Easy Annulments?


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There is much discussion on this site about the ease of getting an Annulment in today’s Church and how this somehow shows that our Church is pro-divorce.  I honestly don’t believe that is a fair assessment of the state of our Church or the divorced/annulled people on this site and how we collectively view divorce.

You will have to trust me when I tell you there is nothing easy about Annulments. First off, it is a lengthy process. Secondly, it is a process that requires quite a bit of self-reflection and assessment which is not an easy thing for us humans to do, especially when seeking to understand motives. Lastly, it may not be this way for all people, but I found it to be quite an emotionally harrowing experience of just knowing that the trajectory of my entire life rested with the decision of the tribunal. And all this comes after the tragedy of the humiliation of our civil court system and living through that divorce process. Honestly, there is nothing easy about Annulments.

Perhaps what people mean when they talk of the ease of Annulments is the action of the Church in granting them. Annulment however, is the end of the process. If it seems that many people are receiving annulments, we must look to the beginning, to the cause. An annulment determines if the marriage is valid at its inception. This can’t always be determined by what happened during the marriage itself though these can be symptoms of a problem. Holy Mother Church looks to the beginning to see if both parties understood and undertook the institution of marriage properly. If there are impediments to this at the beginning then oftentimes the marriage is declared null at the end.

So in actuality, the annulment process really begins with preparation for marriage. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that my marriage preparation consisted of my former spouse and I meeting with a priest for about two hours and taking a standardized test. This was the entirety of our marriage preparation. I am not saying this to lay the blame of the situation on the Church, I am merely recounting my own personal experience. In defense of the Church, I have to say that I would have gotten married to this man even if I was sent away for a week-long retreat and had every priest I knew telling me it was a bad idea. Because that is where I was in my life at the time and one of the only reasons I got married in the Church was for my father.

Quite obviously, I did not truly understand the institution of marriage and the Catholic Church. Why was this? Honestly, I was never taught. I knew the party line:  “until death do us part” etc. but I did not come from a faith-filled family and my CCD classes consisted of making felt banners and singing songs. This lack of real marriage preparedness came to light during the Annulment process. Should this gift of a second chance be denied to me or to anyone who after many years of intense Catholic study now understands what marriage truly is in the Church when then we did not?

And another word about marriage preparation:

There were no marriage preparation classes at the parish that I got married at because there was no one there to run them. I should say that again: there were no marriage prep courses at that parish because there was no one there to run them. The pastor told us that he had stopped requiring couples to attend the diocese event because they just would not go.  So he would meet with couples personally and refer those who he felt needed it onto further preparation. Again, I don’t say this to assign blame because in these and all circumstances where priests are doing the best they can, how can we judge? Is it really any wonder then, why there are so many annulments in our Church today?

We are all part of the body of Christ and all called to use our gifts and talents to Evangelize. I am quite sure that the people of my generation, unless they were raised in a fully devout family, had many of the same experiences as I did in learning about marriage in the Church. And so I must ask, what are we doing about it now? How much time and energy do you devote to stewardship at your parish?  Are you involved in ministries there?






43 Comments

  1. Daniel-1107225 July 17, 2014 Reply

    My view is that each of us who have been through the divorce process should pray and reflect deeply on God’s will for our lives. The difficulties in the annulment process combined with the challenges of raising my three children have called me to seriously consider consecrated celibacy. I thought this state to be unimaginable previously. Attending Theology of the Body and knowing the pain in my heart draw me closer to the purpose and end of our existence – to be with God. Consecrated celibacy is not for everyone. I am just sharing my reflection that I am discerning this state to live the life we are distend to live with God.

  2. John-1049932 July 17, 2014 Reply

    If a spouse has been abandoned and their spouse divorced, or they have been the victim of adultery the Church should grant an annulment. The spouse who left and divorced, or who committed adultery has terminated the marriage covenant. The not guilty spouse should not, and may not be able to prove that the original marriage was invalid. The Churc punishes spouses who were not at fault and did not agree to divorce, This is very wrong.

