The Annulment Process

black and white sacred heartSometimes A Wound Has To Be Reopened In Order To Be Authentically Healed!

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By, Fr. John Hollowell – “Hey Father, what’s up with annulments?” One of those dreaded questions but also something that is just another opportunity for a priest to suck it up and say to himself, “Uncomfortable – yes, but is this also an opportunity to bring healing and grace to people – definitely a yes as well!”

Let’s first of all turn to the perception of the annulment process. The Church, so it goes, has taken Jesus, a pretty cool laid back guy who talks mostly about loving everyone and bashing and breaking rules, and then along came the Church, which suddenly set up a gigantic bureaucracy and erected gigantic hurdles and unnecessary rules, laws, and regulations, all of which make Jesus seem a lot more difficult to
approach. The annulment process is often viewed as the most obvious example of Church bureaucracy, and, so it goes, this could NEVER have been what Jesus intended, and so if I had a divorce and remarried, then God understands.

First of all as a response, I think it is important to read a past post on this topic by clicking here.  Secondly, let’s look at Jesus’ words on the topic in Matthew 19: “I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” Notice Christ’s words – divorce and remarriage = adultery. He doesn’t blink. His Apostles follow up with basically, “wow, that’s hard.” Jesus doesn’t blink or back down.

What we need to ask ourselves is this – is the stereotype of the Church true, or is it perhaps actually the case, as G.K. Chesterton noted, that the Church actually SOFTENS the words of Jesus in certain key situations?

Often times, in order to dismiss the Church, people use the “bureaucracy” argument to justify their decision to not go through the
process, but I think people need to be steered in the direction of Matthew 19:9 and spend some time really praying over that passage and asking themselves if the stereotype of the Church as the dictatorial gatekeeper to “cuddly Jesus” is based in reality.

The annulment process, contrary to perception, is actually ALL about healing. People often tell me “I’m over her or him since our divorce” but I just don’t think that is usually the case. There is a BIG difference between Saying “I’m over so and so” and actually BEING over so and
so.

The process seems intimidating as well because it is often lengthy. However, it takes a lot to gather all the necessary information. Some people especially bristle at the idea of having to get written statements from exes and their families and so forth – people say that they’d just rather not go through that and open up old wounds. Sometimes, when a wound is infected and never properly healed, it must be reopened in order to be authentically healed, and that is the case with the annulment process as well.

The Church also teaches that those who have remarried without first getting an annulment are not in a state in which to receive the sacraments. That is also perceived as very harsh, but it is something that should hopefully be an impetus to couples to first get right with God.

Let us pray for all of the families out there who are wrestling with the annulment process! Also, those who are going through
it should know that it is EXTREMELY inspiring to priests to see couples who have remarried but are working on an annulment stepping aside from the Sacraments for a time while they get right with Christ and His Church through the annulment
process.

Catholics that have divorced and remarried prior to receiving an annulment can still work towards an annulment and, upon receiving one, can have their new marriage blessed by the Church and thus resume receiving the Sacraments.

Finally, here is a great essay from a young adult on her sometimes rocky but ultimately worthwhile experience with the annulment process.
Click here to read.

P.S. – Would you do Courageous Priest a favor and share this info with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Email right now? We truly appreciate it. Or leave a comment, we would love to hear what you think.

38 comments to The Annulment Process

  • Michael

    Well my personal opinion on annulments are that they are a money maker for the church. The aduleterating spouse gets absolved of all of the sins they committed again the innocent parties in the family and the community. The innocent ones are left hanging out to take the beatings once more. So realizing that this country is built upon the precepts of Protestant rules where divorce is good enough to push God aside (Henry VIII) we follow those old rules rather than our own older laws of Rome! What is this? One more question what exactly is “Healing” is it the cash exchanged for the annulment. If it is a clean concience to marry again after numerous years simply by purchasing a piece of paper we must remember buying a license got us into this mess and it is worse for Senior Citizens. If re-marriage is adultery then why not just simply shack up or get re-married outside of the church? What heals? It may be time to quit the church if they are going to change the rules to accomodate the adulterous new couples. It is not like they cannot go to confession and repent? The Sacramental lines are very short these days

    • Paul Adomshick

      Michael, I fail to see how annulments are in any way a money maker for the church. The fee that formerly was charged didn’t even cover the costs of employing the staff of the diocesan tribunals that work on the annulments. For the most part, my understanding is that the fee only covered part of the costs, and the rest came out of the diocesan budgets. It actually was a money loser, even before Pope Francis, in 2014, ordered the fees to be eliminated, for the most part.

