc" not "as long as we are both fully mentally healthy and greatly attracted to each other".

I don't get the impression from the Bible (and I can err) that covenants can be so lightly set aside or made as if they never were, when both parties freely enter into it and are sentient. What am I missing?

bill bannon

Karl,
Did you ever consider suing the priest for mal-practice? Someone will have to do this to send a message and stop priests from this practice. I know of a similar case wherein a priest urged a woman toward divorce two widely separated years..... without ever contacting the husband involved which means he believed her version without seeking the other person's version to see if lying is involved. I suspect there is a sexual element in that particular syndrome wherein the priest in his mind becomes a quasi subliminal boyfriend of the woman....her rescuer..in his mind (in her mind, she sees a lonely priest she can use...women pick up on male feelings quickly). And it is certainly mortal sin on the priest's part. Satan is simply far stronger than our Catholic press would ever admit when it comes to the Church clerical (that's why the secular press had to rescue our children...our own press must keep up the facade of sinlessness or they would be out of a job). I always think of the Thomas Kinkade paintings wherein the painting gives you an overly saccharine view of nature....and that is the one realist artist who is a millionaire because people want the perfect picture with perfect sweetness and the diocesan press gives that with the priest and nun anniversaries and cuddly stories only.
But on general Church corruption, I would call it rather the state of denial of a hierarchy busy with pretending that we are sufficiently staffed and we are efficient. The rota can't be sufficiently staffed. It probably should be larger in terms of manpower by a multiplying factor of 12. And it won't be efficient because no one gets fired with us...like teacher tenure. When I worked for others in private business, we could be fired each quarter if we were not producing...the Church is far more like civil service and teacher tenure and could be an exaggeration of those realities.

Go here
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jun/07062101.html

and see Phil Lawler's revelation that the Rota made their decision in the Kennedy case in 2005 and did not inform Sheila until May 2007 because they wanted to have it in written form. I suspect it was not of a length that required 18 months of typing....more like a half hour. We are dysfunctional as a management entity and the rota felt perfectly free to ignore John Paul's exhortations to them because no one gets fired really....think of Cardinal Law....still ticking and making decisions on Church governance...lol. When no one gets fired, efficiency decreases and exhortations like that given to the rota are like Sunday sermons wherein the priest does not follow up with us during the week to see if we are obeying his sermon. The rota knew that John Paul would not follow up on his exhortation. Follow up is something businesses do...not Church which is family (ergo inefficient in matters that require severity). We have an insufficient number of employees for the problems we deal with so rather than admitting that we again image as the hierarchy imaged in the sex abuse crisis...that we are doing things fine and slowly because we are prudent and wise. Balderdash. We are doing things slowly because in the tenured world....you can get away with slowly.

Mary

labrialumn -- If they accept (on earth) the lack of marriage and children, as other Christians accept the early death of martyrdom, their earthly sufferings are part of their heavenly glory.

Hmmmm

It really is mystifying that the Rota would overturn this annulment. Do they not know the Kennedy rule? That rule, of course, is that all marriages that involve Kennedy men are inherently invalid since Kennedy men are genetically incapable of intending fidelity. So of course Joe's marriage was invalid.

BobCatholic

It really is mystifying that the Rota would overturn this annulment. Do they not know the Kennedy rule? That rule, of course, is that all marriages that involve Kennedy men are inherently invalid since Kennedy men are genetically incapable of intending fidelity. So of course Joe's marriage was invalid.

Actually, the invalidity would be based on another ground: Polygamy. Kennedy men are married to their first love: the mirror.

:)

Matt

Karl,

I sympathise with you and I agree that the annulment situation in the US is abysmal, but, I respectfully suggest you be cautious and more precise in your criticism, it is not the Church, but the sinful men who are Her hierarchy.

God Bless,

Matt

bill bannon

Matt
The Church as a non person is Holy in her store of graces and in Her dogmas and in Her sacraments etc.

Check Vatican II on that dichotomy. Your view is more that of Mystici Corporis which has been qualified in that Church/people thing during the Council which held that the Church sins in some sense...unlike Mary who is our Mother, the Church is the Bride of Christ who needs cleansing through the Word...