    • Tom-995241 July 17, 2014 Reply

      I must say John has a good point.

    • Jerry-74383 July 17, 2014 Reply

      John, an annulment (technically, a declaration of nullity) is a determination by a marriage tribunal that the marriage was not valid at its inception, not an evaluation of what happened after a valid marriage was initiated. If a marriage is valid at its inception, sacramental (i.e., between two baptized Christians), and consummated, the Church does not have the ability to allow for another marriage, This is not a punishment for the innocent spouse — or the guilty one, for that matter — but due to the permanence of a valid marriage as designed by God. No wrong committed by either spouse can terminate that covenant (“for better, for worse… until death do us part”)

      Are there cases where an innocent party has to suffer due to the actions of another? Absolutely! But while these situations are regretful, they are are cross the innocent party has been asked to bear. In such cases, there are two choices: one can focus on the suffering, which fosters resentment and anger; or one can accept the cross and carry it as Jesus did His. There is an excellent homily (not specific to divorce) by Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa on YouTube that may be helpful in understanding the importance and necessity of suffering to our salvation: http://youtu.be/YvAkMI-A5D4?t=1h19m

    • Joe-364077 July 17, 2014 Reply

      I agree with John.

      • Phil-1109621 July 18, 2014 Reply

        It is immaterial whether we agree or disagree with John.

        We allow ourselves to be jerked around by our feeling, emotions, or what a worldly perspective thinks is right.

        What matters is what is in line with the bible and the teachings of the Church.

    • Jesse-536824 July 17, 2014 Reply

      The Church can’t just lie. Either their is a valid, sacramental marriage or their isn’t. If it was a valid marriage, then there are real, concrete vows that must be upheld. The Church can’t pretend these don’t exist. They do. If someone had no intention of being faithful, that’s one thing, if his intention was to stay faithful and he doesn’t, he still meant the vow.

      An annulment means no marriage ever happened. The Church can’t change a reality.

    • Joseph-924851 July 18, 2014 Reply

      “The spouse who left and divorced, or who committed adultery has terminated the marriage covenant.”

      No, he or she hasn’t, because he or she simply do not possess the power to do that with their spiteful and/or self-centered act. Marriage is not just a contract between two people (which is what you describe above, though wrongly employing the word covenant), though modern society has attempted to remake it into something much less powerful and more malleable than God intended. It is instead a covenant brought into reality by the permission and then action of the greatest power in the cosmos, who has decreed it unbreakable during the remainder of that couple’s lifetime. He has spoken. It is so. No action to sunder it, if indeed it was formed, may do so—no matter how inconvenient that sacrament may be to someone who wishes to “move on with” their “life.” One may, indeed, be able to move forward, but … they’ll not be able to break those spiritual bonds, no matter that they ignore them.

    • Marc-1146985 December 9, 2014 Reply

      Yes, John has an excellent and logical point….hey Jerry…give it a break!
      Suffering doesn’t save our souls….if that was the case everyone that ever lived would be in Heaven.
      What a pointless and tired examination by Jerry….sigh

  3. Leo-1097313 July 17, 2014 Reply

    I learned a great deal about myself throughout the discoveries of my petition for annulment. Thank God my advocate charged me with going deep into the questions. My annulment questionnaire, once completed was 32 pages long. The number of pages only reflects how much I put into it. I discovered the patterns I grew up with – never mind my spouse – I was confronted with the patterns of an emotional minefield. Sure enough, I kept stepping on emotional mines as long as I stayed in that pattern. Over time and with a great deal of prayer, I learned God wanted intimacy for me and true intimacy requires the true child of God to come forward and embrace the Father.
    We can get wrapped up in what the Church should and shouldn’t do – I did. I know now that Jesus raised the bar in terms of marriage and a couple has to apply the greatest commandment to God first and then to each other as to themselves before being able to say “I do”. Since the petition forms are available online, I think a prospective couple should go answer the questions and share them with each other in preparation for marriage… and never in a rush.
    Cor ad cor loquitur

