I was listening to a Catholic radio station the other day and the guest was a priest who works with couples through the annulment process. One of the things he said was very troubling.
He was talking about a couple who may have married when the woman was already pregnant. I know that these circumstances are sometimes grounds for a petition for nullity on the grounds that the pregnancy takes away an element of free choice to enter into the marriage. So far, no problem.
But he said that a case for nullity can also be presented on the grounds that the marriage was celebrated on a different day or time than it would have been if the woman was not pregnant. This would seem to refer to a case where the couple was already engaged but moved up the date due to pregnancy.
Isn’t that a really big change in the thinking? What about a couple where one of the spouses is military and they choose a date based on that spouse’s assignment or deployment dates? Or a couple who has to choose a specific date because that’s the only date available in the Church calendar or the only date a parent is able to attend?
Does something as simple as changing the date or time of the marriage ceremony point to invalidity?
FWIW, this priest was advocating a major overhaul of the annulment process including doing away with the need to pursue nullity of a first marriage if the person had been in a second marriage for a long time or if one of the couple was not Catholic. So, I take what he said with a grain of salt. However, he seemed to be speaking from experience.