Vatican II writes:
Lumen Gentium toward the end of Chapter I, “ The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.”
Further in Chapter 7 of Lumen Gentium it is written, “ The Church ..will receive it’s perfection only in the glory of heaven when will come the time of the renewal of all things (Acts 3:21)…and…“ ..for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect”.

Pope Pius XII gave your view but his non infallible encyclical... MC... is superceded by an Ecumenical Council. Mary is sinless; the Bride of Christ which is the Church will not be sinless till the end of time.

matt

Bill,

Matt
The Church as a non person is Holy in her store of graces and in Her dogmas and in Her sacraments etc.

yes.

Check Vatican II on that dichotomy. Your view is more that of Mystici Corporis which has been qualified in that Church/people thing during the Council which held that the Church sins in some sense...unlike Mary who is our Mother, the Church is the Bride of Christ who needs cleansing through the Word...

Vatican II writes:
Lumen Gentium toward the end of Chapter I, “ The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.”
Further in Chapter 7 of Lumen Gentium it is written, “ The Church ..will receive it’s perfection only in the glory of heaven when will come the time of the renewal of all things (Acts 3:21)…and…“ ..for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect”.

Pope Pius XII gave your view but his non infallible encyclical... MC... is superceded by an Ecumenical Council. Mary is sinless; the Bride of Christ which is the Church will not be sinless till the end of time.

The Second Vatican Council, at it's outset and clearly in it's documents delineated that it taught nothing new, but simply brought the eternal teachings of the Church into modern understanding. So, "Mystici Corpus" is not superceded. Thanks for your input.

The Church is in need of purification in that her members (us), are imperfect. When you criticize the Pope, the Bishops, or those appointed to do such things as review annulments, it is those imperfect members that you are (at times) justly criticizing, the Church only endures the damage those errors cause. To suggest that the errors of humans give legitimate cause to criticize the Church, then the errors we can blame the Church for all your sin's and mine. It's not Her fault we fail to cooperate with grace.


God Bless,

Matt

bill bannon

Matt
Give citations and quotes like I did...otherwise we're at the mercy of your word.

bill bannon

Matt
Here is the Mystici Corporis quote section 66: "But it cannot be laid to her (the Church) charge if some members fall, weak or wounded."

Now here is Vatican II: "at once holy and always in need of purification, (She)follows constantly the path of penance and renewal"

Pius has her exempt and separate from her members' sins and Vatican II has Her one with her members in needing penance and renewal.

Reconcile the two. Or are you making all encyclicals infallible surreptiously....which they certainly are not. Vatican II was quite new on the salvation of muslims as possible without ever saying they had to explicitly leave Islam.....and she was new and contradictory to a number of early 19th century encyclicals on freedom of religion. Read Florence on Jews and heretics not being saved even if they shed blood for Christ if they don't return to the Church before death and then read Vatican II praise separated brethern who have shed blood for Christ...a deliberate criticism of Florence:

Here's Florence: "nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church."

Here's Vatican II: "Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. [size=18]It is right and salutary to recognize the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood"
Decree on Ecumenism.


If those two are continuous to you, you are forced into casuistry by a paradigm of constant infallibility....which by the way is not so much your fault. The real infallibility though is far less extensive.


Karl

They are so many threads going on here.

Dear Labrialumn,

Perhaps I am ignorant but I do not understand what you are getting at with your post. Could you make it clearer for me, please.

For me, when I read what Father Cantalamessa said it was somewhat of a revelation. You see, in spite of the fact that I have formally defected from the Catholic Church, I still love the Catholic Church.

Dear Matt,

I mean you no disrespect but that separation between those who run the Church and the Church is just an excuse for leaving the status quo. To think otherwise is to be either corrupt or a fool.

It allows the corrupt to remain in control, period. I do not expect men to be perfect but I expect them to deal justly, which, no bishop in this country does. Not one single bishop. None.

A perjured annulment petition should result in expulsion from the priesthood for a priest who would knowingly sponsor such a thing. Period, as long as he did it. If a Canon Lawyer/priest who is a judge of a tribunal refuses to investigate such a charge, he should be expelled from the priesthood. Period, as long as he did it. Any bishop told of this should be expelled from the priesthood if he does not act to bring about justice to the wronged and get to the bottom of such an allegation. Any subsequent hearer of this allegation who is in a position of authority(particularly a priest/judge who hears subsequent appeals)and does not follow up on it should be expelled from the priesthood.

