Another Annulment One!


#1

Sorry, another question about annulments...

I know 2 relatives who were granted annulments and were decreed free to marry in a Catholic ceremony.

In both cases, they had divorced their first wives and were living openly, as man and wife, with their new girlfriends (as they were then) One couple had a child, who was baptized a Catholic. This person also had an on-going addiction problem that was well known to his priest.

Here's what I find difficult to grasp: I know the 'official' line, but I am having difficulty understanding how it is applied in real life.

To me, the fact that both these men were living in sin at the time they applied for the annulemnt is surely a big indication that they either didn't have a full understanding of the importance of marriage, or chose to ignore it. The one with the addication problem also surely had something in his psyche that would prevent him undertaking any new vows with a full understanding.

I know the annulment is granted by examining the situation at the time the vows were exchanged, not the present situation and it may be that both couples went to Confession before the service: who are we to judge etc.?

However, it got me thinking about my situation with my friend. We have known each other 2 years now and both admitted we have feelings for one another. He is divorced (married in a non-Catholic but Christian church) With my speculative head on, I can see there may be grounds for an annulment, but to my mind, as a Catholic, I should ensure the relationship remains platonic until such time as he is free to marry in a Catholic Church.

To keep it nicely platonic, we have stopped spending time alone and only see eachother in a larger group. To say it can get frustrating at times is the understatement of the year - but words can't express how much I value having this man in my life, so its worth it.

BUT.........just suppose a similar thing happened with someone else. If you, as a Catholic, met a divorced person (without an annulment) how do you know you are really compatible, without actually getting to know them to a degree that splitting up if the application is rejected will be absolutely heartbreaking for the both of you?

I'm not condoning moving in together first at all, but I'd be interested to hear about real people's experiences of how they coped with this situation and when / how they broached the topic.

What I really want to know is, did anyone who either obtained an annulemnt or whose intended did, actually stay in a chaste relationship until the annulment was finalised?

To me, the 2 men in the example above deliberately and knowingly flouted the rules - but got what they wanted. Is that too cynical a view?


#2

[quote="Rose71, post:1, topic:183732"]
Here's what I find difficult to grasp: I know the 'official' line, but I am having difficulty understanding how it is applied in real life.

To me, the fact that both these men were living in sin at the time they applied for the annulemnt is surely a big indication that they either didn't have a full understanding of the importance of marriage, or chose to ignore it. The one with the addication problem also surely had something in his psyche that would prevent him undertaking any new vows with a full understanding.
?

[/quote]

general rule
nobody, and I mean nobody, except the couple involved, the pastor assisting with annulment process, and the tribunal, knows all the facts and is a position to make any judgement whatsoever. That includes friends, relatives and children of the either member of the couple whose marriage is being investigated for annulment.

second general rule: how any of these people is living now is not a factor in determining the facts that pertained at the time the original marriage contract was made, and those are the facts the tribunal considers in its judgement.

Yes their living circumstances today may shed light on whether or not the proper conditions are ready today, for their new marriage (actually first marriage) to be contracted validly, but that again is the concern of the new couple and the priest preparing them for marriage.

With that in mind, yes we all know plenty of people who profess to be CAtholic and yet fail in living a good Catholic life. If we didn't, the Church would have no need for the sacrament of penance. That does not remove our own obligation to follow the rules, the commandments and the law of the Church. If we value our own happiness we will continue to do so, and pray for those who are compromising their happiness and eternal life by their failures.


#3

If I were a single Catholic, I would consider a civilly divorced man the same way I consider my best friend's husband - off limits. No wondering about a relationship, no flirting, no hanging out like boyfriend girlfriend.


#4

[quote="Rose71, post:1, topic:183732"]
Sorry, another question about annulments...

[/quote]

Short answer, eyes closing. ;)

Here's what I find difficult to grasp: I know the 'official' line, but I am having difficulty understanding how it is applied in real life.

In real life terms, any normal 16 year old male that isn't lying should be able to pull off a valid marriage.

To me, the fact that both these men were living in sin at the time they applied for the annulemnt is surely a big indication that they either didn't have a full understanding of the importance of marriage, or chose to ignore it.

They don't need full, they need minimal. Attitudes don't invalidate unless they reach the level of positive act of will excluding one of the essential properties or qualities of marriage (that'll be indissolubility, fidelity, openness to offspring, openness to good of spouse, and careful with the last one--being a jerk doesn't qualify).

The one with the addication problem also surely had something in his psyche that would prevent him undertaking any new vows with a full understanding.

As above. Anybody has something in his psyche. What it takes to invalidate marital consent is something grave that incapacitates one precisely and concretely from even the minimum level of capacity to consent to marriage. Big difficulties aren't enough.

I know the annulment is granted by examining the situation at the time the vows were exchanged, not the present situation and it may be that both couples went to Confession before the service: who are we to judge etc.?

The tribunal won't save us from a poor choice. Gotta pick wisely.

However, it got me thinking about my situation with my friend. We have known each other 2 years now and both admitted we have feelings for one another. He is divorced (married in a non-Catholic but Christian church) With my speculative head on, I can see there may be grounds for an annulment, but to my mind, as a Catholic, I should ensure the relationship remains platonic until such time as he is free to marry in a Catholic Church.

The Roman Rota has a mountaineous reversal rate of lower courts' judgements. And those don't give a nullity declaration to everybody who asks, either. Chances are low, low, low. To give you a taste, here's some legalese:

cormacburke.or.ke/taxonomy/term/16,41

BUT.........just suppose a similar thing happened with someone else. If you, as a Catholic, met a divorced person (without an annulment) how do you know you are really compatible, without actually getting to know them to a degree that splitting up if the application is rejected will be absolutely heartbreaking for the both of you?

I have no right to test my compatibility with someone who is presumed married to another person. I have to take particular care to avoid mental violations of the VI or violations of the IX, the latter of which don't necessarily limit themselves to sexual coveting alone, as well.

To me, the 2 men in the example above deliberately and knowingly flouted the rules - but got what they wanted. Is that too cynical a view?

I just hope they got *real *nullity declarations, not some of the many that are manifestly wrong, like failure to be able to respond to spouse's needs or inability to relate on a deep emotional level. :rolleyes:

Easier reading:

ewtn.com/expert/answers/marital_consent.htm


#5

Hi,

I can understand the frustrations that you are going through. Speaking from a personal experience, it has been and was very difficult to live a chaste life after my ex decided he did not want to be a married person, till the civil divorce and finally the annulment.

And what more frustrating to see another person (your example of your relatives) and mine (being my ex) live a life that is unchaste. Or as if they can get on with life while you are still stuck because the annulment has not been granted. Even more so, when knowing full well that they can re-marry in the church.

But this experience has taught me much. It has taught me that the church has its good reason for the annulment process. It allows us to reflect on what we have done right/wrong and how I can better myself, my r'ship with God and with others. It has taught me patience and trust, that God knows better than I. It has also taught me mercy, that while it is so difficult for me to remain chaste, to trust in the Lord, the other person (namely my ex) will have it even more difficult. At least I have experienced and encountered the love and mercy of God, to want to respond to Him in love.

So beyond the frustrations, you are blessed because if you wait you may discover what love truly is; whereas your relatives or my ex may not. You are blessed because if you want what God wants, a person who will love, honour and respect you, not a person who will use you for their sexual gratification. I can go on (maybe I should :p) But I can only suggest that before you look at another person's "fortunate" situation, maybe look at the blessings you can and will received for following His ways.

Blessings
Godloves13


closed #6

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