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We’ve got to pray like mad: full court press for change in Church approach to divorce continues February 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Spiritual Warfare.

In what is surely a push-piece for a particular faction in the Vatican/Church, the Non-Catholic Reporter’s John Allen has an op-ed in the Boston Globe claiming that Pope Francis plans to massively loosen the requirements for an annulment at the upcoming Synod for the Family.  See what you think, I see this as based on nothing but speculation and the author’s fondest hopes n’ dreams:

In the Catholic church, just like on Capitol Hill, sometimes you can almost smell a compromise solution to a thorny problem taking shape. That may be the case now with regard to allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments, among the headaches facing Pope Francis during what promises to be a very busy week…..

……. a compromise may be coming into focus: No change on the sacraments ban, but an easier and broader process for granting annulments.

O’Malley floated that idea during a recent Globe interview, saying that perhaps annulments could be sped up by eliminating the possibility of appeal to Rome, a provision that often means a case can drag on for years if one of the parties wants to contest the result.  [oh good grief. Not even 1/10 of 1% of annulments are appealed to the Roman Rota. They only hear a few dozen cases a year. Give me a break.  This would be nothing but a fig leaf.  But, it would make the US bishops look better, since the Rota currently overturns almost every annulment verdict they receive from US dioceses]

A Feb. 15 conference of church lawyers in the Italian region of Liguria seemed to point in the same direction, arguing that the grounds upon which an annulment can be granted ought to be expanded.

In particular, these church lawyers proposed adding “mamma-ism” to the list, meaning a situation in which spouses are so completely under the thumb of one of their parents – usually, according to the jurists, the mom – that they don’t have free will. [Again…..please. Maybe this still happens a little in Italy, but I doubt it. This is an excuse from 60 years ago. If this is the best they can come up with, perhaps defense of marriage in the Church is in better shape than I thought.]

Whatever one makes of “mamma-ism” as a legal or psychological concept, it illustrates how eager many Catholic officials are to make annulments more user-friendly.

I don’t know if “Church lawyers” constitutes “officials,” or not.  What I am certain of, is that John Allen is eagerly pushing the idea broadening justifications for annulment, a process that has led to tens of thousands – if not far more – devastated spouses in this country, when their “Catholic” spouse up and leaves them one day.  Many later have to face seeing their spouse receiving the Blessed Sacrament, getting remarried in the Church, parading around their new spouse in front of them, all with official approval via an annulment.  Even if the abandoned spouse did absolutely nothing wrong.  That’s the thing – those seeking annulments often blame themselves as being unable to validly participate in the Sacrament of Matrimony, then turn around and use their brand-spanking new annulment to……participate in the Sacrament of Matrimony, again!

So pray like crazy.  There are powerful forces hoping liberalizing divorce and remarriage – or getting people excited that it will happen – will precipitate another revolution in the Church.  It’s like Humanae Vitae all over again, and no matter what happens, the modernists will spin it to their advantage.  Sooo many fell away in the wake of Humanae Vitae.  I’m praying like mad that doesn’t happen with this Synod.

But I’m thinking more and more that’s what we’re going to see – a huge buildup of expectations that something, anything will change, and then modernists raging when it doesn’t.  Of course, the vast majority of modernists today are geriatric, so it will be a pathetic sight to see them raging in their walkers and wheel chairs.

Irrespective, prayer is advised.  Or, just tell me to shut up.  Either’s fine with me!


1. Tom - February 18, 2014

Does the idea of ‘compromise’ even apply to the concept of ‘annulment’?

Edward Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap
canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/does-the-idea-of-compromise-even-apply-to-the-concept-of-annulment/ http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/does-the-idea-of-compromise-even-apply-to-the-concept-of-annulment/

Imprecision in speech, especially in speech concerned with law, drives me nuts. Lately, there’s been much chatter about a “compromise on annulments” or a “compromise on sacraments for the divorced and remarried”. This sort of phrasing, speaking in terms of “compromise” on these matters, is useless.

One can compromise between certain concepts such as “many” and “few” (we might settle for ‘some’), or between “fast” and “slow” (we could say ‘moderate’), or between “wealthy” and “impoverished” (we would think of ‘middle-class’). But being able to compromise between some alternatives in life does not mean that one can compromise between all alternatives in life.

There is no compromise, for example, between “moving” and “stopped”, for once one is moving at all, one is no longer stopped, one is moving. There is no compromise between being only baptized and being baptized-and-confirmed, for once a baptized person is confirmed, that one is instantly baptized-and-confirmed. And, as I said earlier, there is no compromise possible between admitting one to holy Communion and denying one holy Communion. One might abandon a given policy of admitting or withholding, I grant, but one cannot “compromise” regarding such an alternative.

So, what does this all talk about a “compromise” on annulments mean? Nothing, for annulments either exist in canon law or they don’t, and one either has a declaration of nullity, or one does not. That said, if folks want to talk about a “compromise” on the process for annulments, fine, let’s talk about it.

Alternative procedures for declaring invalid marriages null were extensively discussed in the early 1970s as part of what were called back then the “American Procedural Norms” which, despite their name, were put in place by Rome and were eventually applied to most of the world. Much of the APN made it into the 1983 Code—but some parts did not—and it will be interesting to see whether some of the discarded, process-smoothing provisions of the APN (like eliminating mandatory appeal of affirmatives) might merit reconsideration.

But there will be no “compromise” on annulments themselves, for annulments are the only way that baptized persons living in consummated, presumptively valid marriages, can be shown to have been invalidly married after all and thus free of the marriage bond which, in accord with the certain teaching of Christ, arise between such persons and lasts till the death of one spouse or the other.

Ps: One ‘compromise’ idea, that of eliminating the right of appealing marriage cases to Rome (where, granted, some marriages cases go and languish), could not be adopted without calling into question one of the most ancient privileges of all Catholics, namely, that of laying one’s case before the pope (or his delegates as the case usually is). The roots of Canon 1417.1 go very, very deep.

2. c matt - February 19, 2014

What next, no fault annulments?

3. discipleofthedumbox - February 20, 2014

Mike Church, on his radio program today, defended the sacrament of holy matrimony as the union of one man and one woman given to us by the almighty God. He notes, just as tantum has here, that martyrdom will come in relation to its destruction via the formal recognition of other ‘alternative’ types of unions. He mentions also the slippery slope nature of this recognition paving the way for other corruptions, i.e. polygamy, incest, etc.

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