What you all must understand is that only the Church and the parties to a marriage may bring a case for investigation into the validity of a marriage.

Can. 1674 The following are able to challenge the validity of a marriage:
1° the spouses themselves;
2° the promotor of justice, when the nullity of the marriage has already been made public, and the marriage cannot be validated or it is not expedient to do so.


Can. 1368 A person who, in asserting or promising something before an ecclesiastical authority, commits perjury, is to be punished with a just penalty.

Perjured testimony in an annulment petition would raise serious doubt regarding any other testimony by that person. Since the petitioner would likely then be doubted on other issues(unless truth/fact does not really matter and the issue of materiality is silly to bring up here except for the corrupt who need an excuse to allow testimony by a perjurer), if the perjury were to be investigated and substantiated, there would be NO CASE!

I lost my life through this case and these actions. A simple expulsion from the priesthood is far too insufficient as a just penalty. Excommunication is called for in such a case.

Nothing will ever be done. Nothing. Our marriage has been abandoned by the Catholic Church and replaced with "loving adultery"!!!!!

I will not be part of this Church until it repents. Period.

Dear Bill,

To civilly sue this priest would only result in more state intrusion in the Catholic Church, which I do not want.

Only the Church can deal with this but it does not see fit to.

Jarnor23

*sigh* It's clear you've been hurt bad, Karl, but you might want to check the way you're talking.

You claim EVERY bishop is corrupt, and cannot be trusted to honestly look at annulments. I hope you have proof for all, otherwise that's slander. How about for mine, Bishop Aquilla of the Diocese of Fargo? I believe him to be a very holy and fair man. If you can prove to me that he's a machivalian plot-spinner of epic proportions, please do. If not, please do not paint all bishops with the same brush.

Even in your own case, as hard as it may be, what IF your wife did not have the correct intent to marry you? I think it's horrible what's happened, and I hardly condone the "Catholic brand o' divorce" that some people abuse, but what if? Can you infallibly say not and guarantee she's an uncaring adultress? Is that charitable to her?

You've been hurt. We are very sorry about that, and I will personally pray for you in that. Taking that pain out on others cannot help.

Franklin Jennings

Karl, I mean no disrespect, but you are either corrupt or a fool.

You just said as much to Matt. Do you really believe either you or I meant no disrespect, just because we said so?

Brian

Labrialumn, I think you hit precisely on the questions I was trying to get at. If you don't mind I'm going to expand a little more on your thoughts and hopefully someone can respond to them.

the annulment situation -is- a scandal. I have a higher (and I think more Biblical) view of the covenant and mysterion of marriage.

While annulments are necessary, by their very nature they create scandal. They declare that people who had been living a marriage publicly were in fact not married. If, as others noted, civilly remarried couples who live as brother and sister are asked to receive communion so as not to create scandal, why don't we do all we can to prevent the circumstances that lead to the far greater scandal caused by annulments? You can never eliminate all the situations that cause annulments, but everyone seems to be saying that the reason for increased annulments is that people today have the "American" understand of marriage than the Catholic one. Can't we do something about it (in addition to better education) to make sure couples agree to the Catholic tenants of marriage? For example, make them sign off on individual statements: I understand that marriage is until death and cannot be undone, I understand that we must be open to children, etc. Do something to make it so that when people want a divorce they can't go back and say that they didn't know what they were getting into. We have to sign more detailed paperwork when buying a used car, can't we create a legal (in the canon law sense) record of what people are promising in the sacrament of marriage.

I hear too often "oh, well we got the annulment" but the reason that they did was no different than easy divorce in our culture, such as adultery or "we didn't love each other anymore" or "we didn't know what we were getting into" (in their 20s, and who really knows what they are getting into? The Book of Common Prayer says "in sickness and in health, etc" not "as long as we are both fully mentally healthy and greatly attracted to each other".

How come people only apply for an annulment when they want to get a civil divorce? If the husband of an "American" style marriage eventually turns into a devout Catholic, he doesn't file for an annulment because he realises they didn't take their wedding vows seriously - instead he renews himself to fulful those vows (and this would apparently keep the marriage valid). We reward people who don't take their marriage seriously by giving them a way to get out of their marriage, which is exatly what they wanted in the first place.

