Thursday, December 27, 2007

Responding to Karl - too many nullity decisions?

Karl wrote, in part, in a comment that I have since deleted:

I am a former Catholic due to the liberal practices of the Catholic Church regarding marriage, divorce, adultery, nullity...

Do not be sure of the nullity of your marriage unless Rome renders the decision.

American Canonists are notoriously liberal.

The Catholic Church accepts my wife and her lover as a couple in your neck of the woods in North Carolina, in spite of two Roman Rotal decisions holding our marriage as valid. So the priests ignore them and tell my wife she just could not prove it.

She could not prove it BECAUSE it IS VALID!

So, I left the Catholic Church, after seventeen years of asking it to ACT to help heal our sacrament, which is a real joke about these things.

You can be nearly certain that you will obtain nullity, but you are gambling with your salvation so its up to you. Send it to Rome to be sure, no matter how long it takes or what it costs.

Just my two bits, as a lifelong Catholic, I am 53 now, who knows what truth means.

This is not said to hurt you. I care. How many men do you know who remain faithful to their adulterous spouse because they meant their vows? I am eighteen years abandoned but I meant what I said. But the Catholic Church mocks my faithfulness. I will remain faithful to her as well, I just cannot live with her either.

God be with you,

So wrote Karl in a comment to my post on my nullity process. I deleted his comment from that page because he went on to add potentially identifying information of his former wife. In fact, the more I think of it (this is my 3d edit of this post) the more I am certain that I am acquainted with his ex-wife.

First of all, I think it's incredibly arrogant to presume to know more than Mother Church. Sinfully arrogant.

Secondly, in very general principle, one must remember that civil law, which governs divorce, has been almost chokingly rigid until only about twenty-five years ago. People could not leave marriages without visual evidence of adultery - either photographic, or the testimony of a professional investigator. Non-support, violence, innumerable acts that made life burdensome and insupportable were difficult and humiliating to testify to, publicly; many people simply endured rather than air their dirty laundry in open court.

What people like our friend Karl, here, must ask himself is how many men and women were in canonically invalid marriages that Civil law would not allow them to escape? How many arranged marriages, for example, undertaken under coercion rather than free will, occurred in past eras? Marriages between members of royalty, for example, were often politically expedient rather than ecclesially cherished.


Less generally, Karl seems to think that his conduct after the marriage should have validated the marriage; however, it is issues existing at the time of the wedding that determine the validity of a marriage. We see, in a link Karl provided and which I have deleted in order to protect the parties, a nominally Catholic couple, both strong-willed and unwilling to consider wiser counsel; engaging in sexual relations prior to their marriage and, in fact, the ex-wife was pregnant at the time of the marriage - all issues which would hinder a full understanding and ability to enter into a sacramental marriage. In fact, the "lack of discretion" issue seems well-established in the testimony, based upon that engagement history - although the Roman Rota declared on April 17, 1997, that nullity could not be proven based upon the evidence.

Note: Nullity was not denied; it was simply held as not affirmed. Thus, Karl and his ex-wife are in a sort of nullity netherworld - and he is right in stating that his ex-wife was in serious error to have remarried under these conditions.

Now, Karl has asserted in his message that the priests of the Raleigh diocese are ignoring this decision and accepting his ex-wife and her "lover." If this is the woman that I believe it is, there is more to the story than Karl has included in his passionate narrative. She may not be presenting herself for Communion, she and her husband may be living together as brother and sister... there are several factors here that we are not told, nor is it, for present discussion, any of our cotton-picking business.

However, the fact is that Karl has left the Church - and although he says he left because of this nullity issue, the testimony bears out that the couple were not very serious about the Faith prior to the marriage and had, in fact, united with a nonCatholic religion during the marriage. This fact makes me sad; it seems to me that this decision is a self-centered bit of a temper-tantrum.

Karl is accountable to God. The Catholic Church is the One True Church, established by Our Lord while he was upon the earth. The Church is God's instrument, and it is incumbent upon Karl to reconcile himself to the Church, and not to be distracted by his former wife's choices, nor to use them as his thin excuse for his own rebellion.

Come on Home, Karl. Let go, detach, from your former wife's choices, and fling yourself into the great and gracious arms of Grace.

23 comments:

Adrienne said...

Karl needs to "let go and let God"

He is obviously in a major snit!

tmsharel said...

Laura,

There is no such thing as a "nullity netherworld." A marriage is considered valid unless proven otherwise (Canon 1060).

