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New annulment norms (issued today) lack hoped for reforms
National Catholic Reporter ^ | 2/8/2005 | John L. Allen

Posted on 02/08/2005 9:50:13 AM PST by sinkspur

A new Vatican instruction on annulment is not expected to change existing practice in the United States dramatically, but it falls short of reforms that many American bishops and canonists hoped for which would have made an annulment faster and easier to obtain.

Those reforms were contained in a second draft of the document, which seemed on the brink of publication in 2003. After debates within the Vatican, however, the draft was sent back for revision, and in the end several significant provisions sought by Americans were eliminated or watered down.

The instruction, titled Dignitas Connubii, was issued Feb. 8 in a Vatican news conference. The Latin-and-English version runs to 226 pages, and is organized into 308 articles.

The document is the result of almost 10 years of work, and the version published Tuesday represents the third draft. Experts from five offices of the Roman Curia were involved: the Roman Rota and the Apostolic Signatura, the two chief Vatican courts that handle marriage cases; the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, charged with interpreting church law; and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

************

Annulment Step-by-Step

1. One party presents a petition to the tribunal in the diocese in which he or she lives, or in which the marriage took place.

2.The tribunal screens the petition to determine if grounds for an annulment seem to be present, and if the evidence seems sufficient (some 20 percent of petitions never go forward for lack of grounds or evidence).

3. If accepted, a case normally goes before a panel of three judges, though in some instances one judge may decide. It's not trial by jury, but more like a review board sorting through testimony to reach a conclusion.

4. Both the party seeking the annulment and the other party to the marriage have a right to present testimony and other evidence. The diocese also has a canon layer called the "defender of the bond," whose job it is to defend the validity of the marriage.

5. In the case of a favorable decision, there's an automatic appeal to an appeals court in another diocese. Both decisions must be favorable, and based on the same grounds, for the annulment to be granted.

6. If the two courts are split, the case goes to the Rota in Rome.

If all six steps are observed, an annulment case can sometimes take years before final resolution, though often it happens more quickly.

Typical grounds for an annulment include lack of due discretion, fraud, and psychic incapacity.

There are also simpler cases that generally do not require trial, such as "prior bond," where one of the partners had a previous marriage, or "defect of form," where Catholics were not married in the church. If one spouse was not baptized, then the other party can apply for a "Privilege of the Faith" case (or "Petrine Privilege") from the Holy See. If neither of the spouses was baptized, and now one of the spouses wishes to become baptized and marry a Catholic, a Pauline Privilege is possible.

The cost of an annulment ranges from $500 to $1,000, depending on the diocese, although these costs are generally waved if someone can't pay. Each year tribunals in the United States run deficits.

**************

The purpose of the document is to provide a step-by-step guide for judges to use in processing requests for annulment, applying the principles of the new Code of Canon Law adopted in 1983, in light of the experience of the intervening 23 years. It plays a similar role to a 1936 document, Provida Mater, which did the same thing for the 1917 code.

"It's like a recipe book," one Roman canonist said. "If a judge follows all the steps outlined in the document, he can't make a mistake."

Unlike civil divorce, which simply acknowledges the failure of a marriage, annulment is a declaration that a sacramental marriage never existed, usually because one of the parties lacked the capacity to consent or due to impotence.

Though roughly 50,000 cases for annulment are processed annually all over the world, almost 70 percent, some 33,000, come from the United States. That's a remarkable change from just 35 years ago; in 1968, only 338 annulments were granted in the United States. Some Vatican officials have long felt that American church courts are too hasty in granting favorable responses, though Americans argue that the United States is one of the few countries that invested seriously in tribunals and canon lawyers, and that the number of annulments is a tiny fraction of the estimated 8 million divorced Catholics in the country.

Some had feared that the Vatican might use this new instruction to crack down on American practice, but in the end most of the points are technical matters of procedure that are not expected to alter the outcome of most requests. In fact, in at least one instance, the instruction should make life easier for Catholics seeking an annulment.

