Skip to comments.Catholic Divorce: The Deception of Annulments. [CATHOLIC CAUCUS]
Posted on 09/09/2010 7:44:11 PM PDT by verdugo
Catholic Divorce: The Deception of Annulments is a collection of essays by theologians, historians, and Sociologists who critically examine the Catholic Church's teaching and practice on divorce, annulments, and remarriage. The book opens with a brief essay by Pierre Hegy in which he describes why so many Catholics have become disillusioned with the church's position on these issues. He suggests that the chief reason why 80-90 percent of divorced Catholics simply ignore the annulment process and marry outside the church is because they regard the practice of annulments as deceitful. Because the grounds for an annulment have become so broad that practically anyone who applies for one can obtain it, many observers now regard annulments as "virtual divorces." After all, the same grounds used for divorce in a civil court have "become grounds for the nonexistence of marriage in an ecclesiastical court" (p. 23). To add to the deceit, many couples who receive annulments do so believing that their marriage was, in fact, sacramentally valid -- that the marital bond did exist but that, over time, it began to break down. These couples, understandably, choose not to disclose this part of the story to marriage tribunals so that they can qualify for an annulment.
Perhaps what is most problematic with the practice of annulments, according to Hegy, is that they often fail to deliver the kind of healing and renewal that so many divorced Catholics seek in the process. Nowhere is this illustrated more vividly than in the second chapter, which presents a series of testimonies by Catholics who have either gone through the annulment process or decided, for a variety of reasons, not to. One woman, for example, reports having become disillusioned by the annulment process when the diocesan tribunal hearing her case seemed to trivialize the spiritual conversion that accompanied her divorce by asking "intimate details about our sex life" instead of asking "Where did you find God in all of this?" (p. 39). Yet another woman tells of feeling coerced by a monsignor not to report her whole story to the tribunal in order to create the illusion that the marriage bond did not exist "from the very beginning" (p. 30). In short, these stories reveal that the Church's current teaching and practice of annulments not only inflict emotional trauma, but in some cases, encourage deceit.
Which is why the Church has become so unable to deal with the other moral declines. The plank in thy own eye.
Wow! Who cares?
It is very difficult for a Catholic marriage to be invalid and thus annulable, that is why there were only 35 to 50 per year WORLDWIDE, numerically speaking, practicallly NONE. Quick examples as grounds for annulment:
A shotgun wedding, where one or both are forced to marry against their will (there’s was a time limit. One couldn’t come 10 years and 6 children later, and say they were coerced)
One party or both were previously married in the Church, and did not disclose it
The marriage was never consumated
One of the parties hid his decision to not have children.
I reckon anyone who posts to thread cares enough to post to the thread, even if it’s to only ask “who cares?”.
Is it like when Mormons Baptize the dead?
A few years ago, I read a book on this topic, Shattered Faith, by Sheila Rauch Kennedy, ex-wife of Joe Kennedy II (RFK’s oldest son). He wanted an annulment so he could remarry in the Catholic Church. Though not Catholic herself, she opposed it, taking the position that their marriage had been valid even though it ultimately failed. He won every step of the way in the process until she appealed to Rome, which sided with her and held that the marriage was valid. In the meantime, I believe that the diocese they were in went ahead and allowed him to remarry. I reckon Rome’s decision rendered Joe’s second union invalid (or never valid at all).
There was a period of time after Vatican 2 when annulments were far too easy to obtain. I believe that has been tightened up a good bit over the past several years.
As for the article, it is way over the top. Many annulments are obtained for quite valid reasons. One example would be when a Catholic marries outside of the Church and later secures a civil divorce. As that Catholic’s marriage was not considered valid in the eyes of the Church, for whatever reason, the Church requires that an annulment be secured in order for that person to later marry another person but this time in a Catholic ceremony. Generally, one is automatically issued within a month or two.
Another example is when a Catholic marriage later produces no children because one of the parties refuses to have any children. As the primary purpose of marriage is procreation, the Church can consider the marriage to be invalid.
You would understand and care if you had God's grace. I was blind like you for 40 years, also due to my sins. I could have written the same comment.
For your enlightment: divorce, adultery, contraception, abortion, and fornication, are the MAIN CAUSES, of why God punishes the World with bad leaders, governmental and religious.
Good for Shelia. She showed the hypocrisy of it all and wasn’t going to be caught up with their deceit. BRAVO!
I am a Catholic and go to Mass... on occasion... and went to Catholic HS... I KNOW exactly what the rules are. And in both cases we have a CLEAR violation of the principals set forth by Our Lord in the Gospels. Adultery or other immoral acts would be the ONLY such allowed cases. Annulment MAY have covered the case where a Marriage did NOT exist, but it has become de facto Catholic Divorce. That is the point of the article. And my point is, when the Church begins to treat the LAW like the Pharisees, they get the same results.
[i]For your enlightment: divorce, adultery, contraception, abortion, and fornication, are the MAIN CAUSES, of why God punishes the World with bad leaders, governmental and religious. [/i][/p]
I’m guessing God’s also probably not a big fan of those who presume to know the MAIN CAUSES of His actions.
I think we get bad leaders because of ill-informed citizens who vote and have no idea who they are voting for. Let’s put the blame where it belongs.
I did mentioned the second example. As for the first, I don't believe that before Vatican II, anyone needed a formal annulment decree for a marriage outside of the Church, as it was always considered living in adultery. It must have been so, because there were only 35-50 annulments per year WORLDWIDE.
The post Vatican II persons who received annulments for having married outside of the Church are assured that their annulments are valid, as any Catholic knows that a Catholic who marries outside of the Church is living in adultery.
Check and mate!
It’s in scripture. It’s a teaching of the Church Fathers, it’s a teaching of the Catholic Church.
They have not God's Grace to discern good from evil. They are blind because of their sins of divorce, contraceptives, abortion, adultery, and fornication.
I didn't mean to interrupt...
Give me your thoughts.
A young couple marry in the Church. They go through marriage preparation, listen to the priest(s) about marriage etc.
But they privately agree to use artificial contraception from the first day of their marriage.
Is this a sacramentally valid marriage?
What happens when, five years later, one of the two young folks realizes that what they're doing is wrong, and tries to bring his/her spouse to repentance, but fails?
Even if the Church granted the annulment for improper or nebulous reasons, as long as the petitioners for annulments did not lie and obtain it under false pretenses, the annulments would be valid. No matter how sinful a priest may be, he doesn't lose his priestly abilities unless he is officially laicized. The fault is with those who too freely grant annulments, but the annulments remain valid.This is not to say that many don't lie. For them, the annulment would be invalid, and they will have to answer for it.
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