Annulment takes too long - other options?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
My fiance (divorced, non-Catholic) and I want to get married in the Catholic Church, but were told by the priest that the annulment process would take 18-24 months. On top of that, we can't set a date until AFTER the annulment is granted, pushing us back another 6 months possibly.
Is it possible to get married outside of the Catholic Church, and then go through the annulment process and get our marriage blessed after we are married?
18-24 months is outrageous when two people want to start their life together, and start a family. I should mention that my fiance is going to start classes soon to convert to Catholicism, but we still don't like the long waiting period for the annulment.
Also, is it true that certain Dioceses are more strick or take longer to grant annulments than other? I live in the Arlington Diocese. Thank you.
-- Patricia C. (email@example.com), February 09, 2005
18-24 months is the upper range of the time frame in most dioceses. The actual time required depends mainly on the complexity of the case, and to some extent upon the case load of the local tribunal. In my diocese 12-18 months is the usual, but clearcut, well documented cases may only take 2 or 3 months. There can be differences from one diocese to another, but you cannot shop around. Your tribunal in your diocese is the one which must hear your case. No, it is not possible for a Catholic to validly marry outside the Church. One could go through the motions of a civil wedding, but one would not be validly married as a result of doing so, and would be living in an objective state of adultery, cut off from the sacramental life of the Church. The annulment process is a service to you, to address and hopefully correct a problem in your life, which resulted from your actions. If you truly love someone, you would want to be certain that your marriage to that person is free of impediments, and is completely in line with the will of God.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), February 09, 2005.
"Annulment takes too long - other options?"
Yes! Find someone who has not been Divorced...
-- (4better@r_Worse.com), February 09, 2005.
"Yes! Find someone who has not been Divorced..."
Surely that's not the Church's thoughts! If so, I'd be passing up an incredibly good, loving and caring person (as I'm sure other people would be, too).
-- Patricia C. (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 09, 2005.
you should know that God's time table is not our time table. no offense, but you sound like a petulant child who can't get her way right this very second. ever heard of the phrase "good things come to those who wait?"
think back to abraham who didn't have a child til wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy late in life. in fact, when God first told him that he would have a son, sarah couldn't wait and she told abraham to have a child with her own servant. and what happened? hagar got all uppity with sarah and sarah couldn't stand her anymore. not only that, but the son wound up spawning a brood of not so friendly nations. that is the consequence of trying to manipulate God's time table.
not only that, but a previous poster made a point about marrying divorced people. there is too much drama. that's why God said the two shall become one... imagine a man is red crayon and a woman is a yellow crayon and when they marry and copulate, they become one orange crayon. now imagine they divorce; how do you separate the red from the yellow? only through lots of drama and heartache. even if the divorce is amiable, there are little seeds of jealousy or anger when one of them marries another person.
you said that you'd be passing up a great guy if you didn't marry him. actually there are plenty of great guys who are single and have never been married before. i happen to know a lot of them. it's a shame too. anyway, i'm not really saying that you should give the guy up, i'm just saying that if this is the guy that you really really really want, then you have to accept the consequences that his divorce entails, that's all. remember what happened to the israelites when they grumbled and complained too much in the wilderness... God made them walk around it for 40 more years. I don't think you want to wait another 40 years before you finally submit yourself to God's will.
-- rina (email@example.com), February 09, 2005.
Having gone through the process, I would highly recommend you be patient and let the process take it's course.
It's ardous (it was for me) but well worth it.
There is no short cut.
Your love will last. If it doen't, there will be an answer there, too.
-- john placette (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 09, 2005.
Also Patricia, you must face the fact that there is no guarantee that your beau's marriage WILL be declared null. If the tribunal finds that the marriage is valid, you must live with that. i.e. you can't marry him during the lifetime of his first wife.
-- Steve (email@example.com), February 09, 2005.
...and no shortcuts by assassinating his ex-wife, either.
What?! Just a little levity. :)
-- anon (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 09, 2005.
Thank you for the levity. Having never been married, I'm new to this process and just had a few questions. I am not a petulant child who wants her way (that comment was not necessary). Rather I am someone who is curious, yet frustrated, at the process. I just wanted some answers, not sermons.
Thank you all for your input.
-- Patricia C. (email@example.com), February 10, 2005.
Things will work out for you, Patricia. You sound like a lovely person who deserves to be happy. And don't let people like Rina turn you away. It's obvious she has issues of her own. Best of luck.
-- May Mitchmond (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 11, 2005.
There are several issues with the position of the Church on divorce or annulment. For instance, if your fiancee were Catholic and his previous marriage was non-sacramental (outside the Church) then no annulment would be necessary. It would constitute "lack of form" and the process is much faster than the annulment process.
If he and his former spouse were never baptized the process would also be somewhat quicker.
However, the Church recognizes all Protestant marriages, whether civil or religious, as valid and sacramental. A couple married by a Zulu witch doctor on a trolly car would be considered "valid and Saramental" if you're not Catholic.
I know this doesn't make much sense. Since Christ is clear that marriage is, "What God has joined together...." so that a civil marriage should not be automatically presumed sacramental in Christian non-Catholics and also Christ includes an exception for adultery. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize divorce, however the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church does.
