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ANNULMENTS

 

The Bible, in the Gospel of Matthew, has Jesus saying that a man and woman may separate if pornea or uncleanness has taken place. Remarriage is not mentioned. But some say that pornea or uncleanness refers to the man and woman having had sex thinking they were married when they were not. Others say it refers to adultery. If so, the Catholic practice of granting annulments is immoral. An annulment then would only be considered if a man or woman has cheated on the person they thought was their spouse.

 

The annulments performed by the Church are never accepted as valid by the state.  If you need a state annulment you have to get one even if you have had a church annulment.  And the state and the Church will differ in their criteria of how a marriage can be deemed invalid.  So the Church performs marriages following annulment that are not recognised as valid by the state. It is utter hypocrisy of the Church to say that marriage is important for protecting relationships and children when the marriage is not protected by the law.

 

ANNULMENTS IN DEPTH

 

The Catholic Church forbids divorce and remarriage between two people who have been baptised. It permits divorce and remarriage when people are not baptised and if one person in a marriage is baptised and the other is not.

 

An annulment is a declaration that a marriage never really took place but only looked as if it did. It leaves at least one partner free to marry. Annulments are so common and they are granted with perturbing generosity to very wealthy people that many of them are really just divorces under another name.

 

Annulments in principle weaken all marriages. Though Church or state authorities evaluate if a marriage is really null and void or valid, ultimately only the "husband" and "wife" can decide that. They are interviewed during the investigation process. That only proves the point.

 

Annulments are a big source of scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Annulments have become back-door divorce in a faith that claims to hold that marriage is indissoluble or cannot be ended except by death. The only difference is that annulments are worse than divorce. They deny that there was a real marriage and that the children were legitimate and require lots more mud slinging than a divorce would demand. It is easier to give grounds for divorce than it is for an annulment.

 

It is hormones and unrealism that do the talking when marriage vows are made. Marriages based on emotion can hardly be said to be valid. It is the emotion that is making the couple think they will adore one another for life. But the feeling of love can disappear easily and frequently turns into hate and misery. To marry because of how you feel about the person is not the same as marrying for the person.


The Church grants an annulment if it can be found that one partner didnít mean the marriage vows. If a partner was having a secret affair with the love of their life and marrying somebody else, the Church will accept that as evidence that the marriage was null and void and proceed with annulling the marriage.

 

Catholics teach that God is to be of supreme importance to you and not your wife or husband. God is only a theory. If you love a theory more than your wife or husband then obviously the marriage is real. No genuine Catholic marriage can be valid. Every Catholic marriage should be annulled by the state.

 

The Church says that you must have sex only within a valid marriage. The reason is that sex is supposed to be telling the person you sleep with that you want them entirely and give your whole self. The Church pretends to believe this. The Church says a spouse who is in a state of grave sin canít give themselves to anybody

 

Also, if you really give yourself that much then how can you agree with the Church that marriage ends with death? Why not agree with the Mormons that marriage can last for all eternity?

 

If you tell somebody by having sex that you will spend all your life with them, and Pope John Paul II says you do, then it follows that you have to marry the first person you have sex with.

 

When somebody suffers, the Church says you have the right to believe in God and say that this is Godís will. Naturally, truth has rights. You would have the right to hurt a personís feelings for the truth. But an atheist would never condone the ways of God. The atheist will simply say that the suffering is awful and they want to help it.

 

How could any marriage be real when it is easy to feel now that you want somebody for life? You are blinding yourself to the fact that people change over time and that your feelings can change to hatred just like that.

You simply canít promise to care for anybody as your husband or wife forever because your feelings are not perfectly under your control and never will be.

 

Rights are based on needs. Marriage is not really a need - it is not a right. Cohabiters prove that.

 

Today, marriages between Catholics are only considered valid if they take place before a priest or authorised representative of the Catholic Church and before two witnesses. This was brought in to stop the very common practice of clandestine marriages and couples were living together claiming they made their vows to one another without any witnesses. Such marriages were considered valid but it was decided to regulate things more carefully. It is only since the Council of Trent in the seventeenth century that the Church has had the present rules about validity. The Church claimed the power to change the requirements for a valid marriage. If the Church has no such power, then it follows that there are loads of marriages taking place in Churches when the couples are already married to other people. So the Church weddings are invalid. People still make clandestine vows and they are forgotten when the relationship breaks down. Most Catholics have little or no belief in the ability of the Church to validate or invalidate marriages. Thus they cannot trust the Church to annul. They could get invalid annulments. 

