Annullment ?

Hi! I’ve never been married, so this question about Annullment is purely a curiousity.

I am curious if a couple is granted an Annullment (Church acknowledges that the former couple was never actually married in the eyes of God), do they need to go to Confession & repent of all the time they were living in mortal sin together?

If so, when their Annullment is approved, are they told they need to Confess or do they have to figure it out on their own?

If not, why not? How would living as husband and wife with someone who the Church has determined you were never validly married to Not be considered Fornication?

If a person believed that they were married at the time, sexual relations were no sin.

That is not to say that there were no sins committed during the invalid marriage.

My thought is that while someone is seeking an annulment they should not be dating, but waiting to see if they receive an annulment before they do so. It seems they are not advised about this.

What happens many times is that they date in the hopes of getting the annulment, and if they do not get it they decide to marry the person they are dating without the blessing of the Church.

Yes. Mortal sin requires the sinner be aware that they are sinning and that the sin is a grave one. Most people believe their marriages to be valid and therefore are not sinning.

No. They did not commit a sin and did not fornicate.

The Church terms a marriage entered into in good faith by at least one party as a putative marriage.

If someone purposely went into a marriage fraudulently or knowingly entering an invalid marriage, without good faith that they were contracting a valid marriage, then yes they would be culpable and would need to confess their sin.

hmm, even though once they’ve been granted an annullment and which means they KNOW they were wrong and that infact they’d never been married?

Yes, even then. The couple who thought they were married did not intend to sin when having relations. At the time they honestly believed they were married. Finding out later that they were mistaken makes no difference. What matters is what they believed at the time.

Behind your answer, I’m seeing that your underlying basis for your thought no one can sin unless they believe it’s a sin is: No action a person can take is sinful unless the person taking that action thinks it’s sinful. Do you have any references you can provide from the Bible or the Catechism that substanitates this line of thinking?

Using that line of thinking there is no objective right or wrong. A person who has an abortion isn’t sinning when they kill their unborn child since that don’t think it’s wrong. A person who rapes hasn’t committed a sin since he thought it was his right. A child molester hasn’t sinned because he thinks it’s alright.

I see that in the Catechism # 1860 says that “Unintentional ignorance can diminish or remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, written in the conscience of every man.” At most, an otherwise moral sin could be lowered from grave/mortal status yet the sin remains it remains a sin. The Catechism gives Sin an objective definition in # 1849: “It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”” In addition, Jesus did say we will also be held guilty for sins not physically committed, but also sinful thoughts when He said as recorded in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Behind your answer, I’m seeing that your underlying basis for your thought no one can sin unless they believe it’s a sin is: No action a person can take is sinful unless the person taking that action thinks it’s sinful. Do you have any references you can provide from the Bible or the Catechism that substanitates this line of thinking?

Using that line of thinking there is no objective right or wrong. A person who has an abortion isn’t sinning when they kill their unborn child since that don’t think it’s wrong. A person who rapes hasn’t committed a sin since he thought it was his right. A child molester hasn’t sinned because he thinks it’s alright.

I see that in the Catechism # 1860 says that “Unintentional ignorance can diminish or remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, written in the conscience of every man.” At most, an otherwise moral sin could be lowered from grave/mortal status yet the sin remains it remains a sin. The Catechism gives Sin an objective definition in # 1849: “It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”” In addition, Jesus did say we will also be held guilty for sins not physically committed, but also sinful thoughts when He said as recorded in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

It is not that they simplyl “don’t think they are sinning”, they are not sinning. They are in a putative marriage. They believe themselves to be validly married, as does the Church, until proven otherwise. They are not sinning.

Can.* 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

§3. An invalid marriage is called putative if at least one party celebrated it in good faith, until both parties become certain of its nullity.

Note the part I bolded. This says that ignorance can remove the imputability (ie responsibility) of grave sins. So this means a mortal sin could be lowered to no personal sin at all.

You found the relevant catechism text yourself, you just have to read a bit closer. :wink:

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