(quote) Kathleen-878558 said: Here is one excerpt that explains a lot:
Some say the US is giving too many annulments. Is that true?
In a certain sense, it's true. The annulment process, like any attempt to bring Truth and order into the world, can be misused. But many applications for annulments get rejected in the initial stages for lack of evidence.
For the last forty years, however, our culture has produced some of the most immature, selfish, entitled, addicted, and depressed "adults" who married too soon or for the wrong reasons, or who were utterly incapable of living out a sacramental marriage.
Perhaps it is not so much about the US tribunals being free with annulments as it is their recognizing the sad state of our culture and the need for grace.
The U.S. IS giving our too many annulments. Even Pope Benedict pointed out the obvious. Many annulments are rejected, not because the tribunal felt the marriage was a sacramental marriage, but because the paperwork was not filled out correctly and/or completely (I was told this just last week by my diocesan canon lawyers). If you fill out the paperwork correctly and completely the chances are almost 100% that your marriage will be annulled. The "defender of the bond" is usually a person with an education in tribunal law. This person is supposed to "defend" the sacrament of the marriage, in every case. Unfortunately the defender of the bond doesn't even live in my diocese and works as a contract employee for several dioceses across the country (from her home). There is nothing "professional" about the annulment process, though they try very hard to make it appear "professional". It is very subjective and leans heavily on the desires of the petitioner.
I would not encourage anyone to "seek an annulment". Annulments are not scriptural and were VERY rare before King Henry VIII. Unfortunately the church bows (heavily) to pressure and now grants annulments in just about every case in which the paperwork is filled out completely and correctly.
"The Roman Catholic Churchs practice of annulment is not biblical. It is founded on an unbiblical concept, that of the sacraments conferring grace. It is essentially an escape from what the Bible defines as a marriage. It ignores what the Bible does say about marriage, divorce, and marital unfaithfulness. Essentially, the Catholic practice of marriage annulment is an unbiblical way to escape from a doctrine that is itself unbiblical."