Author Topic: Motu Proprio makes annulment process simpler by delegating decisions to Bishops  (Read 2632 times)

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Offline Deacon Lance

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Some of my thoughts on this.

50% of all RC annulments are from the United States.  I am going to expect that number to rise.  From what I have read, though the process is being streamlined and cutting through bureaucracy and now is free (although that seemed to be a red herring. I have never heard of an annulment costing thousands of dollars, maybe a couple hundred. Unless, they were including the costs of civil divorce in that number), the standards for judging whether an annulment may be granted are still the same.  If an annulment is granted because of some defect that existed before the couple was married, why would any Catholic priest worth his salt agree to marry them in the first place?  I don't know what the process is for getting married in a Catholic parish but I would imagine that if there were obvious signs that a couple shouldn't be married, the priest would put a halt to that right then and there or at least tell the couple that more time was needed for them to work on the respective issue(s) before proceeding down the aisle.  To me, annulments (then and now) are more about saving the face of the church than anything else.  If the priests are that blind to possible obstacles down the line, then the RC church should be more concerned about demanding its priests providing better premarital counseling for longer periods of time rather than allowing for a more quick and streamlined process to declare the marriage null and void and sweep it under the rug.

BTW, if there is an annulment when children are in the picture, are they declared illegitimate or is that no longer the case?  I fail to see how you can determine a marriage null and void if the couple produces children in wedlock.  The issue may be streamlined, but it doesn't really seem to address this issue.

There are 2000 Catholics per 1 priest in the US.  I don't see marriage preparation improving.

It was never the case that a declaration of nullify made children illegitimate.

So, then, what are they?  Are they in some state of "legitimacy" limbo?  If the marriage was never valid  (i.e. didn't exist) when they were conceived and born, what is their status? Or are they accorded some special grace? Do you begin to see the problems here, Fr. Deacon and the rest of you Catholics?  Do you see that the doctrine which you defend is so legalistic that the only ways for it to work is to adhere to it strictly (which I agree people should when they get married, but human nature being what it is often prevents that) or to come up with so many loopholes and "yes, but" scenarios that the theology as defended becomes more and more opaque and risible?

Legitimate as they are the product of a civil marriage.  A declaration of nullity is simply a statement that because of defects of form or consent a valid sacrament did not take place.  As I've stated elsewhere marriage as an institution was around before Christ raised it to a sacrament.  Because a sacramental marriage does not exist does not mean a natural marriage or civil marriage does not.  personally I believe there is room for both declaration of nullify and ecclesiastical divorce as both address different issues.

But I'm asking about the childrens' status IN THE Roman CHURCH.

 Can.  1137 The children conceived or born of a valid or putative marriage are legitimate.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P43.HTM
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Offline scamandrius

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Some of my thoughts on this.

50% of all RC annulments are from the United States.  I am going to expect that number to rise.  From what I have read, though the process is being streamlined and cutting through bureaucracy and now is free (although that seemed to be a red herring. I have never heard of an annulment costing thousands of dollars, maybe a couple hundred. Unless, they were including the costs of civil divorce in that number), the standards for judging whether an annulment may be granted are still the same.  If an annulment is granted because of some defect that existed before the couple was married, why would any Catholic priest worth his salt agree to marry them in the first place?  I don't know what the process is for getting married in a Catholic parish but I would imagine that if there were obvious signs that a couple shouldn't be married, the priest would put a halt to that right then and there or at least tell the couple that more time was needed for them to work on the respective issue(s) before proceeding down the aisle.  To me, annulments (then and now) are more about saving the face of the church than anything else.  If the priests are that blind to possible obstacles down the line, then the RC church should be more concerned about demanding its priests providing better premarital counseling for longer periods of time rather than allowing for a more quick and streamlined process to declare the marriage null and void and sweep it under the rug.

BTW, if there is an annulment when children are in the picture, are they declared illegitimate or is that no longer the case?  I fail to see how you can determine a marriage null and void if the couple produces children in wedlock.  The issue may be streamlined, but it doesn't really seem to address this issue.

There are 2000 Catholics per 1 priest in the US.  I don't see marriage preparation improving.

It was never the case that a declaration of nullify made children illegitimate.

So, then, what are they?  Are they in some state of "legitimacy" limbo?  If the marriage was never valid  (i.e. didn't exist) when they were conceived and born, what is their status? Or are they accorded some special grace? Do you begin to see the problems here, Fr. Deacon and the rest of you Catholics?  Do you see that the doctrine which you defend is so legalistic that the only ways for it to work is to adhere to it strictly (which I agree people should when they get married, but human nature being what it is often prevents that) or to come up with so many loopholes and "yes, but" scenarios that the theology as defended becomes more and more opaque and risible?

Legitimate as they are the product of a civil marriage.  A declaration of nullity is simply a statement that because of defects of form or consent a valid sacrament did not take place.  As I've stated elsewhere marriage as an institution was around before Christ raised it to a sacrament.  Because a sacramental marriage does not exist does not mean a natural marriage or civil marriage does not.  personally I believe there is room for both declaration of nullify and ecclesiastical divorce as both address different issues.

