Annulment question : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

I am starting RCIA this week and have a few questions I would like to know about annulments before I start. I was married and divorced twice, both to Catholics that were previously married. My first husbands first marriage was not annuled and he did not get permission to marry me in my baptist church. My second husbands marriage was annuled, but he also did not get permission to marry in my church. Will both of my previous marriages be invalid due to lack of proper form? What would be the usual procedure and length of time this takes? Thank you for any input.

-- Trixi (, September 22, 2003


Hello, Trixi.
Welcome to the Catholic Church! You have made "the journey home."

Based on the information you have provided, the answer to your first question is "yes." As Catholics, the two men were required to follow "canonical form," but they failed to do so, resulting in the invalidity of your "unions."

As soon as you ask for help -- and you needn't wait until the end of RCIA -- one of the priests of your diocese (perhaps the pastor of the parish to which you will belong) will help you to prepare the necessary paper-work to seek two Declarations of Nullity.

I'm sure that the length of time varies from place to place, but I have never heard of this kind of simple "administrative" case taking longer than six months. [A significant difficulty would arise if one of the men (who will be invited to testify) claims to have formally defected from the Catholic faith prior to your exchange of vows with him. I'll say more about this if you want me to do so.]

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 23, 2003.

Thank you John. My journey "home" has been marked with many small miracles that I could never have forseen. What actually prompted my post was the fact that I was speaking with my second husband and asking him about his first marriage. He had been baptized in the methodist church and as far as I knew, he never converted when he married in the Catholic church, just went through classes. When I told him I was converting and needed information on his first marriage he informed me that he had indeed converted prior to his marriage. I could hardly believe my ears. I asked him twice to tell me he had been confirmed and gone to confession and received the eucharist and he kept saying "Yes, yes I did convert and I did participate in all those things". I was completely amazed that in 13 years of knowing this man intimately, I never knew he was Catholic! God has answered my prayer of not having to go through the long and difficult process of annulment in the most fascinating way! I have spoken to both men regarding my conversion and our annulments and both are very supportive and have agreed to do whatever is necessary to hasten the process so I can be in full communion with the Church. Praise be to God!

-- Trixi (, September 23, 2003.

So, what we have established is that it is not consent that matters or competence but it is Church rules and form which trump everything.

Oh happy day!


-- Karl (, September 23, 2003.

No. What "we have established," sir, is that you are an ex-Catholic and, because of the burning hatred in your heart and the vacuum in your skull, you don't belong at this forum.

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 23, 2003.

Moderator, can we delete this ridiculous posts above, most of which are probably imposters, and if they arent they are still a violation of our rules here AND a violation of the principles of love and compassion which motivate our church.

-- paul (, September 24, 2003.

My life since my baptism at 18 reads like a tragic comedy of errors, the multiple marriages are the least of my sins!! You can call me a "whore" but that would only be the tip of the iceberg. I am guilty of so much worse...The story leading up to the conviction of my sins and desired conversion to Catholicism would fill volumes. I pray someday God will be able to use me and what I have experienced to help others who may be afraid to seek Him because they feel they are unworthy or beyond redemption. Jesus died for my sins and I have heaped on Him more than He should have to bear. I plan to spend the rest of my life showing Him my love and appreciation through my worship and service to my fellow man, something which up until recently has been sorely lacking. My belief in the truth the Church teaches has led me to this point.

We are all sinners in His eyes and none worthy of His grace. To God, all sin is abominable, whether you tell a "little white lie" or discourage others from following Him with your vile hatred. For those who like to persist in name calling and badgering on this forum, you would do well to examine your own conciences and motives for such behavior. Shame on you...

-- Trixi (, September 24, 2003.

"You should not call shame on other people when they disagree with your behavior. Especially when they are right!"

I have no problem with people who disagree with my past behavior, I hope to God they do!! I do have a problem with name calling and other such juvenile tactics used to promote the poster's agenda. The shame of it is that the poster's have very valid points but instead of provoking intelligent thought and discussion, which is the purpose of this board, they attempt to intimidate those who they deem "less holy".

