Annulments in the United States

A priest said that the United States has 6% of the world catholic population and 80% of the worlds annulments that are granted

Is this true

If I remember an article from a couple years ago correctly in 2007 the US accounted for about 60% of all annulments worldwide (approx 35k of 53k worldwide) while having 6% of the worlds Catholic population. Something like 15% were defect of form, 80% were defect of consent, with the other 5% being other reasons. I believe Italy had the next highest percentage at something like 5% of total annulments that year.

There are numerous reasons why the US accounts for a disproportionate share of annulments. Some of which are the number of mixed marriages and having relatively well staffed tribunal offices. Part of it is also American acceptance of divorce as a way out of bad marriages. That acceptance often leads people to make bad choices in partners. Add to that the fact that many young adults in the US are less emotionally mature compared to other parts of the world which force young people to grow up and take responsibility and you have a stew just rife for invalid marriages.

Not saying this is universally true for all US anullments but rather some of the reasons sited as possible reasons for the disparity.

I’d also say that many people lack a fundamental understanding of what marriage truly is and what it is not.

Disney Fantasy princesses are very big in the United States.

When Prince Charming does not turn out to actually exist. POP! Goes the bubble. Down goes the marriage.

(Obviously this is just a piece of a huge problem)

But seriously that Disney/american dream idea of others trying to make me happy is a HUGE problem in America.

Love is not about how someone makes you feel. It’s about willing the good of another with no strings attached.

I would also say its a sign of practicing Catholics. In secular Europe where a huge percentage are Catholic, they are so secularized they don’t care what the church says and don’t even apply for annulments.

That, and numbers like it, are tossed around a lot with no sources.

The tribunals are confidential, so we do not have access to that sort of data.

I used to think that the U.S. just had more lenient marriage tribunals, but I’ve changed my mind.
Now I think that the U.S. just has a great many more null marriages, because our society no longer knows what marriage is.

We started the disintegration of marriage with the acceptance of contraception, de-linking marriage from children. The devolution continued with no-fault divorce, which virtually annulled all marriage vows even as they were spoken. Now, it is remarkable and a real accomplishment for a couple to enter into marriage with a true vow of permanence, fidelity, and openness to life. There is probably a notion in their mind that well, if it doesn’t work out, we can split. Whereas Jesus said, ‘What God has joined, let no man put asunder.’

I added 1 to the U.S. total this year. :eek:

This is a great article by Canon Lawyer Edward Peters that helps put things in persepctive:

Annulments in America: keeping bad news in context

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