    • Marc-1146985 December 9, 2014 Reply

      That’s a point that Leo makes that I’ve shared with others myself. My annulment was the ugliest emotional and spiritual experience of my life.
      Having been there, done that, I too think a role play of an annulment should be part of the marriage prep….it gives both folks a heads up of the worst possible outcome.
      When I joined the military I was trained to fight to live with pride, and also how to die with honor….I knew all the consequences of my decisions.
      When I was married in the Catholic church I never saw a divorce or an annulment coming…who would, but I was utterly and sadly unprepared for both…especially the annulment.
      Leo makes a great point….incorporate part of the annulment dialogue in the marriage prep…a heads up is better than trying to figure it out later….great idea Leo! I think the more folks have to dig deep and really think long term, the wiser their choices will be.

  4. Daniel-1062944 July 17, 2014 Reply

    There is debate as to the ease of obtaining the annulment of a marriage, the causes are: discretion grave lack of judgment (psychological immaturity) canon 1095.2; inability to assume the obligations causes psychic canon 1095.3; exlusion and simulation (fidelity or the children). It all depends on the evidence, the seriousness of the facts, and the mentality of judges. The theme is the overall health of people. Today it is known that the feminist (Lb) and (bg) contraceptive use, abortion, alcohol and drugs are the main cases: causes of child abuse, home violence or harassment.There is no perfect marriage, but there are certain parameters that are out of the reasonable.

    Daniel Fernando Gomez Tamayo
    PhD canon law
    Defender of Bone
    Metropolitan Tribunal of Bogota.

    • Joan-529855 July 19, 2014 Reply

      “There is no perfect marriage, but there are certain parameters that are out of the reasonable.”
      I agree, however abortion, alcohol, contraceptive use and/or drugs are not grounds for divorce, neither is child abuse, home violence or harassment. These are all very good REASONS to file for legal separation and a restraining order, however they are NOT grounds for annulment nor are they a “reason” to file for divorce.
      Scripture makes it very clear that the only “grounds” for divorce is adultery, and even then it was recommended that married couples “forgive” rather than divorce. Annulments are not scriptural and were intended to be used to separate married couples in very RARE cases; just ask King Henry the VIII.
      The ease of attaining an annulment varies greatly between countries and dioceses, which you pointed out in regards to the “mentality of the judges”.
      You would think that the “defender of the bond” would be required to be a LOCAL practicing Catholic who adheres to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, and not someone who “picks and chooses”. Unfortunately this is not the case, which is a real shame. If the defender of the bond doesn’t even uphold the teachings of the Catholic faith, no wonder such a large number of annulments are granted.

  5. Michelle-989480 July 17, 2014 Reply

    I did not find anything easy about the annulment process. My process lasted 4 years. I wrote over a hundred ~by hand~ theme paper pages for the Tribunal. I had telephone interviews, an in person interview, eyewitness statements and interviews,etc.. I even had my ex-husband participate in the process because I felt he was morally bound to do so even though he was not required to actively participate. I put all my trust in God because only He, myself and my former spouse knew the intimate story of our relationship and marriage. My role was to present my very best case to the Tribunal for their understanding. I certainly learned a lot about the true Sacrament of Marriage during the annulment.

  6. Jerry-74383 July 17, 2014 Reply

    Decisions regarding petitions for a declaration of nullity are decided on a diocese-by-diocese basis. Ideally the process would be the same, or very close, in all dioceses; however, as in all activities where human judgement is involved, that is not the case.

  7. Gabriel-987037 July 18, 2014 Reply

    This is very enlightening…here are valid reasons for an annulment to be obtained. I suggest reading them carefully and considering really how many marriages fall into these categories. http://www.stmarys-waco.org/documents/Grounds%20for%20Marriage%20Annulment%20in%20the%20Catholic%20Church.pdf

    • Marita-847688 July 18, 2014 Reply

      I’d say about 90 percent or more!!! I intentionally use my search for never marrieds. Does that mean if I married my marriage would be considered null and void?

