Annulment Granted to my Mother


#1

My parents were married for 11 years and they had a wonderful marriage up until my father got a brain injury. The marriage produced two children in this marriage; I am the oldest and was conceived out of wedlock, which makes me a bastard. They married while my mother was pregnant. Shortly after my father's injury the marriage unraveled fairly quickly. My mother could not fathom this man's injury and left. My mother filed for an annulment and was granted one (we had an aunt that worked for the diocese; this may have helped). My grandfather may have written a letter, but nonetheless the annulment was approved. I have come to forgive my mother for the things she has done, but I must say the divorce and annulment has scarred me. Every now and then when my mother gets lippy with me on certain subject matters this thought comes up. The Church in my opinion has a flaky annulment process. I do not feel the annulment is valid in God's eyes. My mother remarried in the Church and my father is still disabled and never remarried. Should I talk to a priest about my issue with the annulment? There is nothing I could or should do as it has been way to long and I am an adult now and they married when I was a kid. Any help/insight or reading material in this matter would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.


#2

[quote="linuxology, post:1, topic:235539"]
My parents were married for 11 years and they had a wonderful marriage up until my father got a brain injury. The marriage produced two children in this marriage; I am the oldest and was conceived out of wedlock, which makes me a bastard. They married while my mother was pregnant. Shortly after my father's injury the marriage unraveled fairly quickly. My mother could not fathom this man's injury and left. My mother filed for an annulment and was granted one (we had an aunt that worked for the diocese; this may have helped). My grandfather may have written a letter, but nonetheless the annulment was approved. I have come to forgive my mother for the things she has done, but I must say the divorce and annulment has scarred me. Every now and then when my mother gets lippy with me on certain subject matters this thought comes up. The Church in my opinion has a flaky annulment process. I do not feel the annulment is valid in God's eyes. My mother remarried in the Church and my father is still disabled and never remarried. Should I talk to a priest about my issue with the annulment? There is nothing I could or should do as it has been way to long and I am an adult now and they married when I was a kid. Any help/insight or reading material in this matter would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

[/quote]

While the timing of her leaving is unfortunate and very unfair it does seem like an very straightforward decree of nullity case. Many parishes will not marry a couple now if they know the woman is pregnant due to this very reason - it places undue pressure on the couple to get married which calls into question the validity of the Sacrament. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive your mother as she gave you life. I too have a brain injury from epilepsy and my xh left me when things rough - I can say that the fact he left (and the fact I was abused) show me that he was never willing to stay permanently. Maybe if your mother had not had the undue pressure she would have been able to think things through such as could she stay with your father if he were to become disabled like this.

Please above all - love both your parents who gave you life.


#3

I would think that talking to a priest could certainly help you move on, and forgive and move past the hurt you are feeling.

God Bless.


#4

[quote="linuxology, post:1, topic:235539"]
My parents were married for 11 years and they had a wonderful marriage up until my father got a brain injury. The marriage produced two children in this marriage; I am the oldest and was conceived out of wedlock, which makes me a bastard. They married while my mother was pregnant. Shortly after my father's injury the marriage unraveled fairly quickly. My mother could not fathom this man's injury and left. My mother filed for an annulment and was granted one (we had an aunt that worked for the diocese; this may have helped). My grandfather may have written a letter, but nonetheless the annulment was approved. I have come to forgive my mother for the things she has done, but I must say the divorce and annulment has scarred me. Every now and then when my mother gets lippy with me on certain subject matters this thought comes up. The Church in my opinion has a flaky annulment process. I do not feel the annulment is valid in God's eyes. My mother remarried in the Church and my father is still disabled and never remarried. Should I talk to a priest about my issue with the annulment? There is nothing I could or should do as it has been way to long and I am an adult now and they married when I was a kid. Any help/insight or reading material in this matter would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

[/quote]

Firstly, you were not a bastard because your parents were married by the time you were born. Secondly, you probably don't know all the details about your parents' marriage since you were quite young through most of it, so you can't know how the annulment decision was arrived at. Wedding because of pregnancy forced a lot of people into marriage when they were not ready for the sacramental aspect of it. There were probably other issues present that you were not aware of.

I would think that counseling is needed if this is bothering you after all this time.


#5

All I can speak from is first hand experience. My parents got a divorce after 17 years of marriage…and then my mom got an annullment later…I didn’t understand it and was really angry about the whole thing…

Fast forward 25 years later. I’ve talked with a priest and now understand what an annullment is and what it isn’t and what it means.