I don't get the impression from the Bible (and I can err) that covenants can be so lightly set aside or made as if they never were, when both parties freely enter into it and are sentient. What am I missing?

I think too often the tribunals look at annulments in a purely legalistic way, searching for any loophole that can be used to find an annulments. This shouldn't be the case. There should be some guidelines to make sure there is not only reason for an annulment but that issuing an annulment is the sensible thing to do:
1) If you were presented information about marriage but didn't listen/read it that's your own fault. Suck it up and act like a Christian.
2) You can't fool God. If the first rule was fulfilled and both spouses knew each others intentions, they can't claim that they never intended to fulfill their promises to God. Suck it up and act like a Christian.
3) If you're the one who claimed you never intended to fulfil your vows, you can't be the one who files for the annulment. Let the spouse who has been deceived decide whether or not to challenge the validity of the marriage. Otherwise suck it up and act like a Christian.

With three quick and easy rules you've limited annulments to: people who somehow made it their whole life without being exposed to any teaching about Christian marriage, people who were deceived by their spouse at the time of the vows, and people who were unable to enter into a binding covenant (coercion, being mentally incapable, etc.).

I think the whole process has to become more pastoral; the real - doing what's best for the souls of the people involved - type of pastoral, not doing what everyone wants to hear. It seems like many annulments are granted so that people can go and enter into another marriage that, in many cases, they plan to treat just as insincerely as their first one. How can I make this guess? Because if they really did take their marital vows seriously they'd be working to live out those vows by either reuniting or, if that's not possible, living a single lifestyle. If the tribunals did what was best for the souls of the people involved (sucking it up and acting like a Christian instead of running to another marriage so you don't have to face the demands of the covenant you freely entered into) many annulments could be averted and people would have incentive to focus on changing their hearts instead of their spouses.

matt

Bill,

Happy to.

First we have speech of John XVIII on the opening of the council, in his address at the closing of the council,Paul VI cites John's opening to clarify that the authentic council had not strayed in it's goal:

Still fresh in our memory are the words uttered in this basilica by our venerated predecessor, John XXIII, whom we may in truth call the originator of this great synod. In his opening address to the council he had this to say: "The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be guarded and taught more effectively.... The Lord has said: 'Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice.' The word 'first' expresses the direction in which our thoughts and energies must move"

Finally, in the present pontificate we have Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 22, 2005. Citing the speech of John XVIII on the opening of the council, the Holy Father says:
Here I shall cite only John XXIII's well-known words, which unequivocally express this hermeneutic when he says that the Council wishes "to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion". And he continues: "Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us...". It is necessary that "adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness..." be presented in "faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another...", retaining the same meaning and message (The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., p. 715).

Bill said:
Reconcile the two.

That's a big job, but abandoning the doctrine as you are attempting to do is not possible.

Bill said:
Vatican II was quite new on the salvation of muslims as possible without ever saying they had to explicitly leave Islam.....

Vatican II did not say that the salvation of Mohammedans is possible without ever saying they had explicitly left Islam. I'll cite it for you. There are two references to Mohammedans in the documents, can you tell me which phrase does what you claim it does? Or are you reading from the "spirit" of the council rather than it's documents?

(LG II, 16) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day. and (NA II, 3) The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth,[1] who has also spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the bidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God's plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they worship Jesus as a prophet, his virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.

Over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims. The sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding; for the benefit of all men, let them together preserve and promote peace, liberty, social justice and moral values.


Bill said:
and she was new and contradictory to a number of early 19th century encyclicals on freedom of religion.

Benedict himself clarifies for you in the aforementioned speech to the Curia (December 22, 2005):
it was necessary to give a new definition to the relationship between the Church and the modern State that would make room impartially for citizens of various religions and ideologies, merely assuming responsibility for an orderly and tolerant coexistence among them and for the freedom to practise their own religion.


Bill said:
Read Florence on Jews and heretics not being saved even if they shed blood for Christ if they don't return to the Church before death and then read Vatican II praise separated brethern who have shed blood for Christ...a deliberate criticism of Florence:

Here's Florence: "nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church."

Here's Vatican II: "Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. [size=18]It is right and salutary to recognize the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood"
Decree on Ecumenism.

