Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pope fights easy “Catholic divorces” --annulments (series)

97 percent of U.S. annulments are granted--about 60,000 a year--accounting for 60 percent of all annulments worldwide

What a wonderful coincidence, or was it a coincidence?! Just a few weeks ago, the pope decided to offer some very specific directives to avoid the rampant problem of the unfair granting of annulments by local boards known as tribunals (I'll start to review some of the pope’s words, after some brief comments).

My wife is seeking such an annulment of our marriage, asking a tribunal to declare our 19-year marriage null and void—as if it never existed. I have repeatedly asked her, to no avail, to consider reconciliation.

Some may believe that the pope and I disagree on everything--no, no. Just a few very important things. But this is not one of them. I'm all for the pope’s stand against easy annulments.

Annulments come real easy in the U.S. with more than 97 percent of the annulments in the U.S. (about 60,000 annually) being granted. The U.S. accounts for 60 percent of all annulments worldwide (about 100,000 annually)! In other words, the local tribunals hand them out like candy--that's why they're often called "Catholic divorces"

On the other hand, while they won't "publicly" disagree with their pope, I'm pretty sure most of his instructions will be ignored by his fellow Roman Catholics on the tribunal in Tulsa and they'll give my wife an annulment anyway, so she can continue in her sin--foolin' around with other guys.

Nevertheless, it is good to know the pope has identified and is hoping to correct some very specific problems--and he may have had the Tulsa bunch in mind, when he spoke to the highest tribunal on marriage--the Roman Rota.

For the next few blogs, we’ll look at what the pope says, so we can compare it to the decision of the Tulsa tribunal when it happens.

According to the pope, priests and tribunals who think they can justify what they want by insisting it’s "the charitable thing to do" are mistaken, they can’t bend the truth in the name of charity:

"Some people maintain that pastoral charity justifies any measures taken towards the declaration of nullity of the marriage bond. ... Truth itself ... would thus tend to be seen in a functional perspective, adapting itself to the different requirements that arise in each case".

More on the next blog…