[quote=chevalier]So you believe that people should be held to oaths they were unable to take in the first place? What about mental disorders, force, fraud?
I’m just saying we make up our minds. I could easily construct a case giving an excuse why practically any marriage maybe should never have happened. Do the two become one or not?
If we don’t think a person is mentally capable to take on vows, then maybe we should not marry them in the first place. Let them speak before they are pronounced man and wife or forever hold them peace.
Or, we just admit that we are a glorified legal system and call a divorce a divorce. We agree with the law to call our offering “marriage” after all. We just don’t like to think we are delivering the same faulty product.
You can’t be “allowed to have your marriage annulled”. There is no such thing as annulment, there is only the declaration of nullity. The Church cannot retroactively invalidate marriage. It’s not like the tribunal says “oh, it didn’t work out, so let’s annul it”. What is being done is finding out if there was a validly concluded marriage in the very first place.
The question never comes up to the tribunal unless it didn’t work out, and you can’t tell me the tribunal members don’t have a personal interest in the outcome, can you? If you were a lawyer on a tribunal, would you not keep searching until you either found a “loophole” or were convinced you had exhausted all practicable options? If not, then the tribunal really isn’t functioning right.
Their marriage was convalidated. As it was convalidated, it means that it hadn’t been valid. If they had had a valid marriage, they wouldn’t have needed convalidation.
Yes, but then that creates the problem of not knowing whether any given marriage is valid unless it has been thoroughly and expensively researched.
Yes, divorce is. And so is fornication. When you know for sure or reasonably suppose that your marriage is invalid and still have sex, it’s fornication or even adultery if either of you has a previous valid marriage.
If it takes a team of lawyers to figure out whether the marriage is valid, then how can a person possibly be held responsible for having sex on the basis of their marriage might not be valid.
It brings us back to the truth that I’m not sure you embrace, that annulment is “discovered” as a result of an attempt at marriage that didn’t work out. In effect, we are saying, "it didn’t work out so let’s go hire a search time to find out how we can claim our marriage never happened.
Sounds like a game to me. A very dangerous game that we have learned to take seriously.
You say you don’t know why “annulment” is there. I say I don’t know why some priests teach people not to investigate the validity of their marriage if there is doubt but they don’t want to separate. After all, where’s the sacramental union if the marriage is objectively invalid?
That’s exactly my point, too. Moreover, if the marriage is objectively invalid, but both parties are clueless to that fact when they make their vows, then how does any couple know whether their vows actually mean anything at the time they take them? They could be led into satan’s trap and fornicate on their wedding night, not realizing they are actually unmarried. I say let’s not call them fornicators, but remember when Christ said, “Lord forgive them for they know not what they do.”.