Karl's marriage was proven valid by the Rota twice, but acquaintences behave as if divorce/remarriage is all right and not adultery. They behave as if no one is going to hell.

This is a huge problem all over in the American Catholic Church.

You discuss only the adults involved not mentioning the children's plight. This is also a serious problem everywhere today.

Children are traumatized and devastated by Mom having a new boyfriend/husband and Dad having a new girlfriend/wife.

They are devastated by having to visit Mom in her house and Dad in his, losing their own home because someone supposedly "lacked due discretion" or failed to form a "communion of life."

Such grounds are the most commonly used in American tribunals and can be argued to declare null any marriage that adults wants out of.

But who cares about the children? Not priest molesters nor the bishops who should have stopped that evil and not the tribunals nor parents who want new romances.

Laura said...

tmsharel - the Rota did not affirm the validity of the marriage; it only proclaimed that there was not sufficient to declare it null. The couple is, indeed, obligated to live as if married - but by that time the remarriage had occurred. Karl is spitting straight up to blame the Church for his bitterness; he'd already left the Church during the marriage.

Moreover, children are traumatized - not by nullity declarations, but by the egotism and self-centeredness of the parents, which can be observed in many valid, nondivorced marriages.

And if you're going to blame the Church, you're talking to the wrong gal. Catholic priests have the LOWEST ratio of abuse of any other religious organization and, indeed, any other profession.

Angela Messenger said...

tmsharel....There are more teachers and coaches that molest children on a regular basis than priests ever did.

Karl - don't cut off your nose to spite your face. YOU are the one who has voluntarily rejected the Church.

tmsharel said...

the Rota did not affirm the validity of the marriage; it only proclaimed that there was not sufficient to declare it null.

THEN IT AFFIRMED THE VALIDITY OF THE MARRIAGE, LAURA. PLEASE PUT YOUR THINKING CAP ON.

The couple is, indeed, obligated to live as if married

YES, INDEED, BECAUSE THEY ARE MARRIED.

- but by that time the remarriage had occurred.

YOU MEAN THE ADULTEROUS COUPLING.

Karl is spitting straight up to blame the Church for his bitterness; he'd already left the Church during the marriage.

KARL IS NOT BLAMING THE CHURCH; HE IS BLAMING SPOKESMEN AND WOMEN WHO SPEAK IN ERROR ABOUT CHURCH TEACHING, LIKE CALLING ADULTERY A REMARRIAGE. WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS A PRACTICING CATHOLIC IS IRRELEVANT.

Moreover, children are traumatized - not by nullity declarations, but by the egotism and self-centeredness of the parents, which can be observed in many valid, nondivorced marriages.

THE CATECHISM SAYS THAT DIVORCE TRAUMATIZES CHILDREN. #2385 MOST OF US ARE EGOTISTICAL AND SELF-CENTERED MORE OR LESS, BUT DIVORCE IS WHAT TRAUMATIZES CHILDREN AND ANNULMENTS MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE BASTARD CHILDREN.

And if you're going to blame the Church, you're talking to the wrong gal. Catholic priests have the LOWEST ratio of abuse of any other religious organization and, indeed, any other profession.

I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU GET YOUR FIGURES, LAURA, BUT IF CATHOLIC PRIESTS ARE MOLESTERS, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE REST OF THE POPULATION. WHAT DO RATIOS MATTER? IT IS SOMETHING SO SHAMEFUL, THAT AND CATHOLIC SPOUSES DIVORCING, THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF RESTORATION WORK TO DO.

tmsharel said...

Angela, it doesn't matter who molested more than priests, if that is even true.

The fact that any priests sexually molested minors or engaged in homosexual activities themselves is such an abomination that they are going to affect the rest of society.

If our priests are devils, what can we expect of the rest of men?

Laura said...

In North Carolina, not one priest has been accused of molestation, nor disciplined therefore. However, if you read any of the daily papers of the State for even a week (but I recommend a month in order to be fair), you will see of Protestant pastors and youth leaders being charged with molestation; in fact, just this past week there has been a huge headline about a Southeastern Baptist Seminary student being charged with molesting boys.

tmsharel (how about a handle that's a little more personal?), please look again. Karl is using a sorry excuse for his own rebellion against Mother Church. He is now an ex-Catholic. He blames everyone but the one individual responsible for his choice: himself.

I'm not buying it. If this man is who I think he is, his marriage to his former wife may have been valid, but it was a miserable life for both of them - and for their children. And he is conveniently neglecting several issues which I cannot, in fairness, name here because of identifying liabilities.

