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Annulment reforms punish the faithful, reward the kasual katholyc September 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, family, General Catholic, horror, Papa, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church.

An interesting commentary on the annulment “reforms” instituted without commentary, review, or advice from the Curia or episcopal conferences by Pope Francis. The way the “reforms” are structured effectively punishes those who try to live according to the Doctrine of the Faith (if one considers denying an annulment “punishment”), while those who admit they were just flippant and careless in getting married get “rewarded” with a do-over:

So, the Pope thinks that 50% of all marriages are invalid, and “lack of faith” at the time of marriage is now grounds for annulment. [Goodness. Who among any of us could not be accused of a lack of faith at one time or another?!?  Or maybe even for years at a stretch! But that was never considered grounds for annulments previously, otherwise, only canonized Saints would have had valid marriages!  This whole thing is structured to arrive at millions of new annulments, and to make a mockery of the Sacrament of Marriage, all in pursuit of a totally false conception of mercy. Even worse, the main proponents of this massive novelty proclaim that if you’re against the “reform,” you’re against Jesus Christ!  When has a Pontiff had the unmitigated gall to literally believe that he directly channels the Will of Christ, and not simply in reiterating the constant Doctrine of the Faith, but in proposing revolutionary actions directly contrary to that Doctrine!] Presumably that implies that if millions now take advantage of the Pope’s new Marriage Amnesty, the ones that do take advantage will have a 90%+ success rate (the ones that don’t are presumably the ones in the other 50%).

But are the new rules really fair? Are they truly merciful?


  1. We screwed around during pre-cana class, checking Facebook and texting our friends about how stupid it was. We got married in a church because his mother wanted it and it yielded cool photos. We signed the thingie saying we would raise our kids as Catholics so we could get the photo-op. We didn’t raise Chad as a Catholic. After all, we wanted him to make his own choices. Now we choose to move on. I like marathons and he likes triathlons. We’ve found more suitable partners, and Chad likes them. Verdict: ANNULMENT.
  2. We married each other as knowledgable believing Catholics and were serious about it. But then I found out that my husband was a psychotic. He was physically abusive and subsequently left me for a bimbo. Thank God, I met Hieronymous, a Catholic gentleman. We have been chaste but would now like some sort of official approval of our relationship. My son Chadwick wants to be an altar boy. Verdict: NO ANNULMENT.

But where’s the justice in that? So, one is rewarded for being wayward and morally flimsy and penalized for being responsible?That’s Catholic divorce!

Perhaps the above is fair. Perhaps it isn’t. But the momentum and logic of the thing is to eventually grant annulments for both cases. Shouldn’t it? Chadwick will soon get a Catholic father. Why not? The new “rules” are intended to invalidate “bad marriages”, pure and simple–with “bad” defined by the parties concerned. [Yes, I think that the point]

But we’re told it’s NOT Catholic divorce. That would be a change in doctrine. Rather, it’s about whether or not the parties were really serious at the time or whatever. But in terms of determining this, why not just give the benefit of the doubt to everyone?

All marriages are hereby off. You think you’re in a good one or want to have a good one? Fine. Take the month-long pre-cana and then AFTER YOU’RE COMPLETELY SURE, get married or married again knowing that THIS TIME it’s forever. THIS TIME it’s really serious. From NOW ON it counts. Starting, you, know, now.

And we’ve already seen reports that many souls, married for a long time and in stable, happy relationships, but who perhaps married under less than ideal circumstances, are now openly wondering whether their marriage is truly valid. Where is the mercy in that, to cast more or less blanket doubt on the validity of millions of otherwise happy marriages because the “reform”uses heretofore unheard of vagary of terms and nebulous “etcs” in defining the grounds for examining decrees of nullity!

And we see again how much of the Synod is apparently a sham, simply existing to provide cover for a revolution that is to go off no matter what the small subset of bishops at the Synod decide.  The commission formed to advise on this “reform” was formed 6 weeks before the first session of the Synod met, and conducted its deliberations entirely apart from the synodal process under conditions of great secrecy!  There are now reports of shouting matches between the Pope and various Cardinals at the Santa Martha.  This “reform,” far from bringing unity, seems to be opening a yawning chasm of division and strife.  Which may have been the point all along.

The next several weeks promise to be quite exciting, in the sense a pilot feels as he watches a wing fall off his aircraft, or a Le Mans driver as he watches one of his front wheels go flying off as he burns down the Mulsanne Straight.  You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next, but you’re dead certain it won’t be good.