This might help you too…


#6

For your Mother to seek an annulment leads me to believe she was close enough to her faith, to seek it in the first place. I received an annulment 13 years ago. Thinking back now, there is no way…no way that marriage was a sacrament. In every sense of the word, you must understand that when you are standing on the altar…before God…pledging an oath…a vow…conenant with another…you and the spouse must understand this and what they are entering into…and enter into it freely!

Huge step. Not for the immature, like myself at the time…so…if your mother, may have found this pertain to herself back then…she did what she did to make it right between her and The Lord…its hard to think of our parents as “real” people sometime…I know…we think of them as needing to be perfect, but they grow too…and so must we…

God Bless you!


#7

bas·tard (bas′tərd)
noun
a person born of parents not married to each other; illegitimate child
A child born out of wedlock.

adjective
of illegitimate birth or of uncertain origin
Born of unwed parents; illegitimate.
yourdictionary.com/bastard
Therefore you. aren't.
Nor in the eyes of the Church are you regarded as such even after an annulment is granted.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=22314

And there is nothing you can do to undo the annulment, but clearly your mother's annulment is a difficult thing for you to process.
beginningcatholic.com/catholic-annulment.html


#8

[quote="linuxology, post:1, topic:235539"]
My parents were married for 11 years and they had a wonderful marriage up until my father got a brain injury. The marriage produced two children in this marriage; I am the oldest and was conceived out of wedlock, which makes me a bastard. They married while my mother was pregnant. Shortly after my father's injury the marriage unraveled fairly quickly. My mother could not fathom this man's injury and left. My mother filed for an annulment and was granted one (we had an aunt that worked for the diocese; this may have helped). My grandfather may have written a letter, but nonetheless the annulment was approved. I have come to forgive my mother for the things she has done, but I must say the divorce and annulment has scarred me. Every now and then when my mother gets lippy with me on certain subject matters this thought comes up. The Church in my opinion has a flaky annulment process. I do not feel the annulment is valid in God's eyes. My mother remarried in the Church and my father is still disabled and never remarried. Should I talk to a priest about my issue with the annulment? There is nothing I could or should do as it has been way to long and I am an adult now and they married when I was a kid. Any help/insight or reading material in this matter would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

[/quote]

First of all, there is no such thing as bastard, okay.
There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.

Maybe indeed the anullment process was wrong.. Its possible. I say this because I know a priest who says that he believes some abuses do happen in this area.

I suggest you find a really good priest and talk to him about your just indignation of what you think took place.
But when all is said and done, you have your own life. Your mother will answer for her own mistakes, its her messes and not yours. You and not bound by her mistakes, and you will only have inner freedom if you learn to forgive her. Do this for the sake of your own peace.. ask the Lord for his help.
Your mother is but a poor sinner, a person with a sickness in her soul, she needs your prayers.


#9

#10

I understand completely. To the children involved the annulment process can really seem like one big farce that everyone is asked to play along with. Don't worry about being illegitimate; the children of a marriage declared null are legitimate according to all laws of the Church. Remember that the tribunal is made of fallible men. The tribunal is given power by the Church but is not the Church itself. If these men abuse their power then that is something that they will have to answer to God for. Seek the counsel of a good traditional priest and don't let your experience turn you away from God.

There is very little doubt in my mind that many liberal American tribunals are abusing Church law and brushing aside those who might wish to have the marriage upheld. In the process they are ignoring all of the pastoral consequences of their actions. Children have to deal with the fact that there is a declaration saying that their mother and father were not husband and wife when they were born. They are not illegitimate according to Church law, but there is still the fact that they were born to parents in a putative marriage. There is not this insecurity with divorce. In the cases of consensual incapacity they have to deal with the fact that a formal declaration of the Church is saying that at least one of their parents was gravely abnormal at least at the time of the wedding. Often times the children who are around their parents everyday and witness the marriage crumbling have very serious doubts about this. I really do hope that the process is tightened up and we have justice rather than this kind of charity.


#11

The process is lengthy, and heart/mind provoking look into the marriage and EVERY aspect of it.
The process can take up to years.
It is NOT saying one or the other parent was gravely “abnormal”…but that there was NO sacrament that existed at the time the marriage took place.
Entering into a marriage is where the process of “tightening” up needs to begin…thank God for the mercy of Christs’ church…

A parent who made a mistake too…God Bless You!


#12

An annulment doesn’t say the marriage wasn’t a sacrament, it says that it wasn’t valid. A marriage can be valid and NOT a sacrament.