His ex-wife's choices are an unacceptable excuse for leaving the Church. Sorry. That's how I feel about it.

Anonymous said...

So wrote Karl in a comment to my post on my nullity process. I deleted his comment from that page because he went on to add potentially identifying information of his former wife. In fact, the more I think of it (this is my 3d edit of this post) the more I am certain that I am acquainted with his ex-wife.

First of all, I think it's incredibly arrogant to presume to know more than Mother Church. Sinfully arrogant.

Secondly, in very general principle, one must remember that civil law, which governs divorce, has been almost chokingly rigid until only about twenty-five years ago. People could not leave marriages without visual evidence of adultery - either photographic, or the testimony of a professional investigator. Non-support, violence, innumerable acts that made life burdensome and insupportable were difficult and humiliating to testify to, publicly; many people simply endured rather than air their dirty laundry in open court.

What people like our friend Karl, here, must ask himself is how many men and women were in canonically invalid marriages that Civil law would not allow them to escape? How many arranged marriages, for example, undertaken under coercion rather than free will, occurred in past eras? Marriages between members of royalty, for example, were often politically expedient rather than ecclesially cherished.


Less generally, Karl seems to think that his conduct after the marriage should have validated the marriage; however, it is issues existing at the time of the wedding that determine the validity of a marriage. We see, in a link Karl provided and which I have deleted in order to protect the parties, a nominally Catholic couple, both strong-willed and unwilling to consider wiser counsel; engaging in sexual relations prior to their marriage and, in fact, the ex-wife was pregnant at the time of the marriage - all issues which would hinder a full understanding and ability to enter into a sacramental marriage. In fact, the "lack of discretion" issue seems well-established in the testimony, based upon that engagement history - although the Roman Rota declared on April 17, 1997, that nullity could not be proven based upon the evidence.

Note: Nullity was not denied; it was simply held as not affirmed. Thus, Karl and his ex-wife are in a sort of nullity netherworld - and he is right in stating that his ex-wife was in serious error to have remarried under these conditions.

Now, Karl has asserted in his message that the priests of the Raleigh diocese are ignoring this decision and accepting his ex-wife and her "lover." If this is the woman that I believe it is, there is more to the story than Karl has included in his passionate narrative. She may not be presenting herself for Communion, she and her husband may be living together as brother and sister... there are several factors here that we are not told, nor is it, for present discussion, any of our cotton-picking business.

However, the fact is that Karl has left the Church - and although he says he left because of this nullity issue, the testimony bears out that the couple were not very serious about the Faith prior to the marriage and had, in fact, united with a nonCatholic religion during the marriage. This fact makes me sad; it seems to me that this decision is a self-centered bit of a temper-tantrum.

Karl is accountable to God. The Catholic Church is the One True Church, established by Our Lord while he was upon the earth. The Church is God's instrument, and it is incumbent upon Karl to reconcile himself to the Church, and not to be distracted by his former wife's choices, nor to use them as his thin excuse for his own rebellion.

Come on Home, Karl. Let go, detach, from your former wife's choices, and fling yourself into the great and gracious arms of Grace.

Just some comments about your response:


So wrote Karl in a comment to my post on my nullity process. I deleted his comment from that page because he went on to add potentially identifying information of his former wife. In fact, the more I think of it (this is my 3d edit of this post) the more I am certain that I am acquainted with his ex-wife.

If you do know this man’s wife, not his ex-wife as you repeatedly state because she is his wife in both the eyes of the Catholic Church and therefore in the eyes of God Himself, then please be careful not to fall into rash judgement or calumny, which are very tempting when one is opinionated. Your own situation makes that a distinct possiblity and your judgement may be not as clear as you might believe about these and related subjects.

Unless she has spoken to you, it seems what you should know about this couple, and by that I mean the validly married couple of the SACRAMENT, and not the ADULTEROUS, pair that you seem to know, is from what was written in your blog and what you deleted from it.

If you are privy to information from this woman, who appears to really be an adulterer who remains with her adulterous partner in spite of decisions otherwise regarding the validity of her public marriage from the Roman Rota, then it is pretty likely that you are biased. But as a reader of these comments I do not know. I point this out for clarity.



First of all, I think it's incredibly arrogant to presume to know more than Mother Church. Sinfully arrogant.

I remind you that the Holy Father himself, in comments published throughout the world, indicated his displeasure with American Tribunals and the laxity of their interpretation of Canon Law. I have also read accounts/comments from expert/scholarly Catholic priests like Monsignor
Clarence Hettinger, Monsignor George Kelly and Father Joaquin Llobel that American tribunals dispense decisions for nullity far too easily. You might want to also purchase a copy of “What God has joined Together”, by Robert Vasoli.

