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Feb 1st 2013 new
Congratulations, Gary, I think I understand what you are saying, and I will probably feel the same way when and if I get my annulment.

But even if you have mixed feelings about it, consider it a gift and a chance for a new beginning. Obviously, the tribunal thought there were sufficient grounds, and you are now free to heal completely.
Feb 1st 2013 new

(Quote) Gary-836455 said: Y'know how you feel when you hear about some killer getting aquitted because some slic...
(Quote) Gary-836455 said:



Y'know how you feel when you hear about some killer getting aquitted because some slick lawyer pulled a technicality out of his hat?

My priest say's this is a joyous occasion.

I still feel like I'm guilty but free on a technicality.

--hide--


May you find healing in Jesus... Praying rosary theheart

Feb 1st 2013 new

(Quote) Christine-924384 said: Depends on if it's guilt because of something that you've done or whether it's fr...
(Quote) Christine-924384 said:

Depends on if it's guilt because of something that you've done or whether it's from recognizing the sanctity of marriage as a whole and you are truly saddened.

--hide--



Thank you to one and all. I'm afraid I was a little vague when I first posted this. In response to Christine, I'd like to add a little more background context...

I was a cradle Catholic. I walked away from the church in my mid 20s thinking the church was legalistic, dry, stale, and lifeless. After several years, I met a good Southern Baptist and started going to church with her. We eventually got married in the Baptist chuch. After 15 years of trying to make it work, we realized we weren't doing anyone any favors staying together, esp the kids. There was nothing scandulous. We just didn't see eye to eye and butted heads on everything. Even though neither of us believed divorce should be an option, we did what we felt we needed to do.

After our divorce, I came back to my Catholic roots. My priest assured me an annulment would be easy because we weren't married in the Catholic church. It would be a simple lack of form annulment. My thought was that my vow was to God 'til death do us part. Again, my priest assured me, what's loosed on earth is loosed in heaven.

I turned in my "lack of form" paperwork, and recieved an annulment decree within 5 days. When I read the decree, it was all about legalism. Because we were not married in the Catholic church, it was never valid, therefore annulment decreed. Faith and vows were irrelevant.

So, I'm left feeling cold and numb. Apparently, vows and faith outside of the Holy Roman Catholic church mean nothing. I've learned alot about the good points and short-comings of the protestant faiths in those 15 years, but my perception of the Catholic faith being legalistic, dry, stale, and lifeless is back. I look at priests and see "white washed tombs". If my vows to God mean nothing, Catholic or otherwise, what kind of Christian am?
So hence, I feel like a guilty criminal set free on a technicality. I have my annulment, but I can't accept it. My conscience won't allow it. My faith in God is strong. My faith in the Holy Roman Catholic Church: not so much.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. May God's kingdom come, May His will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Gary

Feb 1st 2013 new

(Quote) Gary-836455 said:Y'know how you feel when you hear about some killer getting aquitted because some slick lawyer...
(Quote) Gary-836455 said:

Y'know how you feel when you hear about some killer getting aquitted because some slick lawyer pulled a technicality out of his hat?

My priest say's this is a joyous occasion.

I still feel like I'm guilty but free on a technicality.

--hide--



Gary,

When I received my annulment in December, I experienced such a swing of emotions. I didn't know if I should be shout for joy or burst into tears! After taking eight years for me to finish my annulment papers, it was truly a bittersweet day when I received my final decision papers and an email from my priest telling me 'congratulations'.

My humble advice would be this: be open to all that God has in store for you now. Spend time with Him in prayer, in Holy Mass, in adoration. theheart theheart theheart Fill as much of your life with Him as you're able. He, and our Blessed Mother with her gentle cloak of protection, will comfort and guide you.

God bless,
Christina

Feb 1st 2013 new

Hey Gary,

I think when any marriage fails if both parties are honest with themselves, there are feelings of guilt on both sides. I guess the important thing is that the Church has sound reasons for finding that the marriage wasn't valid in it's eyes and maybe that's why it didn't last. God's plan is often mysterious to us so my thought is to trust in Him and move forward with whatever He has in store for you. I pray as do the others who have responded to your post that your feelings will subside and that you will rejoice in the good things God has blessed you with and in those yet to come.

God bless!

Dan

Feb 2nd 2013 new

Hi Gary,

I just read your additional explanation and now I understand your feelings. You're exactly right that the ruling the Church made was strictly based on the "law" or the doctrine of the Church and it was. Many, just like you feel that the Catholic church is very staunch in it's teachings and I guess it is. I also used to feel this way. Now however, after spending considerable time learning more about the Church, I actually see that as some of the beauty of the Church. Its teachings are not always easy to follow nor are they very popular and that's part of what I think makes the Catholic Church the treasure it is. Just like in many other things, a degree of difficulty makes the reward more gratifying. Once we understand the true beauty of the Church it becomes much easier to love what appears at first glance to be very uninspiring and cold. This probably doesn't help you much but I guarantee that if you devote a good portion of your time learning more about the Catholic Church, you too will see the true beauty it holds. I recommend a book by Matthew Kelly "Rediscover Catholicism" he's a wonderful author. I also recommend his CD's and DVD's.

