^I don't know, many Catholic professionals I knew over the years who are remarried (mostly judges, lawyers, cops ) did obtain annulments but they had a 'wink wink nod nod' attitude about the process. Many felt that our Orthodox approach to the issue was more honest and created less strain within the family, particular with the children of an annulled marriage. I knew one person whose close relative was a Roman Catholic priest, he married a Melkite woman in her church with his uncle participating. They obtained an annulment after the marriage fell apart and each remarried in the Catholic church. His second marriage was in his new wife's Roman Catholic church. He was troubled about the representations that had to be made to obtain the annulment and it really soured his overall attitude about the administrative structure of the Catholic Church. He wasn't questioning his faith, but rather the logical conclusions that his church's 'marriage' to legalisms caused. Perhaps his discomfort was caused by his excellent Jesuit education and the irony that their very approach to thinking made him realize the disconnect. His experience was hardly unique.I have to agree tht there is something amiss with the Catholic marriage annulment process. A couple is married in the RCC and remains married for 15 years, raises a family of 3 or four children, and then the wife becomes tired of the marriage and tired of her fat husband and gets herself a new slimmer boyfriend with more money. She then visits the local parish priest and they discuss ways that she can wiggle out of her marriage, looking for all kinds of loopholes that she can use to annul the marriage. Of course, if she had not succeeded in landing her new rich slim and trim boyfriend, all of this discovery of defects in her marriage would never have taken place. So with a list of these newly found defects in hand she presents her case to the local Catholic tribunal and is granted her annulment, which says that there never was a Sacramental marriage in the first place. But if almost anyone in the USA can get a marriage annulment, then who out there in the Catholic world is actually married Sacramentally?
Thank you. Even with divorce being permitted under certain circumstances, it is no panacea, nor is it an easy thing. I am sure that most of us can think of couples married in our own Orthodox parishes whose marriage falls apart - for one reason or another - and one party gains an ecclesiastical divorce and remarries. There are always voices in the parish who profess 'shock' etc... rather than minding their own business. In the end, the Orthodox view is probably imbued with both theology and economia. The Roman's won't admit it, but the 'annulment' process they devised in the late 20th century is nothing more than 'economia' intended to cover up the reality that they could not sustain their old practices and retain their faithful. Excess legalism leads to harsh results.
Annulment has been the practice of the Roman rite for many many centuries...
In the past, annulments were only granted for extremely serious reasons, such as when the other partner had hidden the fact that he was already married. Today almost anyone in the USA can get a marriage annulment by citing some defect in consent at the time of the taking of the marriage vows. Since in some areas, about 95% of all Catholics in the USA who apply for an annulment, do get one, then who out there in the Catholic Church is actually married Sacramentally? Why bother to get married, if in the end, some Catholic marriage tribunal tells you that you were never married in the first place? All that time and money that you spent to go through what you thought was a marriage ceremony in the Catholic Church, was actually totally null and void. All those years, that you spent raising a family and being loyal to someone who you thought was your wife, was really never your wife in the first place. And of course, this never whould have come up, except for your medical overweight condition and the fact that your wife has found herself a slimmer boyfriend. If you had not developed this condition, which was due in part anyway to your wife's cooking, your wife would have stayed with you and the marriage would have been valid.
As far as annulment always being the practice in the Roman Church, it really is not true that there has been no change in the conditions required to get an annulment. In the USA, in 1929, 1930, there were something like 10 or so marriage annulments in the whole USA. In recent times, it has gone as high as 60,000 marriage annulments per year. That's an enormous increase due to the watering down of conditions required to get a marriage annulment.