I submit, this man may be speaking in truth.

Why don’t you ask him about his case specifically, particularly if you have knowledge of one side from the wife? Perhaps there is reason for his dismay?


Secondly, in very general principle, one must remember that civil law, which governs divorce, has been almost chokingly rigid until only about twenty-five years ago. People could not leave marriages without visual evidence of adultery - either photographic, or the testimony of a professional investigator. Non-support, violence, innumerable acts that made life burdensome and insupportable were difficult and humiliating to testify to, publicly; many people simply endured rather than air their dirty laundry in open court.

What people like our friend Karl, here, must ask himself is how many men and women were in canonically invalid marriages that Civil law would not allow them to escape? How many arranged marriages, for example, undertaken under coercion rather than free will, occurred in past eras? Marriages between members of royalty, for example, were often politically expedient rather than ecclesially cherished.


I seem to recall something about God hating divorce, somewhere in the old testament and Jesus in pretty stong terms also spoke of the absolute permanence of marriage.

You, on the other hand appear to echo a distinctively modern acceptance of easy reasons for divorce, which I also would like to point out are not consistant with the teaching of the Church and/or Canon Law.

I would suggest that you take the time to read, in their entirety and with much prayer and reflection on them, the addresses of John Paul II to the Roman Rota. They are on the Vatican website. They clearly show the Magisterial mindset that runs counter to American culture and its encouragement of divorce and all the justifications it entails.

I would also suggest that you visit the following websites:

http://www.marysadvocates.org/, http://www.stephenbaskerville.net/, http://www.truemarriage.net/Home.jsp

There is much that you seem to misunderstand about marriage, particularly from a Catholic perspective.



Less generally, Karl seems to think that his conduct after the marriage should have validated the marriage; however, it is issues existing at the time of the wedding that determine the validity of a marriage. We see, in a link Karl provided and which I have deleted in order to protect the parties, a nominally Catholic couple, both strong-willed and unwilling to consider wiser counsel; engaging in sexual relations prior to their marriage and, in fact, the ex-wife was pregnant at the time of the marriage - all issues which would hinder a full understanding and ability to enter into a sacramental marriage. In fact, the "lack of discretion" issue seems well-established in the testimony, based upon that engagement history - although the Roman Rota declared on April 17, 1997, that nullity could not be proven based upon the evidence.

Note: Nullity was not denied; it was simply held as not affirmed. Thus, Karl and his ex-wife are in a sort of nullity netherworld - and he is right in stating that his ex-wife was in serious error to have remarried under these conditions.


I cannot comment on what you deleted but I suspect it was something to do with “the Roman Rota declared on April 17, 1997, that nullity could not be proven based upon the evidence.”

It is not the place of the Catholic Church to uphold what it has already witnessed in public and blessed on the wedding day. This presumption of validity is a fact. That you are minimizing it in your comments, indicates to this commentator that you have not conformed your conscience to the expressed teachings of the Catholic Church.

In a nullity proceeding, at the request of either or both of spouses, the Catholic Church makes a formal inquiry regarding the circumstances involved in a particular marriage and ultimate comes to a decision regarding those findings. That the Catholic Church finds, in any particular case, that nullity has not been proven cannot be taken to mean that the “marriage is really null but the evidence could simply not be provided”. Quite the opposite, it means that what has been thoroughly investigated is and has been from the moment of the exchange of vows a valid marriage, which should be respected, protected and defended endlessly by every single Catholic.

In my readings I have come upon a website which is filled with a Catholic understanding of marriage. It comes with a hearty recommendation from Dr. Ed Peters, who seems to be a well known Catholic lay canonist. Here is Dr. Peters own link:

http://www.canonlaw.info/2006/05/msgr-cormac-burkes-canon-law-website.html


You would do well to read it in its entirety.



Now, Karl has asserted in his message that the priests of the Raleigh diocese are ignoring this decision and accepting his ex-wife and her "lover." If this is the woman that I believe it is, there is more to the story than Karl has included in his passionate narrative. She may not be presenting herself for Communion, she and her husband may be living together as brother and sister... there are several factors here that we are not told, nor is it, for present discussion, any of our cotton-picking business.

However, the fact is that Karl has left the Church - and although he says he left because of this nullity issue, the testimony bears out that the couple were not very serious about the Faith prior to the marriage and had, in fact, united with a nonCatholic religion during the marriage. This fact makes me sad; it seems to me that this decision is a self-centered bit of a temper-tantrum.