      • Jerry-74383 July 18, 2014 Reply

        Marita, why would you expect you marriage might be null based on who you searched for on CM?

        • Marita-847688 July 18, 2014 Reply

          Because I prefer never marrieds. I am not completely against dating someone with an annullment, but if I were to meet a great guy, but his marriage has been annulled that would probably turn me away. Likewise, if I were to meet a nice man and he was a never married that . Basically for the most part, I only seek out never marrieds, so wouldn’t it be like going against cannon law that I am marrying someone (assuming I loved him, too) if he had never been married before?

          • Jerry-74383 July 18, 2014 Reply

            That’s a matter of personal preference; it would not invalidate an otherwise valid marriage any more than if you only consider marrying men who are over 6 feet tall. One could argue the wisdom of making either condition as an absolute litmus test, but that’s an entirely different discussion.

          • Marita-847688 July 19, 2014 Reply

            Then I must be misinterpreting the part in the link about only marrying someone because they have never been married before.

          • Jerry-74383 July 19, 2014 Reply

            If you are looking at the item referencing canon 1102 sec. 2 (past condition), that is an example of a condition that would invalidate **if the condition was not met** (in other words, if you made not having been married a strict condition of your consent, the person told you he had never been married, and in fact he had been, then the marriage is invalid unless you later provide the missing consent.

        • Marita-847688 July 20, 2014 Reply

          Oh. Now I understand.

  8. Clement-669539 July 18, 2014 Reply

    I understand where John is coming from, but Jerry got it right.

    I don’t blame the Church for my suffering. It’s just ridiculous. The headline seemed a touch misleading to me. Love to hear a members experiences of a “Easy” annulment, enlighten us here on CM. I am surprised to see so many members here that have been granted annulments. I have dealt with two dioceses and neither has provided an advocate to assist me in prepare my case. I have had to hire an outside Cannon Law firm for round two. One bit of advice, don’t place all your eggs/grounds in one basket. All the best.

  9. Jack-752986 July 18, 2014 Reply

    Also affecting approval rates are diocesan-level efforts to (legitimately) ease their administrative burdens.

    Fifty+ years ago, as society became more disordered, the number of divorces grew.

    As divorces increased, the number of people seeking annulments also increased.

    Given the lack of proper catechesis, one would expect that the number of invalid annulment applications would also increase, perhaps even disproportionately. Many diocesan tribunals were quickly overwhelmed. Their obvious desire would be to process as many valid annulments as quickly as possible and avoid ruling on invalid cases (which would be better handled in one-on-one pastoral settings).

    To manage the caseload tsunami, dioceses had each parish identify an annulment “expert” to help counsel parishioners, screen out obviously invalid cases, and pre-screen the paperwork should that path be pursued. Dioceses also started giving seminars on annulments for divorced parishioners. As a result of the above (and other) changes, annulment cases that eventually reach the tribunal are of much higher quality (on average). The percentage of cases that receive a decree of nullity also climbs.

    That is, some (if not most) of the high approval rates are the result of a more effective screening processes.

  10. James-1082060 July 18, 2014 Reply

    According to the Vatican’s 2007 Statistics of the Church, U.S. annulments went from 338 total in 1968 to a peak of 63,933 in 1991 (there may be more up-to-date statistics, but these are readily available online). Since 1991 annulments dropped off to about 35,000 in 2007 (compared to approximately 250,000 U.S. Catholic marriages in 1961 vs. 200,000 in 2007). I believe the decrease in annulments from 1991 to 2007 was due more to the drop off in people seeking approval of the church for anything, let alone annulment or marriage. Very few Catholics (less than 8%) get married in the church, and I’d assume even less of a percentage of Catholics who should petition the Church to determine the validity of their marriage after a civil dissolution bother to do so (and hence the reason why there are millions of divorced Catholics who re-married without benefit of annulment or valid marriage ceremony, and why this issue has joined the chorus of “non-traditional” issues brought up by “non-traditionalists”).