      I am currently petitioning for an annulment of my marriage. There are numerous reasons for my marriage to potentially be declared null under Canon Law, and I want to know whether the marriage was not valid, so that I can better understand what God’s plan for the rest of my life will be. I have remained faithful to my vows, and will not even date, let alone remarry, unless and until the marriage is declared null. For me, the process of working through the extensive questionnaire for probably 40 hours has been very healing, because I chose to use it as a way to examine what went wrong leading up to and during my marriage, and used it as an opportunity for prayer, reflection, and personal growth, by asking God for guidance in answering the questions thoroughly and truthfully. That there are people who choose not to do that does not mean that the process of petitioning for an annulment isn’t meant to be healing or cannot be healing. A declaration of nullity does not absolve anyone of sin, as you suggest. It has absolutely nothing to do with determining whether someone has been guilty of committing a sin. The purpose of the process is to determine if a marriage was valid at the time of the wedding, nothing more, nothing less.

      Please educate yourself more about the process, and how it can serve a true healing purpose for someone like me, regardless of the outcome of the petition, either for or against a declaration of nullity. I understand and share your concerns about declarations of nullity potentially being incorrect, and want the process to be a fair and thorough search for truth, rather than a rubber stamp for people to remarry. But, to assume that the process is just a money maker for the church, or cannot be a healing opportunity for those who are divorced to grow in their faith, shows a cynicism that is not borne of an accurate understanding of the reality of the process, or how the tribunal reaches its decision to make a declaration of nullity or not.

  • MK

    Jesus said to divorce + remarry = adultery, and to marry a divorced person is also adultery. God intended marriage to be a union of one man and one woman for life. Regardless of whether the marriage is “valid” or not, the DIVORCE must be valid and completed before an annulment can be processed. And Jesus clearly said that remarriage after DIVORCE is adulterous! As a wife and mother of 3 with a divorce forced on me after 16 years of marriage, I am praying daily with our children for the restoration of marriage and for salvation of my spouse. I know what Jesus said about marriage, and I know our vows are binding for life. St Paul says I am to remain single or reconcile. Neither Jesus nor St Paul told people to seek annulments!! Thus, I am extremely disappointed that many priests suggest annulment instead of reconciliation. Anyone can plead that wedding vows made were invalid due to unsound mind, temporarily incapacitated by infatuation! By the tribunals’ standards, our Blessed Mother & St Joseph could not have had a valid marriage, as I am certain any other couple in their circumstances would be able to get annulment easily. Adam & Eve too. Given that over 90% of applications would be successful, then IMHO what the Church is doing is a farce and disrespectful not only to abandoned spouses, but to Jesus Himself, and promotes a culture of divorce and remarriage. The road to hell is paved with good intentions … such as “compassion” and “mercy” for people who forsake their vows to God, break up homes, and go into adulterous remarriages. Christ have mercy on us all.

  • Joe

    “Individuals do not have the authority to determine whether their own marriage is valid.” — Oh please, when the tribunals reject 0% or 1% of cases in your diocese, they are certainly far from infallible. This may make it easier for some to sleep easy at night with their own annulment situation though.

  • Mark J

    Christina,

    My wording could have been better. It isn’t the first time 🙂

    You are correct . . .


    Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

    The church assumes a marriage is valid until a tribunal says otherwise. I was trying to make the point that a person can not just say “I know my marriage is not valid so I don’t need a tribunal to tell me.”.

