Rebirthing husband and marriage annulment


#1

Hello all! This is my first time on. Believe me, I have a serious problem, and wonder if anyone can give me any help. My husband has fallen into a cult named Rebirthing. He has asked to annul the marriage (not that he cares about the Catholic Church -he is part of a cult), he only wants to humiliate me. He wants to prove that I'm immature and depressed before the marriage. This is not true. But he will have alot of people to testify against me. And he has a fancy/expense lawyer. I can not afford a lawyer. I live in Italy. Canada is my home where we were married. I have no one here that can help me. I find it incrediable that I can't find a Church article/code that says that when someone falls in a cult, that is against the Catholic/Cristian teachings, that a marriage can not be annulled. He even has publically declared that he is part of Rebirthing in Civil Court documentation.
Can anyone help me?
I have very little time.
Please.
(Removed email address as per Forum Rules)
I'm not too good (i'm new) at using this website.


#2

Civilly, unfortunately, you probably have no recourse.

However, as a Catholic you can contest his declaration for an annulment, or write for your own case. He sounds like he's gone off the deep end and it may be better not to have that spiritual connection.


#3

However, what I need is some cannon law article that says I can annul the marriage, because he has chosen to leave the Catholic/Cristian faith. He has his fancy lawyer, with the cannon law article that says he can annul because I am depressed, and and another cannon law article that says I was immature before the marriage (it is not true).
I feel so helpless.
He is the one that is in the cult, and everyone seems to say it doesn’t matter because it happened after the marriage.
But chosing to enter a cult, is not like being an alcoholic, or having a gambling problem, or liking prostitutes. It is much more seriuos. This is not an illness. This is going against the faith. I need help. Please


#4

However, what I need is some cannon law article that says I can annul the marriage, because he has chosen to leave the Catholic/Cristian faith. He has his fancy lawyer, with the cannon law article that says he can annul because I am depressed, and and another cannon law article that says I was immature before the marriage (it is not true).
I feel so helpless.
He is the one that is in the cult, and everyone seems to say it doesn’t matter because it happened after the marriage.
But chosing to enter a cult, is not like being an alcoholic, or having a gambling problem, or liking prostitutes. It is much more seriuos. This is not an illness. This is going against the faith. I need help. Please


#5

Ok First.
Stop worrying about a lawyer. They handle civil law, not church law. Go talk to priest.

What happens during the marriage dosn’t count. Depression, even serious, medicated depression will not make a marriage invalid.

If he can prove you were immature before marriage that’s another thing. That has nothing to do with a lawyer. If you were being treated for depression, all the better, you can have the psychologist or doctor testify on your behalf.

Worst comes to worse the marriage gets annulled. If you can’t do anything about it it’s not your sin. Painful, but not sin.

Cult IS bad, however, you do need to stop freaking out. Regardless of what is going on this is happening. You will only make yourself seem dramatic and unlikeable. It sounds like you’re playing the “I’ve got the worst problem” line gets annoying really fast.

It can be a sign that HE had a mental illness or was hiding a secret from you. Fight fire with fire.


#6

Angela

You have my deepest sympathies, this must be incredibly painful. The prospect of your marriage being annulled, the prospect of being depicted as depressed, immature, hysterical etc in court would make most of us upset.

Go and speak to a priest URGENTLY. Stop worrying about the lawyer your husband is employing, a lawyer attacking the other party who doesn't have such representation could actually make a bad impression. The priest may also know someone who can help you, especially someone with a qualification in Canon Law. But you can only get this help if you act now. Stop thinking about fancy lawyers.

Try to remain calm (much easier said than done I know). If your husband is trying to make out that you were (and maybe are) immature, depressed etc, then appearing as calm, rational and mature as possible will be the best way of fighting against the case.

If the very worst happens and your marriage is annulled, then take that as a sign from God that He does not want you to be married to this man any more. I know it must hurt to lose him, but if his application were unsuccessful, it would only mean that you would be tied to this person, who has changed from the person you married. He has been snared by this cult and remaining married to him isn't going to change that. You are not going to be able to persude him to leave this cult and rejoin the Church. Extracting people from a cult is very difficult and is often impossible. The cult has made him reject you, as part of their control techniques, so he will have been told not to listen to you.

Speak to a priest as soon as possible but be prepared for your attempts to stop this annulment to fail. If the Church annuls your marriage, that is very painful but at least you will be free to re-marry or follow whatever path God wills. If the marriage isn't annulled, you will still be married in the eyes of the Church, but not in your husband's eyes. Annullment may be the less painful of the two situations.

I'll be praying for you.


#7

I never heard of the cult but you need to get a lawyer for your own protection if he is divorcing you civilly. If he seeks an annulment through the Catholic Church (although why he would is a mystery) it has nothing to do with expensive lawyers and humiliation, it has to do with proving the conditions for a valid marriage were not present at the time of the original contract. You will be given the same interview process and same chance to provide testimony and witnesses, and be party to all the proceedings, and have right to appeal. Lawyers won't help him with an annulment but you still have to protect you and your children during a civil divorce. See a lawyer, or a woman's advocacy agency if you cannot afford one, and see your priest if and when he initiates annulment proceedings after the divorce (he cannot do it beforehand).

nobody can "annul" a valid marriage.
The annulment procedure investigates the facts that relate to the capacity of the capacity, intent and free will of the couple at the time of the marriage to see if it was valid from its inception. No, anything that transpires after the wedding is not grounds for annulment, including infidelity, joining a cult etc., unless it sheds light on or pertains to conditions that existed at the time of the marriage.