Now you're pitting one ecumenical council against another... very interesting. Acknowledging and esteeming someone is not the same as declaring their salvation... as you have. To my knowledge the Church has not canonized anyone no visibly a member of the Catholic Church with the exception of the Holy Innocents, who were most certainly not in the category of those who are given an opportunity to explicitly become members of the Catholic Church. By the way the Decree on Ecumenism has nothing to do with the Jews, they are addressed in Nostra Aetate. These documents address relations with other Christian and non-Christian religions, they do not address doctrine with regard to salvation. Being part of the "plan of salvation" does not make a religion salvific, only the possibility that it might be a help to one in finding salvation, through the One True Church, the Catholic Church.

So you think the Holy Father is exercising causistry? Ok. Good luck with that.

God Bless,

Matt

bill912

"Suck it up and act like a Christian."

Well put, Brian. Mother Angelica calls "Guts" the "Eighth Gift of the Holy Spirit". Courage is the most important of the Virtues, because it is the essence of every Virtue at its testing point. Even Pontius Pilate was for Mercy and Justice until things got testy.

Mary

bill bannon

Happy to??? You evaded the toughest and only explicit challenge of my post and addressed everything else with quickly garnered fragments. In short, you gave up immediately trying to reconcile these two…my original quote follows:

Here is the Mystici Corporis quote section 66: "But it cannot be laid to her (the Church) charge if some members fall, weak or wounded."
Now here is Vatican II: "at once holy and always in need of purification, (She)follows constantly the path of penance and renewal"
Pius has her exempt and separate from her members' sins and Vatican II has Her one with her members in needing penance and renewal.
Reconcile the two.

Your happy answer: “ I quote: “ Bill said: ‘Reconcile the two.’
That's a big job, but abandoning the doctrine as you are attempting to do is not possible.”

Then you proceed onward with entirely different things....without noticing that you gave both views the appellation of "doctrine" without noticing that encyclicals can be outdated per the comment e.g. of Pope Paul VI noted in the Catholic Encyclopedia...the current and thus not free on the internet as the old one is:

New Catholic Encyclopedia in the article on encylicals:
“"the contents of an encyclical are presumed to belong to the ordinary magisterium unless the opposite is clearly manifested. Moreover since they belong to the ordinary papal magisterium,they are capable of change. Such possiblity of change was mentioned by Paul VI in his June 23,1964 address to a group of cardinals, when it was observed that it was not evident that certain teachings pertaining to the ordinary magisterium of Pius XII were " out of date and therefore not binding" and that these teachings were consequently still valid until he felt obliged to change them".

Burn that into your memory Matt because you suffer from Parmenides disease...ie there is no change in anything. Heraclitus had the opposite error...ie all is in flux. Find a middle path.


The first two sections of your post were irrelevant in that they did not indicate anyone saying that nothing new had been introduced. You inferred that from their saying that they were guarding what was old …which is different and in no way excludes introducing the new. Though had they said they introduced nothing new…they would have been speaking non infallibly and would have been incorrect also.

And… that’s John XXIII in case you often cite John XVIII in debates like this as you did above twice on two separate occasions though you got it correct when you copied and pasted twice because your sources had it correct.

I don’t see the relevance of your first two sections of your post: they are about guarding the deposit of faith and the second one is incorrect in the following aspect…Benedict citing John XXIII: “It is necessary that "adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness be presented in "faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine.." Apparently both Pope John and Pope Benedict didn’t notice that husband headship mentioned by the Holy Spirit 6 separate times in the New Testament by Paul, Peter and deutero Pauline authors was absent from the Vatican Council II in those areas where marriage and the family is treated.
The Council was scrupulous about the authority of prelates and totally ignoring of the authority of husbands while section 74 of Casti Cannubii said that to undermine husband headship was the work of false prophets: " 74. The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man." I don’t go as far as Pius XI on that but attribute it’s absence in the Council and in current wedding vows rather to damage from modern biblical scholars like Fr. Raymond Brown who said that Mary never said the Magnificat (Birth of the Messiah p349) yet was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission by two of your heroes…Paul VI and by John Paul II the latter of whom also undermined husband headship in both Dignitatem Mulieris, sect.24, par.3&4 and and the Theology of the Body section 89.3-4.