Vincent, my story is much too long to post on this forum but if you are interested you may email me at the address above and I will be happy to share it with you.

-- Trixi (, September 24, 2003.

Dear Trixi,

I know nothing of the facts of your situation so I would not render a judgement on it.

My comment was not intended to attack you, however, just to comment on the realities within the Catholic Church.

These are issues which have real and lasting consequences, which I deeply believe are not taken into account by Church authorities when they promulgate and legislate the official practices of the Church.

Many who post on this site are in denial of facts which in the very least call for a retrospective study of past annulment decisions in a scientific manner. It is not outrageous to sample past American Tribunal decisions in the manner that standard quality control methods are used everyday, in a wide array of businesses and professions, to maintain excellence. To statistically and thoroughly ensure that Rotal Standards are maintained and enforced is wise.

To my knowledge this is not done and is a serious and gravely culpable intentional failure on the part of the Catholic Church. If such a study or studies have been done they should be published for examination by the laity. If they have not been done, in view of the published work by Robert Vasoli, in 1998, and its implications, then the Church is deliberately obfuscating evidence.

When Rome opened up Pandora's box through annulments it concomitantly required itself to ensure their accuracy, especially in view of the current Pontiff's comments regarding consequences of easy annulments.

In my opinion Rome had done next-to-nothing to monitor other tribunals, especially those in the U.S..

If anyone has factual information to share regarding this subject, go ahead. But do not give me the line that the Church would not do anything that is harmful. The priestly abuse data blew that garbage right out of the water.

Where are the American Bishops regarding standards in their tribunals, which they are directly responsible for? They are nowhere. All they have are smoke and mirrors. They should open their books for independent investigations. Will they? Not in my lifetime. So let us stop kidding ourselves into believing that the present Catholic Church is genuinely interested in the truth because the FACTS speak otherwise!

All that matters is truth.


-- Karl (, September 24, 2003.

An addendum to my last post!

The only reason the Church was FORCED to act on the priestly abuse issue was because individuals sued and started a ground swell of interest. This ONLY OCCURRED because the activities involved were repulsive to most people and illegal in many places, thank God! This illegality coupled with the repulsion was sufficient to engage the public to an extent which finally FORCED the Church to BEGIN to act.

Sadly, the same conditions do not apply to divorce/annulment, in fact, the large majority of people(including Catholics) love the availability of divorce and justify it as a necessary evil. Were there serious consequences, that were actually just and ENFORCED, for those who simply decide they are tired of the effort, then you might see some changes but that will NEVER happen because people like to sleep with other people, especially when they tire of their spouse or the effort a marriage requires and the commitment as well.

Certainly, the Catholic Church puts no consequences upon those who unjustly divorce and by doing so it, knowingly, encourages divorce.

I know of only one example where a tribunalist carefully examined a divorce decree to elucidate the nature of the breakup. Upon finding that the petitioning spouse simply walked out of the marriage he flatly, GOD BLESS HIM, told the petitioner to make haste in leaving his office as there would be no such petition accepted in his tribunal. This is the wisdom of a God-fearing man.


-- Karl (, September 24, 2003.

Karl, I just cannot believe that you burdened Trixie with that rubbish. You said the same junk about 37 times before at this forum -- but since you hadn't done it for more than a month, I really thought you had been banned. You should be ashamed of yourself, misleading this poor woman who is trying hard to do what is right.

(Please ignore him, Trixie. He has admitted to being no longer a practicing Catholic, and he has shown himself to be a disgruntled insulter of the pope, unable to cope with his life because he cannot restore the ideal marriage that he believes life owes him.)

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 24, 2003.

And you, Gecik, are guilty of Rash Judgement and through chosen ignorance, a gravely sinful action by any objective standard accept yours of course, yet I am sure you received communion on Sunday.

You are the worst type of hypocrite, John and arrogant with a cherry on top!

You fool the ignorant sheep, which makes you ever more dangerous and a scandal.


-- Karl (, September 24, 2003.

except, not accept, which you should do anyway!

-- Karl (, September 24, 2003.

