Sheesh, are Catholics really this stupid?

28 08 2010

Probably the most idiotic thing I have read on the Internet all year:

“A declaration of invalidity is a statement of fact issued by the Catholic Church,” they write. “After carefully examining a couple’s broken relationship, the Church states that a marriage, as the Church defines marriage, never truly existed between them. The relationship may have enjoyed some of the external trappings of marriage: There may have been a big wedding followed by a common address and the birth of children. However, not all weddings bring about a marriage.”

And to understand this, one needs to understand what a marriage is in the eyes of the Church. Vere and Rapp, in the first half of the book, explore the teaching of the Church on marriage. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, they write, the Church viewed marriage more as a contract but after the Council, the Church understood marriage more as a covenant between a man and a woman, the goal of which is twofold: “the mutual welfare of the spouses (physical, emotional and spiritual) as well as openness to the procreation, welfare and education of children.”

Okay, let’s do another version of this:

After carefully examining the act of a bank robbery, the Church states that such violent theft, as the Church defines theft, never truly was a theft. The act may have enjoyed some of the external trappings of a violent bank robbery: There may have been a guns, ski masks, and various people killed followed by an escape to Paraguay and living under an assumed name. However, not all violent robberies constitute criminal theft.”

And to understand this, one needs to understand what theft is in the eyes of the Church. Schugelmeier and Finkelstein, in the first half of the book, explore the teaching of the Church on theft. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, they write, the Church viewed theft more as a violation of the social contract but after the Council, the Church understood theft more as a radical redistribution of wealth to ameliorate the injustices of society caused by the structures of sin.

Wow, that was fun. Who says reason is dead in the Church? Because you could show up at church, blow thousands of dollars on a dress and the reception (not forgetting a stipend for the priest), buy a house, have kids, bandage their cuts when they fall off the bike, attend PTA meetings, go on family vacation, see them off to college, but…the joke’s on you, because you were NEVER MARRIED. Why? Because some Vatican bureaucrat has now determined that you never had the burning in the bosom that is the real mark of marriage. You never had a covenant, silly! So when your husband runs off with his secretary due to a mid-life crisis, don’t pretend to be shocked or anything. You should have known better.

One wonders how the hierarchy could trust us with any moral decisions at all.

Seriously, is Catholicism so shot through with epistemological pessimism that only the hierarchy can determine whether you are actually married or not? What is this, some sort of nightmare of unreason?

The other side of the coin is that if the Church is so determined to bend common sense out of shape to keep good, wholesome heterosexual couples procreating and tithing, why is it so committed to excluding others on the basis of convoluted natural law arguments? And some Catholics wonder why people on the outside look at us like a bunch of hypocrites! We’re are a laughing stock even to ourselves.

Or perhaps this is really just becoming some fertility cult in which the highest act of religiosity is approved heterosexual intercourse (missionary position) to produce more Catholics to fill convents, monasteries, and Opus Dei houses. If the first union doesn’t work out, don’t worry, you weren’t actually married. We’ll give you an annulment as long as you keep banging out those kids. Here’s a rosary and a thermometer.

My curmudgeon answer to all of this is to retroactively surrender to the Jansenists and say that no one who is not ordained should be permitted to receive Holy Communion on anything more than a yearly basis, and only after confessing. That way, we can all be treated like the royal f%$k-ups that we really are. Sancta sanctis.


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36 responses

20 02 2016
Sage-Spirit

Yes, I agree with Sam Urfer’s statement above. I have another way of saying it though . . . I believe the Catholic Church is handing out annulments like spiritual condoms.

The Church teaches on one hand that a valid marriage is indissoluble (both husband and wife were baptized Catholics, the marriage was performed by a priest in the Church, both were free to make the decision to marry and did so willingly). But, if the couple divorce, the Church does not try to facilitate or promote reconcilation as the first approach to mending their union or individual spiritual recovery. Intead, they promote annulment, even telling parishoners they should seek an annulment as soon as possible, whether they intend to remarry or remain single.

Go to any RCIA class (for new converts) and you’ll see annulment is preached as one of the major priorities to ‘get out of the way’ for people that were never brought up in the Catholic teaching about marriage. In those same RCIA classes, they never offer any marriage counseling/reconcilation advice or avenues to mend issues with your spouse or former spouse. If asked, the priest or deacon simply refer you to seek counseling from a professional ‘therapist’ thereby absolving themselves of their spiritual duties, and of course, any liability. They are quick to shove their annulment paperwork under your nose and insist it must be done before you can come into the Church.

