The following comes from a December 10 Catholic News Agency article by Elise Harris:
With the launch of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis’ reforms to the annulment process have gone into effect, giving more of a role to the local bishop, dropping automatic appeals, and ensuring that the process is free of charge.
Among the more significant changes the Pope made were dropping the automatic appeal needed after a decision on nullity has been reached, as well as allowing local bishops to make their own judgements on “evident” cases of marriage nullity.
Until now, once a decision had been made to declare a marriage null, the ruling was automatically appealed to another body, a practice many have blamed for unnecessary delays in the process.
With Francis’ new changes, only one judgement will be needed. However, in the case that it is appealed, the Pope said that appeals can be done in the nearest metropolitan diocese, rather than needing to go to Rome.
He also decided that each diocese throughout the world will have the responsibility to name a judge or tribunal to process incoming cases.
The bishop can be the only judge, or he can establish a three-member tribunal. If a three-member tribunal is established, it must have at least one cleric, while the other two members can be laypersons.
Francis has also declared that the annulment process will be free of charge. Although the practice is already in place in many dioceses around the world, the new change makes it universal.
Throughout the synod, we heard of ways to deal with failed marriages. Letting divorced and “remarried” Catholics receive the Eucharist under certain circumstances was one. Speeding and streaming the annulment process was another. But never was the real cause of the scandal of innumerable failed marriages addressed. It should have been.
That cause of course is the terribly deficient understanding of Catholic Christian marriage that our people have today. Their concept of marriage is the secular world’s concept. Marriage is meant to be a source of satisfaction and fulfillment. It is to be tried, and when found difficult abandoned in favor of something better. Gone is the understanding that marriage is the normal source of children and…
you cant get an annulment just because a marriage gets difficult…an annulment means the marriage was never a marriage from day 1 not day 921!
that raising those children calls for the stability and permanence of the relationship that the Church calls for. Gon is the notion of the indissolubility of marriage. Gone is the idea that marriage is a vocation to a life of self-giving where each spouse sacrifices him/herself for the good fo the others involved. Above all, gone is the idea that marriage reflects the love of God for His people.
Until we correct this underlying problem and instill in our youth a proper understanding of the sacrament, the terrible scandal of nearly one out of two Catholic marriages failing will continue.
Totally agree with your analysis. Watched the decline over many years and it is quite sad .
Yes i agree. Its sad. Study has shown why this decline is such a reality. Even in biblical times and in earlier years of known saints. There is always one trying to save their holy sacrament of marraige while the other does everything against it. Holy people stay in prayer and seek to reachout to their church for support. Its horrible when you see people violate their holy vows for their selfish pleasures. Children are always caught in the middle. I pray that men and women have a common goal to love each other in good times and bad times.
Your statistic of one out of two Catholic marriages fail is a myth.
Anonymous thank you for pointing out that part, i dont agree to that statement either.
This is good news for the holy women who are dealing with husbands who are extremely abusive and unfaithful. God have mercy.
abusive and unfaithful husbands don’t always make a marriage null and void!
In general, a pattern of abuse and adultery, especially if it began very soon in the marriage, very well could indicate that there was a defect either in intent or ability to contract a valid marriage.
How is it good. They leave the situation and apply for an annulment? Why does the length of time this takes make any difference? The church does not say it is wrong to leave and be separated in such circumstances. I do not understand your reasonin.
Abeca, Do you feel the same for the holy men who are dealing with wives who are extremely abusive and unfaithful?
Yes most definitely but i never seen such thing. Most of my friendships are traditional families and conservative ones. Mostly stay at home moms and Arabic Cathoilc women. Im just speaking for them. Sorry you took it personal. God have mercy on you.
Again, you may want to be careful to discern between religious bias and cultural bias. Your statements, though well intended, are all directed against evil wicked men. Jerry wasn’t taking it personally at all. Rather, he was just asking you to clarify your position because you seem very determined, perhaps because of a cultural bias, to blame the men for pretty much everything.
God have mercy on us ALL.
Thank you, Abeca Christian, for the link
Your welcome. God bless you. Also checkout:
In order for a marriage to be annulled, it can NOT be valid at the time of the Marriage/Sacrament.
This has not changed.
If any Bishop breaks Church teaching – he sins, and so does the person seeking an annulment.
Here is the link to the Vatican web site for the changes to the Code of Canon Law.
Yes i recall my friend share that about her annulment. It saved her from more abuse and protected her children and her financial security. She was a stay at home mom of 5. It was hard to prove that it was invalid but it took alot of financial hardships to prove. His addiction made it invalid. Too long to share but you are right, the church was very careful to such details. She lives in a liberal diocese and was impressed by how careful they were to obey church on those issues. That was a few years back. Even with annulment she is living a holy life, working and caring for her children. She is still praying for her x husband’s salvation. Its sad to see good families fall apart. God have mercy.
….and yet the wife with the 5 children surely must have known that her intended used drugs. One would hope. Either way, using this premise to invalidate a marriage would call into question the marriages of those who have overcome their weaknesses and/or addictions.
