Friday, March 31, 2006

Marriage Annulment Grounds in the Catholic Church

70 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:53 AM

I found the below recently, and thought it might be helpful to others.

Marriage Annulment Grounds:
There are very well defined canonical grounds for Marriage Annulment . Once these have been established marriage Annulment can proceed. It is important to understand the grounds for Marriage Annulment before making application, and if in doubt you should consult your local priest.

Insufficient use of reason (Canon 1095, 10)
You or your spouse did not know what was happening during the marriage ceremony because of insanity, mental illness, or a lack of consciousness.

Grave lack of discretionary judgment concerning essential matrimonial rights and duties (Canon 1095, 20)
You or your spouse was affected by some serious circumstances or factors that made you unable to judge or evaluate either the decision to marry or the ability to create a true marital relationship.

Psychic-natured incapacity to assume marital obligations (Canon 1095, 30)
You or your spouse, at the time of consent, was unable to fulfill the obligations of marriage because of a serious psychological disorder or other condition.

Ignorance about the nature of marriage (Canon 1096, sec. 1)
You or your spouse did not know that marriage is a permanent relationship between a man and a woman ordered toward the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.

Error of person (Canon 1097, sec. 1) Reasons for Marriage Annulment
You or your spouse intended to marry a specific individual who was not the individual with whom marriage was celebrated. (For example, mail order brides; otherwise, this rarely occurs in the United States.)

Error about a quality of a person (Canon 1097, sec. 2)
You or your spouse intended to marry someone who either possessed or did not possess a certain quality, e.g., social status, marital status, education, religious conviction, freedom from disease, or arrest record. That quality must have been directly and principally intended.

Fraud (Canon 1098) Reasons for Marriage Annulment
You or your spouse was intentionally deceived about the presence or absence of a quality in the other. The reason for this deception was to obtain consent to marriage.

Total willful exclusion of marriage (Canon 1101, sec. 2)
You or your spouse did not intend to contract marriage as the law of the Catholic Church understands marriage. Rather, the ceremony was observed solely as a means of obtaining something other than marriage itself, e.g., to obtain legal status in the country or to legitimize a child.

Willful exclusion of children (Canon 1101, sec. 2)
You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, to deny the other's right to sexual acts open to procreation.

Willful exclusion of marital fidelity (Canon 1101, 12)
You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, not to remain faithful.

Willful exclusion of marital permanence (Canon 1101, sec. 2)
You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, not to create a permanent relationship, retaining an option to divorce.

Future condition (Canon 1102, sec. 2)
You or your spouse attached a future condition to your decision to marry, e.g., you will complete your education, your income will be at a certain level, you will remain in this area.

Past condition (Canon 1102, sec. 2)R
You or your spouse attached a past condition so your decision to marry and that condition did not exist; e.g., I will marry you provided that you have never been married before, I will marry you provided that you have graduated from college.

Present condition (Canon 1102, sec. 2)
You or your spouse attached a present condition to your decision to marry and that condition did not exist, e.g., I will marry you provided you don't have any debt.

Force (Canon 1103)
You or your spouse married because of an external physical or moral force that you could not resist.

Fear (1103)
You or your spouse chose to marry because of fear that was grave and inescapable and was caused by an outside source.

Error regarding marital unity that determined the will (1099)
You or your spouse married believing that marriage was not necessarily an exclusive relationship.

Error regarding marital indissolubility that determined the will (Canon 1099)
You or your spouse married believing that civil law had the power to dissolve marriage and that remarriage was acceptable after civil divorce.

Error regarding marital sacramental dignity that determined the will (Canon 1099)
You and your spouse married believing that marriage is not a religious or sacred relationship but merely a civil contract or arrangement.

Lack of new consent during convalidation (Canons 1157,1160)
After your civil marriage, you and your spouse participated in a Catholic ceremony and you or your spouse believed that (1) you were already married, (2) the Catholic ceremony was merely a blessing, and (3) the consent given during. the Catholic ceremony had no real effect.