Strange that you are here standing up for the unchangeable and you never noticed that Vatican II and John Paul II both hurt husband headship with not a soul like yours mentioning it. Do I like Vatican II and John Paul II? Yes as to the first and mixed as to the second.

On to the last 2/3rd’s of your post.

Next your thing on the muslims simply verified what I said. Your texts no where state that Muslims must leave Islam to be in the plan of salvation.

Your Benedict quote to the curia didn’t touch my point. Vatican II denounces coercion in religious matters and some encyclicals from the 19th century took the opposite view:

MIRARI VOS
ON LIBERALISM AND RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENTISM
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE GREGORY XVI
AUGUST 15, 1832
Sect.14 Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.


Quanta Cura
CONDEMNING CURRENT ERRORS
Encyclical of Pope Pius IX promulgated on December 8, 1864.

Sect. 3

most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity,"2 viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way."

Now Vatican II On Human Dignity

Sect. one It regards, in the first place, the free exercise of religion in society. This Vatican Council takes careful note of these desires in the minds of men. It proposes to declare them to be greatly in accord with truth and justice…..This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.
Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society.


Sect.two

2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.
The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.


sect 3:

Truth, however, is to be sought after in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, in the course of which men explain to one another the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth.

Infallible issues never change....the Assumption will never change nor will the IC nor will the Evangelium Vitae's infallible denunciation of abortion, euthanasia and killing the innocent, neither will the doctrinal Ecumenical council dogmas like Trent's on the sacraments and on no divorce by the way since a Boston College Prof is trying to undo that with the "dead marriage" theory which I referred to above I believe.
But as the Catholic Encyclopedia noted....some things short of that can change. You grew up in the John Paul days when papal writings were overstated by many people who wanted no more changes in a world that was constantly changing it seemed.


bill bannon

Matt
The above is to you...forgot to address it.

matt

Bill,

you're awful petty, but I'll try not to go down to that level and nitpick about typos and make accusations of some sort of disease which you might be suffering from. Frankly, such things do nothing to further your argument. Is there a reason you feel it necessary to do so?

I don't have time to play games with you. I have demonstrated through quotes from the pope who opened the council, the one who closed the council, and the reigning pontiff that the council did not "supercede" any existing teachings but simply tried to bring them to the understanding of modern man. Pope Benedict has asked us to understand Vatican II in the mind of the Church with a "hermaneutic of continuity", I have demonstrated with several of your examples that Pope Benedict has explained away the "rupture" which you propose. Some of the other examples you cite, I simply don't know how to reconcile them, I haven't the answer, except to trust in the Church that they can. I might suggest you look at the Latin text because I know some of the translations are flawed.

The doctrines of the Catholic Church are not subject to the winds of the day. Coincidentally, today is the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist - What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind?

God Bless,

Matt

bill bannon

Matt

But you are denying what Paul VI said and which you now know of....that encyclicals can be superceded. You saw that passage now from the Catholic Encyclopedia. You are now responsible to yourself and others to deal with it. The Church's dogma never said that every encyclical is infallible....but such a belief is all over the Catholic internet. And Popes don't help when they fail to draw attention to the distinction.

labrialumn

Mary, I"d rather have the wife, the kids, the extended family and the grandkids. I'm cut out for that. I can't comprehend what the heavenly glory would be. But I can imagine family reunions in heaven remembering the good times, even doing projects together. William Kirk Kilpatrick, a Catholic author, talks alot about the importance of shared memories.

Maybe this just reveals serious spiritual defects in me, I don't know.

Karl,
I don't think anyone should have to leave the Catholic Church becasue of coming to a better understanding of the Bible or the faith. Once you are already there.

Radical Catholic Mom

Dear Karl,

I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. I can relate to some parts of your story with family members' experiences and friends' but bitterness and anger won't impact anyone except you and your children because they will only see a bitter father. The good news is that as Christians we believe in the power of sacrifice and suffering and the belief that at the end of the day there is a resurrection. Don't lose faith. What got me through some really rough spots with the Church is the knowledge that my priests are a means to my mind. I need them for my Sacraments and God CAN use sinful people for His purposes. I don't have to like my priests and they don't even have to be believers. Somehow this mindset helped me and I hope it helps you.

