Petition for a declaration of nullity... Denied


Hello All,

I wanted to post this and ask that you remember me and my “wife” in your prayers. Some of you may remember aways back when my wife and I separated and this last November, the divorce she had filed for was granted. After almost 3 years apart, many many prayers, and the divorce being granted (are they ever denied?) I petitioned the tribuneral for a declaration of nullity. I did this after coming to the conclusion that I didn’t know what God wanted for me. I continue to love my wife and I always will. The fact is, if she ever wanted to come back I know that I would forgive her and be open to working to repair the marriage. However, after almost 3 years, little had changed. I finished raising the children and the last one graduated high school this spring. So, I kind of made a deal with God… In that deal, I said that I would file the petition with the Church and would abide by whatever the Church decided. If the Church decided against the annulment, I would continue to hold out hope that someday there would be reconciliation with my wife and until then I would simply be patient, chaste, and continue to be supportive when she came to me with life’s problems. If the declaration of nullity were granted, I would finish paying off the last credit card, wait until the last child finished university (4 years from now) and then join a religious order as a monk in a cloistered setting. I truly feel that if I am not allowed to be a husband, I wish to spend the rest of my life serving God as a monk.

Well, the answer came yesterday, Saturday, July 12th. The declaration of nullity was denied. So, for those who have expressed a curiosity as to whether or not the Church always approves these petitions, I speak from experience when I say they do not. The decision has me torn. The fact is, when I first filed I knew that regardless of the decision, I wasn’t going to be completely happy. The deacon assigned by my diocese to help me with the annulment process had made the statement that many people find the process helps them heal. In my case, I still do not understand this concept. Perhaps that is because I continue to be in love with the woman that I married and at the same time realize that had the Church granted the petition there would have never been a marriage to begin with. If the Church denied my petition, as they have done, I feel that I am only half a person. My wife remains “independent” and “free” while I must remain patient and alone. Where is the healing in any of that?! Still a part of me is happy to be married in God’s eyes if not society’s, and a part of me is sad that I will be unable to join a religious order, shut myself away from this society and concentrate fully on God and His mercy. I have found my cross.

I apologize for the rather long post, and thank you for suffering through it. God bless all of you.


Praying for you,and your wife.May our Lord comfort you.:signofcross:


Must be incredibly difficult … :gopray2: I don’t know whether you could appeal? I believe it’s an option in these cases.

I hope and pray that whatever good things God has in store for you (and I’m sure He does) will come to you sooner rather than later.


Although I understand “making a deal”,do you think God may be a little “miffed” that you felt you had to do that? Had it been me, I would have asked for peace one way or the other. It seems to me that you don’t have that.



I am sorry this is so heartbreaking for you.

A couple of things. First, if this is only the court of first instance send it on to the court of second instance and then the Rota.

Secondly, you may be able to find an order that will take you anyway-- there may be a way you can become a brother. Not sure if there is any leeway in canon law allowing dispensation, but it can’t hurt to try since you do not seek ordination.


Perhaps you are meant to do this as a person in the world, not shut away from it.

Like the PP said, there are many orders and ways to live out your vocation. With God all things are possible, right?

You’ve already faced this trial with courage and grace. Sometimes the healing hurts worse than the wound.


Did your wife participate? If they only had your side of the story, they would only have the perspective that you meant your vows and were committed from the beginning.

I’m praying for you. I have a cousin who when she is at a crossroads will ask God to close all of the doors other than the one that he wants her to walk through. That has really happened, and of course it brings great peace when she has had to give up that which she had thought she had wanted.


Hang in there, Tietjen. You still have a child in college, after all, four years.

As others have said, if this is just the court of first instance, it might be different at the court of second instance, or the Rota. And you might still be able to be a religious brother.

God is far from finished with you, my friend!:slight_smile: Praying you find a solid answer, and peace…


Brother … :hug1:

Thats really tough. I can’t say much of anything that would make any sense but I am praying for you right now.

I hope your wife knows how you feel about her and how the Church views your marriage.

You are a married man… and a faithful and loving married man.
While you are all that I dont see why you cant perhaps join a religious community and live there and join their whole life of prayer and fellowship… there are a few such communities where both religious brothers and sisters as well as lay brothers and sisters are more than welcome.

:frowning: I feel for you… ****


Just because you are married does not mean you can’t give your life to the church. I would recommend you looking at becoming a deacon. It seems you have a great wealth of knowledge to share. Esp. with young couples who are entering marriage. I have faith that you can find and follow a very rewarding path. Search for it my friend…


I will keep you in my prayers. God has a plan for you, be open to whatever that might entail. I suggest that perhaps it is too soon to discern what that plan is - just give this some time to settle into your heart so you can see a bit more clearly where you are to go.




I am so sorry for how your life is right now. It sounds like your life is still in upheaval and as far as the “healing” goes it seems more that this happens when there is a declaration of nullity than one that is denied :(.

I did want to comment on one part of your post that caught my eye and so far no one has commented on - you said “My wife remains “independent” and “free” while I must remain patient and alone.” I can tell by the fact that you put the words independent and free in parenthesis that you really know in your heart that this is not true. You are heartbroken because you have (what is so far to the Tribunal) is a valid marriage you are mourning something that your wife has “thrown away”. Remember that she is not free and independent, she is burdened beyond belief just not by the worlds standards, continue to pray for her and get some counceling for yourself so you can get on with life, just know that you are not free to marry because you have a valid marriage (unless the other measures prove otherwise).