Should those who had problems when they got married now flock to the Church to have their marriages validated – if they don’t, the prevailing practice would give rise to doubt the validity of marriage. That is marriage is presumed invalid until it can be proved valid – or until it is validated after one overcomes one’s drug addiction etc.
This is the kind of problem presented by open doors intended to relieve suffering.
Ann Malley you speak like you know the details of her situation. You dont. Its pointless to discuss further. Im just glad the church is addressing this issue. This is Christ’s church. They will be responsible in the eye’s of God how they handle such cases. Our job is to be holy. Like my friend, she is still holy regardless of her annulment. Im glad she saved her children from a bad example regardless of what you assume or feel about the little you know of her case.
Abeca, you may think your friend is all holy, but you do not hear ‘her’ confession as that is, as you’ve pointed out, done in private. Those who sin, not just those addicted to porn, sin in private and put on the facade of holiness. (…this is not to say your friend is evil, but to illustrate the reality that we all sin and we all have private confessions to which our ‘friends’ are not privy.)
I am making no judgement as to the validity of her annulment, but rather pointing out the reality of an open door allowing for much that we do not like to enter into the situation. That of questioning the validity of marriages wherein the beginnings were not ideal.
Unfortunately, we often only view policies via how it effects ‘us’…
…”our friends’ and not the Church as a whole or the integrity of the Sacraments.
In our age of instant and constant satisfation, what happeed to the age old rule: Husbands. love your wives. Wives, respect your husbands.
Is there not something very Catholic about this adage?
And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
This is for the Sacrament of Penance.
It does not apply to the Sacrament of Marriage, which God /Jesus made very clear.
No remarriage for the divorced – or they are committing adultery.
Annulments are ONLY for those whose Sacrament of Marriage was not valid in the first place.
Seth i finally got what you and Jeanine meant. Im sorry for the confusion. I didnt give the reason why i quoted. My apologies, i know. I get it. Thank you for asking for clarity. You are correct but thats not the reason why i posted the quote. Im not at liberty to say why but rest assured the right persons saw it. They called and its in God’s hands. God bless you. I appreciate you mentioning.
…and this misapplication of the gospel will leave many a ‘holy’ female with children liable to being deserted by one who would otherwise be legitimately viewed as her lawful spouse.
The easy out card is no answer to prayer, but rather a magnification of greater evils that will befall holy folks who are trying to do God’s will and not pacify the people under the guise of misused ‘authority’.
I really hope and pray that all married couples work towards the same goal in keeping a good holy marraige. No one is perfect, couples have their flaws but its no excuse to violate their holy vows. Priests and lay faithful programs should have support for couples who are in distress. Did you know that marraige therapy now costs on average anywhere between $125 to $160 an hour. What average families could afford that? Most priests arent even trained to give the right support. So to avoid divorce, we need to provide more resources for these couples who are struggling.
I think that in the modern world, many Catholics do not know what the Sacrament of Marriage really is, and how to live it out correctly, in a spiritual way. Our modern world has lost all understanding and recognition of God and religious values, and a truly Catholic religious way of life, in a Catholic home!!
Read the notes in relation to your misinterpreted quote: “Matthew 16:19
And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven”.
This gospel reading does not apply to the Sacrament of Marriage, but rather the Sacrament of Penance. Regarding the Sacrament of Marriage our Lord said in Douay Rheims, Matthew 19:6 ” Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder”.
We cannot avail ourselves to believe your misinterpretation for our Lord would not speak out of both sides of His mouth.
I wasnt interpreting anything. It was you who mistook my reason to post scripture. Yes I know what Jesus said and I stand by it. He was speaking to the men at that time. Men had heardened hearts. He was addressing the men! Glad you brought that up! Men hear that! Jesus was addressing the men! In those days, all the men and elders etc gathered and discussed. I grew up with Arabic Catholic traditions where women stayed in the kitchen, cooked cleaned and had no voice while men addressed issues sometimes for their best interest at heart and many times not. Praise God my Hispanic mom wasnt too fond of how women were treated, so she raised us faithful. Jesus was quoted saying that because our precious savior was looking out for our best…
Women have hard hearts, too, Abeca. Part of being treated equally is taking equal blame when things go wrong. This is not to excuse men behaving badly, but giving too much emphasis on what ‘men’ might have done wrong because of your Arabic childhood can often color one’s view of right and wrong as to proper order and women’s less-than-holy behavior. Much of which is hidden when a woman, perceiving herself holy, acts more like her husband’s mother than his wife.
Too often that drives men to the point of doing little to nothing. Why bother when one’s mom is around?
Being faithful doesn’t mean going in reverse where we paint men as the only potential evil in a relationship. To do so makes a woman out to be a child who is not…
… responsible for her own behavior, good or bad. This is dangerous, Abeca. For our Blessed Lord expects us to treat our husbands with dignity, too.
Ann Malley your preaching to the choir. Your own comments make me wonder who do you think your addressing. Would you say that to women of faith, who honor God and His commandments, who devote themselves to their husband and children? Your comments best serve to the liberal females who dont live holy. Preach to them. Go to their forums and follow their comments. Hopefully they will listen to you.