  • Andy

    When one person doesn’t hold up that end you should suffer. My wife’s first husband wasn’t Catholic. That did play somewhat into things. My wife and are committed to each other as the 31 years has had some low points. But we worked through things. After her annulment we had our marriage blessed in our home Parrish.

    • Ryan

      I’m glad everything worked out for you. Most Young couples in today’s world would have just said hell of it and got a divorce God bless

  • Andy

    Then I guess you will be unhappy for the rest of your life. I truly think it doesn’t matter. But like I said my wife got her annulment.

  • Michael

    David, Thank you for the truth.
    Its about keeping our vows we made before God and to my wife. Its a vow I made TO God also.

  • David B

    Andy,

    You asked, “David would you have wanted to stay in your marriage if your wife didn’t love you anymore?” Did Jesus say it was ok to divorce if your spouse didn’t love you anymore? It’s not about my feelings. Or hers. I promised to be true to my wife in good times and in bad. In sickness and in health. I vowed to love her and honor her all the days of my life. It seems the modernist thinking says that we deserve to be happy, at any cost. However, love or happiness are not a requirement to a valid marriage. Sure, it is nice to have in a marriage, but I don’t recall any words of Jesus that those who divorce, except in cases of unhappiness or lovelessness, and marry another commits adultery. I do recall that Christ said to pick up our cross and follow him. When one is abandoned by his/her spouse, it is a very heavy cross. But, who am I to reject the cross I have been given? Would you have wanted Jesus to reject the cross he embraced? For you? For me? So, to answer your question, it’s not a matter of what I want, or what I don’t want. It’s about keeping the vow I made before God and to my wife. It’s about accepting the cross, which by definition, isn’t likely to be pleasant. So, yes, I stay in my marriage, regardless of what my wife has chosen. Because, whatever the civil courts may say, in the eyes of the Church, the marriage is presumed to be valid until proven otherwise.

    As to your comment presuming Bai and Deborah “are probably happily married,” you are incorrect. They, too, have been unwillingly forced into “no-fault” divorce, and have been abused (or currently abused) by U.S. tribunals. They both know well of what they speak. They are the ones who should be referred to as courageous.

  • Christina

    Mark J, you have it backwards. The church’s stance is that a marriage is valid until proven otherwise. An annullment is to see if a marriage otherwise thought valid is invalid.

    Andy, love is more than just an emotion. As it says in the Bible, our hearts are not to be trusted, because they can deceive. Love is more than a romantic feeling. You can do all the good work you want to at your parish but keep in mind these words http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10:11-13&version=NASB

    Mark 10:11-13

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    11 And He *said to them, “Whoever [a]divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and if she herself [b]divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:32&version=NASB
    but I say to you that everyone who [a]divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a [b]divorced woman commits adultery.

  • Andy

    Anyway my wife did get an annulment about 16 years ago and I can assure it wasn’t a walk in the park. Getting everyone to fill in the paperwork took weeks and weeks.

  • Andy

    Both of the last two posters are probably happily married. It is nice of you two to tell others what is right and wrong. I only know what I now about my wife’s situation. I have met her ex and he is an horse’s rearend. So if God plans out everything in our live. Does he then plan out divorce. He is responsible for all things right?

  • Deborah Nuzzo

    Marriage happens on the altar at consent, consent, consent and nothing that happens after that can be used to decide in favor of nullity. If a spouse feels unloved or loses that loving feeling towards his/her spouse, is that God’s fault? No. If a spouse feels mistreated, ignored or the exaggerated “abuse” excuse, is that God’s fault? Absolutely not! This is why Jesus made marriage a sacrament because hardships, infidelities, come. Sin happens! Marriages are meant to be kept alive by the constant grace that comes with the sacrament which if one’s faith is strong would be enough to heal or solve any problem– even bring love back to the spousal relationship. The blame falls on one or both spouses who either do not have a strong enough faith, are. not generous enough to love with sacrificial love or suffering, do not love God enough by keeping their vow made to HIM also and want the easy way out. If they do it with their first marriage, you can bet they’ll do it again. Any priest who encourages the break up of a marriage and takes the side of one spouse rather than do the job he was ordained to do nd counsel the couple, warn them of the sin and consequences of their action, and work to keep a married couple together is not worth his salt and will have to answer to God for it.
    God hates divorce!! When will Catholics learn?

