Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Family Life
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #31  
Old Jun 9, '12, 6:03 pm
dans0622 dans0622 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2008
Posts: 1,534
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElanorRigby View Post
Well that is helpful. Thanks. It hardly seems just that the "grounds" which feel more like "charges" aren't made known to me before I choose my witnesses, as I can't address them without knowing. I may ask to have them made known before going forward.

As much as the paperwork states that I'm not being accused of anything, if my ex-wife is going to make the case that I didn't enter into the marriage of my own will, or in good faith, or that I didn't understand it, that's an accusation, no matter how wrapped in church-speak it is. It's sad that the court system had to let me know her allegations before I responded but the Church does not. I can really see how people are made cynical about Religion when I see hypocritical processes like this in action. We had begun steps for me to take the RCIA in the fall but I'm not sure I can do that in good faith if this is the way the Church treats people. It's very sad. ...
Hello,

Before calling the process hypocritical, it would be best if you were made aware of what the process is, exactly. I will do my best to distill it down to its bare essentials, step by step.

1. A petitioner (plaintiff) files a petition including the names and addresses of the spouses, the date of the wedding and divorce, possible witnesses, and an initial claim as to why the marriage is invalid (see canon 1504). You should have received a copy of this petition along with the initial paperwork. If you did not, you should ask for it. This is an important point and you shouldn't let it pass. You are right that you should be informed of the allegations. Keep in mind, however, that the process is still in its infancy so the allegations of the petitioner are still quite minimal in their detail.

2. If the petition is accepted, the respondent (that's you) is "cited." This citation is what you have received. It informs you about the petition and the process as well as asks for your input (c. 1507-1508).

3. After both Parties have been given the chance to offer testimony, the "grounds" are determined (c. 1513) and the Parties are notified.

4. Further evidence is gathered (c. 1516). Primarily, these means the witnesses submit testimony. At any time, further witnesses can be suggested to the Judge so that they can also testify.

5. When the Judge determines that the evidence is complete, the testimony is "published" meaning you and the Petitioner are given the opportunity to read the testimony and, if desired, offer a rebuttal or clarifications (c. 1598).

6. The case is "concluded"--meaning the investigation phase is complete (c. 1599). The advocates for the Parties and the Defender of the Bond are now invited to make statements. Speaking of advocates, given what you have stated thus far, you may want to ask the Tribunal to suggest names of advocates so that you can have some competent assistance in this process.

7. The case proceeds to a definitive Sentence by the Judge(s) (cc. 1607ff).

There are other steps after this but they depend on the contents of the Sentence (i.e., if the decision is in favor of the bond or not). I don't see a need to get into that at this point.

You should also know that your dating a Catholic woman at this time is not a wise idea, especially considering your apparent belief that your marriage is a valid one. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you and it's not that you think the marriage is valid or invalid but that you are simply saying you did not contribute to its demise.

The Code of Canon Law (which tends to be rather technical and, not surprisingly, "legalistic" in this section on judicial processes) can be found here: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM

You'll want to go to Book VII, part II.

I hope this makes sense and is of some help to you.

Dan
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old Jun 10, '12, 12:32 am
SerraSemper SerraSemper is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 9, 2007
Posts: 410
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElanorRigby View Post
Hello

My ex-wife seeks to annul the marriage on the grounds that I have bipolar disorder. I do have bipolar disorder, but it has always been managed, I have never taken a day off work, and my psychiatrist will write a letter attesting to the same. The fact that I have bipolar disorder in no way affected my ability to decide to get married.

I am not Roman Catholic myself but I am a devout Christian. I do not agree with the church's position on Divorce but I respect it. What I cannot stomach is that that the Church could say, at my ex-wife's request, that I never meant to be married and wasn't capable of marriage and didn't enter into the marriage in good faith. It was her who cheated throughout the marriage. Have I any recourse here or is the annulment process simply a rubber-stamp so that my ex-wife can remarry with impunity?

Can anyone advise me how to move forward with this?

Thanks
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to contact your tribunal and ask to speak with a canonist about your concerns. The annulment process is not a rubber stamp affair. The burden of proof against the validity of the marriage is on the petitioner (and respondent if respondent likewise wants it) against the presumed validity. There are very few times when a tribunal would say a person entered marriage in bad faith- usually that would have to do with outright fraud or abduction or similar situations. You have the right to an advocate in the process, usually a canon lawyer.
__________________
My blog: DoIHaveAVocation.com

5 Facts About Annulments

Posts express my private opinion only and do not establish a client-canonist relationship nor are they to be taken as canonical legal advice.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old Jun 10, '12, 12:51 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: December 20, 2004
Posts: 2,572
Religion: Not a believer
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Do you think, given the interest of women in these issues, that it would be wise to remove the unfortunate sex-specific salutation at the beginning of the encyclical?