Karl is accountable to God. The Catholic Church is the One True Church, established by Our Lord while he was upon the earth. The Church is God's instrument, and it is incumbent upon Karl to reconcile himself to the Church, and not to be distracted by his former wife's choices, nor to use them as his thin excuse for his own rebellion.

Come on Home, Karl. Let go, detach, from your former wife's choices, and fling yourself into the great and gracious arms of Grace.



A careful reading of what this man posted on your blog indicates that he seems to have sought the help of the Catholic Church to heal this marriage for many years. If that is the case, why has nothing apparently been done, in an official capacity by priests and bishops, to address the divorce and if in fact the wife simply was and is a woman who walked out on her marriage? There is certainly ample reason to do so in view of the decisions of the court in Rome. If nothing has been done on this subject and this man has asked for just that, then it is clear why there is such frustration. If what I read in this is true, then this man has been terribly wronged by his wife and by evry priest and or bishop who has failed to act to call this adulterous couple to repentance and to divorce, immediately, and to work toward healing a valid marriage.

This is exaxctly what your blog posted:

“The Catholic Church accepts my wife and her lover as a couple in your neck of the woods in North Carolina, in spite of two Roman Rotal decisions holding our marriage as valid. So the priests ignore them and tell my wife she just could not prove it.

She could not prove it BECAUSE it IS VALID!

So, I left the Catholic Church, after seventeen years of asking it to ACT to help heal our sacrament, which is a real joke about these things.”

It is explicitly obvious, unless what has been posted is a lie, that, in fact, the proven adultery is accepted without a reply, other than the Roman decisions, by the men in authority in the Catholic Church. Such acceptance is scandalous and if it is true, those who this man has asked for help should be sanctioned very severely if they have, indeed, refused to intervene on behalf of a valid marriage.

This man has a heavy cross. Rather than judge him you should pray for him and his valid marriage. If, indeed, you know this woman, his wife, you should encourage her to divorce her adulterous partner and to heal the marriage that is valid. Any other action is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, as I have been taught and have read.

Whether or not there were valid reasons to separate, there was and remains no reason to justify adultery, particularly as long term as this appears to be and especially in light of the roman decisions.

Indeed there does appear to be more than meets the eye here.

It has clearly been stated in canon law and in the teachings of the Catholic Church that when the just reasons for any separation no longer exist that it is the expressed will of the Catholic Church that the marital and conjugal union of the spouses are REQUIRED to be restored. This presumes that the reasons were just. This may or may not be the case.

There are very specific canonical procedures to be followed in the case of a separation. Were these followed? Often, the simple excuse is that there was danger in hesitating. This can easily be tested by seeing a retropective review of events following the separation and or divorce. Did acts of violence ensue? If not, then where was the justification? Far too many people lie about the reasons for their abandoning their spouses but more often than not these come out as things progress. The behaviors of those involved, usually, show their hands, which often are hidden, deceitfully.


This is what can be discerned from Karl’s comments:


This is not said to hurt you. I care. How many men do you know who remain faithful to their adulterous spouse because they meant their vows? I am eighteen years abandoned but I meant what I said. But the Catholic Church mocks my faithfulness. I will remain faithful to her as well, I just cannot live with her either.


Once again, unless this man is lying, he has been faithful to vows long ago abandoned and continuously violated by his wife and her adulterous partner.

For the record, I have just read something from one of the cites I linked here and it appears to be from a case which involves this marriage because the dates are the same. It says: and this is sanitized for obvious reasons:

“It therefore seems to us that we are dealing with a case of two rigid and somewhat radical persons who, in accordance with their fundamentalist principles, lived a fairly normal married life, of a rather "traditional" nature, for at least six or seven years.”…… Pressures became much stronger, with his full-time study, their getting financial support from her family, and the arrival of the fifth child. When he finally qualified and they were about to return to , the petitioner, whose ideas seem to have gradually undergone a change, suddenly broke the union and left the home, to seek her own professional "self-realization", at the same time as she entered an illicit relationship with another man.

A careful reading of these words indicates that this couple, the validly married couple and not the adulterers, in the very words of the judges who have access to all the information and not simply what we have read of it, “lived a fairly normal married life, of a rather traditional nature for at least six or seven years” then it goes on to, for me the coup-de grace and the devastating testimony of these judges, to say that just as the couple was to return to their originally agreed to home in another state, the wife(who is the petitioner for nullity(I presume to post-justify her adultery in her own mind by attempting to manipulate the Catholic Church into a now,clear to me,false annulment) suddenly had a change of heart, abandoned her valid spouse of many years, with whom she had many children, sought her own fulfillment and entered into a simultaneous adulterous relationship with another man.

