Annulments?


#1

Why does the Catholic Church even allow annulments? The Bible makes it clear that divorce is not permissible and we should not remarry! I see no where in the Bible where a person can divorce and remarry even if the first spouse was crazy, mean, or a drunk, or other reason!
So why did the church make up this man-made law that they would consider the first marriage non-binding in the eyes of the Church? Where in the Bible is this stated?

When did annumnets start? 1st Century? 14th Century?


#2

[quote=BearFan]Why does the Catholic Church even allow annulments? The Bible makes it clear that divorce is not permissible and we should not remarry! I see no where in the Bible where a person can divorce and remarry even if the first spouse was crazy, mean, or a drunk, or other reason!
So why did the church make up this man-made law that they would consider the first marriage non-binding in the eyes of the Church? Where in the Bible is this stated?

When did annumnets start? 1st Century? 14th Century?
[/quote]

Annulments are not divorces.

Annulments say that there was no sacramental marriage. That there was some impediment.


#3

[quote=BearFan]Why does the Catholic Church even allow annulments? The Bible makes it clear that divorce is not permissible and we should not remarry! I see no where in the Bible where a person can divorce and remarry even if the first spouse was crazy, mean, or a drunk, or other reason!
So why did the church make up this man-made law that they would consider the first marriage non-binding in the eyes of the Church? Where in the Bible is this stated?

When did annumnets start? 1st Century? 14th Century?
[/quote]

An Annulment is a declaration that a Marriage was not valid. What your asking is Why does the Church declare and invalid Marriage, invalid? Well because it’s invalid! The Church cannot declare a valid Marriage invalid, nor can it dissolve a valid Sacramental Marriage. Marriage was always under the authority of the Bishop. Some of the early Fathers speak of this.


#4

Think for a minute. If I get a gun and force someone to go to the rectory and get the priest and then force both of them into the church and we get married. According to your reasoning this marriage can never be annulled, and that person could never marry anyone again. Now if you say, “well, this marraige may be one case I’d agree with an annullment”. If you agree with this case then if you sit and think about it, maybe there’s more. The church thinks so.


#5

[quote=BearFan]Why does the Catholic Church even allow annulments? The Bible makes it clear that divorce is not permissible and we should not remarry! I see no where in the Bible where a person can divorce and remarry even if the first spouse was crazy, mean, or a drunk, or other reason!
?
[/quote]

Yes, you are correct for the most part. There have been questions raised as to why the number of annulments has skyrocketed recently. For example, in the USA, in 1930, there were a total of 9 annulments granted for that year. However, in 1989, there were a total of 61,416 annulments gratned in the USA by the RCC. Now, most of these annulments in the USA in 1989, were granted on the basis of invalid consent (40,879). According to the following site:
divorcehelp.net/annulment.html
[font=Arial]“Many people believe that virtually any failed marriage can be annulled on the basis of incapacity and immaturity.”

[/font]


#6

[quote=BearFan]Why does the Catholic Church even allow annulments? The Bible makes it clear that divorce is not permissible and we should not remarry! I see no where in the Bible where a person can divorce and remarry even if the first spouse was crazy, mean, or a drunk, or other reason!
So why did the church make up this man-made law that they would consider the first marriage non-binding in the eyes of the Church? Where in the Bible is this stated?

When did annumnets start? 1st Century? 14th Century?
[/quote]

there is no such thing as an annulment. the correct term is decree of nullity. Nullity means null and void, it never happened. After a very comprehensive investigation into the circumstances and disposition of both parties at the time of the marriage, if the marriage tribunal of the diocese judges that the proper conditions for a valid marriage were not present, it decrees that there never was a valid marriage, it doesn’t exist. That is NOT divorce, it is just a statement of fact.

If either party was not free to marry because of any defect under natural law or canon law, if there were defects of form, if proper dispensations were not granted, if for any of several reasons either party was not capable of giving full consent, all kinds of reasons detailed in canon law, then they could not contract a valid marriage. The judgement of the tribunal must also be upheld in an appeals process.


#7

Ok, how about that, I was going to ask pretty much the same question tonight in my own thread!

[list]
*]About the # of annulments in U.S. it’s likely because there are so many divorces. An article I read on annulments in I think, Chicago or Detroit, where there’s more than anyother US Diocscese, said that years ago some Cardinals were criticizing the high number of annulments in America, but hey, there’s lots of divorces, so there you go!! It’s unfortunate.
[/list]I promise I won’t take over, I’ll start my own thread if necessary, but one of my questions is why do people speak of “marriages” being annuled? Like, if it was annulled, then it wasn’t a “marriage” was it now? Or can the Church (not the State) put asunder what God had joined together? Otherwise, it seems like any intimate contact would have been outside marriage, and therefore sinful. Or is it just “invalid” marriages that can be annulled?

I understand the issues with intent, persuasion, or like people who were “married” by a rock star or other non-church minister person, things like that. Yet some aspects are still missing in my understanding on this topic.


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]there is no such thing as an annulment. the correct term is decree of nullity. Nullity means null and void, it never happened.
[/quote]

Yeah, good point.

