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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