Karl

Dear RCMom,

I try. I really do. But I am far from Thomas More. Much more am I like the doubting Apostle, Thomas. In doubt, not in his holiness.

RC

By the way, the Vatican explicitly batted down the "internal forum" suggestion when several German bishops, including Karl Lehmann, made it back in the old millennium.

The proposal was this: if a remarried person were convinced in conscience (in the "internal forum") that there were firm grounds for his first marriage's invalidity, but he couldn't prove it in a legal process, his pastor could authorize him to receive Holy Communion.

Rome's answer was -- if I may shrink it to a few words -- that marriage is a public matter, and private convictions about invalidity do not dispense one from the obligations of the sacrament.

The German bishops quickly received the sacrament of clarification and expressed their adherence to the Church's teaching.

Jodi

JD,
You blogged:"The Church, as Ed and Jimmy pointed out, doesn't objectively condemn divorce, just divorce and remarriage."

I disagree. The Church does objectively condemn divorce unless it is the ONLY way to protect certain legal rights. Dust off your catechism and open it up to 2384-2386.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.177
2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law.

There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.178

Yes, the Church does condemn divorce, even when it is not followed with remarriage. Words the catechism uses to describe divorce are "grave offense against natural law", "does injury to the sacrament of salvation", "immoral", "introduces disorder" and "plague". Dang, sounds like condemnation to me!

Remarriage adds to the gravity of divorce. Divorce, in and of itself, is a grave evil.

I had a legal separation from my spouse. In most states in the US, legal separation provides all the legal protection a civil divorce does.

Ed Peters

Jodi, how embarassing that you would not quote, and really consider the implications of, CCC 2383.

JD, you have some imprecise terminology about the Rota, but this series is so long, it can wait for another day. Good luck on comps.

All folks: my hunch is confirmed. See UPDATE at http://www.canonlaw.info/2007/06/annulment-what-annulment-really-what.html.

Best, edp.

Radical Catholic Mom

Well Karl, I will keep you in my prayers. The other thing I would recommend to you that also helped me was to read the Lives of the Saints every single night before bed. And before I went to sleep I would ask for that particular saint's intercession. Once I truly understood that many of these saints who we love and respect suffered under and by the Church, it helped. And I know their intercession helped. I truly recommend this to you.

Jodi

Ed,

You're right, I didn't quote it. I referred to it though: "The Church does objectively condemn divorce unless it is the ONLY way to protect certain legal rights."

Here is the exact quote:"2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.[176]
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense."

I also referred to an implication of 2383: "In most states in the US, legal separation provides all the legal protection a civil divorce does." I'll expand this further. In many situations civil divorce is not the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights. This implies that unless civil divorce is not the only possibly way of ensuring certain legal rights it cannot be tolerated and constitutes a moral offense.

Jodi

Jimmy and Ed,

JD said "The Church, as Ed and Jimmy pointed out, doesn't objectively condemn divorce, just divorce and remarriage."

I don't know if you pointed this out or not. Can you clarify? Do you agree that the Church does condemn divorce, not just when it is followed by remarriage?

Karl

Clearly and, I think, indisputably to the objective and honest person, the Catholic Church encourages divorces by:

1) Failing to punish them with a severe Canonical Sanction.

2) Requiring a divorce in order to initiate an annulment proceeding.

3) No longer mentioned among the "Precepts of the Catholic Church" is the obligation to observe its rules on marriage.

4) Encouraging "brother and sister" arrangements in huge numbers for remaining with an adulterous partner, even after the sacramental spouse is abandoned for the lover and there are children of the sacrament, being accepted by the Catholic Church with both JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger approving it in writing in 1994.

5) Failing to publish all data on nullity from every diocese in the world and failing to publish data on marriages that have been declared null and those that have been found valid.

6) Failing to shut down individual tribunals whose annulment data do not reflect those of the Roman Rota.

7) Failure to sanction bishops whose tribunals do not reflect the statistics of the Roman Rota for their failure to adequately administer them and to remove said bishops if after a reasonable time they do not exercize control over or shut down their tribunals.

And no doubt there are plenty more if I gave it further thought.

The case is closed on marriage and its support in the Catholic Church.

It is a gossamer reality now.

