Vatican Tightening Screws on Annulment

The Vatican has issued revised guidelines for Catholics who wish to obtain an annulment, an essential step for Catholics who have divorced and want to remarry with the blessing of the Church. Here’s an article on the new pronouncements from The Scotsman. Here’s another from the Washington Post. And another from The Guardian.

Catholics can obtain an annulment on the grounds of impotence, refusal of the other spouse to have children, or psychological immaturity at the time of the marriage. It’s this last reason that annulment critics charge is being overused, permitting almost anyone who obtains a divorce to get an annulment. This practice seems particularly prevalant in the US, which accounts for about 2/3 of annulments worldwide.

9 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello, What a beautiful and awesome site. I adore what you’ve done with your setup and graphics. Thanks you so much.

  2. CAROL THOMPSON says:

    HELLO THERE!

    PHEW! FINALLY A PLACE WHERE I CAN GET MY QUESTIONS ABOUT REMARRIAGE IN CATHOLIC CURCH WITHOUT MILES AND MILES AND MILES OF PAPERWORK TO GO THROUGH. I HAVE AN ANNULMENT AND AM PRESENTLY PUTING MYSELF ON DATING SITES…I TOTALY AGREE WITH THE CHURCH ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE ETC. AND WILL CONTINUE ON IN MY FAITH…LOOKING FOR THE “LIFE MATE” OUR GOOD LORD HAS IN MIND FOR ME ACCORDING TO HIS PLAN…IF INDEED IT IS HIS PLAN….TIME WILL TELL. I JUST KEEP FOLLOWING HIS DIRECTIONS AND IT BROUGHT ME HERE…I HAVE BEEN LISTED ON NORMAL DATING SITES AND OF COURSE AM COMING UP WITH A LOT OF DIVORCED GENTLEMEN, WONDERFUL MEN…HOWEVER…GOD BLESS AND HEAL THEM…I AM NOW SWITCHING OVER TO CATHOLIC ONLY DATING SITES…THANK YOU FOR BEING MY SAFETY NET IN A WORLD DIVERSE…FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO READ THE ABOVE ARTICLES…MOST OF ALL FOR MAKING ME FEEL NOT ALONE OUT HERE, FOR MAKING ME FEEL UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED…. GOD BLESS YOU AND THOSE YOU SERVE! CAROL

  3. mark mickelsen says:

    hello

    carol i am dating a women that is not catholic and was divorced. What is the consequences if i decide to marry her would i not be able to practice fully as a catholic.

  4. Michael says:

    Mark,

    The Church recognizes the validity of marriages by non-Catholics. Therefore, your lady friend’s previous marriage would be presumed valid. You would need to have that investigated before you could get married. Just take your questions to the pastor of your parish and they’ll help you figure it all out.

  5. Kat says:

    I’m Catholic, my husband is Lutheran. However, he had an ongoing affair with my sister which I discovered about 6 years ago. We’ve been married almost 31 years. He has pretty much refused counseling, so I went on my own for 18 months. I would like to know, with all the changes, what the Catholic Churches viewpoint is in regards to annulments concerning unfaithfulness with a family member????????

    Thank you for your response.

  6. Pam says:

    I am divorced but was never married through the church. I just now started dating. I met someone who was married through the church and has gone through the divorce process but his wife has not finalized the divorce by signing it and she’s the one that wanted the divorce. He says he can’t make her sign. He says he’s been divorced for 8 years. He wants to start dating and I expressed my concerns. I don’t want to do anything that will prevent me from receiving the eucharist. Do you have any answers for me as far as would it be ok to date this person? Confused.

  7. Andrew Cana says:

    Pope John Paul II commented to the Roman Rota in 1987 that we need protect against the “scandal of seeing in practice the value of Christian marriage being destroyed by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity, in cases of the failure of marriage, on the pretext of some immaturity or psychic weakness on the part of the contracting parties”. Pope Benedict XVI gave a similar speech on January 29, 2009 denouncing the misuse of psychology in annulling marriages. Too many people mistake psychology for religion.

    I understand the de jure difference between a civil divorce and a declaration of nullity. However, granting annulments to every petitioner who asks, makes annulments de facto Catholic divorces. Annulments have risen exponentially since the sixties. This can’t be solely blamed on the pro-divorce secular culture influencing Catholic couples. Easy annulments promoted as “healing” are also contributing to the grave sin of divorce. It is a two way street.

    Most of the annulments rely on “experts” to provide psychological evidence that one or both of the spouses were not psychologically able to understand or live up to their marital obligations. Recall the church deferred to the psychological experts when they failed to hold pedophile priests accountable for the crimes because of psychological reasons. The experts don’t believe in our free will and sinful nature.

  8. Francis says:

    Andrew,
    Very well said. Annulments have become as easy as getting candy on Halloween. Simply dress up in your best “I was imature” costume and hold out your hand.

    What is sad is that nobody is helping divorced people see that the dating relationships they are in are adultery. They are no less adultery now than they were before some civil judge pronounced them civilly divorced. You cannot be giving your heart to another when you are married. A civil divorce does not make you “not married.” This is sad because adulterers will not inherit eternal life (St. Paul made that very clear.) Sure, we can create a god who is okay with dating after divorce, but we will not find that god defending us when we stand before the One True God and are being told to “go away, I did not know you.”

    An awesome resource for anyone remaining faithful to their marriage (and their Lord) is THE GIFT OF SELF. You can order it on Mary’s Advocates website.

  9. Dr William Naylor says:

    You might like to know that I have just had a book published by Publish America entitled: “Female Perception of the Annulment of Marriage in the Catholic Church” by Dr William Naylor. Very reader friendly and very informative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *