"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." John Adams

Featured Posts


Creative Minority Reader

Get Your Annulments, Cheap

John Allen Jr. confirms what I have already suspected, that the coming Synod on divorced and remarried will likely broaden the annulment process.

Doctrinally, they are in a box. The Church teaching on the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage is clear and irrefutable. There is no where for them to go without doing great harm to the Church and violating the direct command of our Lord that what “what God has joined, let no one separate.”

However the Pope and Cardinals can hardly come out of this synod with the status quo or all the hope and change they have fostered among the moderns will be squandered. As such, they are eager to to cut a deal, and the only real avenue available is the annulment process.

Do not get me wrong, there are marriages that never really occurred and are truly null and void due to real circumstances. The annulment process is necessary. But I fear that the door will be opened up so wide, that almost everyone will pass.

John Allen reports that "mama-ism", a domineering mother is being considered as a valid reason to consider a marriage null and void. Wow, if they are considering that, there is no telling what craziness may ensue.

And let's face it, whatever the text of the instruction that comes out of the synod, the message will be loud and clear to progressive Bishops and annulment panels across the world. Grant as many as you possibly can. And many will do just that. We can expect annulments in Germany and elsewhere to be granted by the millions and upon the flimsiest pretext. And the word will be out. Get your Catholic divorces, cheap and easy.

If this happens, I think that the Church will have done more harm to marriage in this one instance than the entire gay marriage movement.

There are no easy answers to these questions but there are bad one. If the Synod thinks they have an easy answer in the annulment process, you can trust that the answer is likely worse than the problem they are trying to solve.

*subhead*Big problems on the horizon.*subhead*

Your Ad Here

22 comments:

elm said...

Is a marriage that commits vows based on the belief that the couple is/will continue to use birthcontrol a valid marriage? Are we able to enter into this sacrament with a mortal sin on our soul? I argue two mortal sins: birthcontrol and receiving the sacrament of Eucharist unworthily. If a couple vows to accept children willingly while contracepting that would make it another sin: lying? Are these grounds for an annulment?

TTC said...

A domineering mama. LOL. That's hysterical.

August said...

First, annulments are already cheap and easy.
Second, you may say “what God has joined, let no one separate,” in the ceremony, but if you force the couple to go get a marriage license from the state, then you've already compromised. The state does the separating, and separating is big business.
It seems to me all we are seeing here is the continued bureaucratizing of the Church. They follow the government like little children- must keep the 501-3c status. And problems at all? More paperwork. More 'education' or 'counselling' like the pre-Cana stuff. Make sure the requirements for working with children are so onerous that their own parents can't be around them and only pedophiles have enough patience to get through the red tape.

So we get more annulments because we follow the state rather than follow Christ.

Lynda said...

The Church cannot change the criteria for a marriage annulment, as the criteria can only be the absence of the criteria necessary for a valid marriage (natural and sacramental), which criteria are unchangeable. The doctrine of the Faith cannot change. Marriage is unchangeable under the natural law, and as a sacrament.

Mary De Voe said...

TTC said...
A domineering mama. LOL. That's hysterical. This happened in my town. Mama was coming on the honeymoon. The husband said "no way". The wife said: "Oh, yeah." the husband left and the wife and the mother-in-law went on the honeymoon. The poor kids to be born.

Irenaeus of New York said...

This is going to go over great with the media. I can see it now.

"THE CHURCH BLAMES MOTHERS FOR FAILED MARRIAGES".

If these are our shepherds... who is protecting the sheep?

Willard Money said...

Isn't the issue that God is probably not joining together the vast majority of these marriages?

Lynda said...

If that were the case, the Catholic Church is solemnising very many "marriages" that it shouldn't be, and that is the issue that needs addressing.

Deborah N said...

No, the issue is and has clearly been loose, false annulments!

M. Prodigal said...

Catholic divorce.

Bill Meyer said...

Having been through the process, and observing it in the case of my wife, as well as for my uncle, whose first wife divorced him 40 years earlier, my chief comment is that the variations from one diocese to another are embarrassing. This is an important process, and should be consistent from one diocese to another. Moreover, for many of those affected, the process is a painful one, and whatever the verdict, it should be rendered in a reasonable time. A year would be tolerable. Mine took 33 months, my wife's took 36 months.

I discount the comments such as "Catholic divorce", as a contributing factor is that so many enter into marriage without a proper understanding of what it is and what it means. In addition, many annulments are needed for people preparing to be received into the Church. So drop the rush to judgment, and substitute charity. Yes, there are cases of Catholics who have had multiple annulments, and it is not difficult to find cases where the process appears to have been abused.

