This past weekend I was at my mother’s house for dinner, along with my two brothers (both of whom were baptized Catholic but are not active in their faith). My mom was married for 24 years to my father but they divorced about 10 years ago. They have since remarried.
Anyway, the topic of annulments came up and I told my mom she ought to look into it. She asked me whether it was church teaching that she was supposed to refrain from receiving the Eucharist and I explained that it was. Her new husband (also Catholic … both he and my mom are semi-active in their faith) spoke up and said the priest at their old church (someone he knew since childhood) told them they were fine and not to worry about it.
I prudently told them that a priest doesn’t have the power to negate church dogma and that he was wrong (I said this in the most polite way). My mom basically just said that there was no way she’d be able to get an annulment since she and my father were married so long. Plus she doesn’t want to “bastardize” us kids. (Her words.)
I told her that it wasn’t that way at all, but then my brother spoke up and said that annulments are just the church’s way of slipping out the back door of a marriage.
I’m sure glad my wife couldn’t make it to this dinner, because she was previously married and received an annulment.
Anyway, I really want to urge my mother toward getting an annulment and set her straight on church teaching. I also want to have a ready response for my brother, who’s awfully stubborn and doesn’t know about (or care much about) his Catholicism.
What do I say to him? And what chance would my mom have in receiving an annulment? She is happier than she’s ever been (she’s been remarried for awhile now, and her new husband is wonderful). The problem is, they continue to receive the Eucharist … and I don’t think either of them have any intention of looking into annulment.
For the record, he was previously married as well. And they got remarried in a Lutheran church.
I’m just a concerned son who wants to save his mother’s soul. Please help me.