So I "fool the ignorant sheep," Mr. Marx?

How nice of you to call Trixi "ignorant"!

[Put on your hiking boots and make good use of them. Darken this forum with your shadow no more.]

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 24, 2003.

Trixi, just so you know, John is a quite knowledgable, dependable, and orthodox source of catholic knowledge. a veritable cornicopia of catholic FACT if you will. his loyalty to the pope is unchecked, and his understanding of catholic doctrine is almost flawless in its devotion to church teaching. even when he doesnt know, he makes sure to check multiple resources before speaking out. i would advise you to turn a deaf ear on those who speak so plainly against catholic truth, especially when they are so judgementally harsh and unforgiving. remember in all things, there is only one source of truth. john serves that truth and dispenses it clearly (although sometimes a little roughly). karl, on the other hand, thinks he is the source of that truth.

-- paul (, September 25, 2003.

My best friend wrote this in his weblog the other night and I thought it might be appropriate here:

"Giving up everything in this life for eternal life should be so easy, yet not too many people do it! Why? Because Satan has blinded the sight of humans with the lies handed down through the corrupt people on this Earth! The Holy Spirit is roughly the same as a pair of glasses. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you these glasses!"

I have prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me "glasses" to see the truth in your posts, troubling though some may be. Thank you for your answers and obvious passion regarding your faith and beliefs.

-- Trixi (, September 25, 2003.

Rather than commenting on the people involved, Paul, why don't you try sticking to the issue, which I challenge you to assail in other than a basis of uneducated pontification.

The Catholic Church is not interested in the facts unless it is sued and the general public demands accounting.

To grant annulments which are not substantiable objectively is to directly disobey the God the Church purports to witness to.

You are either naive, which I do not believe from reading your posts, or you are like John and others who REFUSE to be objective, spread falsehood under the guise of ORTHODOXY(because you can read,copy and paste published information) rather than seeking what is truth through the standard methods accepted by every responsible professional in every reputable field of study/research including law.

You and your like attack, unjustly, the legitimate questioning of serious ecclesial abuses. You and your like are the ones who are interested only in your own voices and those who agree with your preconceived notions. You are NOT INTERESTED in a serious objective retrospective look at the Church Tribunal System and its literally millions of annulment decisions in the U.S. alone. Consequently, in fact, you and your like are NOT CATHOLIC in the practice of your faith. You are rather a little boy, wet behind the ears, which at least gives you the excuse that those like John can not claim, who has little scientific background or training or interest in objectivity and consequently has NO RIGHT to a legitimate opinion on these matters.

Seek the truth objectively Paul or shut up and sit down out of respect for truth. You are still young. Do not become the ignorant of truth apologist that Gecik chooses to be. Anyone can read, cut and paste if they have the time and interest but only the real saints walk the walk, that Gecik talks or rather mumbles.

Challenge the objective reality or be quiet, little Paul and stop hiding behind blind faith in men who have already been shown to be criminals.


-- Karl (, September 25, 2003.

Thanks, paul, for defending me (even though you did exaggerate). No one could be as close to perfection as you painted me! I make mistakes, and don't always "check multiple resources" -- but I try hard. Poor Karl Marx! His closing words are so silly that they only generate a smile in me, rather than anger. He can't evaluate either one of us correctly.

Karl writes: "You are NOT INTERESTED in a serious objective retrospective look at the Church Tribunal System ..."
Au contraire. I AM interested in such a thing -- if done by people who have the right, vocation, responsibility, and skill to make such a study ... In other words, officials at the Vatican, not ex-Catholic dingbats like Karl. He LACKS the right, vocation, responsibility, and skill to evaluate marriage tribunals.

God bless you with much wisdom, Trixi.

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 25, 2003.

Libel seems to be your long suit, John, you are short-suited, however, regarding objectivity.

There is already an ongoing evaluation of American cases being evaluated at the level of the Rota. That is where the data clearly shows a dichotomy exists among the Roman tribunal and the American Tribunal System, with few exceptions. That is why 90% of American case appealed to rome are overturned and 90% are declared null when the American tribunals do the same level review.