These are the acts of a person with complete disregard for both her children and her spouse.
Rather than Karl, it is his wife who is arrogant and unrepentant. If the man she abanonded Karl for is the man she remains with there is very, very great evil here and tremendous injustice. Even if it is not, the same holds.

I can not at all agree with anything you conclude, Laura, other than hoping that someone convinces this woman and her adulterous partner of the evil they are about.

Karl does not need your judgement he needs your prays. He has been wronged and if the Catholic Church, has failed to intercede on behalf of this man then I find no fault in him. I completely understand his frustrations.

There is no justification for what this woman and her adulterous partner have done. None at all.

If the man she is with was a man at all, he would move out today and do everything he could to seek forgiveness and make restitution and he would dedicate the rest of his life to healing the valid marriage he violated. This would be even more incumbant upon him if he were the man who was the man cited in the Roman decision.

This is a heartbreaking story, as I understand it.

This is not to justify any hardness of heart on Karl’s part nor do I say this to excuse any contributions of his to the marital difficulties that preceeded what seems to have happened if the Roman judges are to be believed, as well. But it is and it was the obligations of both spouses to
work together to mend their marriage. From what he has written and what I have read, she simply wanted out and did not care to work things out.

There just is no excuse for that.

I wonder what their children think?


A sad commentator

Laura said...

Look, Karl - if you are who I think you are, I know your ex-wife and three of your children. Okay?

You don't care about anything but being right. You have not responded to the possibility, which I raised, that your former wife and her second (civilly married) husband might not be presenting themselves for Communion, or that they might now be living together as brother and sister.

All you care about is ratting on the Church - WHICH YOU HAVE LEFT -

YOU are in mortal sin, Karl, because you have abandoned the One True Faith. You can only control one person: yourself, and yet you are in rebellion against Christ and His Church for very flimsy reasons. You spent thousands of dollars to have your position validated by the Roman Rota, but you already left the Church. You are no better in righteousness than your former wife, whom you rail against.

I will not accept any more of your diatribes. Don't even bother to write them, okay?

Angela Messenger said...

tmsharel - I think your issue is with priests, not marriage or divorce. The marriage/nullity thing sems to be a smoke screen for your criticism of priests.

As for annulments making children feel like bastards - I will remind you of CANON 1137 - "Children who are conceived or born of a valid or of a putative marriage ARE LEGITIMATE."

Laura said...

Again, let me repeat for the newcomers to this little cage match: Karl LEFT the Church. He had left the Church during the Marriage, and there is no indication that he took it very seriously before, either.

He is angry at American canonists for their excessive granting of nullity declarations. That is his excuse.

He rails against his wife and her (civilly married) second husband (whom he calls her "lover") for their sin -

But Karl, in leaving the Church, is equally culpable, equally in danger of eternal damnation for abandoning the Truth.

Karl, I can't do a doggone thing about American tribunals (I hope to become a Canonist, in fact), and I have no influence with your wife.
Neither can you.
The Church is true, despite human failings.

Come back Home.

Laura said...

Good point, Angela -
Legitimation is an issue of CIVIL Law - for issues such as Name, Title and Inheritance.

Adrienne said...

tmsharel - I agree that divorce is not always the best for children, but often the alternative could be worse.

However, if Karl was really concerned about his children, he would accept what is going on and get on with making the lives of his children as good and healthy as he possibly can under the circumstances.

Speaking as a card-carrying member in good standing of AA, both you and Karl display characteristics of drunks. Controlling behavior, self-centeredness, and pride top the list of character faults for alcoholics.

All of this pointless ranting shows is a lack of faith.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I'm a late comer to this conversation and if I'm following this thread correctly it seems there is a lot of hurt and anger and throwing blame around going on here. People blame others (like tossing the red herring out about abusive priests) to mitigate their own hurt and anger and feeling of betrayal.

It seems to me that Karl has been seriously hurt by this whole process and, possibly, hurt in some way before the annulment process started.

I think Karl needs a good spiritual director and our prayers. Come home Karl. There is much for you here.

Karl, you are in my prayers.

Christine said...