But I'm asking about the childrens' status IN THE Roman CHURCH.

 Can.  1137 The children conceived or born of a valid or putative marriage are legitimate.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P43.HTM

Thank you.

Offline podkarpatska

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OK, it is established that within Eastern orthodox tradition there is such a process as eccesiastical divorce.

Is there a seperate process in Orthodoxy which would lead to an annulment such as the disocovery of fraud in the making of the marriage - either conscious (e.g. lying about the age of a party or prior marital status of a party) or the discovery of a previously unknown and prohibited level of family relationship? I would think that the east would make such a distinction?


Offline Mor Ephrem

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OK, it is established that within Eastern orthodox tradition there is such a process as eccesiastical divorce.

Is there a seperate process in Orthodoxy which would lead to an annulment such as the disocovery of fraud in the making of the marriage - either conscious (e.g. lying about the age of a party or prior marital status of a party) or the discovery of a previously unknown and prohibited level of family relationship? I would think that the east would make such a distinction?

I don't know if there is a separate process.  I would think the same/a similar process would be used, but I can't imagine very many circumstances in which a declaration of nullity would make a difference other than possibly in decisions regarding ordinands. 
Quote from: Fr Alexander Schmemann
The Gospel is quite clear: both saints and sinners love God. "Religious" people do not love him, and whenever they can, they crucify him.

Of course, OC.net is not reflective of the Church, but is rather a surreal bubble. I have visited a lot of different parishes around the world and have listened to many hours of AFR...

Offline podkarpatska

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OK, it is established that within Eastern orthodox tradition there is such a process as eccesiastical divorce.

Is there a seperate process in Orthodoxy which would lead to an annulment such as the disocovery of fraud in the making of the marriage - either conscious (e.g. lying about the age of a party or prior marital status of a party) or the discovery of a previously unknown and prohibited level of family relationship? I would think that the east would make such a distinction?

I don't know if there is a separate process.  I would think the same/a similar process would be used, but I can't imagine very many circumstances in which a declaration of nullity would make a difference other than possibly in decisions regarding ordinands.

Actually I was thinking more in terms of Imperial or Royal succession and rights of inheritance etc...in Orthodox royal houses...

Offline Mor Ephrem

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OK, it is established that within Eastern orthodox tradition there is such a process as eccesiastical divorce.

Is there a seperate process in Orthodoxy which would lead to an annulment such as the disocovery of fraud in the making of the marriage - either conscious (e.g. lying about the age of a party or prior marital status of a party) or the discovery of a previously unknown and prohibited level of family relationship? I would think that the east would make such a distinction?

I don't know if there is a separate process.  I would think the same/a similar process would be used, but I can't imagine very many circumstances in which a declaration of nullity would make a difference other than possibly in decisions regarding ordinands.

Actually I was thinking more in terms of Imperial or Royal succession and rights of inheritance etc...in Orthodox royal houses...

You make me laugh.  :-*
Quote from: Fr Alexander Schmemann
The Gospel is quite clear: both saints and sinners love God. "Religious" people do not love him, and whenever they can, they crucify him.

Of course, OC.net is not reflective of the Church, but is rather a surreal bubble. I have visited a lot of different parishes around the world and have listened to many hours of AFR...

Offline PJ26

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This is on the Rorate Caeli website today:

Catholic Divorce - Head of Vatican Commission Admits in Official Paper: Surge in Number of "Annulments" Intended

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/09/important-admission-from-head-of.html

"we are facing not a mere procedural reform but a true revolution regarding the "divorced and remarried" and the Church's very understanding of justice and mercy. The reforms are bluntly described as coming from 'Our Lord' and from the 'Holy Spirit', acting through Francis. The "divorced and remarried" are now redefined as forming part of "the poor" for which the Church should have a special solicitude; anyone aware of the heightened place held by "the poor" (e.g . the "preferential option for the poor") in the post-Conciliar Magisterium should be aware of the magnitude of the shift involved here.

The reforms are frankly described as part of the Pope's call to the bishops to undergo "metànoia" (conversion, specifically the conversion of one's mind, attitudes and way of life -- a very strong word) regarding "divorce and remarriage"; they are clearly invited to facilitate an enormous increase in declarations of nullity. Judgment is passed on the pre-Francis Church as a Church that merely spoke or thought about mercy and collegiality but did not actually practice these. Furthermore the Holy See's intention to help the bishops expedite declarations of nullity will be given concrete form by the multiplication of short formation courses to be held by the Roman Rota for priests and laypeople designated by their bishops to assist them in their judicial ministry."

On the flip side there's this from the National Catholic Register:

Pope Attacked Over Motu Proprio; Cardinal Kasper Reasserts His Proposal

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-attacked-over-motu-proprio-cardinal-kasper-reasserts-his-proposal

"Reports have emerged that a seven-page dossier, obtained by the German newspaper Die Zeit, is circulating around the curia in which senior Vatican officials have voiced discontent with the recent change in Church law on annulments, and an absence of consultation over the matter.