I do agree with Cardinal Burke that we must remain faithful – meaning, true to the constant belief and practice of the Faith. There will be pressure from many quarters to submit to this papal-inspired embrace of laxity, but we do not have to accept anything that is not in accord with the constant, unchanging, unchangeable Doctrine of the Faith.  Stay faithful to that, and for the rest, stay on your knees with your head down as much as possible.  We know ultimately who wins this battle.  Trust in Him in all things.



1. Mrs. Maureen Avila - September 17, 2015

” I do agree with Cardinal Burke that we must remain faithful – meaning, true to the constant belief and practice of the Faith. There will be pressure from many quarters to submit to this papal-inspired embrace of laxity, but we do not have to accept anything that is not in accord with the constant, unchanging, unchangeable Doctrine of the Faith. Stay faithful to that, and for the rest, stay on your knees with your head down as much as possible. We know ultimately who wins this battle. Trust in Him in all things.”

This is very good advice.

Tim - September 17, 2015

Michael Voris would consider you a schismatic and do a week long series on all of your mortal sins.

2. Karie Mitchell - September 17, 2015

The frightening thing is that my marriage might be invalid. Based on the examples given above, we were more like couple #1 during the first years of our marriage. We did the “church wedding” because my parents were paying for it. But we slowly turned around and grew in our faith (which was a miracle). Based on this supposition, we have good cause for nullification of our marriage! I would hope that the intervening years would make up for that, but now the pope suggests otherwise…

Tantumblogo - September 17, 2015

I am in much the same boat. I wasn’t looking to be Catholic or raise my kids that way (I wasn’t even sure what it meant) when I got married. Now I’m very different, but according to what the Motu Proprio says, what matters is my disposition at time of marriage.

But to claim, for real, that I was not validly married is just a joke. It’s actually worse than civil divorce, because civil divorce at least acknowledges that a marriage happened, while annulment claims it never did.

My poor 6 (hopefully 7) bastard children!

Tim - September 17, 2015

I once asked a priest if I and my siblings were retroactively illegitimate children when our parents’ annulment was official. He said no and that he didn’t like the term “illegitimate children”. He preferred “illegitimate parents. “

Mrs. Maureen Avila - September 17, 2015

I had similar anxieties after returning to the serious practice of the Faith a few years after getting married to a non-Catholic in the Catholic Church. I consulted a canon lawyer in a marriage tribunal and he did not see any cause for concern. I also
expressed my concerns to a knowledgeable priest-confessor who gave the same answer. Marriages are presumed valid unless proven otherwise. This fluffy annulment stuff is pretty new in the Church’s history. My Catholic grandmother married a Lutheran who promised to allow her to raise the children Catholic but she ended up having to get them Baptised secretly, and sneak them off to Mass. They remained married until old age, and he called for a priest and converted to Catholicism on his death bed.

Tantumblogo - September 17, 2015

Just to be clear, I’m aware of all these angles and more. Of course marriages are presumed valid. You have to prove they are not, and that used to take quite a bit of doing. Since the Revolution began, however, the burden of proof has steadily fallen. With this new reform, it’s fallen a great deal more, and really serves as a means to permit Catholic divorce. So now every marriage is only speculatively valid until death proves it actually was, which is a helluva state of affairs.

Mrs. Maureen Avila - September 17, 2015

Agreed. I suppose we are safe so long as we don’t talk to tribunals and our spouse doesn’t seek an annulment.

A Mom - September 17, 2015

Same here, Karie. The new “lack of faith” rule doesn’t seem to take into account matrimonial grace, or St. Paul’s explanation in 1Corinthians that marriage can be a source of sanctification for an unbelieving spouse and the children by moving them to eventually accept and practice the Faith.

If the annulment process is focused on the disposition of the couple at the time of the marriage, and both suffered from a “lack of faith” at that time, does this now open the door for a spouse to abandon his or her family even if the other spouse does not want to separate? I pray that there are safeguards in place to keep that from happening. (I admit that I don’t know a whole lot about the process, so it may not even be a valid question.)

3. Branch - September 17, 2015

I wonder if this approach (the “lack of faith” angle) will eventually come to cast some doubt on the validity of baptisms. There are protestants who take issue with infant baptism because it’s not ultimately their choice.

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