That instance concerns a canonical principle known as "conformity."

Existing law requires an automatic appeal of a ruling in favor of an annulment, and the two findings must exhibit "conformity," meaning they have to be based on the same point of law. If one court finds in favor of annulment on the grounds that the wife was insane, for example, and another that the husband was impotent, that doesn't satisfy the requirement. In such a case, review by a third court would be required.

Article 291 of Dignitas Connubii, however, introduces the concept of "substantial conformity," which would allow an annulment even if the two decisions were based on different points of law, as along as they are rooted "in the same facts and the same proofs." For example, if one court finds the wife was forced into marriage out of fear, and another that she lied when she gave consent in order to avoid some danger, this would technically be two different grounds for annulment, but they could be seen as in "substantial conformity."

In general, experts told NCR that the instruction gives more power to judges to limit procedural appeals that have the effect of unnecessarily slowing down the process. One canonist said this provision is intended in part to streamline cases such as that of Sheila Rausch Kennedy, who pursued a lengthy appeal of an annulment granted after a 1993 request from her husband, Joseph Kennedy.

Yet Dignitas Connubii falls well short of what many American bishops and canonists had wanted. The second draft of the document, circulated for comment in 2002, contained only 47 articles, and among them were at least two changes that theoretically would have made the process faster and easier.

First, article 35 of the 2002 draft would have allowed declarations of even one party, meaning the husband or wife, to constitute full proof of the nullity of the marriage. Under existing law, those declarations usually have to be supported by other proof, such as testimony from third-party witnesses. Many observers believe this reform would have been helpful especially in cases where the marriage dates back many years, and other proofs are hard to find.

In Dignitas Connubii, however, this provision is removed. One Roman canonist told NCR the logic was, "A marriage case is supposed to be about ascertaining the truth, and we all know that that the interested parties often have strong motives to lie."

Second, article 43 of the 2002 draft would also have dispensed with the requirement of a second finding in favor of annulment, most notably if the two parties and the church's own canonist were all in agreement. Dignitas Connubii, on the other hand, confirms the necessity of a favorable finding from a second court.

One expert who worked on Dignitas Connubii told NCR that the aim of the document was to avoid pointless delays and objections, but at the same time to ensure that the outcome is not automatic, and that a serious judicial process is observed.

One example of how Dignitas Connubii tries to avoid a rubber-stamp approach, experts say, comes in article 209, which attempts to limit the tendency of parties to cite minor psychological disturbances that many people experience, such as stress, as grounds for incapacity.

Inside the Roman Curia, the evolution from the 2002 draft to Dignitas Connubii is seen as something of a defeat for Italian Cardinal Mario Pompedda, the head of the Apostolic Signatura, who spoke in favor of the earlier draft. Its revision in 2003 was instead entrusted to a group headed by Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, head of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts. Herranz is one of two Opus Dei cardinals.

At the Tuesday press conference, Herranz defended the church's right to subject failed marriages to a judicial examination before granting an annulment.

"Not to take an interest in this problem would be equivalent to obscuring in practice the sacramentality of matrimony," Herranz said. "That would be even less understandable in the present circumstances of confusion about the natural identity of marriage and the family in certain civil legislation, which not only welcomes and facilitates divorce, but in some cases puts in doubt heterosexuality as an essential aspect of matrimony."


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: annulment; canonlaw; catholicchurch; holymatrimony; marriage; matrimony
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1 posted on 02/08/2005 9:50:13 AM PST by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur

I don't know too much about annulments. Is this "defender of the bond" something new? The few people I know who've gotten annulments never mentioned anyone who was defending their marriage. And a friend of my wife's received an annulment although she'd been married for many years and had five children. (Husband had a girlfriend, of course). This woman very strongly believes her annulment is not valid in the eyes of God, but we don't recall her ever mentioning that the diocese had somebody helping her defend her marriage.


2 posted on 02/08/2005 9:59:56 AM PST by old and tired
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To: NYer; Salvation

Defense of marriage ping.