 

Annulments are given on the assumption that marriage is nothing more than a couple of vows that only becoming binding with a single sex act even though all believe that marriage only starts with the vows. All believe that you do not say them once and for all but you live them and express them through your marriage. So the husband and wife are making the vows by sign-language all the days of their lives. The living together is actually then far more important and binding and deep than the vows. So logically even if the marriage vows were not meant the marriage could still become real without them for the vows are repeated anew every minute of marriage and are as valid as wedding vows made by a deaf-mute though nothing is said.

 

Annulments are granted if it was found the parties didn't mean the marriage vows in some way. But when you make a will nobody worries about your mental state when you made the will as long as you were known to be in your right mind after and didn't do anything about the will or fix it. Marriage is like making a will without thinking of death but of life. What you sign to get yourself recognised as a competent driver after your driving test is far more important than marriage. Bad driving kills but marriage doesn't. And nobody cares if you knew what you were doing when you signed it or not. You could have signed it in a haze of stress after the test.
The Church says that sex is one person giving the gift of themselves to another and so it expresses the giving of ones life to another forever. Vows then cannot express marriage or binding together as well as sex can. A last will and testament is no good to you until the person who left you everything dies. The Church should regard sex as causing a marriage not vows. The Church doesn't wish to do that because that would require it to hold that you are married to the person who first takes your virginity. That would mean that nearly every marriage ceremony in the world is a fake and also that if a man loses his virginity to a man they are married! If sex does what the Church says it does, then these conclusions are correct.

 

The rules of the Church about the vows not being binding if the bride was drugged or if she was on the rebound are based on the idea that marriage is caused by the vows. This contradicts the Church doctrine that the marriage didn't happen in reality if no sex took place after it - say for example the groom died of alcohol poisoning before making it to the marriage bed. In that case, it is the sex matters and the vows only create a potential marriage not a real one. The Church just invents silly rules for it seeks control over marriage. Witnesses to the sex are more important than witnesses to the wedding ceremony but the Church has never required anybody to stand and watch the bride and groom having sex. Yet the Church holds that a wedding is invalid if unsuitable witnesses are chosen for you need at least two proper witnesses. If the witnesses are no good then there is no need for them.

 

A marriage between two people who mean it more than anybody ever meant it is considered invalid if there are no witnesses! A marriage with a little love is valid as long as there are two witnesses! This is evidently more concerned about law than protecting love! Marriage is nonsense if the witnesses are that important. If they are needed, then why are marriages considered valid even if the witnesses were on drugs or were insane?
The Church doesn't check that the witnesses are under pressure, drunk, on drugs, insane etc. What hypocrisy and deception surrounds the Church teaching on marriage! Feminists suspect that marriage is about patriarchal control, men seeking control over women. No wonder with all the lies and hypocrisies that the Church endorses and embraces in regard to marriage.

 

The Bible, the so-called word of God, gives no prescriptions for contracting a valid marriage. It is possible that it regards marriages where there was no ceremony or witnesses at all but the woman just went to live with the man on the wedding day as valid (Genesis 24:67, Isaiah 61:10, Matthew 1:24). This suggests that fewer marriages may be annulled validly than the Church would like to think. Its rules and conditions are certainly against the Bible.

 

It is hard to see how Christians who insist that marriage may take place in any legally accepted manner can know what they are talking about. We know that legal means human and what is human is not infallible or binding of itself (or necessarily binding) so it seems that only Church weddings might be valid. What if the state starts to regard a man and woman only as married properly when they give birth? Many countries only ask that a form be filled out and that is you married. Many countries treat common law marriages as real marriages after a time. In such cases, the couple are going against Godís will by even caring about satisfying the state regulations for it is honouring heresy and honouring people who disagree with God. It is honouring wishes that are contrary to the divine will. Any form of marriage that leaves God out or which is purely civil marriage contradicts the command of Christ to love God above your own life and that of others and his warning that whoever is not for him is against him Ė there are no in-betweens. It would be necessarily invalid and amenable to annulment.

 

Adam and Eve were married without wedding vows at all. God made him a partner from his rib and that was enough. The Virgin Mary and St Joseph were married though they never had sex according to Roman Catholic tradition. Yet both marriages would have no trouble being annulled or declared to be non-marriages at all in the annulment tribunals of the Catholic Church today!

 

The Bible rules out marriages being annulled on the grounds that one or both partners was only a child or too immature. The Virgin Maryís marriage to Joseph was regarded as valid despite her being underage by todayís standards not even being fifteen! The Bible considers marriages between men and children as valid.

