[quote="3xblessed, post:18, topic:305033"]
I am aware that the tribunal issues an annulment, or doesn't. However, it does seem to be a pretty foregone conclusion, at least in my diocese; I've never known anyone who didn't ultimately get the annulment they were seeking.
Then again, maybe the folks who were denied annulments are simply not talking about it... :shrug:
I guess I still have questions, though. For once, if we weren't aware that the marriage was sacramental on the wedding day because neither of us was Catholic, why wouldn't that inherently nullify it?
The Catholic Church doesn't say a marriage between Christians is sacramental because it's a Catholic marriage -- it says it's sacramental by virtue of the fact that the spouses are both Christians, they're are free to marry, without any impediments to the marriage, and if they both freely consent to the marriage, and if the marriage meets all the requirements of their church or denomination. That fact that you two weren't Catholic, then, doesn't affect the validity. (You're saying that, at the time of the marriage, you both were Christians, right?)
I guess I just don't understand why a marriage is invalid just because it wasn't in a Catholic church
If one of you was Catholic at the time of the marriage, then there would have been the requirement that the "form" of the wedding matched Church requirements. If neither of you were Catholic, there would be no requirement that the wedding take place in a Catholic Church.
nor do I understand how the marriage could be invalid if there was no deception, no expectation that it would be temporary, etc.
Depends on what the "etc" are. What if one of you mistakenly thought that you were free to marry, but that wasn't the case? (For example -- and I'm not saying that this is the case, but just giving an example based on your question -- what if one of you had earlier eloped and gotten married at a chapel in Vegas; but thought that it wasn't a valid (sacramental) marriage. Then, you two would have entered your marriage thinking that it would be valid, but you would have been objectively mistaken.)
We went into it expecting it to be for life, as I think most couples do. Why does the tribunal get to decide whether the marriage was valid in the eyes of God
Because it's the competent authority on what constitutes marriage in the eyes of the Church? Maybe I don't understand what you're asking here...
Wasn't it valid if we both believed it was, and the annulment is just a get-out-of-jail-free card to get around the Church's prohibition on divorce?
What if you both believed it valid, but were objectively mistaken? Why isn't that a possibility?