Can Anullments Be in Error?


#1

If an anullment can be in error does that mean it can be revoked or reversed?


#2

sure, the Tribunal may err, it is made up of humans, and in any case its judgement is only as good as the information uncovered in the investigation. Its judgement is not infallible. There is an appeals process, and in some cases appeal is automatic.


#3

Thank you. Do family members such as brothers and sisters of a spouse have a right to know why a marriage was declared null?


#4

[quote=Coder]Thank you. Do family members such as brothers and sisters of a spouse have a right to know why a marriage was declared null?
[/quote]

Why would it be any of their business, much less their “right,” to know why a marriage is declared null?


#5

[quote=Princess_Abby]Why would it be any of their business, much less their “right,” to know why a marriage is declared null?
[/quote]

I’m not sure, marriage isn’t in a vacuum. At any rate do you know the answer to the question?


#6

When I began the anullment process, I was told that all information was completely confidential. I had to get character witness letters from friends and they were cautioned, in writing, not to discuss what they wrote with me. Of course, they wanted to share, but I told them I really didn’t want to know. One thing I hadn’t counted on was finding out that my first husband was already dead, and had been gone 6 months already, when the petition was filed. You can’t get an anullment from a dead man.


#7

[quote=wacky&wonderful]When I began the anullment process, I was told that all information was completely confidential.
[/quote]

Yes, I can see that personal information is sensitive and should be respected as we would all like others to do for us.

My question relates to the disposition of the anullment not the information that led to the decision.


#8

[quote=Coder]Thank you. Do family members such as brothers and sisters of a spouse have a right to know why a marriage was declared null?
[/quote]

No, they don’t. Not even children of the marriage have such a right. Only the spouses themselves have this right.


#9

[quote=Coder]Thank you. Do family members such as brothers and sisters of a spouse have a right to know why a marriage was declared null?
[/quote]

No.

This information is sealed and is not available to anyone other than the petitioner and respondent.


#10

I was told it was nobody’s business but mine (and my ex-husband) by my advocate, and that nobody else could look at it.


#11

[quote=1ke]No.

This information is sealed and is not available to anyone other than the petitioner and respondent.
[/quote]

OK - thank you. I’m sure this practice represents the Church’s wisdom. I asked a question and I got an answer - I like that.


#12

[quote=Coder]I’m sure this practice represents the Church’s wisdom.
[/quote]

For the slightly contrary opinion of one canon lawyer, read this op-ed piece by Dr. Ed Peters.


#13

Interesting article, thank you!


#14

[quote=puzzleannie]sure, the Tribunal may err, it is made up of humans, and in any case its judgement is only as good as the information uncovered in the investigation. Its judgement is not infallible. There is an appeals process, and in some cases appeal is automatic.
[/quote]

so what happens if a tribunal declares a marriage null, when in fact they do make an error?

lets say man A and woman B get married, then get an anullment that was wrongly given. both then go on and marry other people. how is their new marriage then viewed? are all parties now committing adultery and fornication?

a person may well convincingly lie during this process, and get away with it. what then? is their next marriage now invalid? and what of the spouse who was lied about? is their next marriage now invalid too?

it seems like a person can well fool a tribunal with some convincing lies, maybe backed up by false statements from friends and family members lying as well.

the whole point of this is to determine if a sacrament took place or not, so how do things proceed if a granted anullment is later found to be totally wrong?


#15

[quote=Coder]Thank you. Do family members such as brothers and sisters of a spouse have a right to know why a marriage was declared null?
[/quote]

no only the parties have the right to know. When you hear about the “secret archives” in the Vatican or diocese, that is what they are talking about, tribunal proceedings regarding canon law judgments on marriages, conduct of priests etc. These are permanently sealed.


#16

[quote=wacky&wonderful]. One thing I hadn’t counted on was finding out that my first husband was already dead, and had been gone 6 months already, when the petition was filed. You can’t get an anullment from a dead man.
[/quote]

you don’t need an annulment from a dead man, the marriage is over as far as the church is concerned and you are free to marry.


#17

[quote=BioCatholic]so what happens if a tribunal declares a marriage null, when in fact they do make an error?

lets say man A and woman B get married, then get an anullment that was wrongly given. both then go on and marry other people. how is their new marriage then viewed? are all parties now committing adultery and fornication?

a person may well convincingly lie during this process, and get away with it. what then? is their next marriage now invalid? and what of the spouse who was lied about? is their next marriage now invalid too?

it seems like a person can well fool a tribunal with some convincing lies, maybe backed up by false statements from friends and family members lying as well.

the whole point of this is to determine if a sacrament took place or not, so how do things proceed if a granted anullment is later found to be totally wrong?
[/quote]

if either party had reason to believe the annulment was granted in error they go through an appeals process. If the judgment has been accepted and they have been declared free to marry, they may do so and the subsequent marriages are valid. Bear in mind that if a person has lied during the process he is in a state of objective mortal sin and would therefore not be free to receive any of the sacraments of the Church.

The only person that has the absolute right to know if the annulment has been granted is the priest witnessing the second marriage, who must have proof. The fact of the annulment (but not any of the reasons or background material) is noted in the baptismal record of both parties, and in the marriage record in the parish where that takes place. Sacramental records are also confidential.


#18

What are some valid grounds for annulment?

I’ve never had any experience with an annulment or been married for that matter. It seems that there are so many annulments recently. I swear I heard that the Vatican was asking tribunals to push annulments through faster.


#19

[quote=LeahInancsi]…I swear I heard that the Vatican was asking tribunals to push annulments through faster.
[/quote]

Source, please?


#20

I think it was EWTN World Over. I don’t remember. I was shocked when I heard it.


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