Brian Walden

The case is closed on marriage and its support in the Catholic Church.

Karl,

No wonder you're outside the Church. You've fallen into despair. If the Catholic Church doesn't support marriage, who does? I admit times are bleak now as the world is growing more and more against us, but we have Christ as our hope. You don't seem disagree with the Truth the Church teaches, but with how it acts. Come back home and voice your disagreements from the inside. You can help to reform the Church from the inside and build it back up.

Jodi

Bai McFarlane read about this discussion. She regrets she doesn't have time to join the discussion forum but asked me to edit this a little and post on her behalf.

In most states a civil separation and civil divorce offer no protection because civil courts use no-fault rules for support, custody and property division. Most divorces are sought to kick a dedicated husband out of his own home and force him to pay for the upbringing of children in which he is not allowed to live [i]. This
is obviously not a right that the Cathechism was referring to when it stated it is acceptable to seek civil court orders to ensure certain legal rights. Another common scenario is the adulterous husband who seeks a civil divorce so his children are forced to spend weekends and vacation with him and his adulterous partner without the children's mother, his wife, present. That is also not a right to which the Catechism is referring. We can also consider the abandoning husband who finds a new sex partner, late in life, leaving his lifelong partner, who dedicated herself to the upbringing of children financially devastated. Even the section about legal rights in the Catechism references canon law on separation (1151-1155) and separation protections in the Church specify that no civil court orders are to be sought that are contrary to divine law (can 1692). Canon law commentary recommended by the President of the Pontifical Council of Legislative texts states: Since divorce laws have proliferated in many countries, the need to request the diocesan bishop's authorization is a necessary precaution, which prevents the fostering of
trials whose judgments [(Mary's Advocates' note) government civil court judgements] violate precepts of divine law, to the detriment of the spouses and with the risk of scandal to others.
http://www.marysadvocates.org/syllabus/1692Annot.html#violatedivinelaw
http://www.marysadvocates.org/syllabus/1692Annot.html

Canon law also specifies the licit reasons for separation (can 1151-1155). According to research, 80% of divorces are forced on the family by one spouse against the will of the other [ii]. In Catholic marriage, there are specified circumstances in which separation from one's spouse is necessary, such as to protect the children and dedicated spouse from a dangerously abusive spouse or a spouse who insists on committing adultery, but most divorces are not sought for those reasons. A Gallup poll concludes that only 5% of divorce are sought because one needs protection from
a physically abusive spouse; 16% of divorce are sought for protection from a substance abuser; and 17% of are sought because a spouse committed adultery[iii]. In circumstances in which a separation decree is necessary per Canon Law, no-fault divorce offers no protection to the dedicated spouse or children because no distinction between a faithful spouse and an abandoner or adulterer is made in custody, support, and property division.

Catholics who say the Church does not object to divorce, only to remarriage without an annulment, are very misleading unless they specify the VERY limited circumstances and the Church designated procedures one must follow to ensure that separations are not contrary to divine law.

I think people who say the Church does not object to divorce are as misleading as those who would say, "the Church does not object to killing," without specifying the rare circumstances in which killing is morally acceptable.

[i]http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52314
See Baskerville and Braver

[ii] Frank Furstenberg, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Andrew Cherlin, Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Sociology at John Hopkins University (Divided Families: What Happens to Children When Parents Part.Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991, page 22.)

[ii] "Marriage Savers" on page 123

Bai Macfarlane
Mary's Advocates http://www.marysadvocates.org


Mary

I"d rather have the wife, the kids, the extended family and the grandkids. I'm cut out for that.

I dare say you would rather live out your three-score and ten in peace, rather than suffer martyrdom.

If it came down the pike, you would have to have faith in God that He does love you and therefore everything that happens to you is for your own good.

TSO

Just wanted to say that Matt & Bill Bannon's exchange was fabulous - very interesting. I learned a lot.

Ange Dude

I have a quick question, perhaps one of you can shed some light. If a Respondent appeals directly to the Rota right after the 1st Instance Affirmative decision, and the same Respondent later decides he does not wish to pursue the appeal and drops it, is the case heard at 2nd Instance at the Rota or does it go back to the normal 2nd Instance Tribunal? I'm not sure about this. Hope someone can help. Thanks!

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