So the Catholic teaching that marriage is indissoluble is not congruent with its actions that promote annulments. Annulments are just a “commit your sexual sin without shame” tool. “Commit adultery and get out of hell free card.” You can’t control your lust, but you can pay this little stipend and still be accepted in the Church community. It keeps the Scripturally mis-informed parishoner coming back for the Eucharist and above all, those collections rolling in — most parishes have lavish mortgages on their mega-million-dollar McChurches.

Interesting side note, if you were married in the Catholic Church, and you ask the parish for your marriage records, they tell you that you can’t see it or get a copy. Really? Your state goverment officials where you were married have no problem providing you with your documents. Could it be because those pedophiles don’t believe in heterosexual marriage and do everything they can to undermine it? Maybe it is because they are afraid of being sued for putting their congregations through their marriage/annulment mill.

Annulments, made as easy as surfing an internet porn site, is just one of many issues that Pope Francis is promoting and in doing so, he is perverting Christ’s teachings and Scripture.

But our heavenly Father is using this earthly Christ imposter’s actions to fulfill his purposes; God is using the Catholic Church’s bad to work out good for those who will seek His face and His Divine teachings.

For those who can see how the Catholic Church is acting ‘like a dragon”, not in line with Christ’s teachings, I think it is a clear signal from God . . . he is calling us out of ‘Babylon.” “Get out of her my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins.” Revelations 18:4

20 09 2013
thangamariyappan

catholics are stupid

25 02 2012
rprimbs

I’m flabbergasted by how many people support Catholic annulments — at the same time as arguing that they support Jesus’s position on no divorce, remarriage, and adultery. It’s a breath of fresh air to read a blog as candid as yours!

7 12 2011
Susan

Blah . . . . Blah . . . . Blah . . . . Blah . . . . Furthermore, blah . . . . Blah . . . . Blah . . . . In my experience, groups of Catholic women are so far from actually practising what purports to be christianity that it is hysterically funny to contemplate. Like Tweets, discussions like the above belong in the Library of Congress so that future generations can see how stupid your religion is.

3 09 2010
Arturo Vasquez

Oh my God! They’re sinners! They can’t possibly get married!

Hogwash! The proper thing to do is for those people to get married if they so wish. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s their problem and that of their conscience. In most countries, people don’t seek annulments if the marriage doesn’t work out. Heck, in Mexico, people don’t get married in the Church just for that reason. My parents never married in the Church. But then again, Mexicans have a better sense of the sacredness of sacraments than Americans do. In Spanish-language Masses even today, a good quarter of the congregation won’t go to Communion, sometimes even more. That’s how it was like growing up.

But the idea that people who are shacked up or on the Pill have some sort of impediment for marriage, that’s just Pharisaical bullshit spread by “good Catholics” to make themselves feel holier than they really are. But when their “well-catechized” Catholic marriages don’t work out, who do they go crying to? Like I said, maybe no one should get married these days.

2 09 2010
Elaine

Arturo, I have not read this particular book by Peter Vere, but I know what he is written in the past. I think his point is not that the partners don’t “know each other” or anything like that, but honestly this question: If a couple is cohabitating and contracepting already, in what sense are they able to commit to a Catholic, sacramental union based on chastity and openness ot life? They obviously don’t believe the Church’s teachings on sexuality and marriage, so …

..you probably get the point.

75% of all engaged couples coming to RC churches for marriage are doing just that – have been living together for years and are contracepting.

I agree. The Church shouldn’t be marrying these people, at all. Let them get married by their sister the JP and then come back in ten years for a convalidatoin if it’s lasted and they’re ready.

1 09 2010
Karl

Because of the “broken post” my train of thought was derailed. All nullity decisions for nullity, by the twelve judge panel, should be unanimous or they should be defaulted in favor of the presumption of validity.

1 09 2010
Karl

Sorry, I am posting from a phone and did not mean to publish yet.

The Pope alone should allow appeal, and only to appeal a decision in favor of nullity, to the Rota. All decisions in favor of validity should stand unless, forensically substantiable, documentary, old, evidence can proof, with absolute certainty, that the marriage is invalid.