  • Andy wrote, “David would you have wanted to stay in your marriage if your wife didn’t love you anymore? I wouldn’t.”

    For anyone who raises this issue, I ask the following:

    Did the father of the prodigal son disown the son after the son betrayed the father’s trust? Did Jesus, who models marital love toward His Church, abandon his people when his people sent him to the civil forum to be crucified? Where did anyone find in the Catholic Marriage Rite the caveat “I promise to be true to you in good times and bad EXCEPT if you decide to not act lovingly toward me anymore.”?

    There is a big difference between separation of spouses (which is appropriate only in circumstances of grave abuse or adultery) and nullity of marriage. The Holy See has been admonishing the English speaking Tribunals for years because they issue annulment for erroneous reasons and use illicit procedures.

    Bai

  • Andy

    David B,

    I stood by my wife who has a craddle catholic and tried to console her when she was going through the process. I was not catholic at that time. I had people walk up to me that knew her first husband and told me he wasn’t a very good person. He changed after they married. My wife did several years later get the annulment. Parrish priests are so busy they don’t have time to do them. Lay people help people with the paperword.

    A person man or women should not stay in an abusive marriage. David would you have wanted to stay in your marriage if your wife didn’t love you anymore? I wouldn’t.

  • Bill

    It is sometimes difficult to believe that the massive bureaucracy that has come into existence over the centuries has been divinely inspired. The power structure of the HRC is probably one of the most political organizations in the world. It, like many organizations, is composed of men who attended certain seminaries (schools), held certain jobs, and forged political connections that got them where they are. When you get the time, check out the bios of many of our Bishops. A substantial percentage of them are Roman trained and were funneled into jobs in chancery offices largely because of their political connections.

  • Deborah Nuzzo

    “Most marriages are valid. Most people know most marriages are valid and they know we know it too.” –Edward Cardinal Egan who helped revise the Code of Canon Law in 1983 and a former judge on the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

    Not many know more than he does about the untold number of Canonical Abuses and faulty understanding of “capacity” of our American Tribunals. There are clear requirements for an invalid consent and that means the person had to have a GRAVE problem at the moment of consent– some very severe psychological
    disorder not the weak reasons given today. Grave means Grave not some hissy little personality problem. Many people have personality problems, but are intelligent, are able to work and hold very good jobs and even raise a family. Basically, I am talking about the average citizen. If they can do this, they probably married validly. Ut does not take a rocket scientist. And IF a petitioner was truly incapacitated in some way, he/she should not be given the chance to try it again, yet the reason for many annulment petitions is the desire to marry the new love interest in their lives.

    There are several on this list who know the facts because we read what the last two Popes have said. statistics, and cases especially those overturned by the Roman Rota. If anyone here is so sure your first marriage is invalid and your annulment is legit, then you should have no fear to have Rome look at it. there is a very high chance it will be overturned– at one point the rate was 92%. That speaks volumes about the legitimacy of most annulments granted in this country. Better to be safe than in a questionable 2nd marriage. Yes. there are legitimate reasons for nullity and true annulments. This is not to judge anyone. But there’s a goid chance that it’s the annulment that’s invalid and not the marriage.

  • Mark J

    Bill,

    Individuals do not have the authority to determine whether their own marriage is valid. They might be certain that they THINK their marriage is valid, but that is not the same thing. That authority rests in the hands of tribunal judges who are bound to follow the procedures laid down by church law.

    Don’t feel bad. You are in good company. St. Peter, our first pope, also rebuked Jesus for his words. Of course, Peter was a man and Jesus is God. So, when Jesus replied saying “get behind me satan” and “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do”, Peter humbly accepted that Jesus was teaching him that God thinks differently than man.