What is needed is a scientific sampling and review, which would take so many more resources than exist now but is the only fair option. I have never heard you support that.

But even if that was done, would the church act on the data it gathered? And could it be objective? I think no to both questions. That is why outside resources must be in charge of any such review. The control must be outside the influence of the catholic Church.

You know nothing of my qualifications or background with regard to objective analysis of complex data. Facts require no "vocation" to interpret other than an experienced working knowledge of the matter to be studied. Such a comprehensive undertaking is expressly outside the realm of the vast majority of present canonists, particularly the clerical canonists due to the pollution of their minds which is evident in the decisions already overturned by the Rota.

Cormac Burke is training canonists, in Keyna, beyond the control of the Americans, that would be a fine field to reap canonists from considering they have been trained by one of the best.


-- Karl (, September 25, 2003.

Sigh! Some people never learn to shut up.
Karl = one-track mind = broken record.

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 26, 2003.

Is this one worth staying out of?

-- Pat Delaney (, September 26, 2003.

"Sigh! Some people never lear to shut up." Speaking about yourself, jfGecik?? Karl is intelligent, honest. You're not.

-- Bernard Heck (, September 26, 2003.

In Catholic Schools in their prime it was common place to emphasize repetition as a learning technique, particularly when the pupils were resistant to learning.

At my worst, John, and I have my moments, I will place my Catholicism, as I practice it, beside your practice, and I will be happy to let God be my judge.

I am sorry if you cannot accept the repetition of truth but I prefer truth to candy-coated deceit.

If you and others are tired of me perhaps you should go somwhere else to sew your seeds.


-- Karl (, September 26, 2003.

Mr. Marx, you wrote (biting your tongue, to keep a straight face):
"I will place my Catholicism, as I practice it, beside your practice, and I will be happy to let God be my judge."

You have admitted that you don't even go to Sunday Mass, and you have repeatedly blasted the heck out of the pope. You HAVE no Catholicism. You "practice" some kind of schismatic or heretical religion, if any religion at all. You'd better get your pride-filled carcass into a confessional, before it's too late.

You claim to repeat the truth? You wouldn't know about "repetition of truth" if it jumped up and bit you on your whining schnozz.

I won't even dignify with a comment your asinine suggestion that I leave the forum. To think that a zero-contributor like you could even generate such an idea in his pea-brain! Hilarious!

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 26, 2003.

"The truth hurts, doesn't it?"

It definitely hurts your idol, Karl, when I mention the "truth" that he is no longer a practicing Catholic.

"Good on you Karl."

What's that? "Good on you"? What language is that? [Don't answer. I don't really care what you have to say about anything, impersonator from Pa..]

-- J. F. Gecik (, September 30, 2003.

This is just ugliness in here.

The devil is having a field day with those who have posted, and perhaps those reading it. Stop calling each other names, and questioning each other's motives. There are much more constructive ways to channel this energy.

-- Pat Delaney (, September 30, 2003.

The kind of Catholicism you represent, Gecik, is the kind that protects clerics who encourage violation of canon laws, marriages, children and all the precepts which a decent society holds dear and considers civilized. When people point out serious errors which the Church refuses to adequately address, or to attempts to hold those who are guilty accountable for grave public sinfulness, accomplices such as yourself defend the status quo rather than being a proponent of a Church which openly polices itself and publicly punishes public, scandalous sin, as the scripture requires!

You are in the business of obfuscation and cover-up. If your measuring stick for Catholicism holds attendance at Mass on a higher level then the pursuit of truth then you are lost. You are a lousy evangelist who prizes some pithy, gossamer obedience to man's rules rather than the quest for God's. You abuse the authority that the clergy abuse as well, as they ignore their mandate to feed the sheep, who they are abandoning to those among their flock who openly destroy the flock through their unrepentent sinfulness which the shepherd clerics openly encourage and support, in spite of it being forbidden by the One whose authority they are misusing at the expense of the very ones they are to protect.

You and they are less than garbage, you are angels of darkness masquerading as angels of light, beacons unto death you are!