Marriage Annulment in the Catholic Church
Marriage Annulment:
Every person, whether a Catholic or not, has the right to ask the Catholic Church to investigate the status of his or her marriage. Should the Church decide that such a marriage were null, this would be quite distinct from a civil divorce; it would be a declaration by the Catholic Church that a particular union was not a valid marriage.

Marriage Annulment:
There are many marital situations in which the tribunal can offer help. It may be that a couple entered a marriage with an impediment, such as a previous bond of marriage; or that their consent was invalid, because they lacked the necessary capacity, knowledge or will to consent to marriage; or that there was something wrong with the form of marriage used.

Marriage Annulment:
It may be that a Catholic person is divorced or that a Catholic wishes to marry someone who is divorced. The tribunal is always available to investigate a claim of nullity in an instance such as this. In doing so, the judges of the tribunal do not apportion blame to one party or the other; they are only concerned with making a just judgement about whether or not the marriage was null, this does not have any effect on the legitimacy of any children born of the union.

Marriage Annulment:
Once the tribunal has reached a decision of nullity, and if this is agreed by our appeal tribunal, the marriage is declared null and both parties to it are then free to marry. This is not Catholic divorce; it is marriage annulment, and it is one of the Catholic Church’s pastoral responses to those who find themselves in difficult marital situations.

Marriage Annulment:
Catholics are bound to marry according to the Catholic form of marriage, unless they are dispensed. So if a Catholic has married in a non-Catholic Church, or in a register office, without this dispensation being given, the marriage is invalid. Both parties to such a union can be declared free to marry, enabling each of them to enter a new marriage.

Marriage Annulment:
First of all, speak to one of the priests or deacon in your parish, or perhaps to another priest or deacon known to you. He should be able to give you a preliminary enquiry form, in which you are asked to set out the principal facts concerning your marriage. It is the usual practice of the tribunal to require a couple to have obtained a divorce absolute decree before the annulment process begins.

Additional Resources Dealing with Domestic Violence within the Catholic Church

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Nancy Nason Clark's Address

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:34 PM

Her Website

She Is the one of the co authors of the attached book.

It can be ordered on her site, or click here for another resource

Click here to hear her address.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Triggers of grieve .... treasures of love.

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:26 PM

This is off the normal subject, but I felt it was important for all. I normally try to find sources of encouragement, and avenues to hurt - thus the links to the articles I have supplied. I wanted to share something from me today.

I was reading on another board about how people should slow down and remember cherished loved ones, and express how much they mean to you when you can. Life gets so busy and messy at times, and at times you get so caught in things you take your life for granted.

Since my father died and I had to go thru all those old photo albums to pick out pictures for his service it reminded me how fast life goes. I remember coming home from my mother's house and going thru my own albums and taking out a couple of pictures of my kids when they were babies and toddlers. Cute little pictures that would mean nothing to some - and maybe not even good pictures to others - and I taped them up on desk. I stare at them everyday now. WHen my kids come down all mad and bent out of shape from fighting with their sibling, or coming down elated with joy over something that happened at school I think of those pictures. The baby fat disappeared, and the diapers thrown out and there stands that very special little person in front of me. I have been trying very hard to make sure I say something really special to them everyday. If my time comes tommorrow I want to be sure those two little stinkers know their mom loved them so much. They are special people and always will be.

I went and spend the night with my mother yesterday after her procedure. I got her all taken care of, and I'm walking around this house that I spent my teens years in. I'm looking around and I see things that reminded me of dear old Dad. We had a special relationship, and we also had some mud thrown in there also. He was far from perfect and he certainly did some really mean things at times. I remember when I was nearing my twenties and Dad had mellowed with the years he actually took me aside and apologied for not being the best he could be. Acknowledged some of the things he had done that wouldn't be placed on the father hall of fame section. Since that time he never did shy away from his mistakes, and never denied the uglies of the past. I knew as a child he loved me because he told me regular. LOL but at times he could be very cruel. I admired him for coming to me and telling me he screwed up, and that he didn't want me walking out of his life because he so treasured me. He always made me feel treasured - esplly later in life. That took guts! That took character! Not to many people can do that! Right before he died I went to see my folks and we were having just normal chit chat! Dad decided that afternoon he was going to sing my praises as a person. He went on and on and on! LOL! I was getting to point of being a little uncomfortable because I had no clue where this was coming from. My mother caught on I was uncomfortable, and kind of hinted at "why are you going on and on?" He said because he could now and wouldn't be able to later! He wanted me to know. Dad died a couple of weeks later.

