Skip to comments.There’s marriage and then there’s marriage*
Posted on 03/02/2014 12:09:13 PM PST by NYer
I had a comment in my messages from an Observant Person who had the misfortune to read an article about Card. Kasper’s remarks on marriage in advance of the Synod.
The Observant Person pulled a strange quote from Kasper via CNS:
“he allowed for the possibility that in very specific cases the church could tolerate, though not accept, a second union.”?
Huh? ”Tolerate though not accept”?
There’s marriage and then there’s marriage*
How can the Church tolerate what the Church cannot accept? There is a logical disconnect.
What is this supposed to look like in concrete terms?
Let’s take this into the parish. There are second marriages and they are tolerated but not accepted. How is that going to work? Does anyone think that people will be content for very long knowing that they have a second class marriage? They are tolerated, but not accepted? No, what will happen is that people will come to see the second marriage as the real marriage. The first marriage was the one with training-wheels. No, everyone will come to accept the second marriage as the real marriage.
How is this supposed to work? Are they supposed to do a little penance service before their second marriage is “blessed”? Will Father smile at them with only half of his mouth? In sermons about marriage, will the Bishop talk – with a little sneer – about those people out there with marriages that we Just Tolerate?
Only tolerated, not accepted. What a window of opportunity that gives us!
Think of the shame factor possibilities.
Hey! I know! This is like “We tolerate homosexuals, but we don’t accept them!” How would that work? Pretty well?
Is this really what we want to be saying?
I can see this now. Father is in the pulpit, and he says: “Please understand this everyone. We only tolerate, but we don’t accept your second marriage!”
What the people in Columbia Heights hear is: “Father said that our second marriage okay!”
And then there are the third marriages. Hey! If second marriage is real-er, then third marriage is really real-er. Good, better, best! Keep on marrying until you get it right.
Like a lot of Kasper’s work, it seems subtle until you start to read it.
I then brought in a couple of my other friendly correspondents to discuss.
One Smart Correspondent wrote back:
[Kasper] wants us to follow the Orthodox into plain error.
Another Smart Correspondent wrote back:
Im sure what hes (sloppily on purpose, I fear) referring to is the possibility of an internal forum solution. I maintain that an internal forum solution is only acceptable with the application of the brother-sister solution:
Okay, youve made a mistake in divorcing your first wife your faith was not fully alive at that point, and you did not understand the gravity of what happened, nor is there any objective proof to back up your conviction that that first marriage was invalid. Then, still in darkness, you entered into a subsequent union, have settled down, raised a family with this second woman and now have revived your baptismal faith. You would like to practice that faith and receive the sacraments. Fine the Church wont ask you to separate bed and board from the mother of your children. Yet, we cannot bless this second union while your wife is alive, nor can you engage in marital intimacy with this woman (no one has an absolute right to sexual activity something our society seems to forget). As long as your former marriage is not well-known to the parish, and your status does not cause wonderment here, you can go to confession and receive Holy Communion, living a life of continence and chastity with the mother of your children as long as your current status perdures.
That is, of course, the way this has to be done.
People make mistakes in life and some mistakes just can’t be fixed. Therefore, we move forward with the difficult path, but the only path that preserves charity and integrity. Will people “fall” or “fail” in these situations? Sure, they will. Then they regroup, resolve, confess, and move forward, until they die.
This is how life works: not every mistake can be “fixed”.
More on the wisdom of Card. Kasper from the Canonical Defender!
Check out Ed Peters’ post at his fine blog In The Light Of The Law.
Another of my Smart Correspondents writes:
In itself, [Kasper's] statement is unintelligible: toleration and acceptance mean the same thing. These terms cannot logically be contrasted as they are here.
His is pseudo-casuistry. Possibility really means in actual practice, very specific cases means upon demand, tolerate means accept and declare an adulterous union not sinful.
This speech was highly praised by Pope Francis, as being theology done on the knees. Wow. This in fact is a worldly accomodationist rejection of Catholic doctrine by a Cardinal of the Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. Error is bold and undocile.