 

If the Bible is to believed, Satan controls all that God is left out of. When the Devil tried to win Jesus over to his side, Jesus was offered the kingdoms of the world by the Devil so the Devil must have owned them otherwise Jesus wouldnít have been tempted. So those contracting marriages that are secular or civil or which donít involve God would be unknowingly going to him to bless and validate their marriages! The Bible says that the state is to be paid taxes and obeyed in so far as it doesnít contradict God. But it never says that Christians should seek their marriage recognition from the state Ė Satan. The state is only to be tolerated as the Church has to put up with it in the absence of a theocracy headed by the Church. It is another deplorable sign of Christian hypocrisy that the Church supports the state so well.

 

The Church says marriage is the bedrock of society. This is nonsense. It is the family. Jesus Christ however stated that families should only happen in the context of marriage so he was saying that marriage was the bedrock and insulting any other family arrangement. He was saying that it is okay if a woman loses her husband to sickness and is left with six young children as long as the children were conceived within marriage. So that is all that is important. Marriage is not about a man and woman helping each other look after children but only about how the children came to be. A woman who has a man she is not married to who are devoted to their children is looked down upon while a married lady who had her children in marriage but with her husband is less devoted count more.

 

Commonsense and decency prove that one can have a close family without Catholic style marriage. Indeed the Church has to confess that some Catholic marriages seem to be successful though they are not real marriages. It is only when a marriage breaks down that attempts to have the marriage declared null and void take place. So if a marriage that was subsequently annulled didn't break down nobody would know the marriage wasn't genuine. If marriage is the bedrock of society and therefore the Church (for the Church is a society) then why does the Church endanger it so much? Any couple that agree to lie can get an annulment. State sponsored divorce has more respect for marriage than annulments. At least the existence of the marriage is recognised. If marriage is so important to society, is it not better to take it for granted that every wedding produces a real marriage except when a partner was insane or unable to have sex or when the groom accidentally married his beloved's twin sister?

 

If a country forbids a couple who got a Church annulment to remarry the Church tells them to get a divorce. So the Church while claiming to forbid divorce takes advantage of the state allowing it. So much for wanting marriage protected from divorce! The Church says that the priest does not give the sacrament of marriage but that the bride and groom give it to each other. It is impossible to see how they could really intend to give a sacrament when marriage as propounded by the Church is full of deceit and hypocrisy and it is actually an insult to ones partner to contract marriage under its laws. The annulment laws of the Church make it impossible for you to know if you are really marrying anybody or not. If you don't know, then you are not really giving yourself in the wedding ceremony in marriage for life. You are giving yourself until annulment us do part.

 

The Church always taught that marriages which were not consummated can be annulled. Nowadays it claims to still believe this as much as ever but has added in the idea of psychological non-consummation. An example of it is when the husband and wife consume their marriage but the husband is not in love with her but with somebody else so anything he does with his wife in bed it is the other woman he is really making love to for it is just her in his mind and heart. As PJ McGrath noted, for a religion to change doctrine and become more liberal and then claim that it has never changed doctrine for the wording, ďA marriage that is not consummated can be declared to be a non-marriageĒ describes its current position as well as its past position is just the same kind of lying we are accustomed to from politicians (page 100, Believing in God). A famous example of such obfuscation is in the Catholic doctrine that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church at all. The Church recently changed the meaning of Church to include anybody earnestly seeking after God even an atheist or idolater as long as they were sincere. The Church in the past certainly never went that far. To say that there is no salvation outside the Church as the Church means it now makes no sense for the word Church doesnít mean anything if any sincere seeker can be part of it. The word Buddhism doesnít describe anything if even somebody who has never meditated in their life or heard of Buddhism can be a Buddhist nevertheless.


A marriage that isnít consummated is said to be incomplete. So says the Church which should admit that it doesnít think there is a marriage until its consummated. Strange that you need witnesses for the ceremony but they are not required at the consummation which is when marriage actually takes place! It is like saying you should have an employee promise to do a good job in front of witnesses but that he doesn't have to be observed during the first day at work! That shows you are putting ceremony before commonsense and are not really concerned about his performance or dedication at all. The Church cares more about ceremonies than the people involved.

 

The Church pounces on non-consummation as an excuse for giving out annulments when the marriage act hasnít taken place. But what marriage is complete? No marriage is complete all the time. A marriage seems to cease being complete when the husband and wife stop having sex. A marriage seems incomplete when there are no children. A marriage seems incomplete if the wife goes insane days after the wedding and has to go the asylum for the rest of her life. The point is, why should the incompleteness signified by non-consummation be singled out as grounds for annulment?