3 posted on 02/08/2005 10:09:38 AM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: old and tired

Its a simple straightforward process the goal of which is to respect (or defer to) a marriage that has/had the appearance of legitimacy.

Money is not the key - as the disgruntled or cynical often complain.

Sadly, those with power often get the annulment they want - but often those with no power also get the annulment they want.

The other ridiculous and tired canard is that the children of an annulled bond are made illegitimate as a result of the annullment - which is not true.

Marriage is gravely serious, lifelong, and sacramental. To treat it otherwise is to mock the most solemn vows.


4 posted on 02/08/2005 10:16:03 AM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: sinkspur
Though roughly 50,000 cases for annulment are processed annually all over the world, almost 70 percent, some 33,000, come from the United States. That's a remarkable change from just 35 years ago; in 1968, only 338 annulments were granted in the United States.

Astonishingly, some people regard this as progress.

5 posted on 02/08/2005 10:31:54 AM PST by madprof98
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To: madprof98
One expert who worked on Dignitas Connubii told NCR that the aim of the document was to avoid pointless delays and objections, but at the same time to ensure that the outcome is not automatic, and that a serious judicial process is observed.

One example of how Dignitas Connubii tries to avoid a rubber-stamp approach, experts say, comes in article 209, which attempts to limit the tendency of parties to cite minor psychological disturbances that many people experience, such as stress, as grounds for incapacity.

Appears a tightening up of tribunals is coming...

-link to other news on same subject for any interested

Vatican updates rules on marriage annulment

6 posted on 02/08/2005 10:56:25 AM PST by DBeers
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To: old and tired
Is this "defender of the bond" something new?

Nope. The Defender has been around since at least the first Code of Canon Law was issued, in 1917. He doesn't actually work with the respondent to "get another side" of the case. In fact, the Defender has no contact with the parties at all. He examines the final case, with all the witness testimony, and raises objections to an annulment (such as: length of time married, no obvious difficulties until recently). However, given the psychological grounds which form the basis for 99% of the cases presented, it is very difficult to argue length of time married if the husband was a lifelong alcoholic, for instance.

The court of second instance will usually look very hard at the Defender's case. (I was a Defender in a couple of cases, and had to write up a case just as the Procurator did).

7 posted on 02/08/2005 11:01:02 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: DBeers
Appears a tightening up of tribunals is coming...

Clearly, this is going to be a major task for the next pope, but only part of the larger task of cleaning up the mess in the Catholic Church in this country (and a few others as well).

8 posted on 02/08/2005 11:01:49 AM PST by madprof98
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To: sinkspur


So the Church didn't cave to American wishes, is that the sum of it?


9 posted on 02/08/2005 11:04:37 AM PST by onyx ("First you look to God, then to Fox News" -- Denny Crane, Republican...lol.)
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To: DBeers; 1stFreedom
In general, experts told NCR that the instruction gives more power to judges to limit procedural appeals that have the effect of unnecessarily slowing down the process. One canonist said this provision is intended in part to streamline cases such as that of Sheila Rausch Kennedy, who pursued a lengthy appeal of an annulment granted after a 1993 request from her husband, Joseph Kennedy.

If anything, the new norms will reduce the endless appeals kicked up by some respondents.

10 posted on 02/08/2005 11:05:46 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: onyx
Well, supporting testimony is still required to build an annulment case; some bishops wanted just the petitioners' word to suffice. OTOH, the "substantial conformity" issue could be huge. There is often disagreement between the tribunal of appeal and the original tribunal as to the points of law in a case. Now, they don't necessarily have to agree on the point of law for the annulment to be granted.

IMO, this document won't have any impact whatsoever on the vast majority of marriage cases. There certainly won't be fewer, as none of the substantial psychological grounds were altered.

11 posted on 02/08/2005 11:11:11 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur
If anything, the new norms will reduce the endless appeals kicked up by some respondents.