-- Karl (, September 30, 2003.

Karl, I would be very interested to hear your opinion. What exactly is your advice to someone who feels they has been called to join the Catholic Church despite all of the obstacles involved. It seems from your posts that you feel that the Church is too lenient in their practices regarding annulments, etc. and based on my limited knowledge, I would tend to agree with you. I am curious though to know what you think the alternative should be. What does a person do when they are in a state of grave sin prior to being led by the Holy Spirit to seek the way they should express their faith?

-- Trixi (, September 30, 2003.

Dear Trixi,

How to answer your question? It really is very broad.

The Catholic Church is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT regarding the need, on the occasion, to rule on the validity of a particular marriage.

In my opinion, currently or until the individual statistics of each tribunal relative to their Rotal appeals is indicative of submission to the standards employed and maintained in Rome, only the Rota will give you a reliable decision amenable to a clear conscience that would allow you to move on with any appropriate plans regarding, even dating.

Now, regarding an alternative:

The spouse who has been abandoned must be faithful, completely, to the presumed validity of their first marriage, in lieu of the appropriate Rotal decision. So also must the abandoning spouse.

But the situations are drastically different. Assuming the black and white abandoner/abandonee format, the former, is without guilt or culpability for the adulterous violation of their commitment. The latter is completely culpable for it and is guilty of grave mortal sin under normal circumstances. Obviously not all situations are so perfectly clear, but generally they are to people who are honest and objective and who do not seek the shelter of rationalization of their actions.

I would not resist the desire to become part of the Catholic Church were I you. But I would presume the validity of my first marriage, then systematically, objectively examine my past. I would then take appropriate measures to be accountable for what I have done wrongly, especially if it involves a marriage, which is a public institution. All things must be done wisely ever aware of objective truth and honoring it always to the utmost while being sensitive to ancillary circumstances and the rippling effect any action has, with an eye toward always healing and avoiding scandal.

The facts support that the American Tribunals are not using Rotal standards regardless of what anyone on this forum will tell you, including the Canonists, Priests and other religious who drop by from time to time. To be fair, the case is not closed and the evidence is not prohibitively conclusive but it is very convincing to the objective person. I believe one should always err on the side of the "sacrament". This too is supported by the Church's stance that the favor of the law rests with presumed validity.

My opinion is that this "presumed validity" is only lip service in the United States and is only grugingly alluded to, for advertizing purposes and to fend off Vatican attention, but not practiced. Were it practiced the Ameican Church would reinstitute, among Catholic couples, excommunication for the divorced and remarried without nullity AND ALL divorces for non-canonically approved reasons would also be answered with excommunication for the culpable parties, with those culpable parties forbidden to petition for annulment or to testify if the innocent party should seek an annulment.

I must stop now for lack of time. I hope this reflects an answer to your question.


-- Karl (, September 30, 2003.

"Presumed validity" doesn't mean that anyone actually believes the union is valid. This is a technicality, directly analygous to "presumed innocence" in a court of law. A perpetrator may have been arrested in the very act of committing a crime, and everyone knows with certainty that he is guilty. However, the official position remains that even such a clearly guilty person is still techinically "presumed innocent" until "proven guilty" in a court of law; in other words, until due process has transpired to officially confirm his known guilt. It is the same with annulment. If a serious impediment to validity was present at the time of the wedding, then the marriage is invalid, de facto, regardless of whether it is ever officially declared invalid or not. But such a union is still technically "presumed valid" from an official perspective until the necessary process has transpired to formalize the objective fact of invalidity. This is simply a guarantee of due process, not an assumption that a given union is truly objectively valid.

-- Paul (, September 30, 2003.

Now this is taking a turn that is interesting. Real inquiry and thought.

Karl, the idea of a separate process to approve the seeking of divorce by Catholics (before seeking annulment) sounds like a very good thing. But I'm not sure its practical. The main purpose of the Church is to directly administer the sacraments and this would be a huge redirection of resources to a somewhat indirect application toward the sacrament of marriage. And by the way, taking the Eucharist is the highest form of truth seeking. So someone earnestly accepting the Eucharist is in fact also seeking the truth. Jesus Christ is truth personified.