Perhaps, someday, the Church will revise this doctrine. Many converts and Catholics are lost to the Faith because of it. As well as witholding the Sacrament of Communion based on an automatic presumption of "secular marriage" as "joined by God"...
God bless you.
-- (email@example.com), February 15, 2005.
"Eastern Orthodox Catholic"
What's this??? This is a blatant violation of the Law of Non- Contradicition - "Something cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect."
It is either "Orthodox" or "Catholic", it cannot be both.
Do not confuse Eastern Catholic with Orthodox, one is in communion with Rome (therefore Catholic), and the other is not.
-- Fr. Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 15, 2005.
Richard, it “doesn’t make much sense” to YOU because you’ve got it all mixed up. The Church doesn’t issue statements that it “recognizes” certain types of marriage and not others. In charity, it PRESUMES that all marriages are valid unless and until proven otherwise. Non-Christian marriages are presumed valid but are not Sacramental, even though they too are “made in Heaven”. Protestant marriages can be Sacramental. Orthodox Church marriages are certainly Sacramental.
“Christ includes an exception for adultery.” Christ certainly did not say that adultery makes a marriage invalid, unsacramental, or non-existent. He said that a man may separate from his wife on the ground of “unchastity”. NOT that he may marry another wife.
“Many converts and Catholics are lost to the Faith because of it.” The Church doesn’t change its doctrines to become more popular. And if it did, it would no longer be “the Faith”. Many people admire and even convert to the Church because of its often single-handed defense of the sanctity of marriage.
-- Steve (email@example.com), February 15, 2005.
May, Your post was so soothing and lovely -yet, of man not God. One must faithfully avoid sin -not hope sin becomes less worrisome
To quote Pope John Paul II:
"Begone, Satan!" (Mt 4,10). The Messiah's resolute attitude is an example and an invitation for us to follow him with courageous determination. The devil, the "prince of this world" (Jn 12,31), even today continues his deceitful action. Every man, over and above his own concupiscence and the bad example of others, is also tempted by the devil, and the more so when he is least aware of it. Christ responded to similar with "Be gone satan.
-- Daniel Hawkenberry (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 2005.
Daniel, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. We are all God's children, and Patricia is just trying to walk with the Lord. We should be embracing her as a fellow worshipper of Christ, not chastising her for wanting to marry the man she loves. May God have mercy on all of our souls.
-- May Mitchmond (email@example.com), February 17, 2005.
It's obvious she has issues of her own
There is your stone! -scurry off or stop diluting His teachings to serve your warped view of charity...
-- Daniel Hawkenberry (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 17, 2005.
Daniel, this is in God's hands. Instead of chastising one another, we should all be focusing our energies on praying that Patricia's situation is resolved. God bless.
-- May Mitchmond (email@example.com), February 18, 2005.
I am in the man's position right now. It seems interesting to me that I have found no women who are applying for annulment and seeking answers online in these forums. Is this a gender attitude to marriage? Is the woman unwilling to seek annulment, living in a marriage that has become intolerable in God's eyes (assuming the Church issues the annulment)? It seems to me, with much reflection, that the Church has been given the power to declare a marriage invalid on behalf of God. This makes a declaration of God's will about the marriage. Of course God's most important intention toward ALL marriages is that they should not be separated. But that assumes the marriage is a marriage in the biblical sense. I won't try to argue anything more here. I am sure there will be plenty of bad comments from one or two individuals. I wish there were a faster way to determine the annulment too. I am not willing to settle for a civil determination as the say about my marriage. I am only divorcing so I can begin the annulment process. To me the spiritual authority is the only important voice about my marriage. I am a protestant and we have no form for the Church to determine the validity or invalidity of a marriage. So i am turning to the Catholic Church. Also, I am now in RCIA to investigate becoming Catholic. Likewise, I believe I should pursue the annulment now rather than later while the divorce is fresh, in case I want to marry a Catholic in the future. These are my three reasons. 1. Spiritual declaration of the Church 2. Possibly becoming Catholic 3. Possibility of marrying a Catholic in future. 2-3 months is much shorter than anything I've read anywhere. 6-12 months is what I am seeing most places. I know we cannot shop around and that the tribunal where the marriage took place will decide the matter, so it really only matters about THEIR timing and work load. I am going on with my life anyway. Patricia, hang in there. Prove your love for him by waiting through it. This will not be easy for either one of you and you should both live pure lives while you wait. Live as brother-sister in the Lord until the annulment, because you don't want to sin in your emotions. Until the annulment is awarded your FRIEND is still married in the eyes of the Church. So you are in danger of committing adultery if you have emotional or psychological attachments to him that are not purely friendship. If you have hope of marriage while you wait then it might be adultery. BE CAREFUL to live pure lives and honor the LORD. I just went through this, myself as the man. We had to break up and NOT have any intention to be together after the annulment. Otherwise we would be committing adultery against the marriage. Even with a civil divorce the Church recognizes the marriage until it is annulled. I had to confess this sin and do penance (new to the Catholic Church, but that is what I did). She and I are only friends and do not talk so often and our emotions have been severed for the sake of the Lord. We agreed that we will see what happens after the annulment but we both have agreed that we are broken up and cannot assume ANYTHING. I hope this helps you spiritually. Christ bless you in your purity and hope, R.C.
-- R.C. (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 2005.