Yup -I agree; however, I think the procedural appeals are probably the exception; e.g. cases in which respondents actually employ thier own hired gun (Canon Lawyer advocate)... I tend to think (without having seen the document yet) that the guidelines are going to be very restrictive up front as to what objective criteria and requirements must be in place to even take a case...

12 posted on 02/08/2005 11:14:44 AM PST by DBeers
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To: sinkspur
Also on the subject of the search for truth in hearings on the nullity of marriage, Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B. highlighted the fact that article 65, para. 2 of the Instruction states that the judge must urge the parties to a sincere search for the truth. If he does not manage to bring the spouses to validate their marriage and re-establish conjugal life "the judge is to urge the spouses to work together sincerely, putting aside any personal desire and living the truth in charity, in order to arrive at the objective truth, as the very nature of a marriage cause demands."

-in reference to my prior post -FYI -from the article linked on post #6

13 posted on 02/08/2005 11:23:30 AM PST by DBeers
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To: DBeers
I tend to think (without having seen the document yet) that the guidelines are going to be very restrictive up front as to what objective criteria and requirements must be in place to even take a case...

The grounds for annulment are clearly laid out in Canon Law and there is no indication that any of the grounds have been changed.

If the basis for an annulment is there in law, I don't see how "objective criteria" can be restricted unless the psychological definitions have changed.

14 posted on 02/08/2005 11:29:11 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: DBeers
If he does not manage to bring the spouses to validate their marriage and re-establish conjugal life

Well, by the time a case reaches the judge, several years have usually passed since the civil divorce. I suppose anything is possible, but this Archbishop is engaged in wishful thinking.

15 posted on 02/08/2005 11:33:48 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur
it falls short of reforms that many American bishops and canonists hoped for which would have made an annulment faster and easier to obtain.

Deo gratias.

16 posted on 02/08/2005 11:35:00 AM PST by St. Johann Tetzel (Rule One! No Poofters!)
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To: Notwithstanding
If the National Catholic Reporter and certain members of the USCCB are deeply saddened, then real Catholics must have real cause to celebrate.
17 posted on 02/08/2005 11:36:56 AM PST by St. Johann Tetzel (Rule One! No Poofters!)
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To: sinkspur
but this Archbishop is engaged in wishful thinking.

Shepherds tend to be wishful when guiding their errant sheep ;)

18 posted on 02/08/2005 11:37:59 AM PST by DBeers
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To: St. Johann Tetzel
If the National Catholic Reporter and certain members of the USCCB are deeply saddened, then real Catholics must have real cause to celebrate. LOL You got that right!!! NCR did not waste any time getting this version of the news out...
19 posted on 02/08/2005 11:39:32 AM PST by DBeers
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To: DBeers
Intervention in troubled marriages usually needs to take place before a civil divorce. Annulments are typically pursued when one of the parties wishes to remarry somebody else in the Church.
20 posted on 02/08/2005 11:39:55 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur

Yes; however, divorces have been pursued because of the assured decree of nullity that is all but advertised by 'pastoral helpers'... Once the rubber stamp goes away people may be more likely to take up the cross in difficult situatins that often come to those who choose marriage as a vocation...


21 posted on 02/08/2005 11:44:55 AM PST by DBeers
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To: St. Johann Tetzel

Precisely...when I read "lack hoped for reforms," I thought "too bad...they didn't crack down on this stuff." But, then I saw that the ones doing the hoping are the NCR staff...so it must be a pretty good document.


22 posted on 02/08/2005 11:48:24 AM PST by B Knotts
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To: DBeers
Once the rubber stamp goes away people may be more likely to take up the cross in difficult situatins that often come to those who choose marriage as a vocation...

But...but...but...THAT wasn't the "hoped for reforms" of the NCR and half the USCCB!

23 posted on 02/08/2005 11:53:36 AM PST by St. Johann Tetzel (Rule One! No Poofters!)
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To: St. Johann Tetzel
But...but...but...THAT wasn't the "hoped for reforms" of the NCR and half the USCCB!

LOL!