The Italian daily Il Foglio has published the entire text of Card. Kasper’s controversial and very long talk. HERE
Just goes to show that a single prince of the Church can be as wrong on faith and morals as any MSNBC reporter.
I can understand and accept the concepts in the article. I WILL say that my first marriage was a disaster and that I would probably be dead today or wishing I was.
My second marriage on the other hand is wonderful and I thank God for leading us to each other.
The same here. My ex was an abusive, unfaithful, liar, who I see doing the same to other innocent women after me. I looked into nullification, and it was a significant headache, involved money I didn’t have at the time, so I let it be.
The cost factor in annulments has always struck me as uncomfortably akin to selling indulgences. The Church should either grant the request or refuse it based on the merits of each case; attaching a price tag is presumably meant as a deterrent (and a wrongheaded one, IMO).
There are administrative costs involved.
For example, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, those costs range from $100 to $500, depending upon the complexity of the case. The diocesan tribunal makes a point of saying that nobody is turned away for inability to pay.
In the Archdiocese of Washington, it is a flat fee of $750. Again, they make the point that this can be waived for financial hardship.
In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, a canonical form nullity declaration (the simplest kind of annulment) costs $50 (again, that can be waived for hardship).
I could continue, but you get the idea.
I would imagine where a lot of the high costs come in is with a contested annulment that actually has to have an ecclesiastical trial. Then you'll have to pay for canon lawyers, investigators, medical experts (in the case that you're saying that the former spouse was crazy), and so on.
And, yes, sadly, I have no doubt that from time to time some palm grease can be applied to move things on. But I honestly think that is more the exception than the rule. But I certainly don't ignore that it has happened in the past and it probably, occasionally, happens now (though I think these days, most people just wouldn't really care enough to bother).
How much did the wedding cost?
LOL. Probably just a tad bit more (unless the marriage to be nullified happened at a drive-through chapel in Vegas...)
If they were married by a judge, the declaration of nullity is pro-forma. And as you observed, the fee will be waived for demonstrable financial hardship.
We have walk-away “marriage” in the US because that’s what the vast majority want. Any other contention is nonsense. And if it takes approving “gay marriage” to ensure that heterosexuals can walk away, so be it.
Father Z is dead right. “My 4th marriage! That’s the one that’s really for really really real, I swear!”
I am in no way connected to a diocesan marriage tribunal and never have been; I'm just a lowly member of our RCIA teaching team. (We provide the instruction for incoming adult converts, and people who were baptized but have had no other connection with the Church since infancy).
We have run into a bunch of RCIA'ers who have busted-up marriages back in Mexico or other countries in Central America, and who have entered into second marriages, either civil or in non-Catholic churches, but now want to return to the Catholic Church.
Sometimes these are incredibly complicated situations, such as the gal whose first husband was already married to somebody else (bigamy) but she can't prove it because the records went up in smoke when a courthouse burned down in -- I think it was Michoacan.
If the Diocese chose to pursue this, they would probably have to contact an advocate in Mexico who knows both civil and canon law (with a little PI thrown in.) You think they can do that? For free? The neuralgic thing is that these green-carders who have the most complicated, expensive cases, are also the ones who have the least amount of money to pay for them. They can sometimes get by for $100, even if the investigation costs the Diocese multiples of that.
And then the annulment might not go through. The Tribunal could uphold the Bond (i.e. her first marriage) because of lack of sufficient evidence about Hombre #1's previous marriage.
We’ve had some complex situations in our parish, although none, as far as I know, involving bigamy, arson, and drug dealing all at the same time.
Oh, it’s a doozy. Muy duzante.
The Hebrew Patriarchs didn’t have to worry about this kind of thing at all.
So all those people who work on the Tribunals are supposed to work for free? Do you have any idea of the amount of time is put into the investigations needed to determine the validity of the Sacrament? This is the only cost to the person trying to get an annulment; the administrative cost. It is no different than having costs involved in obtaining a divorce.