The testimony of people is too variable to hold against validity. Few of us have the integrity, knowing the winner takes all in a high stakes hand, to fold
when the choice is that hot babe or hunk or the likely loss of our soul, when “confession” is just an opaque screen away. Almost always, regardless of the suffering caused to the wrongly abandoned and the children, loses to the hottie.

It is tragic but mostly true.

1 09 2010
Karl

I am 56 so I am a Pre-V Ii model who, however, grew up in the “make love not war” generation.

When we said I do, we knew what the story was. I was 25, she was 22 but her 22 was more worldly than my 25, without being graphic. I fought, tooth and nail, emotionally not physically, to save our marriage. She said she wanted to but a Former Anglican convert to Catholicism, Catholic priest told her she deserved an annulment and was justified to divorce. This and a lack of sex, I found the condoms and the note from this priest in a nightstand, “convinced” her we were not validly married.

Bluntly, there were no grounds, the petition was perjured, meaning the falsehood was known by both my wife and the priest who sponsored it. Yes, the Former Anglican. The American case was o forgone conclusion, too twisted to detail here. Twelve years after the petition the Rota, with its Dean as the main judge, confirmed my version of the facts.

The bishops of the world wide Church need to listen to aggreived respondents and much learning needs to be done about marriage. They DO NOT NEED to hear a single word in defense of the American System. They ALL know it. What they have not heard is a man like myself recount what I have seen and experienced, without a time limit and since I won, with the Canonical benefit of the doubt should my story conflict even with a sitting Bishop or even the Pope. I simply will not lie, period. I do not believe the same about a single bishop. Not in the U.S.. if they heard many of us, they could BEGIN to understand that the completely corrupted pastoral ministry across the entire Catholic Church in America feeds into, supports and is DESIGNED to provide feedstock into a completely corrupted Tribunal System.

My background is hard science. If a group of facts are authentic and are fixed, only one conclusion regarding “morally certain” validity should be tolerated. There should be at least a dozen, like the Apostles, judges with at least half of them being respondents who have successfully defended their marriages and who are schooled in the necessary disciplines, at the expense of the Church. The Chief judge should NEVER be a priest or canon lawyer, but a lay, successful respondent, who in marriage cases has authority, exceeding, the local bishop, only answerable to the Holy Father, wit

1 09 2010
dominic

Marriage and bank robbery is an apple and orange comparison. Bank robbery cannot be invalidated, its a simple bald faced act.

A heretical non-ordained “priest” can “say” Mass all his life, hear confessions and grant “absolution” all his life, etc. yet with all the external trappings, all the supposed conviction that he was really doing those things did those “sacraments” happen? Of course not! A sacramentally invalidating error in the beginning just constitutes one huge comedy of errors in the end-regardless of the trappings and externals that might make it look legit.

As to the Jansenists, I always thought they had some point when it came to frequent Communion. St. Pius X, when encouraging frequent Communion, challenges the extreme rigorism or just simple scrupulosity when it comes in the form of having to have a confessor’s permission to approach the rail or any other overly cautious outlook. However, if people today actually followed what Pius X laid down in Sacra Tridentina Synodus we would basically be back in a state of “infrequent” Communion-and all the better for it.

As to annulments, the old way was much better. It was assumed back in the day that if you got married in the Church you were married-and that’s it. It was pretty difficult to get an annulment back then, and certainly not for all the bullshit reasons they give them out today. After reading through the new CIC and various commentaries on it, I would bet any marriage could be granted an “annulment” on some psychological grounds-and that’s scary.

It does look hypocritical but even more importantly, it seems to be undercutting our very teaching on marriage.

1 09 2010
Andrea Elizabeth

The person who explained it to me was a convert to Catholicism who was already in her second marriage at the time she converted. To be received she had to have her first marriage annulled.

1 09 2010
Arturo Vasquez

Not to judge anyone personally who has commented so far, but…

My usual understanding of the annulment process is that is usually takes place around the time when a couple wants to get married if one of them has been married before. This alludes to that perennial truth in the battle of the sexes that if she says she thinks we need to see other people, she usually already has someone in mind, possibly waiting outside in the car. My question is if that is the ideal context to find if a previous marriage was valid or not. The balance is already tilted, in that almost all of the time, all of those involved want a particular outcome, and the canonical court feels that it needs to deliver it no matter what. This is often represented at the diocesan level as another step in the “marriage preparation” process: the Church gets to take even more of your time and money so that you can get the nice photos in front of the high altar next to the elaborate flower arrangement.