Also on the subject of the search for truth in hearings on the nullity of marriage, Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B. highlighted the fact that article 65, para. 2 of the Instruction states that the judge must urge the parties to a sincere search for the truth. If he does not manage to bring the spouses to validate their marriage and re-establish conjugal life "the judge is to urge the spouses to work together sincerely, putting aside any personal desire and living the truth in charity, in order to arrive at the objective truth, as the very nature of a marriage cause demands."

It will be interesting to see how this all but rarely ignored but now stessed requirement will be objectively accomplished... It would appear that some actual marriage saving activities and efforts may have to happen within the typical family ministries that today seem pastorally preoccupied with only divorce, 'remarriage', step parenting, and 'annulment' preparation...

24 posted on 02/08/2005 11:59:11 AM PST by DBeers
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...

Bttt


25 posted on 02/08/2005 12:11:24 PM PST by NYer ("The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church" - Pope John XXIII)
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To: DBeers
Yes; however, divorces have been pursued because of the assured decree of nullity that is all but advertised by 'pastoral helpers'...

The truth is, most Catholics know almost nothing about the annulment process, except that it is long and difficult. I disagree with your presumption.

26 posted on 02/08/2005 12:35:09 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: DBeers
It will be interesting to see how this all but rarely ignored but now stessed requirement will be objectively accomplished...

The very same way it is addressed today.

27 posted on 02/08/2005 12:37:03 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur

This is actually a good thing, something which I made a case for in my response (differing grounds than what the petitioner plead).

Unfortunately, the first instance declaration I recieved is bogus and I wouldn't trust the second instance court here in NY with a 10 foot pole.

What would be great is if the Rota were able to expedite second instance cases.



28 posted on 02/08/2005 12:46:00 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: sinkspur; All

I don't think this will stop second instance appeals to the Rota...

People go to the Rota because of baseless decisions for nullity, a lack of conformity to canon law, et cetera. This won't change. If the Rota overturns the first instance, it's a moot point and the petitioner has to start again.

In theory, what this could do is allow a second instance court to address any canonical problem of a first instance court. In theory, it should be a positive thing for a respondant.

The unfortunate thing is, in theory, this should already be happening. Instead, a majority of the time the second instance tribunals rubber stamp the first instance sentences.


29 posted on 02/08/2005 12:53:07 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: sinkspur; All

This is actually a good thing, something which I made a case for in my response (differing grounds than what the petitioner plead).

Unfortunately, the first instance declaration I recieved is bogus and I wouldn't trust the second instance court here in NY with a 10 foot pole. (The problem is systemic, and second instance tribunals are not exempt.)

What would be great is if the Rota were able to expedite second instance cases.


30 posted on 02/08/2005 12:54:34 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: sinkspur

>> assured decree of nullity that is all but advertised by 'pastoral helpers'...

This is all tooo true. The tribunal told the petition in my case that she had a slam dunk case. This emboldened her actions...

Having read the sentence, it was anything but slam dunk. Pure fabrication and judicial activism.....

Tribunal officals really need to stay neutral and simply process things, not advise petitioners.


31 posted on 02/08/2005 12:59:57 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: St. Johann Tetzel
If the National Catholic Reporter and certain members of the USCCB are deeply saddened, then real Catholics must have real cause to celebrate.

The NCR types are not nearly sad enough. It's just like the declarations of horror from the abortion zealots that Roe v. Wade is in grave danger. They send up the distress signals whenever anyone so much as suggests that 12-year-olds should at least talk with their parents before the grandkids-in-the-womb are butchered.

32 posted on 02/08/2005 1:04:37 PM PST by madprof98
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To: sinkspur
The truth is, most Catholics know almost nothing about the annulment process

I agree -it is the 'pastoral helpers' that are well versed in creating petitions...

33 posted on 02/08/2005 1:09:07 PM PST by DBeers
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To: All

Another positive aspect is that the Rota could determine nullity on other grounds (for a second instance).. Then a third instance tribunal would make the final decision and a couple could obtain an declaration for/against nullity which has solid grounds.