    It is very important for Catholics to understand and believe in the authority of the church. The Magisterium DOES have the authority to determine whether a marriage is valid based on church law. When those laws are followed, the outcome is binding in the eyes of God. When those laws and procedures are not followed, God will judge both the spouses and the judges.

    It is no surprise that the Holy Spirit chose to write in Matthew’s Gospel the keys to heaven are given to Peter who only THREE VERSES LATER says “God forbid, Lord!” No such thing shall ever happen to you” about His death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit is telling us that the Magisterium might make choices that may not be the same choice God would have made, but God gives them the authority to make those choices bound on Earth anyway–and God PROMISED to bind those choices in heaven!!! This is a very difficult thing for a person living in our culture to hear because the next thing most people say is something like “So, if the Magisterium decided that slavery was okay then God would say it is okay?” or “So, I am supposed to blindly follow the Magesterium”? The answer is, a resounding YES! God gave that authority to the church! For you to say that you know more than the collective wisdom of 2,000 years of very holy men and woman is spiritual pride. We are called to HUMBLY accept the teachings of the church and obey them to the best of our ability–and to confess our sin when we don’t–not to make excuses to justify to ourselves why it was okay.

    So, if you want to contradict the official teachings of the Catholic Church you will find yourself standing all alone and face to face before St. Peter at the pearly gates–and he already knows all the excuses. I’d rather stand in the back of the crowd of folks in the Magisterium where my judgement will be much less severe.

    Obviously, if an INDIVIDUAL in the leadership of the Catholic Church believes something other than the official teaching of the church, you are not bound to follow that. In fact, you are bound to rebuke that person. But that’s a discussion for another post.

  • Bill

    It is inconceivable to me that if a person or persons have a valid reason to obtain an annulment and that, for whatever reason, they elect not to “jump through the hoops” of an annulment process that said annulment wouldn’t “count” in the eyes of God. The same would hold true if a person or persons elected to perjure themselves during the annulment process and got an annulment. All this talk about mortal sin and the like by people here on earth really means nothing; it’s all about how God perceives our acts. Finally, after downloading one of the forms required for the annulment process, I am convinced that if, heaven forbid, I found myself in such a position I would not go through the process and take my chances with the Lord. Finally (I really mean it this time.) Many annulments are based of the capacity of a person to make a decision at the time of the wedding. Many couples or so infatuated at the time of their marriage that they probably aren’t thinking all that clearly.

  • Andy

    So a group of men say your marriage is annulled and gives you a piece of paper makes it good with Jesus? At judgement day more be taken into account then this. Your work in our Parrish and helping others.

    I stood by my wife while she was going through the process. If because my wife and I didn’t follow the rules and go to Hell then I am fine with it. We have a great marriage and. have raised two great children. She found a lay person to handle her case and got it through.

    This is the attitude that questions my conversion 7 years go. You people act holier thou isn’t there something about thse without sin can throw the first stone?

  • My understanding is that the annulment process is an investigation into whether at the time of the marriage there was a valid marriage that took place. If there was a condition that caused the marriage to not be validly entered into then the marriage can be annulled. If it was valid nothing but death can separate the 2 people. If there was something that caused the marriage not to be validly conferred then the annulment is a declaration that the marriage never took place. The ceremony may have been beautiful but something was amiss and so no marriage took place. You do not have to be married to judge this. The Church has laws on it.

  • lisag

    All of the divorced and remarried Catholics without annulments don’t want to hear the Truth. It is just like homosexual Catholics and Catholics who have had abortions do not want to hear the Truth. Mixed teaching from priests confuse the parishioners and mislead them. Taking shortcuts in any complicated matter leads to a mess. It all goes to show that marriage preparation is lacking in our Church. It is not because the priests can’t counsel people, it is because they don’t take the time to.

  • Tim

    I am wondering. If they live as “brother and sister” and confess their “adultery”, can they be admitted to the sacraments even without the annulment? And if so, does “stepping aside from the sacraments for a time” mean that they can go on having relations..which I assume would still be adulterous?