I think I would personally take this more seriously if these people started asking some obvious questions.

“You were 21/24/28 when you were married previously. It lasted two years, and you had a kid. You’ve been married before, and you want to get married again. What makes you think that this time around you are going to have the right intention to ‘form a covenant’ with your spouse, and thus the indissoluble bond of marriage? How are we to know that the second time around is the charm? We’re all for second chances, but by the logic presented here, why not give people third, fourth, and fifth chances, until they get it right?”

In other words, if it is so damn hard to enter into a “real marriage” for a bunch of societal and psychological factors, why let anyone get married in the Church at all? Even “good Catholics” seem to get annulments now, and we could all name names, but that would be mean. I think all of us who are married could come up with lots of reasons how we were “pressured” to get married, how we didn’t really know our spouse beforehand, etc. Most of these have to do with the near infinite capacity of human beings to bullshit. Modern people are pretty darn good at coming up with excuses for self-absolution.

In the end, I have no problems with people playing the system. Human life is messy, and cookie-cutter solutions seldom work. But the Catholic Church requires lots of people to sleep in lonely beds at night, so to bend the rules so obviously for a group of people for whom a church wedding is a part of their middle class American dream can seem to be nothing but hypocrisy to many on the outside (and inside) of the Church.

31 08 2010
Andrea Elizabeth

I am not really looking for advice, but am using my situation to put things in context. I am very glad to hear you talk about varying individual circumstances. This is the basis for Orthodox economeia where a Bishop evaluates the specifics of a situation. The Catholics paint themselves into a corner when they make blanket rules that are supposed to apply to every situation and have instituted a blanket response – excommunication, which is why they’ve had to come up with annulments in the first place. Or else they’d excommunicate 50% of their congregation. Maybe 25% of them deserve it – the selfish abandoners. Furthermore, I do not believe it is prudent to say every person who marries is bound to stay married – there are mistakes, but their only remedy is to say the marriage didn’t exist. That goes too far. And I don’t think it is prudent to externally impose celibacy on everyone. It would be ideal, and should be encouraged and supported, as I said above about monasteries. Orthodoxy says that there are two options – marriage or monasticism. Monasticism should be done in a monastic community. Most of these don’t allow children to live there. To be a monastic living alone, left to your own devices is not the intention. This is not to say that they excommunicate single people living alone – the Orthodox Church is not legalistic in this way. They suggest what is best for your salvation, then sort of leave it to people to accept it (like the verse about the three types of Eunuchs, with the caveat that not all can accept it) or not, and then the Bishop decides in each case who is crossing the line. The line is selfishness, not external circumstances.

Adultery is selfish, but I have been lead to believe by those who are personally responsible for my soul (not strangers on the internet), that not all remarriage is adultery. When I was a divorced Protestant, and thus my own sola Scriptura pope, I “claimed” the verse, 1 Cor 7:15, But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

31 08 2010
Karl

One must always respect marriage to a fault or its value, in human eyes, becomes questionable and society is destabilized.

Only you know your circumstances. Having children does not justify a relationship that is not valid. It can be used as an excuse. It frequently is. When children are “used” in this manner, it is disgusting. All manner of abuse becomes “ok” using the children, conceived in sin, as excuses.

To properly evaluate such complex circumstances, I would say based upon the little information yielded here, is not possible. What I am certain of is that the errant choices by all of the adults in this situation is more typical than it is not and it should give each of the adults pause to reflect upon their own poor judgment. The children are precious and innocent. You have put them in a powder keg.

This is a keen example of how what the Catholic Church teaches is sound, although precious few practice it.

I know what I would do were I in your position and I realized what I had done. But that will stay with me.

I faced the same abandonment as you. I had no reason to accept the “stigma” of being divorced. I did all I could not to be. I chose to remain faithful to our vows and it is a good thing. I will not condemn you because I remain a moment’s weakness/temptation away. I understand well the necessity to care for your children.

Self-righteousness is the flip side of selfishness. I am guilty of both too many
times. More “advice” from me about what to do would do more harm than good, as I see it. Much discerment is most sorely needed but the path is treacherous and filled with emotional landmines.

