SPLIT: Planning for marriage before annulment granted and more


#1

I have a question which I hope that someone will be able to help me with. My divorced spouse is living with the woman why he committed adultery and left me for. She just converted to the Cathokic faith and received her Holy communion. They both receive the sacrament of the Eucharist and have even done so this past Easter in front of myself and our children at the church that my divorced spouse and I were parishioners together prior to the divorce. My divorced spouse’s girlfriend has stated to me that their Priest and Deacon have discussed it with them amd that they are allowed to take communion as long as they are “at peace with it in their hearts” which is the internal forum answer, which as I understand it is against canon law and their priest and deacon have discussed their future marriage and that his vasectomy will not be an impediment to it, even though our marriage is still valid. He has filed for n annulment but I only received the citation a week ago and I intend to contest it. From what I understand, the priest and deacon should not be allowing them to have communion or discussing marriage with them until and IF our marriage is declared invalid. I feel betrayed that their priest and deacon are doing this. Aren’t they delict of God’s law and Canon law? How would I go about asking the Bishop? To request that this stop?


#2

I would first talk with the priest and/or deacon involved, and see what their reasoning is behind allowing a married man to remarry. If the priest performing the wedding ceremony announces the banns of marriage (which he is supposed to do 3 times prior to the wedding), then that would be a perfect time for you to address your concerns to him.

If that gets nowhere, then I would approach the bishop, either with a letter/e-mail, or by calling the Chancery and trying to speak with the bishop in person.

[edited] And welcome to CAF!


#3

aaa


#4

I can not address your issue directly but would like to comment that you are the second person in a week on this forum to report that a priest gave someone the OK for something we all thought to be not OK. Taking communion under the circumstances you have described seems very wrong to me and yet a priest said it was fine? I do not understand what is going on,


#5

[quote="larsont7]I would first talk with the priest and/or deacon involved, and see what their reasoning is behind allowing a married man to remarry.
[/quote]

Clearly, we only have a small inkling of what’s going on here, so we cannot jump to conclusions. However, even with the little info we have, what we don’t have is marriage prep for the OP’s ex-husband. On the other hand, we have the assertion that a divorced man who is not re-married may receive communion (ok…) and an unmarried couple who are living together are receiving communion (ok – but we don’t know anything about their discussions with the pastor, and we don’t know that they’re sleeping together (or whether they promised the pastor that they would not)). We also have the statement that a vasectomy wouldn’t be an impediment to marriage (ok – infertility isn’t an impediment, after all). Finally, we know that the process to petition for a decree of nullity has begun. However, we have nothing that suggests that marriage prep with the pastor is underway.

What is going on is that a divorced guy who is living with a woman has been given the OK to receive communion. We don’t know exactly what the pastor’s rationale is, in this case. Is there the potential for scandal? Sure seems like it. Is there mortal sin being committed, in the time frame following her baptism? We don’t know (although it sure seems that we’ve jumped to that conclusion). Therefore, we don’t know all the facts of the situation.

If we were to know more of the story, or the whole story, then we’d be able to assess the situation. As it is, we cannot. :wink:


#6

I recently received my declaration of invalidity, i.e. annulment, from my ex who left me for someone else. She remarried quickly. I didn’t even think about dating because until the Church said otherwise, we were still married. Anyway, based on what you have described, the priest and deacon are definitely in error and I would contact the Bishop. Will pray for you.


#7

Prayers are a good thing.

Making decisions or giving answers on what in a court of law would be called double hearsay is not. The OP said that someone else said (hearsay) that the priest and deacon said (double hearsay) that “xyz”. We don’t know what the pries and/or deacon said; what they said may not be what was stated by the girl friend, and what the girl friend said may or may not be accurately stated by the OP. Making judgments on such is at best chancy.

As noted by Georgias, there are a lot of facts we do not know, some of which could result in opposite conclusions. And lacking those facts, then assumptions get made which could be critically wrong.


#8

Thank you for your prayers. I will put you in mine as well.


#9

And there is sooo very much to the whole story. :frowning: all I can say without going into more depth, I don’t know if the WHOLE story is welcome here? Anyways, no they did not agree to live as brother and sister. They were told specifically that it is between their hearts and God.

I appreciate all of you taking the time to answer and give feedback. I really do. I guess that I never had a problem with my divorced spouse using internal forum before because it had to do with his conscious, my main issue was that our children know that was simply against the Church’s teachings. Their father told them he had to answer to God and no one else. I think it’s the hypocrisy of choosing which canons he will follow and which he thinks he doesn’t have to, the hypocrisy that bothers me, it is a bad example to the kids too. He has petitioned for an annulment and says its very important to him what the church believes. Except obviously the exceptions he determines or chooses not to lol :shrug: but when asked ok, if the Church finds that our marriage is valid, then what? Will you abide by the Church laws then? And his answer is of course “no”. :shrug:


#10

[quote="Poeticlicense, post:1, topic:326961"]
He has filed for n annulment but I only received the citation a week ago and I intend to contest it. From what I understand, the priest and deacon should not be allowing them to have communion or discussing marriage with them until and IF our marriage is declared invalid. I feel betrayed that their priest and deacon are doing this. Aren't they delict of God's law and Canon law? How would I go about asking the Bishop? To request that this stop?