On Tuesday, the Pope made sweeping reforms to make the process of obtaining a declaration of nullity simpler, quicker and cheaper.

According to Die Zeit, the officials juridically “picked apart” the Pope’s motu proprio (papal decree) on annulment reform, accuse the Holy Father of giving up an important dogma, and assert that he has introduced de facto “Catholic divorce”.

Further concerns mentioned in the document are that, despite the gravity of the issue, no dicasteries, including apparently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as well as bishops conferences, were consulted about the decision — a claim the Register has had confirmed by numerous sources. The dossier says usual legislative channels have been "undermined" as "none of the planned steps of a legislative procedure have been followed."

Critics say this goes against the Pope's calls for synodality and collegiality, and resembles an ecclesialized "Führerprinzip", ruling from the top down, by decree and without any consultation or any checks. 

Instead, the papal commission that drafted the motu proprio had been ordered to keep silent throughout the drafting process, probably to avoid the reforms being thwarted by the CDF and others in the curia. But the report also alleges that even the commission did not see the final draft, and that an Italian cardinal along with two others "fiercely" tried to prevent the motu proprio being published before the synod but without success.

The Register has learned via other sources that this decision and others are effectively isolating the CDF and that the Pope is steadily making their work superfluous.

The report also voices concern that the motu proprio will lead to a flood of annulments and that from now on, couples would be able to simply exit their Catholic marriage without a problem."

Interesting...


Offline Fabio Leite

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Concerning the First Without Equal, it was, imo, a very bad mistep.

They did not insist on that line of thought though, so I'll just wait.

I think Moscow and Constantinople have very salutary influences on each other right now, each curtailing the excesses of the other.

I believe though, that the traditional theology regarding the Primate is one of more active power than what Moscow has been promoting, but far less than what Rome defends, which would still prohibit any further step toward union.

Neither Supreme Pontiff, etc, neither a mere symbolic title, but a Member-President in the Synod with no authority over any other jurisdiction, but with real authority limited directly to the proceedings and decisions of the Synod and over its members as members and not as bishops (meaning: you can suspend someone from the Synod if he does not comply, but not depose him nor would that necessarily make his actions unlegitimate in his jurisdictions, although they would have the shadow of malpractices over them) and also as Spokesperson of the Global Synod, just like St. Peter in Matt. 16:18 and St. Leo in Chalcedon.

Those verses are also the model for the real meaning of the ex cathedra pronounedments. The First-Among-Equals when speaking for the consensual unanimity of the synod and with their permission ("ex cathedra"), his pronouncements would not be infallible, but would still be the most authoritative official proclamation, which could only be officially corrected or clarified by another ex cathedra pronouncement.

In short, not Head of the Church nor mere Symbol of Unity, but Head of the Bishops.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 02:11:48 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Quote
Since Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and its companion document Mitis et misericors Iesus were published on September 8, there has been little reference to the article published by L'Osservatore Romano on that same day to explain the thinking behind the reforms of Canon law. This is a pity, as this article was written by no other than the head of the Commission for the reform of the canonical matrimonial process, the Dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto:

La riforma del processo matrimoniale per la dichiarazione di nullità - Voluta e decisa da Papa Francesco.

As such this article is of even greater importance than Vatican Radio's summary and introduction of the reforms as a guide to understanding the intentions behind the reforms. The second part of the title forthrightly states that the reforms were "desired and decided by Pope Francis", which should help preempt any future attempts to explain away these reforms as an abuse or a misunderstanding of the Pope's will (the typical excuse of certain quarters once a measure or reform ordered by a Pope goes terribly wrong). This article is not an expression of the Magisterium but without doubt offers irrefutable insight into the mentality behind the current Pontiff's approach to the very important topic of divorce and "remarriage".

It is clear from this article -- from which we present significant passages here, in a translation made expressly for Rorate -- that we are facing not a mere procedural reform but a true revolution regarding the "divorced and remarried" and the Church's very understanding of justice and mercy. The reforms are bluntly described as coming from 'Our Lord' and from the 'Holy Spirit', acting through Francis. The "divorced and remarried" are now redefined as forming part of "the poor" for which the Church should have a special solicitude; anyone aware of the heightened place held by "the poor" (e.g . the "preferential option for the poor") in the post-Conciliar Magisterium should be aware of the magnitude of the shift involved here.

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/09/important-admission-from-head-of.html
Quote from: Fr Alexander Schmemann
The Gospel is quite clear: both saints and sinners love God. "Religious" people do not love him, and whenever they can, they crucify him.

Of course, OC.net is not reflective of the Church, but is rather a surreal bubble. I have visited a lot of different parishes around the world and have listened to many hours of AFR...

Offline Fabio Leite

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Truth is, in the past Christians did not fear death for faith.

Today Christians of all churches fear being called uncool, reactionary and have stares of reproval.

For fear of the world's opinion, fear of having to face some social discomfort, we lost the fear of God.

"I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God."
St. Luke 12:18
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 04:21:36 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.