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
HUMANAE VITAE

OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
PAUL VI
TO HIS VENERABLE BROTHERS
THE PATRIARCHS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS
AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE,
TO THE CLERGY AND FAITHFUL OF THE WHOLE CATHOLIC WORLD, AND TO ALL MEN OF GOOD WILL,
ON
THE REGULATION OF BIRTH

Honored Brothers and Dear Sons,
Health and Apostolic Benediction.

Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old Jun 10, '12, 2:00 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: December 20, 2004
Posts: 2,572
Religion: Not a believer
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Sorry last post was a stray!
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old Jun 10, '12, 6:00 am
ElanorRigby ElanorRigby is offline
Trial Membership
 
Join Date: June 9, 2012
Posts: 11
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
I realize this is all wrapped up in the emotional turmoil you have experienced at the hands of your wife, but really, exactly how has the Church mistreated you? They have sent you, the respondent, the exact same letter they send every respondent-- Catholic or otherwise. You will have the opportunity to talk to them face to face, to ask questions, and if the case movs forward to give testimony and have witnesses. I really don't see how this is mistreatment in any way.

This first step is a discussion process to see how, or even IF, the process will move forward. You are not being asked for witnesses and their testimony at this point. You are being asked to reply affirmative or negative on whether or not you plan to participate and to set up a meeting with them if you are going to participate so they can explain the process and get a general understanding of your position.
This is why I am confused. I have been asked for witnesses and testimony. I have been asked to nominated three witnesses and provide a written response and attend an interview, as well as to have my witnesses submit written responses. And all this is before I have been told on what grounds my marriage was never valid. I'm not sure that's due process.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old Jun 10, '12, 6:18 am
ElanorRigby ElanorRigby is offline
Trial Membership
 
Join Date: June 9, 2012
Posts: 11
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

I appreciate the time everyone has taken in answering my concerns. The the bottom of it is this - The Catholic Church is an institution that does note believe in Divorce, and in said institution, you can not remarry if you choose divorce. I do not agree with that stance. I believe that divorce is sometimes the best way forward for all involved. I'm not contesting the church's view, merely saying that I don't agree with it. My ex-wife also professes to believe in it.

My issue is that if a person claims to agree with this principal, but when considering divorce says things like "don't worry - I'll say you're crazy and get an annulment", and proceeds to do so, then that is tantamount to a divorce. If the Church does not believe in divorce, that is their prerogative. But from everything I've read, both here and elsewhere, including quite a bit of what is being said at the Vatican level about the doing out of annulments in North America as compared to everywhere else in the world, Annulment has become, in some if not many cases, a Catholic divorce. I've seen this in action and I'm seeing it now. People like my ex-wife want it both ways. They want to be able to say that marriage is forever, and then when it falls apart, say, "oh, except in this case." I find it hypocritical. If you are in the church and decide you want a divorce, then, by the church's belief system, you should be choosing not to have another Catholic marriage.

The degree of "being Catholic" seems to stretch from the belief in big ceremonies and big white dresses at first communions, as is my wife's Catholic tradition, to people who spend time in prayer every day and for whom the Church has changed their lives, as is my girlfriend's. Yet it was perfectly acceptable for me to marry a "Good Catholic" who decreed that we didn't need to say grace in our home but dresses our daughter to the nines if the Bishop is going to be in church, but "a bad idea" to date a woman who has taught that same daughter about spirituality, because the girlfriend doesn't agree with every point in the Catechism.

I recognize that there are a vast number of Catholics who are spiritual and who love the Lord as my girlfriend and I do. But I also contend that there are a large number for whom the church is only about appearances, being seen at mass, and going through the motions. This is the sort of Catholic I lived with.

Yes I am in a lot of pain over my ex-wife's actions, not the least of which is this latest action, but now the Catholic church is about to become another weapon of hers and another agent of that pain. I appreciate the input that annulments do not always work that I have received on this board from well-meaning people, but a bit of investigation into how the diocese runs from a clergyperson here has also revealed to me that not one case was known of by that person where an annulment did not go through if enough time and money were invested. And that is a sad state of affairs.

So I thank you all for you input and I must leave this discussion here. I have gained a lot of valuable information and support and I don't think it's healthy for me at this point, given my emotional rawness, to continue down a road of (albeit interesting and intelligent) debate on the subject. Perhaps I'll come back with an update for all who were kind enough to contribute.

With thanks, and blessings to you all.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old Jun 10, '12, 6:49 am
maltmom maltmom is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2012
Posts: 2,376
Religion: Catholic Convert
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

I will continue to pray for you. You are not alone.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old Jun 10, '12, 7:33 am
1ke 1ke is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 24,939
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElanorRigby View Post
My issue is that if a person claims to agree with this principal, but when considering divorce says things like "don't worry - I'll say you're crazy and get an annulment", and proceeds to do so, then that is tantamount to a divorce.
This.

