On another thread, discussing ‘cafeteria’ Catholics, the discussion turned to annulments and divorce. Because of that discussion I am starting a thread dedicated to the discussion of annulments, and divorce if it somehow applies.
I have been married 35 years and have a limited knowledge of annulments, or divorce. There are no hidden innuendos in what I am posting, and my questions are a sincere attempt to understand this/these practices better.
I converted to Catholicism in 1975 and this is one thing that has haunted me, but I accept all the Church does without question. With that thought in mind, there have been times that I agree with the fact that the practice of indulgences was being abused and were a part of the cause of the reformation. I, and other Catholics, have always said that reform needed to take place in the Church and not outside the Church. It is along those lines that I ask my questions sincerely.
1.) Is the practice of annulments a ‘doctrine’? If so, is it the same as ‘dogma’ and something that cannot be changed?
2.) If it is a doctrine, is it possible it is a misapplied doctrine, similar to the abuses in the practices of indulgences that were a part of the cause of the reformation?
3.) If it is similar, can it be corrected and how?
4.) If it’s not similar, why?
It’s seems to be something fairly simple for some to achieve. Keep in mind I only know a few that have applied for an annulment and received one, and I have qualified my knowledge as limited.
Please forgive any mistakes in any wording I have chosen. Nothing I have written is intended to inflame anyone. As I’ve said, I am only trying to educate myself better in an aspect of Catholicism, that frankly, I haven’t given a lot of thought too until following the other thread.