I'm sorry at the injustice your wife has heaped upon you. You can always expend effort to to change the Church to some extent, but your main goal should be to temper your own disposition. Realize that she has a free will and God wants it that way. Your are called to simply forgive her in your heart, and to live a chaste life. Although its a cross, believe me, its not that burdensome compared to some I've seen. In a way, it may also be a gift. Think of the poor hapless fellow stuck in the living hell of married life to an abusive wife. (Not quite so abusive to justify leaving or seeking an anullment, just the continual grind of a disrespectful, grossly stupid, unattractive and selfish person..repugnant in so many ways, but you have to love her anyway...That my man is a CROSS).

Big Paul has a point too. But I'm not sure the analogy is a good fit. The presumption of validity in marriage is something that should be expected as a natural consequence. Human beings have a natural predisposition to marriage. That is why consent is presumed to exist even for persons having an intellectual capacity of well under the age of eighteen. I'm not sure the same natural predisposition is present for persons to commit felonies as there is to be married.

-- Pat Delaney (, October 01, 2003.

Trixi be careful with your life you only live it once it looks like you made two verry bad choices in your first two marriages.. in fact if what you said is true then them two marriages were not even a marriage at all but if one of your two husbands had there wife die before you married him then he did not need an annaulment and your marriage would be proper under god,,, but buy the way you put it just make shure that the the two husbands marriages were valid before to the wifes before you or then there marriage might be in the same situation you are in and never valid under god and would make your marriage to that husband valid under god... annaulment is not some thing to play with a proper answer would take proper investagation and in proper investigation you find that you are at liberty to marry again know the facts and dont get in this mess again here is some scriptures you my need to study As the rate of divorces increases so do the number of remarriages, and this increase of divorce and remarriage has even affected our conservative churches. Since this issue is so prevalent in our churches today, it would be good to consult the Bible and find out what God has to say about divorce and remarriage.

Let's look at these verses and see if God condones divorce and remarriage and if there are any exceptions that allow us to break the marriage contract. Turn to Romans 7:2-3: "For the woman which hath an husband is BOUND BY THE LAW [OF GOD, NOT MAN] to her husband SO LONG AS HE LIVETH; but IF her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, WHILE HER HUSBAND LIVETH, she be married to another man, she shall be CALLED AN ADULTERESS: but IF her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." Anyone who is married a SECOND TIME (or more) while there is a LIVING PARTNER is STILL BOUND BY GOD'S LAW TO THE FIRST PARTNER. The laws of the land may say that a woman is no longer bound to her first partner, but GOD says that she is and it is God's Word that counts. Although God can and does forgive the adulterers and adulteresses (if they ask Him to do so), God says that they are still BOUND BY THE LAW until death parts them. In conjunction with this is I Corinthians 7:39: "The wife is BOUND BY THE LAW AS LONG AS HER HUSBAND LIVETH; but if her husband be dead, she is AT LIBERTY to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." The ONLY EXCEPTION listed here is when a partner dies. Then, AND ONLY THEN, is a person allowed to remarry and this person is commanded to be remarried to another Christian. This passage also states that if a woman marries another man while her first partner is still living, she is an adulteress. This, of course, also goes for the man who remarries and we are told numerous places in God's Word that those who commit adultery cannot enter heaven in an unforgiven condition (Galatians 5:19-21; I Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 13:4; Malachi 3:5; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21).

-- jason kennon (, October 18, 2003.


Speaking as a canonist let me add my two cents.

First of all, while I generally think Karl is bit over the top in his criticism, I would agree with his statement that if we are not following our own procedure/law/theology then we are guilty ourselves and corrections need to be made.

Generally I would also agree with him that the grounds of c1095.2 in the Code of Canon Law (818.2 in the Eastern Code), those of "grave lack of due discretion, have been - and often still are - mis- understood and/or misused by Tribunals in the US.