Why anyone would throw up endless appeals if a solid decision is reached is beyond me. This is good news to me as I know the reasons the first instance tribunal used in my own case were a joke.

My own case is at the Rota now, and I myself was dreading having to go back through the process when the Rota overturns the case (which they will). Now, hopefully the Rota will consider my own response, which has a much better basis for nullity, and make a decision that has "legs" so to speak -- regardless if it is for or against nullity. (I'm not sure if my arguments rise to the level of being "grave" -- that's for the Rota to determine, I just gave them my story.)

Who knows, I could be the first second instance case that the Rota has which finds grounds for nullity based upon the respondant's testimony...


34 posted on 02/08/2005 1:11:45 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: sinkspur
The very same way it is addressed today.

Well -today the US Norm does not have a mandated positive requirement that must be objectively documented... SO maybe you suggest a new piece of paperwork that will be rubber stamped can effectively bypass such authentic activity?

35 posted on 02/08/2005 1:13:41 PM PST by DBeers
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To: DBeers
Well -today the US Norm does not have a mandated positive requirement that must be objectively documented..

I doubt there's any requirement that a judge "objectively document" that he counseled a long-divorced couple to consider reconciliation, especially when it is the usual case that one party wants nothing to do with the annulment and has usually remarried someone else in a civil ceremony.

36 posted on 02/08/2005 1:19:45 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur
I doubt there's any requirement that a judge "objectively document" that he counseled a long-divorced couple to consider reconciliation, especially when it is the usual case that one party wants nothing to do with the annulment and has usually remarried someone else in a civil ceremony.

There are some that either by ignorance or defiance will persist in grave sin; regardless, the Church should not accomodate such activity upon moral relative basis that contravenes true justice... unjust divorce and subsequent 'remarriage' are but sin -period...

37 posted on 02/08/2005 1:32:55 PM PST by DBeers
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To: DBeers

Well, true justice or not, it is folly to even pretend that most or even any of these marriages can be resurrected.


38 posted on 02/08/2005 1:35:34 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur
Well, true justice or not, it is folly to even pretend that most or even any of these marriages can be resurrected.

You may be right in a majority of these cases; however, there is eternal salvation or eternal damnation at stake -the Church must clearly show the proper path - more especially to the persistent sinners...

39 posted on 02/08/2005 1:41:08 PM PST by DBeers
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To: sinkspur

bump for later.


40 posted on 02/08/2005 2:41:01 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sinkspur


Thanks for your reply.
You write clearly. :)


41 posted on 02/08/2005 3:00:50 PM PST by onyx ("First you look to God, then to Fox News" -- Denny Crane, Republican...lol.)
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To: onyx

Thanks. I try.


42 posted on 02/08/2005 3:03:07 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur

Thanks for posting.


43 posted on 02/08/2005 4:09:10 PM PST by visualops
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To: sinkspur
The whole annulment process is such BS! It has nothing to do with God, The Church or marriage and everything to do with money, power and position. My wife was granted a quick annulment on form because she and her first husband who she married at 18 were never married in a church, so thirteen years later when we married we had no problem marrying before God's altar.

On the other hand, I have known friends who were abused by drunken first husbands who ultimately found and married men who truly cherished them, but could not get an annulment without first getting a note from God signed in blood, or so it seemed.

My sister's husband married way to young to a woman who didn't want children and they ultimately went their separate ways. A decade later he married my sister and they have two really good kids. Unfortunately, my sister was not able to marry in the church.

Kerry's and Kennedy's and numerous High Holy Catholic New York and Boston politicians seem to be able to get very quick annulments even as their children from their first marriage turn the age of majority. What's wrong with this picture? The church.

Which is why I have gladly joined the largest growing relgious organization in the world, Irish Catholic Non Practicing.
44 posted on 02/08/2005 5:20:10 PM PST by markedman (Lay me down to a watery grave)
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To: markedman
You have a distorted view of annulments. It is not about money, or power.