Karl, please "get over it" and come home to communion with the Holy Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, maybe everyone who is trying to sit in judgement of Karl should shut up and not say things about situations they do not know about. Sorry all for my being so short. This is a tough issue for me. If you are not in understanding than you can not make judgement. A judge should know both sides of the story and you clearly know neither well. And about him leaving the church... because of a tantrum? How do you know that? Are you a psychic mmmm... no. Again wrong. It was something he felt he had to do and I think it was brave and I am proud of him, though I am pained greatly by it.

"THE CATECHISM SAYS THAT DIVORCE TRAUMATIZES CHILDREN. #2385 MOST OF US ARE EGOTISTICAL AND SELF-CENTERED MORE OR LESS, BUT DIVORCE IS WHAT TRAUMATIZES CHILDREN AND ANNULMENTS MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE BASTARD CHILDREN."-thank you I have been saying that since I was 5 when my sister told me that if my parents got their marriage annuled it would mean that we should never have been born. And to this day I feel that way.

And you have no right to tell me that my life was miserable. WHO DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE??? I expect an apology. My life was FINE!!! until all this crap happened. Thank you

he is not in a "snit" and yes he is full of anger and who wouldn't be. She said I do .... thats it. end of freaking story. what is so hard for you people to see?

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Bottom line: Karl has left the Church. (It's okay, Karl, you can identify yourself in these "anon" posts - a friend persuaded me the dialogue is a good thing) -

He wants his former wife to play by the rules of the Church he has abandoned.

This does not make sense.

And it's a womanish tactic to call people who disagree with you "judgmental."

tmsharel said...

I'm not buying it. If this man is who I think he is, his marriage to his former wife may have been valid, but it was a miserable life for both of them - and for their children.

LAURA, A VALID MARRIAGE MAY VERY WELL BE MISERABLE, BUT VALID IS A MARRIAGE. PEOPLE VOW FOR BETTER OR WORSE. IN EVERY MARRIAGE THERE ARE WORSE TIMES, SOMETIMES LONGER AND SOMETIMES NOT SO LONG.

BUT MISERY IS NO REASON TO CALL SPOUSES "FORMER"; THEY ARE NOT. THEY ARE PRESENT SPOUSES UNTIL DEATH PARTS THEM, WHICH IS WHAT THEY VOWED.


His ex-wife's AND THIS IS WHAT I AM REFERRING TO; YOUR CALLING HER KARL'S "EX-WIFE" choices are an unacceptable excuse for leaving the Church. Sorry. That's how I feel about it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

I feel the need to comment on these posts. I'll share part of my story. Please post it if you think it can add to the discussion. I'd appreciate it, though, if you'd keep my name anonymous.

I was married civilly to my husband, a Protestant, for 4 years before our convalidation. My husband had been a womanizer before our marriage and, despite that, I thought he'd decided to be a faithful husband. After all, we were young. He had not decided to be faithful. Over the next 14 years, we went to marriage counseling, attended marriage encounter, were separated 3 times (one separation was for 4 years), reconciled after numerous affairs on his part, and then he finally left me for good. I found out later that he had a woman friend visiting him at his home 2 months after he left me. I was on a fixed income and my husband was giving me no money for our home mortgage, the bills, or child support. Nothing.

One day I called his new home (remember, I still thought that one day he'd come back home). The woman answered. That was it. I immediately went to see my priest, who said to me, "Do you want to continue being a victim?" It was like a brick in the face.

He was right. My husband was victimizing me. He was giving no support at all, and my family was struggling to live. Father explained that it was prudent for me to civilly divorce in order to force my husband to support his family, because in the State where I live, it's impossible to get child support without civil divorce. There is no legal separation here.

It was the most difficult thing I've ever done. On the day of the divorce, my husband took me to lunch and asked me if I thought we'd ever get back together. I wanted to scream, "Yes! Please!" but I just said, "I don't know."

In less than a month, he flew out to where his woman friend lived and drove her back to their new home. Four months after that his entire family (my former family) was flying out to celebrate the civil wedding of him and his woman. His Father was the officiating minister. I've never heard from his family since he left me. After 18 years, nothing.

So here I am, seeking a Declaration of Nullity. I want to find out what Holy Mother Church has to say about my marriage. If it's found that my marriage is valid, I'll live as I've been living for the past several years, as I did when I was separated from my husband before, as a married woman.

That is my cross, but it's my great pleasure as well. I'm able to pray for my husband and for his new civil wife, and I do so daily. I want salvation for them, as our Lord does. I pray for their conversion to Christ. If I have to pay this ransom for them, I'm only following in the footsteps of our Lord, who paid such a heavy price for us.

How in the world would I be able to pray for them without being able to receive all the graces that God has for me in His Church? I know that nothing and no one can pull me away from Christ and His Church.

