I’ve read some threads where people express issues within their relationships. I notice that much of the time if they are not married, the suggestion is to break up, but if they ARE married, a large number of people will suggest they seek an annulment. I want to get people’s feedback on this.
It seems like people are treating annulments as “Catholic divorce”. I’m not saying annulments are never possible or that they are not sometimes legitimate, but I see a great deal of suggestions in that direction, and frankly I find it a little disconcerting.
I also know that even JPII decried the ease with which people receive an annulment these days.
I had a discussion with some non-Catholic friends one time and said the Catholic Church does not allow divorce because Jesus did not allow it. They usually bring up annulments, and I explain the difference, and usually they understand it. But I feel that marriage brings two people together, like family. We may have arguments or get upset with or even become quite angry with a family member, but you cannot “divorce” from a family member.
Sometimes I see real stretches to try to fit an annulment situation into a box that really would fall under the category of “divorce”. For example, someone might say her husband is not showing much affection or they don’t have sex or he is involved with porn, etc. And people will say that indicates he did not plan on giving himself fully to his wife and therefore that’s grounds for annulment. To me, that’s a stretch. I don’t think the point of annulments is to stretch the definition as far as it will go to entertain nearly any situation. At some point annulment comes dangerously close to “Catholic divorce”.