    What this says to me is that there is still a tremendous number of people seeking an annulment, and you are right in saying a system that historically dealt with hundreds is now dealing with tens of thousands. Something usually gives in these predicaments, whether it is increased time needed for review, changes in streamlining/modernization of the process (I assume most tribunal’s request everything be done digitally and submitted digitally), or (hopefully not this one) less than detailed court adjudication of the true state of the marriage at the time of the vows. I’ve no feel for any of these, and statistics tell you nothing about them. But the sheer numbers of annulment sentences granted in favor of nullity (approximately 83%) has the outward appearance of making the whole process seem like a formality. Unless, of course, you are one of the 17% who’s case is renounced by the Tribunal. To those people, the whole process will likely seem arcane and obtuse, and it at best will lead to a trial of their faith. In the worse case they will just become another Catholic who declines to listen to the Church in matters of marriage. Anyone in this situation definitely has my prayers.

  11. Bernard-2709 July 19, 2014 Reply

    POPE-ROTA Jan-29-2009

    Pope cautions tribunals against granting annulments too easily

    By Cindy Wooden
    Catholic News Service

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Granting marriage annulments too easily and without real cause plays into a modern form of pessimism that basically says human beings are not able to make lifelong commitments to loving another person, Pope Benedict XVI said.

    “We run the risk of falling into an anthropological pessimism which, in the light of today’s cultural situation, considers it almost impossible to marry,” the pope said in a speech Jan. 29 to members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

    The tribunal mainly deals with appeals filed in marriage annulment cases.

    Pope Benedict said there is still a need to deal with a problem Pope John Paul II pointed out in a 1987 speech to the Roman Rota, that of saving the church community from “the scandal of seeing the value of Christian marriage destroyed in practice by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity.”

    Pope Benedict said he agreed with Pope John Paul that too often members of church tribunals see a failed marriage and grant the annulment on the basis of an ill-defined case of “immaturity or psychic weakness.”

    According to canon law, the validity of a marriage requires that both the man and woman freely and publicly consent to the union and that they have the psychological capacity to assume the obligations of marriage.

    Pope Benedict said tribunal judges must remember there is a difference between the full maturity and understanding that people should strive to develop over time and “canonical maturity, which is the minimum point of departure for the validity of a marriage.”

    In addition, he said, granting an annulment on the basis of the “psychic incapacity” of the husband or wife requires that the tribunal establish and document the fact that the person had a serious psychological or psychiatric problem at the time the wedding was celebrated.

    In defending the permanent and sacramental nature of marriage, tribunals are not making life difficult for couples that want to split up, the pope said.

    Defending the marriage bond gives witness to the fact that the ability to love and to pledge oneself to another forever is part of human nature, he said.

    The church’s insistence that it is possible for the vast majority of people to make a lasting commitment to marriage can help couples “discover the natural reality of marriage and the importance it has in the plan of salvation,” Pope Benedict said.

    It is true that human nature is limited and imperfect, but that does not mean that people, “exercising human freedom supported by grace,” cannot make a commitment to loving each other and raising a family together, he said.

    END
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0900437.htm

  12. Jerry-1094131 July 19, 2014 Reply

    Daniel has it right on the nose!. In cases of abandonment or adultery, which was the extenuating circumstance discussed at the beginning of this thread, it is in serious question that the guilty spouses actually knew what the sacrament entails.