Now to your case specifically. The key question seems to be Lack of Form in both cases - NOT lack of due discretion. In the case of your first husband. If his first marriage was valid then your marriage to him was invalid by "prior bond." If his first marriage was invalid than his marriage to you was invalid due to "lack of form." If he is willing to participate in the annulment process the Tribunal would probably want to start with his prior marriage (presuming that was his first). But no matter what the outcome there are grounds to find that your subsequent marriage to him was null.

Likewise, your second marriage was null because of lack of form.

A lack of form case is a type of case referred to as a "documentary process." The time for these types of cases is significantly shorter than one based on a consent issue.

Basically what's involved is that a copy of the husbands' baptismal certificate is needed to show that he was Catholic at the time of the wedding - and therefore bound to Canonical Form. Then a copy of the marriage license showing that the marriage occured somewhere other than in a Catholic Church. A check would done to see if any dispensations were issued to allow this.

Depending on how busy the Tribunal is and how big their staff is a documentary case can be resolved in a couple of months. If they're swamped, well then it's going to take more time.

A final word on some of the debates that have been swirling on this thread.

I am better acquainted with John Gecik than with Karl. I have known John to consistently give factually correct, accurate answers on Catholic teachings, tradition etc. From my limited attention to threads I believe Karl has gone through a difficult annulment process. If I remember correctly, and please forgive and correct me Karl if I do not, the annulment was finally resolved at the Rotal level in Rome in a manner consistent with Catholic teaching and theology. On the various annulment threads Karl has been a voice of criticism of Tribunals in the US, sometimes very accurately. Though I must add that I think many canonists do indeed try to do there best and decide cases in a consistent fashion. I am sorry Karl that you did not encounter any of these in your experience.

By the way, Cormac Burke is training canonists in Kenya?? Is there a Pontifical University in Kenya??

-- Fr. Mike Skrocki, JCL (, October 19, 2003.

Fr. Mike,

To the best of my knowledge, which is through a third party who knows Msgr. Burke and communicates with him, he is involved with a seminary in Kenya and is teaching there among other things, Canon Law. I do not know if it is a Pontifical University.

Regarding the resolution of my "situation" I must respond.

I have observed the damage done to the reputations, livelihoods...etc to some people who have been accused of things on both the criminal and civil level in American Courts. I have never seen a case where justice is done when the "innocent" is tried and shown to actually be "innocent". They never recover what was taken from them. Never.

It is far, far worse in divorce/annulment.

Who cares what the Church says when they render a decision 15 years after clerics encouraged your divorce with the guarantee of an annulment, when one of the guarantors remains a prominant Canon Lawyer.

How can my relationships with our five children be repaired when they have long-accepted their mother's lover as their Father?

When the Catholic Church gets involved in a divorce situation it becomes its obligation to publicly demand full and complete civil/criminal accountability and restitution by any and every Catholic party to the divorce annulment process, if the decision stands contrary to the divorce and if there is an innocent party who never wanted the divorce.

No, Father Mike, a decision announcing that our marriage is a sacrament is meaningless to me, in the absence of accountability for all who have harmed this marriage, enforced by public excommunication in a formal manner, up to and including the Pope if the track leads to his door for his disregard for twenty plus years of injustices which are documented in the files of the Rotal and elsewhere.

When there is enforced restitution and severe penalites, as an integral part of the process for the parties doing harm, only then can the Catholic Church claim to begin the healing process.

Catholic theology REQUIRES restitution and accountability. The Catholic Church in its annulment process does nothing remotely approaching the penumbra of justice.

I lost everything I owned and all paternal rights to our five children because my wife was promised an annulment by clerics in the Catholic Church. There is nothing the Catholic Church could ever do to restore what has been stolen from me and my family. I do not care what. Monsignor Antonin Stankiewicz et al say about my marriage, now.

When the Church requires the lovers to make public restitution and full accounting civilly and criminally, naming names of all who have cooperated and their extent(especially among the clergy) then and only then will I be willing to even talk with the Catholic hierarchy about the monetary damages it owes me and my family in the multiple billions of dollars. That will be the begining of justice Fr. Mike not until.


-- Karl (, October 20, 2003.

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