Like, if you look up “annullment” in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, you won’t find it. It’s not there. But if you look under “marriage” in the index, you’ll see “nullity of” and it’s in par. 1629.

Annullment is a popular term, but should be used with the understanding of “nullity” and “null” as it’s root.


#9

Decrees of nullity, as annie said, merely state that a valid marriage never existed.

Decrees of nullity are NOT divorces.

While one must have a divorce before one seeks a decree of nullity, it does not necessarily follow that we have “so many” because there are “so many” divorces. I believe that if you do the math, there are FAR MORE divorced baptized Catholics who NEVER seek a decree of nullity, or who, when seeking, do not have GROUNDS for the decree of nullity, than there are those who do seek it and are granted it.

It is NOT an easy process. Believe me.

It isn’t a case of somebody rich, famous, or simply “connected” just “getting bored” with marriage, or seeking a trophy wife or studly new husband, and deciding to go with “catholic divorce” in order to GET something.

It IS a case of someone average, or poor, obscure, who was not capable, or whose spouse was not capable, of entering into a valid sacramental marriage. That incapacity might be due to all sorts of factors, and not all of them might be conscious or deliberate chosen evils.

But, say, if John and Mary, age 22, marry, and John winds up drinking every night, and Mary is a shopaholic with thousands in credit card debt, John and Mary are NOT, repeat NOT, going to get a decree of nullity BECAUSE John drinks and Mary spends. In fact, John and Mary might have an absolutely valid marriage. And they might not. . .but the validity does not depend on what they do DURING the marriage, it depends on what they each brought in themselves AT the marriage.

Divorce is one of the hardest, saddest things that can happen to a person.

A decree of nullity, OTOH, while it may be difficult to go through, brings with it a true healing, even for those more “at fault”, I believe, simply because it acknowledges less a “failed marriage” than a lack of capacity FOR that (or perhaps any) marriage.

Marriage is between a man, a woman, and God. So I think a decree of nullity (as opposed to a civil divorce) is God helping us to understand that, between this particular man and this particular woman, somehow, someway, there just was not a valid marriage. He was there–He ought to know, right?


#10

[quote=Reformed Rob]About the # of annulments in U.S. it’s likely because there are so many divorces. An article I read on annulments in I think, Chicago or Detroit, where there’s more than anyother US Diocscese, said that years ago some Cardinals were criticizing the high number of annulments in America, but hey, there’s lots of divorces, so there you go!! .
[/quote]

Let’s compare the number of divorces with the number of annulments in the USA.
Divorces in the USA
1930: 195, 961
1979: 1,179,000
1998: 1,135,000
Annulments given out by the Catholic Church:
1930: 9
1989: 61, 416.
The divorces in the USA have increased by a factor of about 6
The annulments in the RCC in the USA have increased over the same period by a factor of 6824, or more than one thousand times as much as the divorces in the USA at large.
Why has the number of annulments in
the RCC in the USA gone up by more than one thousand times more than the number of
divorces in the surrounding culture?


#11

One possibility is the intermarrying of Catholics and Protestants. While some priests are careful to explain exactly what is entailed in Catholic Marriage many (as is the case with the one who did our pre-marital counseling) don’t, thus creating situations where full understanding isn’t conferred until after marriage and them diminished capacity comes into play (i.e. I can’t consent to something I don’t fully understand at the time).


#12

[quote=stanley123]Let’s compare the number of divorces with the number of annulments in the USA.
Divorces in the USA
1930: 195, 961
1979: 1,179,000
1998: 1,135,000
Annulments given out by the Catholic Church:
1930: 9
1989: 61, 416.
The divorces in the USA have increased by a factor of about 6
The annulments in the RCC in the USA have increased over the same period by a factor of 6824, or more than one thousand times as much as the divorces in the USA at large.
Why has the number of annulments in
the RCC in the USA gone up by more than one thousand times more than the number of
divorces in the surrounding culture?

[/quote]

There are more Annulments today because there are more invlaid Marriages. Over the last 50 years many more Catholics married paying little to no attention to canonical requirements for a valid Marriage. Marriage also became more “disposable” when it no longer worked we would throw it away and get another one! The Catholic Church never accepted that idea and never will!


#13

As a college student in the 50’s I took a course on marriage. We learned an awful lot about the canon law that pertained, impediments and so forth, but precious little on how to make a marriage work. Even with this background of all the rules and regs I don’t think I gave any real thought about such matters when my wife and I married. I am sure that today, when most people are not exposed to the knowledge I gained from that course, that many are aware of only the most obvious problems like close relatives marrying or previous marriages. I doubt very much that our priests are running down any long check list when preparing couples for marriage. The intense look into most of these matters only occurs when someone applies for a declaration of nullity. Then the Canon Lawyers get involved not before. The fact that we assume a marrige is valid unless proven otherwise is probably a saving grace as many of us in sucessful marriages may in actuallity have grounds for nullity. Fortunately both God and the church “provide.” Being able to recall the pain some had in those days of very limited declarations of nullity I continue to thank God that today some people in troubled, unhappy, failed marriages are able to find healing in our tribunals.


#14

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