#13

I must respond to this. The reason my mother seeked an annulment is so she could make herself, her parents and future groom parent’s proud that they were to be re-married in the church. Trying to compare my mother’s case to yours is irrelevent. BTW the man she married was pictured at multiple birthdays of mine throughout my childhood. When you took a vow in the Church for the sacrament of marriage you did so in front of God. I do not care which way anyone shakes it but you made the promise before God in a holy Church. Here we go and I quote:

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I, ____, take you, ____, for my lawful (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

My mother quite frankly broke this covenant. Shake it anyway you want to make yourself feel better about annulment’s but unless severe cases they should not be granted. 11 years is an awfully long time to break if things off, in addition they had a two year old daughter. Quite frankly they ended when my father got injured and she abandoned him.


#14

[quote="linuxology, post:13, topic:235539"]
I must respond to this. The reason my mother seeked an annulment is so she could make herself, her parents and future groom parent's proud that they were to be re-married in the church. Trying to compare my mother's case to yours is irrelevent. BTW the man she married was pictured at multiple birthdays of mine throughout my childhood. When you took a vow in the Church for the sacrament of marriage you did so in front of God. I do not care which way anyone shakes it but you made the promise before God in a holy Church. Here we go and I quote:

I, _, take you, _, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I, _, take you, _, for my lawful (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

My mother quite frankly broke this covenant. Shake it anyway you want to make yourself feel better about annulment's but unless severe cases they should not be granted. 11 years is an awfully long time to break if things off, in addition they had a two year old daughter. Quite frankly they ended when my father got injured and she abandoned him.

[/quote]

More info. I did not have. I pray for your healing, as this has touched you deeply. My own process entailed alot of healing, and I myself, have remained unmarried since the annulment. You were right. I could only state what it did for me. Forgiveness can be difficult for us. God Bless You....Denny in MI....


#15

The value & permanence of marriage
To understand Catholic annulment, you have to understand marriage.

Marriage between a man & woman in the Catholic Church is a sacrament. It's both a sign of the love between Christ and his Church, and also a participation in that love. Really! St. Paul calls this a "great mystery" in Ephesians 5:32.

Catholics believe that marriage is permanent, "till death do us part." This teaching comes from Christ, as recorded in Scripture (See Mt 5:31-32 and 19:3-9, Mk 10:2-12, Lk 16:18).

Our marriage vows reflect this. We promise our spouse:

Fidelity
Indissolubility (permanence)
Openness to children
This is not a list of rules cooked up by the Catholic Church!

It's simply a description of what marriage is. Real marriage, as God intended, as we feel naturally drawn to. As Jesus said, "So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mt 19:6)

That's why we say that the sacrament of marriage is indissoluble.

And even Catholic annulment can't dissolve a valid marriage! Annulment simply says that a true, sacramental marriage was never created in the first place — it was never valid.


#16

I understand your indignation.
Did you ever talk to your mom about the whole thing, asking her also what she told the tribunal, what was the reasons given by the tribunal for granting the annullment?

What happend to your dad? Is it possible that you were too young at the time to know about possible additional marital problems between your parents that might have made your mother act the way she did?

Again, I think you are right to try to seek to the bottom of this… try to find out what really happend and make a complaint to the Bishop if you keep your conclusion.

Abuse of anulment could cause the church to have another scandal, and I think that some tribunals might well be way too lenient. Like, many might claim they didn’t have full knowledge of the implications of what they were doing, or they were too immature. But this should be taken with a huge grain of salt, for most of the worlds population could claim these things, and its a part of life.


#17

[quote="linuxology, post:13, topic:235539"]
I must respond to this. The reason my mother seeked an annulment is so she could make herself, her parents and future groom parent's proud that they were to be re-married in the church. Trying to compare my mother's case to yours is irrelevent. BTW the man she married was pictured at multiple birthdays of mine throughout my childhood. When you took a vow in the Church for the sacrament of marriage you did so in front of God. I do not care which way anyone shakes it but you made the promise before God in a holy Church. Here we go and I quote:

I, _, take you, _, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I, _, take you, _, for my lawful (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

My mother quite frankly broke this covenant. Shake it anyway you want to make yourself feel better about annulment's but unless severe cases they should not be granted. 11 years is an awfully long time to break if things off, in addition they had a two year old daughter. Quite frankly they ended when my father got injured and she abandoned him.

[/quote]

Think about this--your mother took this vow before God "....in sickness and in health, until death do us part." then when your father was injured she abandoned him. If she truely understood and meant the vow before God at the time she made it, she would have prayed for the strength to continue to fulfill her vows, all of them regardless of your father's capacity. A person could call it weakness or selfishness but apparently the tribunal chose to call it immaturity at the time of the marriage. You don't know what your mother, your father and the other witnesses testified to in the annulment process that led the tribunal to come to that conclusion.

