(quote) Joanna-615441 said: I may get stoned by the Trad's for saying this . . . but I like what you have said.
It is SO easy to make a really big mistake and SO hard to extricate yourself from it. There are many hurting people who just want to be able to love again, the right way.
No stones, but I do not agree with what you suggest. Correct me if I am misinterpreting what you are saying...
I read your comment as proposing that the central purpose of the annulment discernment is to facilitate "healing". If so, I disagree.
The fundamental purpose to my understanding is to discern to the extent humanly possible, whether there is valid marriage between a man and a woman in the Church; period. This does not necessarily always result in complete healing (it's dependent on the parties and how they approach it), but it always facilitates CLARITY of status, to the extent humanly possible. That "yes" married or "no" is the central purpose of the discernment process. Sometimes it's not pretty, especially if the discernment comes back as "yes" married, but there is a huge tidal wave, if not a raging sea of post marriage ill will and pain behind it and the two cannot make the marriage work together. Often, the Church is blamed in such cases, but we really know where the fault usually is, don't we? There could be situations where initially the local tribunal does not get it right, but there is an appeals process for those cases that their ruling is objected.
Personally, and as many will also attest, I needed to rely on the process and I found the annulment discernment process very beneficial because AS clarity was revealed, it was possible to do the repairs and also to heal with confidence and God's forgiveness.
Now, having said that, what you say about having a better means to facilitate healing, I am also all for that, but that is something that could be facilitated (supplemented) perhaps through other means such as follow-up support groups or further Catholic based counseling. If we burden the discernment process with this, I would have concern that the local tribunal could be compromised to favor compassion ABOVE the FULL truth. Kindness and compassion is still required, but it cannot be applied so as to obstruct CLARITY. Often, persons care about their feelings more than the REAL and FULL truth.
As a complete side thought here, I wonder if there are men and women here looking to date under the "divorced" label AND who HAVE gone through the annulment discernment process AND have been discerned as validly married in the Church. I see it totally possible here on CM. I don't fault CM for this, but just the dishonesty of such a member here, if not so spelled out within their profile. I encountered such a person on a different dating site I no longer subscribe to - early this last year. These persons are pariahs and clearly disrespect Christ's teaching looking to pull another into sin with them. How are these persons best identified?