I think back on my life and of my kids lifes. I know I have screwed up as well. I know their Dad isn't the only negative factor in their lifes. I know I could have done better, and I could have strived for more. Why I didn't - lots of reason I guess. Some good - some not so good. I hope I did okay most of the time. I am reminded that my kids think something good of me when they come to me with some things they would never share with anyone else. I guess I am safe to them. At least I hope so.

We get all caught up in the abuse of our lifes. We get all caught up in the issues of PSTD, and triggers, and detaching and not engaging, etc. We dream of this happier life we would like to have, and all the mistakes we made in choicing our paths. We tend to dwell on the negatives to much at times. LOL at least I do! I do my best to pull myself up, and then I remember I have others I need to pull up also.

Remember to make sure your "others" in your life know how much they mean to you. Give them the memory I had that afternoon my father was embrassing the heck of out me! LOLOLOL! I'm sure we all tell our children they are loved! Just remember to tell them WHY they are loved! Give them examples of HOW they are great! Show them HOW they are special! Embarrass the heck out of them! LOL it will do them good later believe me! I want to embarrass my kids so they will remember. If a car strikes me and kills me tommorrow my kids will know they were the most special creatures to me on the face of this earth! I know it will give them some comfort later on. Dad handed me that comfort! Just wanted to mention we need to give others this as well.

Sorry........I guess I am in my mushy zone today! That post on the other board really stuck a cord. I sit here with tears running down my face - I miss dad - but it is a good kind of missing. Remember to give others those memories. They mean so much later - believe me!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Domestic violence and the Church by John Castle

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:36 PM



by John Castle

Paul in writing to Titus a missive of pastoral counsel advised his protégé to teach the Biblical believers in Crete, “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men” (Titus 3:2 RSV). This teaching has practicality for many of life’s situations, and the Biblical home should be the primary repository of the behavior found in this teaching. But is it?

Statistics from many studies, both secular and Christian, show that on any Sunday approximately twenty-five percent of the women sitting in the pews with us are victims of domestic abuse. That behavior can range from verbal and economic abuse, to sexual and physical violence. These statistics do not reflect husband abuse and child abuse, which are also acknowledged.

Until recently, the Christian community has lived in denial that domestic crime and brutality could be present in their congregations. After all, we have been taught from the pages of Holy Writ that if a woman submits to her husband, or a man sacrificially loves his wife, all will be well in ‘Domestic Tranquility Baptist Church’.

But this Pollyanna perspective forgets another Biblical doctrine, the existence of evil. Evil doesn’t reside just in the heart of a slobbering rapist lurking on a dark street corner, but it’s also resident in the homes of some of our most respected church members and leaders.

What is domestic abuse and violence? Don’t we all have fights and argument with our spouse? Where is the delineation between normal marital discord and abuse?

An argument takes place between two equals who have a difference of opinion. The heated exchange that takes place is about ideas and opinions. The dispute doesn't bring into question the value of the participants involved in the discussion. The partners don't make false accusations, crystal ball the other person, or call each other names.

Abuse involves denigrating (putting down) the value of the partner, either physically, verbally or with body language, social isolation, rape and other sexual violations, and economic marginalization. It can involve name-calling. It accuses the spouse of activities, sins, and omissions that are in no way true, like accusing the partner of adultery without substantiating evidence. This cruelty sinks below the discussion of ideas and opinions and desires, and calls into question the nature of the person. It doesn't recognize the personhood of the spouse. The victim is treated like an enemy that must be conquered, rather than a partner who is loved and valued.

Simply put, abuse is any action that violates a line that the victim has asked the abuser not to cross – or a limit that human beings should know that when it’s crossed it gives entrée into abusive territory, such as smashing a wife’s face into the refrigerator.

