With apologies for the long break from blogging, here is something I saw via Mary's Advocates (who promote a proper understanding of Catholic marriage). This married permanent deacon, on being trained in the matter of marriage anullments, made the unpleasant discovery that his happy, successful, 17-year marriage could easily be annulled - that is, it would clearly be possible to gain a declaration of nullity, given the circumstances of their getting married. (See the video at 3 1/2 minutes in.)
I suspect that this will be the case for a good number of Catholics with happy marriages. It doesn't necessarily mean that these marriages are actually invalid. Some might be, and the best response might be to make them valid, which should not be difficult to do. But the idea that the current legal procedures of the Church, coupled with the current practices in relation to marriage preparation, combine to mean that vast numbers of couples could walk away from their marriage vows, is vertiginous.
If this isn't something that Bishops and priests should do something about, urgently, I don't know what is.
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It seems as if either or both of the deacon & his wife have married for the second time but it makes his sermon less relevant if he does not explain the reasons why the marriage might be capable of annulment. The one thing that we hear is that annulments are more easily granted in the USA than in other countries. What does this say about Catholic marriage or the Church?ReplyDelete
The Catholic Church is under grave assault at present – from within. From Gradualist versions of Relativistic Modernism.ReplyDelete
By definition Gradualists never use frontal assault. Their weapons are ambiguity, innuendo and the alteration of practise to alter belief.
Examples are, 100% reception of Holy Communion regardless, also reception in the hand from un-annointed hands of laity - both designed to dissolve belief in the Real Presence.
Also, maximum lay partition and lay involvement during the Mass, while the priest sits at the side looking bored or glum, and pops across for 5/10 minutes or so for the Gospel and Consecration - all of which is designed to diminish and then dissolve belief in the Mass as the re-enactment of the Sacrifice of Christ ion the Cross for the Redemption of Mankind, and of Ordained Priesthood.
The current moves on annulment are part of this process, an insidious attack on the Indissolubility of Marriage. Soon anyone who has had a tiff with the wife, and there are a few of us come to think of it, will be able to plead the marriage was never valid, (if the wife doesn't beat us to it?) and the bird three doors down the street is actually the real intended?
What a mess!
An aspect of the actual procedures in the determination of annulment petitions which happened after the latest (1980's) Code of Canon Law seems to have made petitions " easier " to obtain.ReplyDelete
1. The addition of an additional ground for an an invalid marriage based on one or both partners be psychologically unfit to make a genuine decision to marry , I.e. lacking maturity.
2. The introduction of lay members to the Diocesan Marriage Tribunals in the role of "Auditors " who undertake recorded interview with a petitioner and witnesses , putting to them prearranged general questions (set by the Judicial Vicar ) , such questions relating to situation prior to the marriage, the marriage itself and throughout the period prior to break-up .
Lay people have , in some cases, also been allotted the role of Defender of the Bond , who , once all the evidence has been gathered , have the duty of addressing to the Tribunal Judges ( who may include lay persons ) such positive aspects of the marriage which accord with its validity.
It should be noted that the lay members generally have no legal training . Usually they attend a few training days.
The Catholic Church is in an impossible dilemma over marriage. It believes that marriage is indissoluble, but has to face the obvious fact that some marriages - real, true marriages - do dissolve. The only way it can deal with this is by trying to make out that a marriage that dissolves was never a true marriage, but denying reality leads nowhere. Hence the dishonesty of the annulment procedures.ReplyDelete
What the Church could do - seeing that marriage has to be a civil union as well as a religious sacramental one - is to recognise as valid all legal marriages (heterosexual ones I mean), be prepared to bless them as such and in the case of a second marriage leave open the question of whether it is sacramental or not - God can deal with that. (Only highly religious people need the fantasy of certainty. Ordinary believers know that they have to live with uncertainty and ambiguity, because that is what human life is like, and trust God to be with them in the uncertainty). The Church would not preside over a second marriage, but would be able to do away completely with the nonsense of annulment, saving itself a lot of expense and people a lot of heartache. Divorced and remarried people could then receive holy communion as they would not be breaking any church law.
If this is held to contradict church teaching or Scripture so be it - a lot of that is contradictory anyway, its interpretation unclear.
Whether the Church could ever do things in such a sensible way as this one may well doubt, so ordinary people will continue to ignore its teaching and do what they think is right before God.
"It believes that marriage is indissoluble, but has to face the obvious fact that some marriages - real, true marriages - do dissolve."Delete
No, they really don't. Except maybe in the loose sense that some real, true men really do change their sex by amputating their genitals and slipping on a sun dress.
"What the Church could do - seeing that marriage has to be a civil union as well as a religious sacramental one - is to recognise as valid all legal marriages (heterosexual ones I mean), be prepared to bless them as such and in the case of a second marriage leave open the question of whether it is sacramental or not - God can deal with that."
Except the Church cannot do that, because a valid marriage cannot exist between baptized persons without it being, by that fact, a sacrament. The Church cannot possibly be silent about such things without making herself complicit in the lies, adulteries, and injustices of others.
You are looking at marriage in an abstract unreal, purely doctrinal way and doctrine separated from reality does a lot of harm. Because of that there is muchReplyDelete
inconsistency in the Church's practice. If someone has a marriage annulled by the Church that carries no legal weight, so they cannot marry again in church without a legal divorce - so the Church to that extent has to recognise the "rightness' of divorce. Because marriage is a legal civil union the Church cannot be involved in it entirely on its own terms.
I would be cautious about accusing others of lies, adultery and injustice. No doubt a lot of that goes on, but some marriages simply die without any particular fault on anyone's part. If you think this does not happen you are not living in the real world. Is the Church going to be helpful to such people or not? Annulment is not the way. It acts as a device for allowing some people to remarry in church while pretending it is something else - which is dishonest. But this is what will happen if the Church insists on dealing with marriage entirely according to its own understanding.