May God be with you and especially your precious children. I mean that very sincerely.

31 08 2010
Andrea Elizabeth

Karl,

I was a protestant when I remarried. To enter into the ideal Catholic Church are you saying that I would have to get a divorce (or at least separate) from my second husband even though we have/had two children together?

31 08 2010
Karl

Elizabeth,

You seem to misunderstand the Catholic concept of marriage and the blessing the Church bestows upon you by not joining in complicity with an adulterous second liason that is gravely scandalous and may lead to your eternal separation from God.

You are just the opposite of being punished. It is your choice. You are endangering yourself and abandoning the public vows you spoke with your husband. His unfaithfulness is no excuse. You are in very serious matters here, which you disregard over “feelings”. I know, exactly, what that is like.

You cannot or will not see the stark danger you are in. I have said what I can. I am not your judge. You need to extricate yourself from your current path.

31 08 2010
Andrea Elizabeth

When I was inquiring into Catholicism and heard that the Catholics could make my divorce go away by saying that we were never married in the first place, I briefly thought how nice it would be to remove that horrible stigma from my conscience and thus the Scarlet Letter from my blouse since I am remarried. Then I had a George Bailey/Mr. Potter moment and wiped the clammy deal off of my hands. I was married. He left. I have learned to let him go, accepting the stigma and all. Remarriage is another subject. Most people, especially young ones, don’t go for the hair shirt, but if we had stronger monastic communities (who will help raise the abandoned children) in America, maybe more would. Orthodoxy reluctantly accepts this reality and doesn’t punish (excommunicate nor pretend it never happened) repentant people forever.

30 08 2010
FrGregACCA

Okay, but suppose your wife got the annulment: are you going to appeal all the way to Rome to get it overturned? This seems like a phyrric victory to me, one that is certainly not going to bring the estranged spouse back and one that can only burden HER conscience. Regardless of the specific circumstances, it seems the height of nothing but vindicativeness to me.

30 08 2010
Jared B.

Is there any documentation about the ‘Catholic annulment factory’ outside the U.S.? Is this present practice of tribunals principally an American phenomenon or is it worldwide? The whole thing looks a lot to me like a Catholic equivalent of (capitulation to?) America’s no-fault divorce craze that sweeped the country at roughly the same time, justified by the unhealthy absorption of psychology right at the moment in history when that science was at its most self-help narcissistic. (Cue ‘smoke of Satan’ analogies…) I dunno about infrequent Communion but we could use some of those orders of penitents the Jansenists were hot on reviving. I know that if, God forbid, my wife up and left me and all my friends (and, also God forbid, even my priest) were ‘consoling’ me telling me I can always get an annulment and re-marry, I’d rather live out my days as a cranky bachelor in a hair shirt whose kids get to visit on Christmas, than give in to all that Rogerian feel-good bullshit.

30 08 2010
Karl

Misery is the future of those who reject God’s love. Sometimes His love requires sacrifice. We don’t generally like sacrifice too much, as humans. Thus, some take the high road, others the lower roads. Be careful that you refrain from acting in the place of God, unnecessarily, by correcting what is not yours to correct and the like. He is a jealous God.

Don’t be troubled over restraining orders. There were none between us.

Her soul and many others are in danger from circumstances like this, everywhere. Those who should care, do not and are lost in modernism, refusing to turn from it. Many are, so called, small “o” orthodox/traditional/conservative or whatever they may call themselves. They are simply lost on the “left” and on the “right”. Their excuses are legion. Most easily they like to blame the “victims” making them into aggressors. They may even be not far from truth in their assessments, once in awhile. But, still they are lost and do grave harm through their egotistical application of what they know better than to say, when they simply should work to heal ” what God has joined”.

Vengeance belongs to God; not to you, nor me. Justice is not vengeance. Without justice, charity is separated from God and becomes a cancer, especially when it infects the pastoral actions of the Church and is usurped through the misappropriated “Spirit of Vatican II.” This is what is at work here and those who should know better are spreading that cancer, refusing to acknowledge the evidence of their own virulence and lethality.

In time, the “Holy Spirit” WILL lead those who are faithful to this knowledge.
Till then, we “mere asses and stones” will witness to God’s vision of marriage, even against the “princes of the Church and the Holy Father himself”.