This needs to be included in your testimony. If she really said that, the tribunal needs to know it.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old Jun 10, '12, 7:38 am
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 22,630
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

ElanorRigby,

Thank you for sharing in your last post. It is obvious how much hurt you are going through.

It does appear that your ex is trying to use the church as a "weapon" - but that does not mean that the Church IS a weapon in that way. And yes - there are many concerns about the number of annulments issued but there too, it is a deep and complex issue that may have less to do with actual abuses in the Annulment process itself than with catechesis and marriage prep areas...I am not sufficiently informed in these areas to comment further.

As already stated, your best bet is to get with someone in the Church who can adequately advise you so that you can do all that you can to see that, whatever the outcome of the process is, that you have done everything honestly and above board.

Then - when it all finally settles out, you will hopefully be able to move on.

God Bless

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old Jun 10, '12, 1:41 pm
joanofarc2008's Avatar
joanofarc2008 joanofarc2008 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: March 4, 2011
Posts: 3,080
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElanorRigby View Post
This is why I am confused. I have been asked for witnesses and testimony. I have been asked to nominated three witnesses and provide a written response and attend an interview, as well as to have my witnesses submit written responses. And all this is before I have been told on what grounds my marriage was never valid. I'm not sure that's due process.
This is the first part of the collection of the evidence. No grounds have been chosen at this point. After all evidence is collected through this part of the process then publications of the acts will be published which both you and her will have an opportunity to view and submit responses to. If your perception were correct then I could understand your anger. In this case your perception is not correct and therefore your anger towards the process is misplaced because you do not understand the process.
__________________
Find the Annulment and Divorce Group on CAF for support

In Formation with SFO - to Come and See Contact NAFRA-SFO
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old Jun 10, '12, 4:56 pm
styrgwillidar styrgwillidar is online now
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2009
Posts: 2,683
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Fighting an Annulment?

In case you come back...

As to your first question. You fight the annulment by simply telling the truth.

However, why do you want to fight the annulment? What's in it for you if the marriage is determined to be valid? Is your goal to get back together with your ex? Is it to punish her by attempting to deny her remarriage in her avowed religion? How does that improve your life?
Think of your wife's approach to marriage, was she capable of entering into a valid marriage? Did she say or do things indicating that marriage is something less than for life? The annulment process isn't about placing blame, it's about finding truth. Truth can hurt, but refusing to face truth is denying reality. Perhaps, if you enter the process honestly and openly, be as truthful as possible the tribunal will identify an even more uncomfortable truth. That she was in fact incapable of entering into a valid marriage with you, and is equally incapable of entering into a valid marriage with anyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElanorRigby View Post
I appreciate the time everyone has taken in answering my concerns. The the bottom of it is this - The Catholic Church is an institution that does note believe in Divorce, and in said institution, you can not remarry if you choose divorce. I do not agree with that stance. I believe that divorce is sometimes the best way forward for all involved. I'm not contesting the church's view, merely saying that I don't agree with it. My ex-wife also professes to believe in it.

For a little insight, this statement, if it is in fact how you felt about marriage at the time you were married, would be IMHO (I'm no canon lawyer, just someone in the process) more relevant to the tribunal than whether you're bi-polar. You seem to be indicating that you believed at the time you were married that divorce and then remarriage was a valid option. This doesn't call into question whether you were capable of a life-long commitment, it shows that you don't believe God expects that, that He doesn't expect life-long commitment in all cases. The God accepts divorce and remarriage as acceptable. That is independent of whatever your wife's approach/belief/understanding of marriage was as well.

BTW, the Church agrees with you that divorce is sometimes the best way forward for all involved. But, it does not free one from the vow they took before God.


My issue is that if a person claims to agree with this principal, but when considering divorce says things like "don't worry - I'll say you're crazy and get an annulment", and proceeds to do so, then that is tantamount to a divorce. If the Church does not believe in divorce, that is their prerogative.

Ok. I wouldn't be worrying about what someone else's or institutions beliefs and focus on my own. You have taken on a Catholic girlfriend. Why? Is she a bandage for your emotional wounds or someone you can give of yourself to? What are her beliefs about marriage? Can you love her enough to support her needs/beliefs/desires? Do you believe it's ok to do that, put a person in a position to choose between you and their beliefs, to make compromising themselves a condition of being with you? Again, the issue of someone going into a marriage indicating they've identified on out is far more relevant to validity than someone with a controlled bi-polar condition. A person choosing to act wrongly is not the fault of the Church. The process the Church has established allows these issues to be brought up.