[/quote]

People who have gone through a divorce are wounded, and the truth is that in almost all cases, both parties in one way or another are wounded. Because of the pain, it is not unusual that a wounded party will be seeking some sense of balance, and too often that sense of balance is not achieved if the individual continues to focus on the other party who did the wounding.

Whether or not the priest, the deacon, or both of them have said anything to the other party or the girlfriend is not your issue. You certainly could try to go to the bishop; and after decades of experience it is my humble opinion you are not going to get any satisfaction; it is entirely possible you may never be able to discuss the matter with the bishop at all as they usually have a number of people through whom you would need to go before even getting an appointment. If per chance the information you have been given is incomplete (and that possibility exists), there may be no wrong; and even if the priest and /or the deacon are wrong, there is little chance you are going to be the one to rectify the matter.

As to contesting the annulment, the tribunal does not work like civilian or criminal courts with one side making a case and the other side defeating it. You will have an opportunity to address any and all issues that existed as of the date of your marriage. You can provide the tribunal with the information you have about each of the parties as of that date, but it is not a contested case. Attempting to contest the case may well leave you effectively out of the loop.

What you need to do is answer the questions honestly and as completely as you can. I would suggest that you get someone trained in marriage cases to be your advocate/assistant in preparing your side of the case as it will most likely keep your answers focused on what the tribunal needs to hear. There is an old adage that he who represents himself has a fool for a client; that sounds harsh, but unless you have a thorough grasp of tribunals, Canon law, and how it all works, you may well be effectively defeating yourself.

Whoever you get, I would suggest looking to another parish for the help if for no other reason than to avoid any appearance to you or anyone else that you are not getting adequate help. Both priests and laity do this work, so it may or may not be a priest who helps you.

I can't urge you strongly enough to get someone to help you with the paperwork the tribunal will need. Failing to do this properly can leave the tribunal without the facts it needs to make a proper decision.


#11

[quote="Poeticlicense, post:1, topic:326961"]
I have a question which I hope that someone will be able to help me with. My divorced spouse is living with the woman why he committed adultery and left me for. She just converted to the Cathokic faith and received her Holy communion. They both receive the sacrament of the Eucharist and have even done so this past Easter in front of myself and our children at the church that my divorced spouse and I were parishioners together prior to the divorce. My divorced spouse's girlfriend has stated to me that their Priest and Deacon have discussed it with them amd that they are allowed to take communion as long as they are "at peace with it in their hearts" which is the internal forum answer, which as I understand it is against canon law and their priest and deacon have discussed their future marriage and that his vasectomy will not be an impediment to it, even though our marriage is still valid. He has filed for n annulment but I only received the citation a week ago and I intend to contest it. From what I understand, the priest and deacon should not be allowing them to have communion or discussing marriage with them until and IF our marriage is declared invalid. I feel betrayed that their priest and deacon are doing this. Aren't they delict of God's law and Canon law? How would I go about asking the Bishop? To request that this stop?

[/quote]

It is not the norm for a Catholic living as though married, to receive Holy Eucharist.

There is sometimes a possibility of taking a brother-sister vow of no sexual relations, and also they must sleep and behave in such a way as to not cause sexual temptations to each other, and they must confess their sins, and receive absolution. Then they may remain together to raise the children. If they receive communion it must not be a cause of scandal, so they might have to go to a church where they are not known.

Familiaris Consortio

"However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage."

"Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."(180)"
180 Pope John Paul II, AAS 72 (1980), 1082

*vatican.va/holy_father/jo...sortio_en.html *

CDF Divorced and Remarried:
vatican.va/roman_curia/co...vorced_en.html


#12

[quote="Poeticlicense, post:1, topic:326961"]
I have a question which I hope that someone will be able to help me with. My divorced spouse is living with the woman why he committed adultery and left me for. She just converted to the Cathokic faith and received her Holy communion. They both receive the sacrament of the Eucharist and have even done so this past Easter in front of myself and our children at the church that my divorced spouse and I were parishioners together prior to the divorce. My divorced spouse's girlfriend has stated to me that their Priest and Deacon have discussed it with them amd that they are allowed to take communion as long as they are "at peace with it in their hearts" which is the internal forum answer, which as I understand it is against canon law and their priest and deacon have discussed their future marriage and that his vasectomy will not be an impediment to it, even though our marriage is still valid. He has filed for n annulment but I only received the citation a week ago and I intend to contest it. From what I understand, the priest and deacon should not be allowing them to have communion or discussing marriage with them until and IF our marriage is declared invalid. I feel betrayed that their priest and deacon are doing this. Aren't they delict of God's law and Canon law? How would I go about asking the Bishop? To request that this stop?