Catholics who marry in the Church (or non-Catholics who marry in their Churches) are presumed to be validly married. If a divorce occurs, and one of the partners desires remarriage, that first marriage has to be investigated for validity.

It is not true that the Kennedy's get "quickie" annulments. Robert Kennedy's annulment took over two years, which is about the average time for a case to work its way throught the process.

I suspect you're not practicing for other reasons, and use this is a convenient foil.

45 posted on 02/08/2005 5:26:33 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur
"You have a distorted view of annulments. It is not about money, or power."

That's nonsense, and naieve! And widely joke about in the Boston Arch Diocese. I've been around The Church my whole life. My Sister is an SSND and my parents are deacons. I was educated at the undergraduate level by the reverent and revered RHSM and at the Graduate level by the Jesuits, both organizations who practice what they preach, unlike the majority of Diocese.

Sure I have plenty of bones to pick with The Church and those who supposedly act in their name. Yes I was severely abused by Charity nuns in grammar school like many who studied under them. And I have been read last rites twice by priests who seemed more interested in the more prurient aspects of my "last confession" as I was a Navy Sailor in the 7th Fleet. My grandfather was in the Irish Republican Army which helped free Ireland so that The Church could put a strangle hold around the neck of the country, despite the fact that they had initially agreed to excommunicate all members of the IRA.

So yeah, I have my issues as well good memories of those that practice what Jesus taught. But as far as marriage and annulments go, It IS all about money, position and power. Maybe you are not aware of, or are unfamiliar with experiences of those of lesser fortunes or breeding who try to seek annulments, but I'm not, nor is God or I fooled by this Roman mumbo jumbo. It has no more validity than Limbo.

Jesus knows what's in the hearts of men, that's good enough for me.
46 posted on 02/08/2005 5:45:10 PM PST by markedman (Lay me down to a watery grave)
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To: markedman
My Sister is an SSND and my parents are deacons.

Your mother can't be a deacon.

I am a deacon, and worked in the marriage tribunal of my diocese for ten years. I can't speak to your tribunal; I can only speak to mine.

You are associating the Church with sinful human beings instead of associating it with the Eucharist and the Good Lord.

Perhaps you'll return some day.

47 posted on 02/08/2005 5:49:29 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur
Sorry I believe the PC term for women on the altar now is Eucharistic Minister. And yes, my sister, Sister Mary is SSND. I forgot to add that my older brother did study in the minor seminary at Seton Hall.

"You are associating the Church with sinful human beings instead of associating it with the Eucharist and the Good Lord."

No, sinful human beings are associating themselves with The Church. God is God no matter what man says or does, and God makes the ultimate rules, not man, not the Tribunal.

To be honest, we had absolutely no problem getting an annulment. My wife's first husband was not Catholic and they were married in a Civil Service. The Arch Diocese of New York never even batted and eye. My friends who I attended the RSHM College with were dragged through the mud and numerous letters, papers, essays and what nots. They gave up on the church, but not God.

After the recent abuse scandal and all of the Bishops complicity in these crimes (My local parish here in South Jersey actually helped their little pedophile escape to the Philippines) and John Kerry's annulment, I'm done with Rome. Like my friends I have not given up on God and did not give up on the church, they gave up.
48 posted on 02/08/2005 6:24:38 PM PST by markedman (Lay me down to a watery grave)
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To: markedman
No, sinful human beings are associating themselves with The Church. God is God no matter what man says or does, and God makes the ultimate rules, not man, not the Tribunal.

Well, The Church was made for man, not man for the Church.

And God uses sinful human beings to represent Him, and to stand in His place in the Church.

There's something else going on with you, and I will pray for you.

49 posted on 02/08/2005 6:34:31 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur; All

>>There's something else going on with you, and I will pray for you.

Apparently, sink is the only sane one here and is glad to make a psychological diagnosis via threads.


50 posted on 02/08/2005 7:27:01 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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