And for the record,regardless if you get it or not. I love my husband the way the Lord commanded and taught me through his greatest example. I care for his soul. He agrees with us women who are Challanging our men, it is a sure sign of loving them and their dignity. I recall once you asking our men to man up. Well there you go. But Ann stop telling women with your insinuations, to man up. You give me that impression. Thats not our job. Men are called to love their wife’s as Christ does as His church. To die of themselves. That is a challange, its not meant to hurt their dignity.
Abeca, your comments here display your blindness to the reality of misguided zeal that often renders those women who perceive themselves to be holy as their own worst enemy.
Your confused comments that flip from wanting tradition while denying its tenets are serving liberal females and men. The why being because they flip flop, picking and choosing between following God’s order for the family when it is convenient.
Men need to feel needed and need to feel themselves respected as the head of the family. Excessive, overboard ‘religious’ nit picking drives them to their dens to leave Mommy to handle it all. And then the so-called holy wife grows increasingly bitter to the detriment of her own soul and that of her children.
…can choose to exclude yourself from the scenario I describe. That is your choice. But for all of your call to action, action, action, you entirely discount the traditional Catholic fruit of long suffering and prayers in place of nagging.
Even ‘holy’ women sin at least 7 times a day, friend. That said, if you were part of the choir, you’d understand what I’m speaking about, but since you do not, it would appear you’ll still have to learn – the hard way.
But that too is within God’s Providence.
Ann, I agree with you on your 15 Dec comments. Women liberals ideas have assisted in ruining marriages. Many modernists misinterpret the New Testament verses. Many stand behind heretical non-Catholic bibles that are plagued with errors, even BXVIth claimed his favorite bible was a ‘catholic edition’ of a protestant based bible! Who does Francis think he is countering God’s holy words on marriage? What does God think about Francis’ opposition to Him? Could Francis really be filling St. Peter’s shoes? Just because the modern Vatican makes changes countering Roman Catholic teaching and practices doesn’t mean that God agrees and stands behind them. God is the Alpha and the Omega, what He has said is so!
The Devil works by rubbing salt into wounds. Wounds opened up by those closest to us. So while others pretend that it is only a man that needs to ‘man up’ and that women just just sit passively by, that is a misunderstanding. (Were there no wounds in human nature, there would be no entry point for Satan.)
Our Lady is the GREATEST of all martyrs. Her suffering was to compassionate the wounds and hate and scourges of her Beloved in silence without walking away (..and without thinking for even an instant that God was a liar.). She was resolute as we must be. That is a woman’s strength, not berating others into towing the line. It’s God’s line. He will work His will when and how He sees fit.
That’s not to advocate staying in…
… an abusive situation. Absolutely not. But with increasing frequency, I see the value of suffering undermined by those who believe themselves holy Catholics. The ‘we must solve the problem’ is what very often gives rise to the Devil for he waits patiently to undermine our patience and faith in grace. And when we reach that point of thinking that ‘we’ have had enough, the Devil kicks right in to justify our rejection of God’s plan.
By exacerbating the seeming injustice of God’s order for the family, women work against themselves and collude with the snake – like Eden all over again. I would that we could shun that rash example of perceived intelligence and ‘rights’ and act with the deep and biding wisdom of the Blessed…
… Mother. Being united with God by way of grace, She had no need to speak….Her being there said everything. I’ve no doubt St Peter anguished at her feet at some point and without Her having to utter a sound.
Too many work to solve the problems without understanding that the source of all problems is to be found in constant recollection and recourse to God who is so intimately with us. We just don’t think that way.
Ann, Another important point is the role models of the Holy Family, role models that we are to follow. They were perfect in the Holy Family, God would not have had it any other way for the Mother and Foster Father of His Son our Savior. You can rest assure our Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without original sin, and pure without sin for her entire life, which includes her marriage to St. Joseph never had an argument with him, never criticized him, never was mean or offensive to him, or looking for vengeance. Of course, you can bet he didn’t do anything bad to cause her that kind of grief and hurt. Yet they were two people living out their role models as husband and wife, father and mother, compromising and overlooking any mistakes…
I agree that the Holy Family was indeed perfect. That is not to say that we will never have an argument with our spouse, but arguing about whatever it is that is at stake – even a sin or shortcoming that we don’t like – can often be the least effective means to handle the problem.
That is why being patient, waiting until one is not angry to address an issue in charity – and not when one is crying, upset, etc, – is often for the best. It is, however, the hardest to do, especially when the actions of one’s spouse cuts one to the core.
That’s the mystery of the Cross. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Not so much that they don’t know their behavior is bad, but rather that they do not understand fully the…
deep pain they cause others now and for a very long time.
Do yourself a favor this Christmas, attend a beautiful Traditional Latin High Mass at Mid-night or in the morning on Christmas Day, in a Roman Catholic Parish that is staunchly glued to tradition. You will share in the most beautiful expression of worship to God composed by His own Son and the Holy Ghost. It is all about God, glorifying, loving, and thanking the Blessed Trinity for our many blessings especially our salvation given to us by the baby in the manger at Bethlehem. It is not about us or for our entertainment.