(quote) Victor-544727 said: That would depend on which metrics you're drawing your comparison from. In comparison to a civil divorce, you'd be right. Annulments are much more difficult to get. However, in comparison to the standards by which annulments were granted pre-Vatican II, getting an annulment today is as easy as getting a judge to sign-off on a no-fault divorce agreement.
The grounds for annulments have been so broadened since 1962 that virtually anyone who applies for one will be granted it. Taking nothing away from those whose marriages were TRULY invalid, but an annulment today is barely more than a Catholic divorce because the Church has allowed the argument that the breakdown of the marriage after the vows were exchanged to be redefined as a condition that existed before the marriage took place, thus satisfying the requirement that states that an impediment must exist at the time the marriage takes place for the marriage to be deemed invalid. By today's standards, practically anything that goes wrong in a marriage at any time can be defined as a condition that existed but was unknown at the time the marriage took place. Many Catholics, in their desire to separate from their (perhaps) abusive and/or unhealthy marriages, have bought and continue to buy into this false argument.
This is yet another result of yet another case of extreme recklessness on the part of the Bishops, who were more concerned with maintaining a declining congregation than accounting for the unintended consequences that would come and have come a thousandfold as a result of their shortsightedness. Now, while they're STILL trying to maintain the same declining congregation that they were trying to maintain 50 years ago, they're trying to undo the un-reversible damage that has been done due to their previous decisions.
Just to provide a little statistical evidence to my argument:
- In 1960, the U.S. Church granted only 300 total annulments. In 2007 alone, the U.S. church granted 35,009 annulments - a full 60% of the 58,322 total annulments granted by the Church worldwide that same year. The second most number of annulments granted in any single country that year was the 2,625 granted to Italian marrieds.
- The U.S. congregation accounts for only 6% of the entire global Church, yet account for 60% of all annulments. Africa, who accounts for 14% of the total Catholic population, account for only 0.9% of all annulments.
Numbers, although very inconvenient for some, don't lie.