Karl, I pray you're able to pick up your cross, offer it up for your wife and her civil husband, and come back to Holy Mother Church. You're a married man. Be the best husband you can be, one who loves his wife as Christ loves the Church. Offer Communion for them. You just can't imagine how efficacious your suffering is. Please, come back Home.

tmsharel said...

Anonymous, the priest who told you that you were a victim because your husband was/is a womanizer was speaking like a psychologist not a representative of Christ.

Maybe your marriage wasn't valid because your husband didn't vow fidelity (you said that he was a womanizer before you married him). But it's difficult to trust American tribunals.

They don't tend to judge cases on permanence, fidelity and openness to children but on whether or not there was an interpersonal relationship that was satisfying to both parties or on lack of due discretion or on failure to form a communion of life or other flexible, made-to-order grounds that the Roman Rota doesn't recognize.

That is why the only way you can be sure whether or not you are married validly is to have your case tried in Rome.

Which is what Karl did. Twice.

I thought you had it right when you talked about your own parents and how it is important for children to know they were conceived and born into a proper marriage.

Beyond all this, you don't know that your husband left for the last time. You wrote that he asked you if the two of you would ever get back together. Remember the statistics on second marriages, pretty pesismistic. I advise doing what the Church teaches. Pray for a reconciliation.

Laura said...

Uh, TMSHAREL - "Permanence?" You're kidding me, right? Mary's husband was/is a womanizer - he has no sense of marriage's permanence. But you'd have her go to Rome anyway?

Does it not disturb you in the least that Karl, here, that model of what you seem to admire of Catholic sanity, went to Rome, got the decision he wanted, AND LEFT THE CHURCH ANYWAY???

He wants his ex-wife (legally) to comply with rules in a Church he abandoned. This does not compute.

Nor does Karl. Total lack of discretion or decency in posting so much personal information to strangers. I'm disgusted.

I'm offended by you both. This is NONE of YOUR BUSINESS - NONE.

Anonymous said...

Hi tmsharel,

My priest didn't tell me I was being victimized because my husband was/is an adulterer. After all, adultery isn't grounds for divorce, nor is it grounds for Declaration of Nullity.

My husband wasn't supporting his family. We were in dire straits, having to rely on others to make sure we ate. I had no car while my husband had 3, and he wouldn't consider lending me one of them. I single-handedly paid for my son's schooling. It was all I could do to pay the mortgage, the utilities (believe me, I was more than frugal during that time), and what little food I was able to buy for my son and me. My husband, who was in this area, had a well-paying job, a new rental home, was travelling to see his new woman (I had no idea), and refused to support his son because I lived in the same house. That's what Father was talking about when he said my husband was victimizing me. The only way to make him support his minor son was to civilly divorce him.

I trust my Tribunal. It's taken a year to get my paperwork done, as my priest is diligent in making sure everything is written truthfully, completely, prayerfully, and is all in order. Until that's done, he won't submit the petition.

You said it yourself. It doesn't appear my husband was able to enter into a marriage since he was never faithful to the vows. This wasn't a one-night-stand, but serial adultery. Still, if the Church determines that I'm in a valid marriage, that's what I am, a wife. And I will continue to be a good wife. That's what God is calling me to!

Now, about Karl. He petitioned Rome. They gave him the decision that he believed was true. He then left the Church because the priest won't drag his wife home to him. Christ has called Karl to be the best husband he can be, but nowhere in Scripture does Christ say a husband has the right to force his wife to stay with him. In fact, Scripture makes it clear that there are times when separation is in order.

What Karl's wife has done was mortally sinful. Since Karl hasn't been in the Confessional with her, he has no idea what she's confessed, whether she's been reconciled to God, whether she's living a chaste life. And, you know, it's just not his business. It's his business to pray for her and, therefore, love her. That's it.

I went to Confession once several years ago. I proceeded to tell the priest that I was committing a particular sin, then used my husband as an excuse for it. Thank God for that holy priest! He quickly said to me that he would not allow me to confess anyone's sins but my own!

Karl needs to go to Confession. Only then can his healing begin. He's in my prayers.

I don't know if you're getting me confused with another poster, but I never talked about my own parents, nor about the need for children to know they're born of a "proper marriage." Sorry, but I don't think it's the children's business what sort of marriage their parents have. Yes, parents are the first examples and the family is the Domestic Church, but the children must honor their parents anyway. Karl wants his children to hate their Mother and, thus, commit mortal sin. Not okay.

Anon.