The term, “You’re too sensitive”, is abuse. Why? Because we all have our secret closets where we hide our pain. We marry looking for a lifelong partner who will be the one person on the face of God’s creation who should care about what causes us pain. When that spouse refuses to recognize those areas where we hurt, reminds us of our weakness, and even uses that sensitivity to cause us more pain, they are abusing.

Domestic abuse and violence is dangerous. Approximately ten percent of verbal abuse will progress to physical violence. Many abused spouses will die at the hand of their significant other at all levels of society, in the church and out.

Research shows that most spiritual leaders are woefully unprepared to deal with domestic abuse. Pastors are reluctant to incorporate community resources into their care plan for the victims within the congregation. Al Miles in his book, “Domestic Violence, What Every Pastor Needs to Know”, reveals that the theological training and beliefs given most clergy can actually contribute to increased violence and abuse of the victim.

Evangelical leaders laudably place a high priority on maintaining the family unit. But this crusade for family values can blind our clergy and elders to their pro-life position and how that connects to the viability of the family. When a pastor sends an abused wife back to a violent home with the counsel to submit more to her husband to prevent further battering, that leader may have condemned his parishioner to death. The life of the abused wife, and the safety of other family members, must always take precedence over the continuity of the marriage.

What should the church do in the face of this awesome social upheaval that’s only recently been recognized by social scientists, and is essentially ignored by the church? How should church leadership at every level respond to that respected elder’s wife who in confidence reports that her bruises didn’t actually result from a fall down the stairs, but from the same hands that held last Sunday’s public Scripture reading?

Before I share the immediate and long-term needs of the abusive family unit, it’s important to emphasize that clergy are probably the first-line resource for the abuse victim. That first trustful contact can save lives. Studies show that not only are pastors not prepared for this responsibility, they know they aren’t. And, yet, in every city where a seminar on domestic violence is presented, clergy aren’t there. Social science is a science. Science is truth. Truth doesn’t conflict with Scripture. Make sure your pastoral staff is supported and encouraged to attend conferences on how they can prevent this scourge from destroying individuals in your church.

The first, and absolutely most important action toward the victim is to believe them. The act of “coming out of the closet”, took great courage on the part of the victim, and no matter how shocked you might be that this crime has been simmering behind the scenes in an honored home in your congregation, the victim must be heard. Be patient. Listen – that means don’t talk. Ask simple questions for clarification, but the less said the better. Allow the victim to share with you the pain that’s probably been going on for many years. Never minimize their story. If the victim perceives that you are not supportive, she may fade back into her house of horrors, and the next time you hear from her, it may be as another statistic in your newspaper’s obituary page.

Don’t ask the abuser to come and sit down with the victim so “to find out truth”. This action can place you, as well as the victim, in danger. Instead of addressing the abuser at this point, suggest to the victim that she obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO). Take her to the family court and support her in the process. It’s free and there are attorney’s available who will advise her on her rights. The TRO can give the victim a measure of security from which basis she can then make other arrangements, both long and short-term, for herself and the children.

Don’t ask inane questions like:

1. “What did you do or say to provoke him?” That question is neither Scripturally or scientifically accurate. The Bible tells us that we’re all responsible for our own sins. None of us is ever perfect enough. At what point in my growth toward perfection will I recognize I'm good enough not to be battered? If my behavior can cause my spouse to abuse me, then I’m not only all-powerful, but I’ve relieved my tormentor from any responsibility for his or her choices.

2. “Why do you stay?” Leaving a violent situation is one of the most complicated actions that must be pondered by the victim. Research by social scientists shows that it involves support systems, children, economics, and for the Biblical believer it means violating years of church indoctrination of the sacredness of marriage.

The victim must be assured that they didn’t deserve the abuse, and the violence was not their fault. Any other response is simply a legalistic revictimization of the abused, and teeters on spiritual abuse in addition to all the other pain that the victim is already experiencing.

Research shows that violence and substance abuse are separate issues. Though both dysfunctions are commonly present in the abusive home, one doesn’t cause the other, and the abuser will need treatment for both problems.