If you have a question about your specific situation you need to see your own priest who can guide to you the people in your diocese who can assist you with an annulment proceeding. Fees are nominal and usually waived or sliding scale in case of need. see your priest this week.


#8

I don't know how things work in Italy...But I strongly suggest that you do as others have advised and seek the council of a good priest who will be able to properly guide you based on Italian law as it relates to Church law.

does Italy provide for legal council to those who cannot afford it? Something worth checking into and something that the priest might be able to advise you on as well.

Heavenly Father,
Guide and protect your daughter in her trial and sorrow.
Help her to be a true witness to your Love,
that through her your lost son, her husband, might find his way out of this cult.
In Christ's name we ask this.
Amen

Peace
James


#9

A quick Google of “Rebirthing” produced a somewhat disconnected jumble of results.

The clearest explanation of it seems to be HERE

But then there are many negative links in the google “hit” list HERE

From what little I can gather, it seems that the OP’s husband has some serious mental issues that he is dealing with…It does not appear that this “Rebirthing” is any sort of actual religious “cult” as such.

Peace
James


#10

He cannot just “annul” the marriage. As far as depression and immaturity he can only use those for decree of nullity proceedings if they were present at the time of marriage and kept you from making valid consent. Also you may want to consider a support group - we have one online here on CAF - just click my signature block. In person is better. See your priest. He cannot do anything regarding decree of nullity until the divorce is final anyway and then after that if he wants to start the proceedings let him pay to start them if he would like.


#11

I remember hearing about this tragedy and thinking "Only in Denver."

religionnewsblog.com/21935/rebirthing-candace-newmaker

OP, I hope your husband isn't falling for this bogus "therapy" that has people wrapped in blankets and covered in pillows to simulate going through the birth canal...I have heard that some people actually go through this "birth," and then are told to squirm and then crawl, as if they were growing up all over again...It's not only silly, it can be very harmful even fatal.

OP, you didn't say whether children are involved. If not, then you must talk to your priest, and pray, and follow your priest's advice. Take it one step at a time and try not to freak out too much.


#12

This is not a reason for an annulment. Either you were validly married or you weren’t; what happens after the marriage is not relevant, unless it is indicative of either spouses state of mind prior to the marriage.

I’m assuming you have a sacramental marriage. If either party isn’t validly baptized, the marriage can be dissolved under circumstances and with conditions. You’ll have to speak to a priest in either case, so he’ll guide you along the proper path.

He has his fancy lawyer, with the cannon law article that says he can annul because I am depressed, and and another cannon law article that says I was immature before the marriage (it is not true).

FWIW, if he and his attorney carry on like lunatics during the annulment proceeding, that will help your cause. Ignore what they say. I know of a case where a wife married young to a control freak, and the husband tried to control the entire annulment proceeding. Needless to say, the annulment was granted.


#13

I am not sure why you want to prove that YOU can annul the marriage. If you want an annulment and he is trying to get one, if it goes through, at the end of the day your marriage will be annulled.

I have a feeling you only want to annul the marriage first so you don’t go through the humilitation of him saying you are immature. As understandable as that is, it is a bit immature.

My heart bleeds for you because I am sure it must be hard to live in a foreign country without family.

But again, I am not even sure if you want an annulment or a reconciliation.

CM


#14

[quote="cmscms, post:13, topic:249538"]
I am not sure why you want to prove that YOU can annul the marriage. If you want an annulment and he is trying to get one, if it goes through, at the end of the day your marriage will be annulled.

I have a feeling you only want to annul the marriage first so you don't go through the humilitation of him saying you are immature. As understandable as that is, it is a bit immature.

My heart bleeds for you because I am sure it must be hard to live in a foreign country without family.

But again, I am not even sure if you want an annulment or a reconciliation.

CM

[/quote]

What CM does say has a bit of truth to it although it is a bit uncharitable for it to be referred to as immature. One thing you may not be aware of is that decree of nullity proceedings are closed proceedings. The findings are closed. Nothing can be taken from the Tribunal office, no notes can be made, etc. Even if this was the finding he could never prove it and even if you got your decree on some other grounds he would still shout from the rooftops it was granted on his. Let it go - it does not matter what the grounds are - just that it goes through or it does not.


#15

If it were me, I'd go ahead and let him start the annulment proceedings and claim anything that he wants to. If he's into "rebirthing," or whatever you want to call it, he's clearly unbalanced. Who cares what he says about you in the annulment papers? Nobody's allowed to see them, anyways, outside of the tribunal.

You absolutely have to get a civil attorney to handle your case in order to protect your civil interests. Contact the lawyer's guild or the bar association to see if they can recommend someone who will handle your case on a pro bono or reduced fee basis.

Sometimes God has pretty peculiar ways of handing out blessings. Your husband's insistence of claiming that you were "emotionally immature" at the time of your marriage just may be one of God's blessings in disguise. Look at it this way--you will be out of this squirrel cage of a marriage and free in the eyes of the Church to contract marriage with a much more suitable man if the annulment is granted.


#16

Just to add to the above - especially the bolded portion, The annulment process (at least here in the US) is pretty thorough in it’s questioning and both parties will be asked to fill out an exhaustive questionnaire. In addition, both parties are invited to refer witnesses, people who knew the couple before and after the wedding, who will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire.

I think of the people tasked with reviewing these answers as being folks who have, like any experienced judge, “seen it all, heard it all”…and perfectly able to pick through the BS to uncover the truth.

The bottom line on all of this is to answer the questions honestly and charitably. Then leave the rest in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

Peace
James


#17

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