Thread unlocked. Warnings issued. Please take note and don't do that again. Inquirer, please note this for future, as you are new here. Your comments were far too argumentative for Christian News.
But the children are still bastards, right?
Born out of wedlock, yes. I don't know why we have to use the term "bastards," since it has such a pejorative connotation.
Except that you all are parsing a legal fiction..be it one rising out of secular law or canon law. A legal presumption provides (rebuttable in both cases) that the children born during a viable marriage are legitimate and that children born of an annulled marriage are likewise legitimate. The theory being that children are not guilty of their parents sins or wrongdoings... But, the presumption is rebuttable as to whom the father might be if the presumed father can prove legal proof sufficient that he could not have been the father.
I don't understand what the legal fiction is. Legitimacy is only a concern to civil law. Annulments do not make any proclamations about the validity of marriage under civil law.
In order to do justice, the law will permit or create a legal fiction. A legal fiction is an assumption that something occurred or someone or something exists which, in fact, is not the case, but that is made in the law to enable a court to equitably resolve a matter before it.
The most common example is the treatment of corporation under the law as a person.
For purposes of this discussion, and applicable to civil and Canon law, consider that:
A.) Issue born of a marriage (i.e. children) are presumed to be legitimate.
B.) Children born out-of-wedlock are illegitimate (formerly called "bastards.")
C.) An annulment ls a judicial statement that there was never a marriage.
D.) Absent legal provisions, either judge-made or by code, the lack of a marriage precludes granting g legitimate status to children born to the parties. The children were made, by operation of law and through no fault of their own, children not born in wedlock or illegitimate (bastards).
E.) Treating children this way is unfair and inequitable. This status cries out for justice. Equity will.demand a solution.
F.) A "legal fiction" is thereby created granting legal legitimacy to children born to parents whose marriage is annulled.
G.) Equity provides justice.
Applying the facts to the definition, one can see that the status of such children is a legal fiction intended to treat them equitably. It is neither judgmental nor pejorative. It's just a term of art.
The status of children resulting after Church annulment as to hereditary rights and inheritance would have been an issue Prior to modern civil laws which have pretty much abolished discrimination against out of wedlock children for support, maintenance and inheritance their status would have been an issue.