My prayers for you and all who are suffering similar instances.

Brenda V.


**This was my thought too. There are far too few examples of faithful divorced Catholics in this society. We clearly see the ones who turn away from the Church, get “remarried” (without a declaration of nullity I mean), or generally live out the rest of their lives bitter and angry.

You have the opportunity to be a shining light in a place that is filled with darkness. Maybe you are not meant to hide that light away from the world…

I understand the whole “making a deal” part, but we do not know the mind of God. You limited Him (and yourself) to only two choices. Since you do not yet know peace I would guess that you have not yet found what it is that He wants you to do.


My friend, I think whatever the declaration is, when it comes, especially in consideration of a long marriage, it is like a kick in the stomach.

For you, it was “Wow. I was right. We were married faithfully and sacramentally in the eyes of God and she threw it away.”

For me it was “Wow. I was wrong. All these years I thought we were married faithfully and sacramentally in the eyes of God and I was wrong.”

So I have no good suggestions. If you were told by doctors that your wife was permanently in a physically vegetative state, you would “get on” with your own life for yourself and your children, but continue to live that life as a faithful and married man. It seems she is currently, perhaps permanently, in a **spiritually **vegetative state, and I pray you will go forward as a faithful disciple of our God. I will pray for you, for the strength and the courage that will take.


Ah, Tietjan , I’m sorry to read this. Is there any way you can get an appointment with a Canon Lawyer or Advocate to go over this with you? Perhaps you could have worded things differently or chose a different path to pursue.


I do not believe that God gets “miffed”, he is a loving, forgiving, God. Nor do I believe that he makes deals, making a deal with him means nothing, Us being human with human faults we do some human things when we are stressed, such a making a deal with God. However one sided deals are just that stress relievers. I don’t see anything wrong in doing that, Because you would ask for peace does not mean that the OP was any less willing to do God’s will.


You might shop around to different dioceses if you are interested in becoming a priest. Currently I know at least two of our priests were once married and divorced. One of them twice. He did receive a decree of nullity for both marriages. There were two others who did not have such decrees, but who were judged to have irreconciable marriages. One is now with our past Bishops permisssion an Air Force Chaplin. The other a parish priest and pastor. I do not know how this works, but evidently there is more than one way to “skin the cat.” I don’t have any idea what the loopholes were. Our particular diocese accepts men of advanced years for the priesthood. Several over 65. The seminary for those with late vocations is in Hales Corner, Wisconsin.


To LilyM - Yes, I was informed that I can “resubmit” “should better testimony become available.” I don’t see that happening as I simply told the truth and attempted to be very detailed. The Tribunal never contacted any witnesses or even my wife. I am not angry at the Tribunal, so please don’t get that impression. I knew that it would be difficult because I know how I felt and what my intentions were on the day of our wedding. I didn’t bend the truth I told them how I felt and what I remembered and perhaps they could not find anything in which to base a declaration of nullity.

To Katie1723 - The “deal” which I was speaking of really wasn’t a quid pro quo type of situation. The deal was more like, “Lord, I am going to submit this petition and leave everything in your hands. Whatever the outcome, I will accept it as your will.” It really wasn’t something like “if you do this for me, I’ll do that for you.”

To 1ke - I won’t be appealing the decision or resubmitting. There is no “good” outcome. Had the Tribunal ruled the other way, I would be just as depressed. I accept what God and His Church has decided. Now I must learn to walk this path with peace and not sadness. That will take some time and a lot of prayer. As for finding an order that will accept a married man as a brother… I hope that I might find such an order.

To everyone else who wrote, prayed, and gave words of encouragement thank you very much. It really does mean more than I can say. God bless all of you.


I hate to say this, but if this is true, then you did not have proper annulment proceedings. They can’t rule without getting the whole story. Was it the witnesses and your wife did not reply or did they not try to contact them. My ex was in prison and I asked them, what if she does not reply. The said they have to make every effort to try and reach her.

If they made their decision on your testimony alone, that is not enough, you may have had a free heart and entered the marriage completely, however if there was an issue on your wife’s part, then the marriage could very well be invalid, it takes both, not just one.

However if you are content with this, then move on. However either way you sounded like you would not even re-marry even if you had an annulment. So is there even a reaon to get one at all. You have a great love for your wife and until she has past or you have an annulment, she is still you wife and just think, possibly you can spend eternity with her in heaven. Think of that!!!

If you want to dedicate your life to the service to the church, there are msny, many ways you still can. As I recommended, look at becoming a deacon or possibly a priest. I have faith in you God loves you and you have a path ahead of you. Many prayers here for you.


I am sorry to hear about your situation. I am going through the process with the Tribunal right now, and I know it can be kind of a roller coaster ride of emotions.

I would say that I agree with the previous poster about something not being correct about not contacting the witnesses. I was certainly told that they would HAVE to be contacted, along with me ex, unless the situation could be decided based on Pauline or Petrine priviledge.

I realize you seem content with the decision you’ve recieved, but I wanted to agree that it does seem like maybe appealing might bring greater clarification?


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