 

What about a marriage that was consumed but in which the husband never ejaculated or didnít love his wife enough when it happened?

 

The Church says that sex should always end with the man ejaculating inside his wife's vagina. The Church allows different sexual positions. It lets the husband and wife decide how they will have sex as long as they do not use contraception and the sex ends with the penis ejaculating in the wife's vagina. It seems that if the husband does not have an orgasm inside his wife then the marriage is not consumed until he does. The Church sets up a criteria of morality that is based on biology and not love. The result is that the husband and wife consume marriage but they do not consummate their love! Marriage is about law and not love. In Catholicism, it is about clerical power.

 

Why stop with saying the husband must ejaculate in his wife's vagina to consummate the marriage? Why not say that the wife must have an orgasm with him just as he has his orgasm? Marriage proclaims that the Church should have the right to discriminate against men who can't have orgasms. No wonder the vast majority of marriages result in the male acting superior to the female and in the past wives were mere slaves of their husband.

 

The Church says that the language of sex is that you wish to be with the person you have sex with forever. It says that is the message sex communicates. If sex does that then ejaculation does that even more. The Church says it is a sin for the man to withdraw from the woman to ejaculate outside her. If the purpose of this is that the man prefers to do it and not to avoid conception then it is still a sin. The Church says the withdrawal turns the sex into a lie. The Church reasons that man declares by sex that he wants his woman completely and then he contradicts this by not giving her his seed. Teaching such as this imply that it is a sin for a man to have sex if he cannot ejaculate.

 

The Church uses the law to invalidate gay weddings and prohibit them. Yet this same Church feels free to officiate at marriages that have taken place after a Church annulment when one of the partners got a previous legal marriage annulled by the Church which amounts to bigamy in the eyes of the state. This plainly declares that the Church has the right to undermine the state. The Church saying the state is the defender of marriage in Godís plan is inconsistent with this. A Church that defies the state or ignores it is severing the state from the power to protect marriage. The Church regards marriage as binding because she regards them as binding and not because the state does for she is above the state. The Church then is denying by its actions that the state is the protector of marriage and children and taking that role for herself though she cannot do it and does not bother trying in the sense that she does not give out the state benefits and privileges that encourage marriage and help it.

 

The Church does nothing to stop weddings when one partner is definitely a bit innocent or retarded and all ministers have performed such weddings. This is incredible for surely it is better to halt an invalid marriage than to let it happen and torment everyone and empty their pockets in the process of declaring the marriage null?

 

Granting an annulment for non-consummation of a marriage or for a person being drunk or insane when they took the vows is one thing but the Church has added to these limitations. You can get an annulment now if you were brought up in a dysfunctional family or had not been ready in your mind for marriage. Anybody could say they were not ready for marriage. And nobody can prove that they were telling the truth. This threatens all marriages for even if the limits to the damage to marriage that divorce can do are few there is no stopping point at all- and if a place is made it is just a nasty big inconsistency and does not make the practice good or fair. The fact is, if you know that marriage is hard means staying together for life and get hitched and donít say that you didnít mean your vows at the time you should not be believed later on in life when you look for an annulment on the grounds of mental reservation. If the Church loved killers she would permit declaring them innocent if they claimed to have acted insincerely when they murdered just like the person whose marriage is annulled has. Annulments have a long and expensive pile of work behind them. Where is the logic in the almost endless wait for the declaration of nullity when all they really have to go on is a personís claim to have not meant the wedding vows?  Nobody can prove the person is being truthful. The reason is money. The Church makes money out of the annulments.

 

You can get an annulment for not intending to have children when you got married. This implies that it is not enough to consume a marriage. Conception must take place before the marriage can be considered valid.

 

The Church encourages a couple to seek an annulment if they split up. A holy religion would make them go through the procedure when their marriage was strong to make sure they were really married. The attitude she instils is, ďI donít mind if my marriage is unreal and if it is fake I donít want to know unless we decide to partĒ. This is no less than intending to commit fornication to make the ďwifeĒ an unmarried mother and a cohabiter rather than a wife. So, the Church suffocates real love between husband and wife.

 

The Bible God said that compulsion does not invalidate marriage. In Deuteronomy, God said that a single man who had sex with a virgin or raped her must marry her and stay married to her as long as he lives (22:29). It also decreed that he has to pay her father fifty shekels. The price was a fine as well as a moher or dowry and the father was the only person God worried about! The fine should have been paid to the girl and the moher to the father if he needed it. God obviously hated fornication more than inflicting the misery of a compulsory marriage and having no concern for the woman. The man was better off for he could take more wives if he wanted to.

