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Devoted to discussion pertaining to those issues which are specifically relevant to people 45+. Topics must have a specific perspective of people in this age group for it to be on topic.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is told in chapters 11-25 of the book of Genesis.
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May 25th 2013 new
Each diocese/archdiocese varies in what it charges for an annulment. But keep in mind that they will work with you in regard to your financial situation, so please don't let the cost deter you.

Talk to your local tribunal office for all the information you need for your particular situation. This is so important, I can't say it enough. Everyone's situation is unique & every diocese is unique as to the details: time frame, cost, questionnaires, etc. Go to the source!
May 25th 2013 new
Operating expenses are a reality. The Tribunal offices have staff and offices. Consequently I have no concerns with the fact there is a cost for an annulment request. Perhaps payment plans may be an option depending on need.
Jun 6th 2013 new
I was told that the standard fees are typically but a fraction of the real cost to process an annulment. And my diocese allowed for a waiver in cases of economic hardship.

The fee associated with the process can, in some minds, be characterized as "buying an annulment". So I try to disabuse them of that notion. I explain actual costs are much higher than standard fees. All the fee does it help defray some costs.
Jun 6th 2013 new
(quote) Laura-824866 said: it seems like several people I've told my annulment was affirmed seem to think the right response, after congrats, is to say that the church is giving them out left & right, to anyone who asks. I don't want to hear that or think that. 
I have encountered that as well. When I do, I usually give a short reply along these lines:

The Church holds that when we marry, we marry for life. ("What God has joined together, let no man put asunder" is taken literally.) More specifically, in the eyes of the Church, a civil divorce cannot dissolve a valid, sacramental marriage. In fact, nothing can except death ("'til death do us part").

So how does an annulment play in all this? It is not a "Catholic divorce" as some call it. Rather, it is the result of a Church tribunal examining the circumstances surrounding a marriage to see if it was invalidly formed. That is, was there something significantly wrong that prevented the marriage from coming into existence (being properly formed) in the first place.

As a simple example, a "shotgun marriage" would be considered an invalid marriage due to lack of free consent. Just like a civil contract, a valid marriage contract requires fully-informed consent, freely-given between two capable (psychologically-fit) parties (an adult man and woman), who properly understand their rights and obligations.

In my limited experience, a little explanation seems to go a long way.
Jun 7th 2013 new
Thankyou Frank. smileI was discussing this very topic with a non Catholic this week,
and was feeling unsettled and attacked.
Jun 13th 2013 new
Victoria, I could have written your post myself. I've been divorced for nearly 20 years. I remained active in my church after my divorce, but surrounded by families raising children in the church, I definitely felt out of place and struggled with feeling the guilt of a failed marriage and often times sadness for what would never be. The first in my extended family to divorce, i had no one to seek counsel from. My priority remained raising my four children to adulthood, not dating, not seeking an annulment. In fact, I thought it was wrong and would give my children the wrong idea. (To be honest, I never understood the process or the rationale.) I have always asked God to guide my steps and now that my children are grown I find myself asking him more frequently. This forum and many of the answers have helped. I think HE sent me here.

I attended a reconciliation service last year and that was a true blessing and strongly recommend it to anyone struggling with feelings of sadness, failure and guilt. God bless you all on your journeys.
Jun 13th 2013 new
(quote) Frank-797076 said: I believe in God. The Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, founded a Church on the Rock, with authority to bind and loose.

Not even His Apostles were perfect....I give you Judas, the betrayer, Peter, the denier...and swordsman, James and John, who, represented by their mother were ambitious, Thomas, the doubter...and probably more

There have been troubles in the Church from the beginning, e.g., the division of food amongst the widows and indigent, with the gentiles complaining the jewish widows were getting more. Jerusalem wanting the gentile converts circumcized and Paul and Barnabas going there to argue the contrary......

Some of the Churches Paul established needed frequent correction...etc etc etc

So, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have a Church led by men, and they have, throughout two milennia, made mistakes, but we survive.

As to annulment, a gift from God, which is a process through which a declaration of "sacramental" or "not sacramental" is made by a tribunal of humans, reviewing evidence and testimony from either liars or truth-tellers with differing perspectives, I'm sure there have been errors.

God will judge those who deliberately lied, and those tribunal members who did their jobs improperly.

None of that takes away from the wonderful gift of God's Love in giving us a Church with the authority to declare that some have made mistakes but they are sacramentally married, while others are declared, for a variety of reasons, to be civilly married, but not as a Sacrament.

I think anyone contemplating the process ought to pray for guidance and understanding and tell the truth and submit themselves to the judgement of the forum God fallible as its human participants make it.

I'm annulled....twice...and grateful
Annulled twice, huh? Just another example of the Catholic Church handing out annulments like candy. Sorry if this offends anyone, but it is the truth. Hopefully Rome will act soon to stop this carnage of the sacredness of marriage.
Jun 13th 2013 new
(quote) Joan-529855 said: Annulled twice, huh? Just another example of the Catholic Church handing out annulments like candy. Sorry if this offends anyone, but it is the truth. Hopefully Rome will act soon to stop this carnage of the sacredness of marriage.
No offense, but you have no idea why her marriages were annulled. I know of many cases that involve marriages improperly formed--one in which a young teen was trying to escape her child abusing father, for example, by marrying a high school beau. Another in which there was horrible coercion to marry due to a pregnancy, with people far too young to make such a weighty decision. You just have no idea what the situation may be, or whether her annulments were "handed out like candy" or carefully considered. A lady in our diocese has been waiting patiently now for 2 and a half years for her annulment. That sure doesn't sound like a tribunal handing them out right and left.
Jun 13th 2013 new
Right on, Kerry!
I have friend who is a cursillo leader, Rel Ed teacher, very good and faithful, but has been married 4 times and had her first 3 annulled because of the immaturity, abuse, pressure at the times of her first 3 marriages. She had a horrid life and never really was ready for marriage or any adult decisions until she finally grew in understanding and closeness to God.
Right now her husband is becoming a permanent deacon and she is part of that and a very different person than she was during her first 3 marriages.
Jun 13th 2013 new
There needs to be a voice behind the dynamic of this, just if anything, to give perspective from the non divorced, non annulled crowd. I found dating women that were married in the past, there were always expectations of things, only two formerly married people could possibly expect of each other, the same goes with kids, I have none, why would I be expected to just raise your's? Often the dynamic is, one has to outlive the mistakes their former spouse made, one also has to take a far back seat to the children, and way too often, their kids are the center of their world.

The red flags always show up when they decide I'm going to hear all about their kids, especially early on in the friendship, and honestly, I have no kids, what on earth what I have to relate to in that regards? Moving on from there, something deep inside of me, moves me to not consider an annulment to be a license to remarry. It just rubs me the wrong way when I hear in almost all cases, the original marriage vows are what are being broken. These are stemmed in almost all cases because the couple decided to forgoe the traditional manner of courting, they just jump right in, and wonder why things went wrong.. If you really get to know that person, you will know their friends, relatives, their reputation, and it will be no mystery along what to expect down the road.

Just my two cents, for what it's worth, but it's why I will not date anybody who is divorced, annulled, or otherwise, especially if they have children. I want my own, and i am not raising someone else s kids, for every time they look at them, they are reminded of what and who they had in the past, there never is clear separation in that regards.
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