Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church, which will teach the Truth throughout the ages until the end of the world. However, among its members there were, are, and always will be abuses and scandals of all sorts—scandals within the laity, scandals within religious orders, and scandals within the clergy. After all, Christ Himself said that scandals were bound to come, but “woe to the person through whom scandal comes…”
But our Holy Father, Pope Benedict himself has decried what he perceives as a growing number of easily-received annulments. And Pope John Paul II, back in 1987, spoke of “the scandal of seeing the value of Christian marriage destroyed in practice by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity.”
So are this just another scandal in the Church? I suppose the people who are granted false annulments are not to be held responsible.
I wonder; if Henry VIII filed for an annulment today, do you think he could find a marriage tribunal somewhere that would grant it? After all, some of the reasons given these days to rationalize an annulment seem far fetched. Maybe we’re just living in the age of the great apostasy.
From what I understand, there are a number of things that would render a marriage null. these, from what I understand, are:
*1- Refusal or inability to consummate the marriage (inability or refusal to have sex) ,
2- Bigamy, incest (being married to someone else, or close relatives)
3- Duress (being forced or coerced into marriage against one’s will or serious external pressure, for example a pregnancy)
4- Mental incapacity (considered unable to understand the nature and expectations of marriage)
5- Lack of knowledge or understanding of the full implications of marriage as a life-long commitment in faithfulness and love, with priority to spouse and children.
6- Psychological inability to live the marriage commitment as described above.
7- Illegal “Form of Marriage” (ceremony was not performed according to Catholic canon law)
8- One/both partners was under the influence of drugs, or addicted to a chemical substance at the time of marriage. *
But maybe we just live in such worldly and times with so many divisions within Christianity itself that a great number of marriages are truly indeed invalid. This is easy to imagine, especially these days of Las Vegas Drive-By wedding cerimonies. What I find harder to understand is when I hear about couples who’ve been married for 19 years and produced 8 children are granted an annulment. I suppose we have to trust the marriage tribunals. But then again, why would two popes decry the dissolution of marriages by* "exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity.”* ?
I suppose the guilty parties know who they are.