I appreciate any prayers on my behalf or on behalf of my family. Thank you.

29 08 2010
FrGregACCA

Whatever, Karl. I notice that you did not respond to my question about restraining orders.

I am sorry that you are so miserable. I will pray for you.

29 08 2010
Karl

A sad post mortem, judgemental autopsy on a living valid sacrament!

I am sorry for you, Greg and those who you advise, if what you have written here is characteristic of how you belive and live. Careful of that wood in your eye.

This application of understanding a sacrament is, at least in my simple comprehension of things, a clear indication of the gulf between the East and West in Apostolic small “c” catholicism. This, in reality, leads to scandal in those Rites in “union” with Rome when they “minister” to “Latin” Catholics with “Orthodox” theology, that has no real place in Catholicism. This is an observation and conclusion based upon solid experience, it IS NOT an attack. I am no thelogian, but I know how marriages are “negated” by Eastern Rite Catholic priests, in direct violation of the teaching of the Roman Pontiff to whom they “claim” allegience.

I am done.

29 08 2010
Tancred

I blame society, man.

29 08 2010
FrGregACCA

Well, Karl, in the East, the essence of marriage does not consist in the consent of the parties involved. It. like all other sacraments, is “confected” by the priest, not the couple.

Anyway, I see that you have moved on from Dr. Mike’s blog to Arturo’s.

You write above that you appealed all the way to Rome and you won, meaning, presumably, that the annulment obtained by your wife was overturned by the Vatican.

Okay, so what are you going to do when you meet a woman YOU want to marry? Did you think of that? Or, perhaps, you realize that, given the quality of your personality, you are not likely to meet a woman who would want to marry you?

Let me put this another way: I would LOVE to hear your wife’s version of y’all’s life together. Here’s the problem I’m having: if she is entirely at fault, if that’s all there is to it, then why bother? Let her go. You’re too good for her. However, I really don’t think that was the case, was it? Were restraining orders involved? Just askin’.

29 08 2010
Karl

Both Eastern and Western approaches, as the “major” ones are failures.

The West tries to be most faithful to Christ but fails to listen to those of us who have defended our valid marriages. The East needs very serious repentance from its adulterous practice. For what the East allows only scandal and cheapening of marriage commitment results. The West destroys the faith of abandoned spouses who watch as it refuses to act on behalf of their marriages while accepting the “reality” of the adulterous civil living arrangements.

I reject both solutions and remain living in accordance with the public vows we spoke. I have enough of my own sin for many lifetimes but I would rather face God for my failings than to be a sitting bishop in the East or the West. They are, with respect to marriage, disgusting to a man, unless their is a bishop who has not come to light who requires repentance, period, or issues a formal excommunication in hopes of reconciling the soul(s) involved to the will of God, after a formal, unjustified, divorce.

I have never heard of an instance, at least in my lifetime. Hence, although the East and West are the two “lungs of the Church”, they need to lose their
“COPD” and lift marriage up by accepting not a single, unjustified, divorce.

They sit under the judgment of God for their insolence. Thank God!

29 08 2010
FrGregACCA

“I seriously doubt you are unfamiliar with the polemic in this regard. I recall the Lord saying, “What God has joined, let no man set asunder”

Certainly, but at some point, Rome, for whatever reason, went in one direction and Constantinople, at least, went in another. When were these decisions made and under what circumstances?

29 08 2010
M.Z.

I tend to think the problem was more with Trent than Vatican II, if I may be so blasphemous. What it amounted to politically was a temper tantrum. The State assumes the power to make and dissolve marriages, and the Church says, “Meh, we won’t recognize your marriages.” Vatican II was an attempt to dig out of that hole by recognizing once again the secular reality of marriage.

It seems to me that there is enough legally to prevent the more scandalous situations from occurring were there the will. While the Church was in the lead in fighting miscegenation laws in this country, I wouldn’t be shocked if there were examples of parishes where such marriages weren’t allowed. The most explicit instance of seeking denial is with youth marriage where pastors are charged with discouraging these unions. (Can 1072) Canon 1071 seems to provide the latitude of addressing folks with natural marriages: “Except in a case of necessity, a person is not to assist without the permission of the local ordinary at: … a marriage of a person who is bound by natural obligations toward another party or children arising from a previous union;” But as I stated above, this would require a willingness to address the issue, and I think there is a certain credence to the charge that demagoguery is at play with those that want to focus on gay marriage.