  13. Suzanne-1101937 July 20, 2014 Reply

    I won’t pretend to know a lot about canon law with regard to annulments, but in 1997 it was very important to me as a church going Catholic, to have my 27 yr. marriage annulled. I wanted to leave open a door to remarriage in the church, therefore my search on CM will not include divorced men. Annulments = fine. Never marrieds? I’m not so sure that men in my age group who have never married would be a good bet. Set in their ways, or looking for younger ladies. One particular gentleman who lives within 15 miles of me (perfect!) stipulates that he exercises 5X week and wants “a girl with hiking boots.” Although he profiled himself honestly, there are not many ladies 60+ yrs. old who have that much vim and vigor. I will continue my search discreetly for an honest funny hard-working man who can make me laugh, wants to know my family, has an exit plan for his retirement and won’t expect me to do all the compromising. Until then, I am a happy lady and would be content to remain single rather than be with the wrong person.

  14. Jessie-1067693 July 21, 2014 Reply

    It took me three weeks to finish writing 62 essay questions for my annulment process. Thank you for writing this article and helping me feel that I am not alone. Anyone who has not gone through the heart-wrenching experience of a divorce cannot understand how hard the annulment process is. However, I must agree that there slowly is some healing in the culmination of this process.

    • Suzanne-1101937 July 21, 2014 Reply

      Best of luck, Jessie! There IS life after annulment. Trust and believe. My prayers are w/you!

  15. John-1049932 July 21, 2014 Reply

    If a spouse abandons and divorces their spouse how is the spouse who was abandoned supposed to prove the initial marriage was never valid? If a spouse leaves and divorces they have terminated the marriage contract or covenant, the marriage no longer exists. To say it still exists is a legal fiction.

    Jesus told men not to divorce, except for fornication ( referring to during the marriage since he was talking about married people, not singles.) If you are married and choose to fornicate after you are married you are committing adultery.

    So I guess back to my quetsion: How am I to prove that my ex wife who left and divorced me did not intend to stay married, and did not understand the marriage covenant? She did. She just lost her faith 22 years later and decided to be single.

    The Church should not punish me if I can`t prove our marriage was invalid. The Church is wrong here, they need to ammend the annulment process. I am going thru the annulment process. But If I can not get one I will have to re evaluate .

    I am not going to stay single forever just because my wife left me. It is not scriptural. St.Paul said we are not bound if our unbelieving spouse departs.

    1st Corintians CHAPTER 7, read the whole chapter before you attack me please.

    • Joan-529855 July 21, 2014 Reply

      This is where the Catholic Church has tried to “control” every aspect of a person’s life. Scripture makes it very clear that there are only two “grounds” for divorce, adultery and abandonment by a non-believing spouse. HOWEVER, scripture also makes it very clear that FORGIVENESS within the marriage, despite the two above situations, is preferable.
      If adultery or abandonment by a non-believing spouse is not your situation, then divorce & annulment should not be an option. Unfortunately the Catholic CHurch has strayed so far from scripture in this regard.
      Annulments were intended for very rare cases and not “the norm”; the abuse of annulments is rampant.

    • Jessie-1067693 July 22, 2014 Reply

      John, you sound like you may be struggling with this issue- I have been there. Here is a link to three articles posted by my archdiocese that helped me (if not, makes for interesting reading material). I pray that the will of God works its way through your annulment process, as I pray for my own.

      http://www.archgh.org/Personnel/Tribunal/English/Information-About-Annulments/

  16. Michelle-1078361 July 22, 2014 Reply

    My spouse cheated early in my marriage. He worked for a theater company and would “screen” movies with staff after hours. Gradually, these movies lasted into the wee hours of the night. Once not coming home at all. Even after a women called and asked him to come over and get naked, he denied that anything was going on. He has always been a heavy drinker and eventually got into to porn. In the last five years of our 27 year marriage, both increased. I also suspect he had an affair with my best friend but no proof. We do not have many friends-also his choice. I was just handed a witness contact form. Any one I contact is open for his review and answers are not confidential. I have court records, and a hard drive. Bank statements showing his alcohol purchases but Witnesses??? Other than his mother, my mother , and my sister I do not feel comfortable alienating anyone and they can only attest to his drinking. I am frustrated.