 

The Bible God also said that marriage is valid without the womanís consent for it is known that in those days the man said the vows and the woman said nothing (page 138, MARRIAGE, Biblical Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible).

 

The Bible God also said that marriage is valid when the husband cannot really care about his wife because he supports the status quo that has men only punished if they commit adultery and women punished for every sexual sin (ibid).

 

It is only because society cannot accept and has not accepted for centuries that such weddings are binding that the Church says they are not. The Church courts false credibility. We read in the Biblical Dictionary and Concordance that God did not violently disrupt the social attitudes and practices of the time but worked on improving things bit by bit so he tolerated the evil laws and ratified them to stop things getting any worse. He didnít mind violently disrupting the pagans the Hebrews fought with to eliminate homosexuality and idols. That is just an excuse. The Law says the Hebrews were terrified of God so they could have been changed. The Law prescribes a lot of butchering for Hebrews who disobeyed and are we to believe that they wanted that and that that was not shoved on them?

 

The annulment doctrine is a great way for the Church to make money. It means that it is your duty to look for an annulment and spend a fortune trying to get it, if your marriage breaks down so that you can get a new partner and please God by identifying your marriage as a fake and not a true sacrament which is important for God wants us to be clear in such things for the sacraments are of supreme importance.

 

The Church keeps its reasons for annulling a marriage secret. What if an annulment needs to be appealed? There is no appeals procedure in place. At least with divorce you can judge if the persons should have been granted a divorce decree for all is laid bare. The secrecy allows the Church to do what it wants and we do have seen cases where the Church annulled marriages under dubious circumstances for the rich and famous. An annulment is a declaration that no marriage took place for the husband or wife didnít really intended properly to get married so what does this say about ordinations? Why not allow some of them to be annulled as well? Its all exploitation and political manipulation. Annulments are mostly back-door divorces and especially as the Church takes care to make sure the couple knows what they are doing and getting into before they get married (pre-marriage courses, meetings with the priest who will be officiating at the wedding etc.). They are dishonesty.

 

Dubious psychological grounds for granting an annulment are accepted despite the modern realisation that psychologists cannot be trusted except up to a point. For example, the Church accepts the bleat, "I wasn't a very mature person when I married", as justification for annulling a marriage if it seems to be the truth. People marry because of their feelings more than anything else. If their partner grew seventy years older overnight just before the wedding the wedding would soon be called off. Feelings change. They can disappear through time. A person can and will change and how you can feel about that person will also change. When marriage is so deeply based on how the pair feel now it is obvious that they are deceiving themselves by promising to love one another for life. No marriage could really be valid.

 

The Church has annulled lots of marriages and has won infamy for doing so for it is clear that it can annul nearly any marriage when it puts its mind to it. The disagreement about the grounds for annulment that exists in the world of lawyers and theologians is frightening.   No marriage is safe. Can anybody be blamed for wondering if they are married at all? The married couple may know best if their marriage should be annulled so it seems there is nothing to stop them ending the marriage even without a church declaration of nullity.

 

The pope, Benedict XVI, has condemned annulment tribunals for being too generous in doling out annulments. Then why doesnít he set up a commission to examine their work and overturn some of these annulments?  

 

If marriages can be annulled then annulments can be invalidated as well!

 

There is so much harmful and discriminatory nonsense taught by the Catholic Church in relation to marriage. People who teach absurd morals have no right to expect people to assume they are sincere. They should prove their sincerity by doing heroic good works. For example, if you are a priest or nun and encourage people to believe that it is better to catch killer sexually transmitted diseases than to protect with condoms, then if you are sincere you will be among the people who suffer the consequences of your doctrine helping them. The pope does nothing and lives in grandeur so we should do the decent thing and brand him as a bigoted despicable old hypocrite.

 

APOSTASY

 

It is Catholic teaching that a Catholic who apostasises from the faith cannot contract a Catholic marriage.  Apostasy is an impediment to marriage because the sacrament belongs to the people and a spouse who weds a secret apostate is being fooled by thinking she or he is marrying a real Catholic.  [Decretals of Gregory IX, IV, title 19, vi; (Friedberg, II, p. 722).

 

CONCLUSION

 

Annulments are backdoor divorce and those Catholics who approve of them and then wail about how marriage isnít sacred any more need to be shown their hypocrisy.