What I’m interested in is how and when Rome came to the conclusion that a valid marriage is indissoluable. Orthodoxy, basing itself on our Lord’s words
I seriously doubt you are unfamiliar with the polemic in this regard. I recall the Lord saying, “What God has joined, let no man set asunder.”

29 08 2010
Karl

I meant “as I reject NO accountibility….”

Sorry. Poor editing and haste.

29 08 2010
Karl

I won my nullity case in Rome after 12 years of Church battles. It was meaningless. My wife, from the beginning was encouraged in her adultery and still is. I have recently returned to Mass after many years away and, formally defected in 2006, so only God knows my status.

I reject, as pure inexcusable adultery, these horrendous “penitential” marriages as I reject accoutability for those who encourage wrongful divorce and nullity, spouses and their cohort(clergy included).

The hierarchy is NOT INTERESTED in truth. Expediency and money are their carrots. I think very serious damages has long been done and is being done through the battle cry of mercy as it slays both justice and countless souls, young and not-so-young.

It is a living hell to have “survived”(what a joke that survival is, more like living death) a nullity process all the way through Rome.

Nice post. Really. Too bad it will fall on the ears of the chosen deaf!

28 08 2010
FrGregACCA

As I understand it, Rome started considering “psychological impediments” to consent after Vatican II, something that it had not done before.

What I’m interested in is how and when Rome came to the conclusion that a valid marriage is indissoluable. Orthodoxy, basing itself on our Lord’s words concerning divorce in the case of adultery, grants divorces and allows re-marriage within the Church. It even has a special service for a second marriage.

This seems much more sensible than turning anullment into what amounts to divorce under another name.

28 08 2010
Sam Urfer

It would also account for the fact that the children of an annulled marriage are still considered legitimate.

28 08 2010
Sam Urfer

That seems reasonable to me.

28 08 2010
A Sinner

“the question is whether a couple were actually *sacramentally* married”

Yes, but the current system in the West also gives the impression that, for two Christians, the only marriage possible is a Sacramental one, and therefore, if it wasn’t a Sacrament, it was nothing but “putative.”

In reality, and based on the theology of the East, I’d say that a Christian couple could still contract a purely Natural Marriage even if there was some defect to the validity of the Sacrament properly so called. This takes care of the doublespeak that claims that “no marriage” happened when, clearly, it looked like a duck and quacked like a duck. I discussed this here:

http://renegadetrad.blogspot.com/2010/01/concrete-proposals-vis-vis-orthodox.html

28 08 2010
Sam Urfer

That is a pretty warped statement, especially in regards to this understanding of Vatican II, which as far as I am aware, had no impact on the theology of annulments. This commentator makes the same error that secularists do – conflating the sacramental and legal aspects of marriage; the question is whether a couple were actually *sacramentally* married, which can be dicey when couples are doing things such as deciding to never have any children on purpose, which reduces the matter to a legitimized fuck-buddy.

I am of the opinion that the hierarchy is handing out annulments like candy right now, but they do have an ancient basis, as *any* sacrament can be annulled (declared non-existent) if there is sufficient reason to doubt the presence of the matter and form in the administration of the sacrament. During the Investiture Crisis, hiearchs had fun annulling the Holy Orders of each other’s priests. I know of one case of a half-Jewish boy who was tricked into being baptized by his mother, who then got his baptism annulled due to his lack of intent: http://www.jewsingreen.com/myimages/featured/letter.jpg

If I’m not mistaken, adult Jews forced into baptism by angry mobs in earlier times could apply for annulments, due to the invalidity of the intent.

28 08 2010
Thomas

So you don’t believe that any marriage is null, invalid or whatever? I’m just trying to clarify. Because, as far as I know, annullments weren’t invented in 1965. If you’re arguing about the widened circumstances to be considered, well, yeah, but the power itself (which seems to be youur point)…that’s claim isn’t new. The Church claims authority over all marriages, everywhere, between anyone, because it’s a natural union.

But you already know that.

28 08 2010
Henry Karlson

Marriage, as a sacrament, has never been properly worked out, and I think a big part of it is because marriage exists outside of the sacrament as well. While I believe in the sacrament, very strongly, I do think realism is needed (as I have said elsewhere).

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