At the beginning of the "sexual revolution" and beyond, it was the norm to pressure young pregnant couples to get married, "do the right thing". That put people who weren't ready for marriage to anyone together with possibly someone they wouldn't have ever picked had they waited 20 years. Then those two kids, still kids themselves, were supposed to live, love and raise children in this current cultural atmosphere where its all about "me" and what "I need". Society used to support marriage but changed to actively work to demolish traditional marriage. The young couple continues to try, maybe pretending most of the time because that's what they were told they were supposed to do. "You made your bed, now lie in it." That's why other children are born to the family that is falling apart from the beginning. The parents put on a good show for everyone then there is shock and emense pain when one quits.

Try to forgive your mother, be there to help and support your dad and learn from their mistakes. I have often found that when we judge someone too harshly, that God will find a similar situation to put us in so that we can learn compassion. I pray you don't have to learn this the hard way.


#18

[quote="GraceDK, post:16, topic:235539"]

Abuse of anulment could cause the church to have another scandal, and I think that some tribunals might well be way too lenient. Like, many might claim they didn't have full knowledge of the implications of what they were doing, or they were too immature. But this should be taken with a huge grain of salt, for most of the worlds population could claim these things, and its a part of life.

[/quote]

I agree with most of what you said but to continue the thought.... Some people get married with the expectation that they will continue to mature, develope, and grow their entire lives. Others seem to have found an age they like and decide to stay there. How many 16 year old middle age Boomers do you know? It is the tribunal's unenviable job to sort out those who were immature at the time but continued to grow from those chose not to face adulthood. It's sort of like "He's married to me but I'm not married to him."
Maybe the tribunal was granting the annulment for the father's sake even though he was not the one seeking it.


#19

[quote="linuxology, post:1, topic:235539"]
My parents were married for 11 years and they had a wonderful marriage up until my father got a brain injury. The marriage produced two children in this marriage; I am the oldest and was conceived out of wedlock, which makes me a bastard. They married while my mother was pregnant. Shortly after my father's injury the marriage unraveled fairly quickly. My mother could not fathom this man's injury and left. My mother filed for an annulment and was granted one (we had an aunt that worked for the diocese; this may have helped). My grandfather may have written a letter, but nonetheless the annulment was approved. I have come to forgive my mother for the things she has done, but I must say the divorce and annulment has scarred me. Every now and then when my mother gets lippy with me on certain subject matters this thought comes up. The Church in my opinion has a flaky annulment process. I do not feel the annulment is valid in God's eyes. My mother remarried in the Church and my father is still disabled and never remarried. Should I talk to a priest about my issue with the annulment? There is nothing I could or should do as it has been way to long and I am an adult now and they married when I was a kid. Any help/insight or reading material in this matter would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

[/quote]

I suggest the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster.

A decree of nullity is a declaration that a valid marriage did not take place at the time the vows were exchanged. It is unfortunate that your mother took steps to petition for a decree of nullity after your father's injury, probably making it appear the injury was part of the nullity findings-- which is not true.

Since you stated your mother married your father as a result of getting pregnant, this could have been the grounds for nullity. A person who is coerced into marriage did not freely give consent. Often times families pressure people to marry in these circumstances and they do so even if they have deep reservations. This **might **have been the case with your parents.

I suggest you talk to your mother and not harbor grudges based on assumptions.


#20

I will not ask details from my mother about the annulment or divorce. She is not the best lady to have a conversation about certain subject matters. She would end up insulting myself or my father and making me cry or blistered mad. My paternal grandmother says she has the annulment papers. I will consider reading the annulment papers. I will forgive my mother; and try to bury this annulment issue. I will not hold it against the Church even though I believe it is an invalid annulment. This divorce and annulment has scarred me and I have put them away, but they have come to rise up recently.

Being immature is not a basis for an annulment in my opinion. She was twenty years old when she got married. The annulment process is probably a broken one and the Church should do something about it. I do not know what she put on the annulment paper’s, but if she was having sex with my father less than two years before the divorce things must not have been so bad. I was eleven at the time of the divorce. Severe issues should be the basis for an annulment. God will be the judge not the Church in this matter. Sorry if I sound so harsh with this, but it hurt my heart and my soul. I am not sinless and blameless and made mistakes in my pass as well. Help me O’ Lord I cry to you.


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