But from everything I've read, both here and elsewhere, including quite a bit of what is being said at the Vatican level about the doing out of annulments in North America as compared to everywhere else in the world, Annulment has become, in some if not many cases, a Catholic divorce. I've seen this in action and I'm seeing it now. People like my ex-wife want it both ways. They want to be able to say that marriage is forever, and then when it falls apart, say, "oh, except in this case." I find it hypocritical. If you are in the church and decide you want a divorce, then, by the church's belief system, you should be choosing not to have another Catholic marriage.

Sorry, some people are hypocrites. You and I can't change that. We can only focus on and live our own lives by our own beliefs. And, if a marriage is valid a Catholic should not be choosing any form of marriage (Catholic or otherwise) regardless of whether they are legally divorced.

The degree of "being Catholic" seems to stretch from the belief in big ceremonies and big white dresses at first communions, as is my wife's Catholic tradition, to people who spend time in prayer every day and for whom the Church has changed their lives, as is my girlfriend's. Yet it was perfectly acceptable for me to marry a "Good Catholic" who decreed that we didn't need to say grace in our home but dresses our daughter to the nines if the Bishop is going to be in church, but "a bad idea" to date a woman who has taught that same daughter about spirituality, because the girlfriend doesn't agree with every point in the Catechism.

You offer a false dichotomy. The Churches position is you should have gotten to know your spouse well enough prior to marriage to understand her values. You could have had either woman if you'd met them at the same time, or passed on marrying your first and waited to find someone whose values you agreed with. You didn't. That was your decision, not the church's, and decisions have consequences. Did you mean until 'death do you part' when you took your vows before God or didn't you? Why are you worrying about what other 'degrees' of Catholicism others practice instead of your own beliefs?

I recognize that there are a vast number of Catholics who are spiritual and who love the Lord as my girlfriend and I do. But I also contend that there are a large number for whom the church is only about appearances, being seen at mass, and going through the motions. This is the sort of Catholic I lived with.

Yeah, people do bad things while claiming to be Catholic. That has nothing to do with how you live your life and adhere (or don't) to your avowed beliefs or vows (Nancy Pelosi springs to mind)

Yes I am in a lot of pain over my ex-wife's actions, not the least of which is this latest action, but now the Catholic church is about to become another weapon of hers and another agent of that pain. I appreciate the input that annulments do not always work that I have received on this board from well-meaning people, but a bit of investigation into how the diocese runs from a clergy person here has also revealed to me that not one case was known of by that person where an annulment did not go through if enough time and money were invested. And that is a sad state of affairs.

Why do you care whether the annulment is granted or not? If you think the Church is wrong about prohibiting remarriage, why argue against the one process the Church has established to allow remarriage? Why is something comporting to your views a 'sad state of affairs'? Why so concerned whether your ex achieves her goals or not? Why be concerned of how the annulment affects her life instead of considering how it would affect yours? I don't think you've moved on. BTW, my parish priest indicates most folks seeking annulments with no grounds are screened out by the parish priests prior to even filing.

So I thank you all for you input and I must leave this discussion here. I have gained a lot of valuable information and support and I don't think it's healthy for me at this point, given my emotional rawness, to continue down a road of (albeit interesting and intelligent) debate on the subject. Perhaps I'll come back with an update for all who were kind enough to contribute.

With thanks, and blessings to you all.
I will pray for you and yours.

I can understand how you would object to an annulment being granted for the wrong reason. But if it's any help, in my diocese you do not identify the reason you're seeking the annulment. You answer a series of questions and the tribunal identifies the grounds they identify for what you have written.

I pray that you will find it in your heart to forgive your ex. It is a source of great healing and comfort, it allows one to stop living in the painful past. Re-living past wrongs, waiting and expecting contrition from the offender, wasting time and effort of our present lives hoping the offender comes to some realization and acknowledges their wrongs. Not forgiving allows that offender to exercise control over us because of those hopes they'll finally admit to all the pain they've caused. Forgive, let go, let her live her own life and suffer her own consequences. Choose to be happy in your own circumstances.

Been separated for 2.5 years, and divorced for almost 2 years. She moved in with an ex-fiancee from before our 21 year marriage. The kids all live with me, two are still minors. The saddest thing in all of it has been seeing the deterioration of her relationship with her kids. There is wisdom in the Church's teaching. I am much better as a single father than I would be if I had taken someone new into my life, my kids are far better for it, less drama, less stress on them. I am also too weak, if I'd jumped into anything it would have been for all the wrong reasons. Soothe my ego, bandage my wounds, all take and no give. Perhaps that's just me.

Which brings me OT- why only every other weekend with your kids? They need more time with you. You need more time with them. And the using kids against you has to stop- for their sake.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Family Life

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8570Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: SueZee
5243CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: James_OPL
4436Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3901Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3876SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany
3468Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: James_OPL
3318Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3237Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3172For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: SueZee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 1:09 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.