I've never met anyone who had an annulment, either.
Yet I'm constantly told by Orthodox here that they can't take a step without falling over bushels of people who have.
Allow me to elucidate.
- The U.S accounts for 5.9% of the world's Catholics, but makes up 60% of the RCC's annulments
- Of the 35,009 declarations of nullity granted in the US, 79 percent were granted through the ordinary process, while 21 percent were granted through the documentary process.
- Of the 7,355 declarations of nullity granted in the US by the documentary process, 74 percent were granted for reasons of defect of form.
- Of the 27,654 declarations of nullity granted in the US by the ordinary process, 99.6 percent were granted for reasons of defect of consent
- In the US, 6 percent of ordinary-process cases are renounced by those seeking an annulment, while an additional 6 percent are abated because the parties failed to follow through with the procedural acts necessary for a trial to take place.
- Of the remaining 88 percent of cases in which sentences are given, 96 percent of sentences are in favor of nullity.
- In the automatic appeal process, annulment is confirmed in 99 percent of cases
- Outside of the US in the ordinary process, 89.8 percent of sentences are granted in favor of nullity—a bit lower, but not much, than the 96 percent rate in the US.
What does the data tell us?
For one- there are plenty of baptized Catholics in the US getting married outside of the RCC- hence the documentary process annulments granted for defect of form. How many continue to get divorced and remarried outside of the church, then?
For another- there are 69.5 million Catholics in the United States. Annulments in the US reached their peak in 1991 with 63,933. In 2007, that number was down to 35,009 (this is also the year that data ^ is based on).
So maybe you don't know any Catholics who've had any annulments. Maybe they do have one and just don't talk to you about it. Maybe most of them live in blissfully happy, valid marriages and annulments aren't necessary for them. Or maybe lots of them are marrying outside the church and just don't care enough to pursue an annulment anyway, when they divorce and remarry.
Nonetheless, if you seek an annulment in the US, you've got a 96% shot of getting one. If you're outside the US, 89.8%. So you'll have to forgive me if I find the posturing on their hardline stance on remarriage more than a little ridiculous.