Do not advise the victim to return to a violent relationship. Protect the victim. Take them to a shelter, or some other hiding place. The most dangerous time for the victim is when the abuser perceives that he is in danger of losing control over the victim. Abuse is only about power and control. The rages and abuse are a result of a deep need on the part of the perpetrator for some control in his own life. The abuser may also be considered a victim, because most abusers were either victimized as children, or watched one of their parents victimized.

Commonly abusers will have “a spiritual experience”, and promise that they will never abuse their partner, again. They will be repentant and ask forgiveness. Affirm these feelings, but remain suspicious. If they are truly desirous of change and reconciliation, they will do the hard work of entering into spiritual counseling, therapeutic counseling, and group therapy. If they don’t agree to enroll in these therapies, the prognosis isn’t promising.

Marriage counseling shouldn’t be considered until all parties feel that the abuser is making progress in therapy. Evaluate his dedication to supporting his family. Is he paying child and spousal support? Is he faithful in continuing in fellowship with the congregation? Does he obey all court orders? Is he consistent in attending therapy sessions? Until the abuser shows progress in working on the abuse, no other marital problems can be solved. Abuse is a cloud that obscures all other behaviors and communication problems. As long as abuse is an issue, the victim can’t realistically be expected to face any other marital issues, even those where she must make changes in her actions.

Don’t spiritualize the situation or the process. The most spiritual action you can perform is to listen and exhibit compassion for the victim. The victim is usually a “whipped dog”, without confidence or self-esteem. Even at the point that they’ve shared this evil with you, they are probably still thinking that it’s their fault and they could have been a better wife or husband. They need affirmation and a listening ear. Let them know they have your continuing support.

Keep it confidential. This is a painful, sensitive matter that’s bedded in confusion for the victim. They need to know they can trust someone, and for the moment that confidant is you. Don’t confront the perpetrator without the victim’s permission, and even then it’s probably not wise until the victim is safely “stashed” in a safe place and she has counseled with domestic violence and legal experts.

The victim may surprise you and return to the abuser on their own volition. Sometimes the victim will leave and return many times before making a complete break, or before a safe reconciliation can be arranged. The victim needs your support for her bad decisions, as well as her good ones. Ask questions, and ask them in a non-judgmental manner, but don’t condemn her decisions. Let her know that you’re still there for her if she needs you.

Don’t forget the children. Remember, if you’re clergy you have a legal responsibility to report the circumstances to Child Protective Services if you have any suspicion the children are in danger. Usually, the presence of spousal abuse is sufficient suspicion to make that report. Domestic violence is a learned behavior. The children in that abusive environment are learning to abuse their own children and spouses. It must be stopped now.

~ PRAY ~

Copyright © 4/2002 by John P. Castle

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Destructive Secret

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:23 AM

Click here to here sermon

Click here to visit Church's Website.

As the author of this blog I was personally touched deeply by this sermon, and would recommend everyone listen to it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Silent Suffering......Silent Shame Video

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:28 PM

Click Here to View Video. See Above Title to direct link to site.

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Statement on Abuse and Family Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:43 PM

Seventh-day Adventists affirm the dignity and worth of each human being and decry all forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and family violence.

We recognize the global extent of this problem and the serious, long-term effects upon the lives of all involved. We believe that Christians must respond to abuse and family violence both within the church and in the community. We take seriously reports of abuse and violence and have highlighted these issues for discussion at this international assembly. We believe that to remain indifferent and unresponsive is to condone, perpetuate, and potentially extend such behavior.

We accept our responsibility to cooperate with other professional services, to listen and care for those suffering from abuse and family violence, to highlight the injustices, and to speak out in defense of victims. We will help persons in need to identify and access the range of available professional services.

When changed attitudes and behavior open possibilities for forgiveness and new beginnings, we will provide a ministry of reconciliation. We will assist families in grief over relationships that cannot be restored. We will address the spiritual questions confronting abused persons, seeking to understand the origins of abuse and family violence and developing better ways of preventing the recurring cycle.

This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and was released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg, at the General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 29-July 8, 1995.

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