  • Deborah Nuzzo

    Well. I hope in the two years after this blog was written,
    Fr. H. has learned how mistaken his understanding
    is regarding annulments. Annulments (the majority of them)
    do not heal because lies do not heal. What about the hurting
    children? What about the spouse who had divorce forced on them
    and the phoney annulment on top of that? Who exactly is Fr.
    referring to as far as healing. Well, often times it’s an adulterous
    spouse who met someone else and is eager to remarry.

    Fr. needs to read the Popes’ annual addresses to the Tribunal
    of the Roman Rota to learn hoe the American Tribunals give
    out annulments like candy and are corrected over snd over again.
    No one should trust an annulment granted by an American tribunal
    and then believe they are free to marry again. Take it to Rome
    otherwise you can jeopardize your soul entering into an adulterous
    marriage. I would totally reject Fr. Hollowell’s remarks.

  • Michael

    To hear annulment spoken of as if it is a SURE to be approved thing is hugely insulting to those of us faithful spouses who through no fault of our own have been cast aside by our Catholic spouses. Often after raising children together, and many years of wedded bliss.
    My spouse like many out there pretty much got the green light by some priest trying to be ‘compassionate” to thier claims of dissatisfaction at a low point in our marriage. Rather than reminding my spouse that all marriages go through periods of struggle, and that this is what we promised on our holy sacrament of matrimony. To be true in good times as well as the bad. Not to jump ship and search out an adulterous partner even while still married. Too many priests out there are so annulment friendly they dont see that they are promoting divorce outright. Many like my spouse may have thought twice before abandoning our marriage until this priest ( and others like him) told my spouse that somehow they might get an annulment so go ahead and abandon your family.
    there was no abuse, no adultery, no serious problems in our two decades long marriage. nothing more than any other Catholic couple goes through in the struggle to love as Jesus commands us to.
    to say in this article that ” untill the annulment comes through” is to assume that 100% of the time the petitioner will get their prior marriage wiped away. And what of the children of that marriage? they are left to believe that annulment is no more than Catholic divorce and that it is acceptable to discard a family member. tear up the family, sell of the family home and leave usually at least one ,if not both spouses in serious financial chaos. how is this “healing”? how is it “healing” to tell my spouse who chose adultery over our family that they can be ‘healed” and allowed to enter into a second marriage usually with the person they committed adultery with, with me their true spouse still living and breathing.
    how is this living Jesus’s command to not tear apart what God has joined? how is this calling my spouse to be holy – my spouse who is in grave mortal sin and has hurt so many- that the church itself is saying ‘ well its ok”.
    annulment of Catholic marriages should be extrememely rare and even in those rare cases where the marriage started out with some impediment the clergy should always try to convalidate the marriage and reconcille the spouses for the sake of the community , for the children, and for the salvation of both of their souls. How long? as long as it takes. through prayer, through calling both spouses to humility, through confession.
    we the abandoned need real priests to stand up and promote solid orthodox Catholic teaching on marriage, Not promote divorce and accept hollywoods idea of marriage ( once youve lost that loving ‘feeling” the spouse is discarded” )
    To use another person as an object is a grave mortal sin.
    to discard a person like used up trash is a grave mortal sin.
    I pray for our Church to see that marriage is the cornerstone of society.
    so the family is torn apart- so goes society.

  • David B

    BTW – I’m not sure what it is about Fr. Hollowell’s article that makes it worthy of being considered “courageous.” Maybe teaching the flock to keep your word, honor your vows; now THAT would be courageous!

  • Christina

    TG, seeing as how Jesus is God, and God not only created mankind, but also marriage, I think he would know and understand the best the rules he set up. He is the rule maker. Also in 1 Corthians 7:10-12, God said that if you leave your spouse, you are either to remain single, or be reconciled to you spouse. Any marriage there after is to be to the spouse of your youth, or if they die, to someone new, but the only thing that ends the covenant of marriage, is death. As far as the whole loosen and bind thing, that applies to sin. After all, “what God has united no one shall divide.” A priest can give absolution to a repenant sinner, but they have to actually not continue the sin. Hence Jesus telling the adulterous he prevented the stoning of that she was forgiven, but to “go and sin no more.” As stated in Matthew, to divorce your spouse and marry another is adultery. It really doesn’t get much clearer than that. He didn’t say go get annullment and I’ll look the other way. He said the two become one flesh in Gods eyes. That is the reason for saying “until death do us part” at the altar.