I put it to you that when a case takes years, that is an egregious abuse.

Lydia Cubbedge said...

What an irresponsible post. First of all, the only thing that can possibly change, and indeed ought to change, is the bureaucracy involved. As is said above, the differences from diocese to diocese are terrible. It can take a very, very long time in some cases, and not long at all in another. You make it seem like it'll be a canon law drive-thru. And, as has been noted on this blog for a long time, the state of Catholic marriages is not, generally speaking, terribly healthy. There are a lot of invalid marriages out there, and the shame is that couples are permitted to go through with it to begin with. And as for the domineering mother idea-well, the current code of canon law does make mention of the importance of family upbringing, expectations, etc. when it comes to psychological ability to marry.An abusive mother who will not allow her child to be married or psychologically available to his or her spouse is already something to take into consideration when contemplating annulments.

This is needless speculation, and it seems to be designed to foster discontent. And who is any random layperson to say which annulled marriages were annulled "falsely"? What utter nonsense! You are able to know every detail? You know what goes on behind closed doors? Really? Impressive.

David Madeley said...

The laity are entitled to comment on how things appear to the laity - which is not the same thing as how things really are, but important nevertheless. If the headline in the Tablet is Church Legalizes Divorce, then the measure will do far more harm than good, however forensically it is drawn up. The clergy need to know that.

Bill, I'm pleased to hear you persevered with the system rather than taking the law into your own hands. I can't imagine what waiting for that length of time must be like - but the reason annulments take so long is because there is a large number of people wanting annulments and a shrinking pool of qualified priests. It has nothing to do with the system being too strict, and if it were less strict, there would be even more people asking for annulments, with the same number of priests, leading to longer delays. If Rome wants to shorten the annulment timescale, we need a vocation drive.

Subvet said...

Too many Catholics have a lack of understanding just what an annulment entails. I've had one and often find myself defending the procedure to other men. Chief amongst the complaints is, "But my grandkids will be deemed illegitimate!" Uh, no. Not even close Chumley.

Sarah said...

I am just praying that this works out like Humanae Vitae- Everyone said that the Church would change her teaching on contraception- it was expected, it was going to happen... and then it didn't.

Lynda said...

The Magisterium is protected from error in matters of Faith and morals, so if it were purported to be changed, we would know definitively that it wasn't done by a valid Magisterium.

Radulfus said...

If a couple makes the vows but doesn´t want to be parents - i.e. uses birthcontrol to avoid children - the marriege isn´t valid.

Joan Moore said...

Mama-ism is not funny. It happens. I know of a case where a young man got his girl friend pregnant. His mother insisted that he must marry her. He really did not want to, but his mother was insistent and he did marry the girl. I got the story from his mother (years later and she seemed to be oblivious to what she had done!). The young man was actually drunk during the marriage ceremony. Not surprisingly, the marriage failed. And the resultant daughter, now a young woman, is a single mother, who is determined never to marry.

TTC said...

Joan,

Are you trying to convince us that a man involved in sexual relationship with a woman, who didn't love her enough to have sexual relations, wasn't man enough to give his child a father, got drunk at the wedding -- and the problem in the marriage was... the mother?!!





Lynda said...

This ought to be made clear before permission to marry is given by the Church. Otherwise, couples could collude to subvert the marriage, knowing that they can get an annulment later if they wish. This would be an abuse of the marriage rite, and the Church must be careful to make this as difficult as possible.

Seraphic said...

Well, there's two strikes against that marriage, if the poor guy was drunk when he made his vows. If drunk, he wasn't free to consent, was he? And if his mother made him do it, then that's another blow to his freedom of consent. I'm surprised the priest agreed to do the ceremony, given the circumstances. The girl being pregnant--and unless the unwilling groom raped her (God forbid), she was a willing participant in the act that got her with child & for all we know she pressured him into it (he seems rather susceptible to female pressure). Open and shut annulment case, if you ask me.

Carolyn said...

Mama-ism is alive and well. I have aunts that were subject to it (neither are still with their original spouses, BTW), even as a child I saw it and recognized it.

I'm been through the process, and it's a mixed blessing. I am certainly thankful that it exists, but it can be rife with abuse.

Sadly, I am seeing more and more Catholics forgoing it, feeling that it's none of the Church's business who they marry, and simply have a civil second marriage.

Post a Comment