Annulment Witness apprehension

I’ve been asked by a family member to be a witness in the annulment and I’m afraid that if I were to tell the truth, The whole truth and nothing else I would actually be perjuring myself.

I absolutely appreciate that there would be legal ramifications along side that I am not prepared to dishonor myself or falsify what I will have witnessed in the course of their lives.

I was just asked this earlier evening and my first thoughts are to simply say thank you but no thanks…

the hiccup being
that it is a family member
I was just asked this earlier evening
and my first thoughts are to simply say thank you but no…

I would be open to any and all thoughts and observations, thanks so much :blush:

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If I were you, I’d contact the dioscean Tribunal and see who the Defender of the Bond is for your family member’s case and tell him/her about your apprehension to testify.


My family member will have made it sound so simple that I would simply fill out a form that I would receive and send it back, that is in part why I agreed to be considerate of the situation . What IP physically needed to attend or be a part of proceedings? Mind you this is an annulment in the state of Rhode Island, I’m not sure if things may be different with in each state.

Moreover odd, is that my family member and I have not been in correspondence for over year so the timing seems so out of sorts that she would ask me to participate in something in her life like this.

I was unable to edit the initial comment that I will have made in that I would be under legal consequence if I should lie about what my experience was with her and the husband.

Goodness, talk about something hitting you out of left field when you least expect it, LOL

Any advice would be well appreciated, thanks so much.

Each diocese does have its own particulars in regards to how some things are done, but canon law is canon law throughout the whole Church.

Like I said, contact the dioscean Tribunal and talk to them about your situation and find out what exactly is being asked of you.

Thank you so much, your advice is truly appreciated and I will do exactly that tomorrow

Warm Regards

The process is focused on the time of the marriage so if you were close then it would explain you being asked.

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Perhaps you are not sure of what the word perjury means.


If you tell the whole truth, you wouldn’t be committing perjury. That only happens under oath in a court of law when you wilfully lie.

You are called to be a witness on the time of the marriage. Not of their whole lives, or their whole marriage. As far as I am aware, you generally cannot get an annulment without civil divorce proceedings first.

Like, not to turn the tables but why are you so hesitant to sit in a room with some people, some would be clergy, to discuss an obviously already divorced marriage?


I’m a bit confused why you think telling the truth would involve perjuring yourself. Perjury means lying about something under oath, not telling the truth. If you tell the truth, you have nothing to worry about.

Are you worried that your telling the truth will hurt your family member’s chance of getting an annulment?

I agree that contacting the tribunal office is the way to go, and I’m happy to hear that’s what you plan to do. They can explain to you what being a witness involves.

Do you mean that you would be exposing lies that you told in the past?

(If that’s the case, then you’ve already perjured yourself – this would be an opportunity to tell the truth.)

Generally, there’s no need to appear in person (for a supporting witness), and your testimony is held confidentially (so, there’s no chance that it could be used against you in a court of law).

Your conclusion to call the tribunal in order to ease your anxieties is a good one. :+1:

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??? Perjury is lying. If you tell the whole truth that cannot be lying.

It really is that simple.

You fill out a form and tell only the truth. This form is then confidential.

You are being asked because you knew the person prior to and including the day of the wedding.

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One who speaks the truth has nothing to fear in such proceedings. Such testimony is privy only to the ecclesial court and carries no civil effect.

Hello the little lady,

I would appreciate the definition of perjury, I guess what I was not so clear in, will have been the fact that when my relative called out of the clear blue to request my being a witness there were certain things that were said to subtly implied that I would answer everything correctly so that it would be possible to make it happen.

In the moment I said yes, sure, no problem. Not appreciating the gravity of the situation and so going on to research a little and realize what it in fact would mean to help and all a marriage is why I will have said that I would not wish to perjure myself.

I wouldn’t be apprehensive to sit in a room with anybody at all, I would not appreciate that it will have seemed that I should answer things in a certain way and it be called the truth,
the whole truth and nothing else when in fact it would be favoring this family member because
she wants it skewed in a way
that would essentially call the onset of the marriage a false
and truth be told they had a wonderful marriage for many many years, four children of which were born from the marriage and it wasn’t until her infidelity that the marriage fell apart, sadly.

I absolutely appreciate that, thank you

What lies I will have told in the past, goodness gracious NO…!!!
… not at all
I have not spoken with anyone at length with respect to their relationship.
It’s the fact that I was totally asked to lie in this process, I apologize I did not make that perfectly clear at the onset of what I will have written.

I am absolutely not comfortable twisting the truth to find favor for someone’s annulment when from what I’ve read there is nothing about the relationship that they had had that would allow for one.

From what I’ve read the form is not exactly confidential, the parties requesting the annulment will actually be able to read what I’ve written, from what I understand.

I appreciate your comment, although the information given is not entirely privy to only the court, the people involved can also request to read what I will have written from what I understand.

It seems, to me anyway, that your apprehension stems from your perception that the family member wants you to twist the information in a way you believe is wrong.

Ultimately it it up to you to decide to provide witness or not. I might suggest letting this family member know that you would provide only your honest objective answers to questions asked, and if you can’t rescind your offer.

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