  • David B

    Andy, until you have to go through the process as a faithful spouse and respondent to an annulment petition, you do not know what injustice is, in so many, many cases. Those spouses who were faithful to their wives/husbands, and then have the audacity (in the eyes of most tribunals in the U.S.) to actually try to defend the validity of one’s marriage, are often seen as troublemakers. I think the tribunal courts basically wish we would just sit down and shut up.

    Canon law also says that the marriage is to be considered valid until/unless proven otherwise. As for the priests who didn’t stop your wife (or anyone who is divorced and remarried without a valid declaration of nullity) from receiving communion, they probably think they are being compassionate, but it is a false compassion, and there is no courage in telling someone what they want to hear.

    So, yeah, as a faithful husband forced into being a respondent, there has been no healing as I’ve been disrespected and had my canonical rights trampled by the tribunal. But, alas, my case is now on appeal in Rome, before the Roman Rota, where a very high percentage of affirmative decisions for the ever popular “psychological reasons” are overturned.

  • Bill

    I just downloaded one the forms required for the annulment process from a diocese in the eastern part of the United States. Frankly I’m appalled by some of the questions. They much have a bunch of voyeurs checking these forms.

  • TG

    Jeff, I agree with your comments and I’m a woman. Jesus sure was a hard bachelor wasn’t he? The nerve to tell us what to do. What did he know about marriage since he wasn’t married either? What part of giving the power to loosen and bind do Catholics not understand.

  • Bill

    Andy, as usual a good job. A bunch a bachelors pontificating on marriage is absurd. If anyone can tell me if a man leaving the priesthood has to go through a long process, I’d like to hear about it. Finally, Jeff, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes [ and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

  • Andy

    This is very reason the church is not for the people in the pews. My wife went through a bad first marriage. He ran around on her and did not provide for his son. So she should have worked it out? I think not. Also there was the costs of doing the annulment. Until you have had to go through the process you do not know what people go through. My wife told me she felt as if the church was saying it was her fault that the marriage didn’t work. She didn’t try hard enough. One priest said you married him so there must have been love? Really.

    Getting a priest to do this these days is hard. They are pulled in so many directions. Now lay people do the work. The burden proof is on the person filing for the annulment if you can’t get someone to come forward and say something then you are out of luck.

    As fas stepping aside from the sacraments many priests told my wife that was between her and God. They didn’t stop her from receiving the Lord. I have spouted off on this site before but you really hit a nerve on this one.

    Of yes, don’t get me going on a person that has not been married telling married couple what to do. Until you walk in my shoes I don’t want to hear it.

    • Andy,

      Matthew 19: “I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” Notice Christ’s words – divorce and remarriage = adultery. He doesn’t blink. His Apostles follow up with basically, “wow, that’s hard.”

      It is a hard teaching, but it doesn’t just come from the Church, It comes from God Himself, who is unchanging eternal Truth! Just because someone rants and raves against this teaching and that teaching doesn’t mean that the Church (or in this case God) is wrong. We are called to be faithful!

      When we are before the Judgment Seat of Christ during our personal judgment, He is not going to ask us how we felt about his rules and commandments, or what we thought about a particular teaching in the Church. Catholics who want to change Church teaching only want to ease their consciences, because they know in their hearts that they are not just being disobedient to the Church, but to God Himself.

  • TG

    What about those that don’t get annulments because they were in a valid marriage? Should they take the hard step of ending the second marriage so their soul is not at risk? Every article I read on this topic always assumes you’re going to get an annulment. What are you supposed to do if you don’t?

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