God bless you in your journey,

Dan

Feb 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Gary-836455 said: Thank you to one and all. I'm afraid I was a little vague when I first posted this...
(Quote) Gary-836455 said:




Thank you to one and all. I'm afraid I was a little vague when I first posted this. In response to Christine, I'd like to add a little more background context...

I was a cradle Catholic. I walked away from the church in my mid 20s thinking the church was legalistic, dry, stale, and lifeless. After several years, I met a good Southern Baptist and started going to church with her. We eventually got married in the Baptist chuch. After 15 years of trying to make it work, we realized we weren't doing anyone any favors staying together, esp the kids. There was nothing scandulous. We just didn't see eye to eye and butted heads on everything. Even though neither of us believed divorce should be an option, we did what we felt we needed to do.

After our divorce, I came back to my Catholic roots. My priest assured me an annulment would be easy because we weren't married in the Catholic church. It would be a simple lack of form annulment. My thought was that my vow was to God 'til death do us part. Again, my priest assured me, what's loosed on earth is loosed in heaven.

I turned in my "lack of form" paperwork, and recieved an annulment decree within 5 days. When I read the decree, it was all about legalism. Because we were not married in the Catholic church, it was never valid, therefore annulment decreed. Faith and vows were irrelevant.

So, I'm left feeling cold and numb. Apparently, vows and faith outside of the Holy Roman Catholic church mean nothing. I've learned alot about the good points and short-comings of the protestant faiths in those 15 years, but my perception of the Catholic faith being legalistic, dry, stale, and lifeless is back. I look at priests and see "white washed tombs". If my vows to God mean nothing, Catholic or otherwise, what kind of Christian am?
So hence, I feel like a guilty criminal set free on a technicality. I have my annulment, but I can't accept it. My conscience won't allow it. My faith in God is strong. My faith in the Holy Roman Catholic Church: not so much.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. May God's kingdom come, May His will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Gary

--hide--

Gary,

My mother experienced something similar when her annulment was granted, because she felt as if she had made her vow in good faith and without impediment. It was however not the same for my father. They were married in the Church, but he was not a Catholic at the time. Not why theirs was annuled, but none the less it bothered her tremendously for some time. My father has passed away now and I think my mother actually considers herself widowed.

Let's reverse this a bit, different sacrament Baptism. We Catholics believe in one Baptism using the Trinitarian formula. We therefore accept all baptisms performed under those conditions as valid and do not re-baptize. It is not the same in most other faiths, they will re-baptize you in their faith even if you were previously baptized. My niece was recently baptized in the Baptist church, even though she was baptized as a child in our faith. I reminded her of this prior to her baptism and the pastor at the Baptist Church insisted she must be baptized again.

The annulment merely states that at the moment the vows were taken there was some impediment to a sacramental marriage in this case it was a matter of the form of the marriage. It does not mean that your vow was not sincere, nor that it was not undertaken in good faith. It doesn't mean your marriage was not a civil marriage duly recognized, it means that the conditions necessary for a sacramental marriage were not all present.

I am sorry your heart is heavy in this matter. I offer the following questions ONLY for your reflection, perhaps they will help as you work through your distress over the decree. Did you seek the annulment because of your return to the Church? Because you might want to remarry? Did someone encourage you to seek the annulment? Or insist that you seek one? Did you see the actual divorce as a breaking of the vow you had made? Did you intend to live out the remainder of your life in a single state in keeping with your vow? You continue to have that option to ease your own conscience regardless of the decree. I am curious why you are upset with the Church for this? Did you want the Church to punish you by refusing an annulment? Or perhaps it isn't the Church you are upset with but the situation itself, your own conflict over the severing of your marriage. Your distress is most evident and it makes me sad.

I will keep you in prayer and I hope you find peace with the decree, or a solution that satisfies your conscience. I will leave you with something my mother said to me when I was a teen and continued to feel exceptional guilt over something I had fully confessed. She finally said to me one day, and who do you think you are to continue to punish yourself when Our Lord has absolved you. . .made me think about it. Hugs.

Feb 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Gary, The annulment merely states that at the moment the vows were taken there was some i...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Gary,

The annulment merely states that at the moment the vows were taken there was some impediment to a sacramental marriage in this case it was a matter of the form of the marriage. It does not mean that your vow was not sincere, nor that it was not undertaken in good faith. It doesn't mean your marriage was not a civil marriage duly recognized, it means that the conditions necessary for a sacramental marriage were not all present.

--hide--


Lauren,

That was a wonderfully simple and understandable explanation of an annulment smile theheart

Feb 2nd 2013 new


Again, thank you for your prayers, wisdom, and support. CM has been and continues to be a true blessing for me.

For now, I do intend to remain single. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I am putting Christ first and foremost. God is faithful and merciful. I covet your prayers that I would discern and stay faithful to His will for my life.


Thank you again, and may God bless you all!

Gary

Feb 2nd 2013 new

When I got my letter I came in and sat down in the chair and just stared at it for a while..I can't say I felt joy, just a numbness that it was finally over.. I knew for 20 years before I started the process that I had good grounds. But the 18 mos of the process was anxiety ridden. It's like anti-climactic to get the letter. Sort of like the day after a big event you've prepared for a long time.

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