[/quote]

I'm not 100% sure, but I think that priests are only supposed to deny communion to formally declared heretics.

I think the issue here is whether or not they are in a state of mortal sin, which is something the Church is within its right to determine. If they are cohabiting and having sex, then I think you are within your rights to complain, though you must accept that the Church has the right to interpret Canon law. It may not be as cut and dry as you think. For example, my father, a widower, dated a women (soon to be my step-mother) who had recently divorced and was seeking an annulment from her physically abusive spouse, who I imagine might have just as well as you contested it. They were not doing anything inherently sinful, so I don't think the Church would have denied them communion either.

Now, this situation sounds really different than yours, it at least shows that there is some wiggle room in this situation.

As for the annulment, although I don't mean to be insensitive as I don't know if there are other circumstances, but it seems strange to me that you would oppose it. Your husband seems like to be - forgive me for saying this - kind of a louse. At least, if I had a spouse who cheated on me, I would like to think that I simply didn't know their true character and the person I thought I had married was merely a phantom, which would be grounds for annulment.

However, if you are still concerned, you should speak to your bishop.


#13

Now that I have read that they are in fact living in sin, I think I can fault the priest - but not for giving them communion, but for telling them it was acceptable for them to do so. If anything, they are being lead astray by this priest into believing what they are doing is acceptable. You should speak to the Bishop, but I would make the issue not the fact that he did not deny them communion, but the fact that he told them it was okay to do so.


#14

Are declarations of nullity not appealable? I’m thinking that Sheila Rauch Kennedy successfully appealed a declaration of nullity by a tribunal, and it was eventually overruled by the Vatican which declared the marriage valid.


#15

:thumbsup:


#16

[quote="otjm, post:10, topic:326961"]
... As to contesting the annulment, the tribunal does not work like civilian or criminal courts with one side making a case and the other side defeating it. You will have an opportunity to address any and all issues that existed as of the date of your marriage. You can provide the tribunal with the information you have about each of the parties as of that date, but it is not a contested case. Attempting to contest the case may well leave you effectively out of the loop.

....

[/quote]

Hello,

I would suggest that while the *manner *in which a tribunal operates is different from civil courts--there are practically no times when two parties and their lawyers will be in a room, verbally arguing their points or watching witnesses be deposed or any of the other stuff you see on television--the tribunal deals with contested points, with people arguing opposite sides. Hence, a marriage nullity trial is spoken of as an "ordinary contentious process" in the Code. The law itself and the defender of the bond (and occasionally the Respondent party and/or his/her advocate and witnesses) would attempt to defend the presumed validity of the marriage while the Petitioner, his/her advocate, and witnesses try to prove that the marriage is actually invalid. The Advocates, in particular, would actually argue the case from either side.

I also am not sure what you mean by the last sentence in the quote above.

Perhaps we are using different meanings for the word "contest/contested."

Dan


#17

[quote="JimG, post:14, topic:326961"]
Are declarations of nullity not appealable? I'm thinking that Sheila Rauch Kennedy successfully appealed a declaration of nullity by a tribunal, and it was eventually overruled by the Vatican which declared the marriage valid.

[/quote]

Usually cases are argued at the diocesan level (tribunal of first instance). A finding of nullity is always submitted to the tribunal of second instance, which in Canada is the National Marriage Tribunal in Ottawa and in the US is usually tribunal of the metropolitan bishop. Finally, it can be appealed to the Roman Rota, the tribunal of third instance. In Kennedy's case the finding of nullity was appealed to the Roman Rota in the second instance. The Roman Rota overturned the finding of nullity.


#18

[quote="JimG, post:14, topic:326961"]
Are declarations of nullity not appealable? I'm thinking that Sheila Rauch Kennedy successfully appealed a declaration of nullity by a tribunal, and it was eventually overruled by the Vatican which declared the marriage valid.

[/quote]

Any decision is automatically sent to another tribunal to be reviewed. Under some circumstances, a decree of nullity can be appealed to the Rota. that ws the case with Sheila; she appealed it to the Rota. No idea why the Rota made a decision and it was not revealed for 5 years.

I don't wish to get into Sheila's case as it was case specific. There have been some who have said that the Kennedy clan has expressed some unique ideas about Catholicism and it may be far more that the case was poorly put together and poorly decided by the original tribunal. As it appears that it will not be petitioned again, that is about all we can say about that.

I am not saying that one cannot appeal a decision by a tribunal (as they are automatically appealed to a second tribunal); only that the OP would be far better off not taking the stance that she is going to contest the case. She needs to honestly respond to any and all questions she will receive from the tribunal and state her case, and she is best advised to have someone trained thoroughly in this area of Canon law as her advisor.


#19

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