  17. John-1014999 July 23, 2014 Reply

    Hello all – I have to say I understand what John is saying. As a divorced catholic that has been abandoned by my ex- wife also, it’s frustrating that I have to undergo a lengthy annulment process . I was the one trying to keep the marriage together, was proactive in attending counseling and even attended the retrouvaille program. I believe in the sacredness of the marriage sacrament and always will, but had no other options as my wife filed for and was granted a divorce. I refused to sign the papers, just to make a point that I never believed in the divorce. It’s been three years since my divorce and time has healed my pain, but what does a person do if their annulment is not granted? I would like to get married again one day and hope to find my true soulmate. I’m not looking for an easy out, but agree that under certain circumstances the church could show more mercy to those who have given 110% effort towards saving their marriage. In the end, I felt frustrated that there was nothing I could do to save the marriage, but have accepted it and look forward to being an awesome husband to someone special someday. My prayers go out to all that have been abandoned and must undergo this process. God bless!

  18. David-1103033 July 24, 2014 Reply

    I am not addressing the process itself, which is not easy, but as a canon lawyer I can say firsthand that there is great truth to the fact that annulments in North America have been rather superfluously granted over the past 30 plus years. This has been acknowledged by JPII and Benedict XVI, and those at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota and Apostolic Signatura, on down. One doesn’t have to be an expert to know that the claim that 9/10 or even all marriages of average Joe or Sally Catholic in the U.S. that end in divorce are invalid, is troubling. This has been due to such factors as an incorrect notion of what being pastoral is- thinking that someone’s plans to remarry must be facilitated even if their case doesn’t actually warrant a positive decision; a distinctly American jurisprudence that is opposed to that followed in the rest of the world, etc. There are canonists who will now admit that there is an “annulment mentality” amongst U.S. Catholics, just as there is a divorce mentality. The very discussion here is an unwitting example of it: that an annulment is often viewed and unfortunately advised even by priests as part of a process of healing, “moving on”, and such. This is opposed to what is the ideal proposed by the Church and was practice until the recent past- making efforts and waiting to see if the parties can reconcile and the problems which caused the divorce can be fixed. Or, how about simply remaining divorced and single as a witness to one’s marriage vows? However, I think we all know that it’s usually the case that once a divorce occurs or one spouse leaves, the idea is that the marriage is over, it’s now time to “move on”, and an annulment is again seen as part of that whole process; and that this is done rather soon thereafter. This is to say that we all know that the belief in the indissolubility of marriage has taken a blow, even amongst Catholics and people today practice what has been called “serial monogamy.” Sorry if this is rather negative but as someone “in the trenches” this frustrates me to no end.

    • Marc-1146985 December 9, 2014 Reply

      Good for you David! I’ve read where the Popes for the last 30 plus years have been denouncing American rates of accepted annulments…the American Bishops aren’t listening….they’re too busy filling out annulment petitions.

  19. Phil-915991 July 29, 2014 Reply

    If you get an annulment, … it’s like The Church never recognized the existence of the marriage. Therefore, if children were a product of the marriage, would The Church see these youngsters as “bastards”, since their parents were never married? You can not have it both ways folks, … it’s just like being “a little pregnant” … you can fluff it up with words and whimsical wisdom, but a sin, is a sin, is a sin! Unless you’re a Kennedy……

  20. Marc-1146985 December 9, 2014 Reply

    Cute…really cute.
    There’s a divorce online ad on this page for a fee of $149.00
    Does the Catholic Institute really sell these ads…or allow them??
    Why not advertise annulments with an online discount????
    Another bad Catholic joke….anyone laughing yet?

    • Robyn Lee
      Robyn Lee December 9, 2014 Reply

      Marc, We do not allow those kinds of ads. We do screen as best as we can, but sometimes ads get through anyways. We are grateful to our members who alert us of inappropriate services/images.

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