Catholics 1, Scientologism 0, Rest of Us?

What’s so inexplicable about annulment?

It’s a religious sacrament. If you don’t meet the requirements for marriage properly in the first place, it doesn’t magically become valid later on. Ergo, from the Church’s perspective, you were not married. (I think, but am not sure, that in Kidman’s case it’s simply a matter of never having had a Church wedding.)

The Church doesn’t have actual divorce for the same reason. It’s a sacrament, and you can’t simply “go back” on a properly filled sacrament, no matter how much you feel like it.

Would this make bastards of them?

No more bastards than you are. I’m assuming that you are ignorant of the matter because you were not raised Catholic, and your parents were not married in the Church. You still need to get divorced when you get an anullment (if you haven’t already), because you are still married. Just not in the Church. So when Kennedy’s ex said she didn’t want an annulment because she didn’t want her children to be bastards, she didn’t realize that they would have the same status as her parents, and she, did.

Don’t ask me, ask the Catholic church. Weren’t they already bastards(I’m assuming they were put up for adoption by single parents?).
Annullment seems too easy, IMO. Like an Oops! Gosh, we didn’t realize that we weren’t really married, (even though NK was raised Catholic(?) and surely must have been aware of the “rules” governing such things). So, now all that has to be said is something along the lines of: “your 10+ years with this man never were, never mind the kids, the memories, the facts–you are free to marry again, despite the rules against divorce etc”. It makes no sense to me–but I am not Catholic.

If it’s such a big no-no to get married outside the Church (and I don’t know anyone who still considers this as so), how is it so simple to erase history in this way? Like non-Catholics don’t count or something–does marriage only matter when it’s 2 Catholics marrying one another? Everyone else is chopped liver? :confused: Humans marry humans–Tom Cruise may well be odd, but he is a person and he was indeed married to NK, for quite some time. To say it wasn’t genuine or whatever is false, IMO.

So, to me the annullment thingy is inexplicable-but so is the looking askance at marrying outside the Churchy thingy as well. Most Catholics I know are NOT married to other Catholics. Perhaps they will find that they have irreconcilable differences and just wipe away the memory of those marriages…and then get truly married to another Catholic? double :confused:

this sounds like I am down on the Catholic church and I’m not, really. It’s just that from this outsider’s perspective, some of the Church’s rules etc just don’t make sense. I am not saying they’re wrong or bad, just that I don’t understand them.

You probably didn’t see my post.

I am a Unitarian now. A couple yerars ago, I went to a lovely ceremony where two women of my acquaintance were married in the church. It had no legal standing, but the Church considers them married.

Similarly, the Catholic Church’s annulment simply renders the sacrament of Matrimony null and void. If your parents were not married in the church, you are not a bastard (except in the sense of being a “goddam heretic bastard” to some).

I’m not sure about Catholicism as, well, I’m not Catholic.

But in the Episcopal church, where I’ve recently hung my hat, the dissolution of a marriage and a remarriage was explained thus: it IS a sacrament, and one to be entered into carefully and cautiously, but all that God has created has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Just as people can die, so can a marriage. After it’s determined that a marriage is spiritually dead, it’s dissolved by the church and a person is “free” to remarry.

This doesn’t mean it’s “okay” to be married three and four times. Around here, anyone getting married at all has to have a few chats with the rector. Getting married for a second time requires the approval of the bishop, which will probably be given if the rector pushes for it. At marriage number 3, the bishop is going to be asking some very pointed questions.

Yes, it was a sincere question. I was terribly embarrassed when a friend of mine spent several minutes explaining that Catholics really, truly, non-metaphorically believe in transubstantiation. I wasn’t trying to be difficult, it’s just very alien to me. Same in this case. I understand that in the eyes of civil society there was a marriage and it ended in divorce.

So - leaving aside the question of adoption which is an issue in the instant case - does the Church regard the offspring of an anulled marriage to have been born in wedlock? Is it one of those voidable/ void distinctions?

Marriage in the Church is not required to be between Catholics, but the marriage itself must meet the following criteria:

  1. The two must know what they are doing and enter into it with a sound mind and sincere heart.
  2. They must agree to raise the children as Catholics, educated in the sacraments and mysteries of the Church.
  3. They must not have any reservations or hidden agendas: you can’t enter into a marriage validly if you lied your way into it.

As far as the Church is concerned, there is no marriage outside itself, and those Churches which it considers to be in communion with itself. Other forms of marriage are temporal associations. It’s not: you are free to marry again. It’s: you were never married in our eyes.

That doesn’t mean your life didn’t happen. But you were never married as far as the Church is concerned. You weren’t sinning assuming you thought you were married, but the marriage wasn’t real.

You are thinking of marriage as some ort of agreement whereby two peope plunk down and head off into the hills. Uh-uh. Not in Catholicism. This isn’t just a ceremony, mate: the Power of God has specifically come down upon the two and blesed them, and the Church considers them to be one flesh from then on. If they didn’t meet the requirements, the marriage never happened.

As to Little Plastic Ninja, well, Catholicism agrees that marriage has an ending. It’s called death. :smiley:


Enrique de Trastamara (Henry II of Castille) requested an annulment from his wife Blanca de Navarra claiming that she had proved unable to conceive.

Blanca, who up until that point had been a Proper Lady of the Court (ie a tapestry-making wallflower) answered that it is difficult to conceive if your husband doesn’t perform his duties. During questioning by the judge, she also explained that her husband had asked her to take other men, that she might conceive. If you don’t want an ultra-catholic to tell the truth, don’t make her swear that she will :rolleyes:

The judge called a double panel of medical experts to examine both parts. The 3 midwives concluded that Queen Blanca was virgo intacta ; the 3 young widows, that King Henry might be able to do something with a loooooot of help (preferably from Our Lady, because the Magdalene sure wasn’t working) but he certainly hadn’t done anything with them.

Annulment granted for Unconsummated Marriage.

Henry II later had a daughter, which got speedily attributed to one of his knights (Juana, called “la Beltraneja” because she looked like knight Juan Beltrán); Isabel, who was Henry’s niece, became queen of Castille after beating her cousin’s troops.

So she’s following in the footsteps of Liza as a professional beard now?

Annulments are silly in ALL circumstances. Some bozo wearing a funny hat mumbles some words, and poof - it never happened?

Gimme a break.

Huh? I’ve never heard gay rumors about Urban. Boozing and whoring, yes. Perhaps you’re thinking of Kenny Chesney?

Nava --that was interesting. I wonder if Eleanor of Castille is of the same lineage/family? sorry for the hijack. She (Eleanor) did not get an anulment, her husband was so grief-stricken at her death, he commissioned several crosses in her name. One of them remains in Charing Cross station, in London. Cool beans.
And now back to the thread…

Well, no. It never happened whether the bozo mumbles the words or not. The bozo simply acknowledges what has always been the case.

Wiki actually has a decent explanation of annulment in the Catholic Church (and I would say that the criticisms mentioned are not cheap shots at the church).

The point is that the Church identifies the initial sacrament as being invalid without making any claims regarding the offspring or the duties of the couple during the period when they were together. The kids are still considered legitimate. Both (ex-)spouses are held to be liable for the children’s welfare and are responsible for any support (financial or otherwise) undertaken during the putative marriage. A spouse who cheated during that period would still be considered to have committed adultery, not simply fornication. The church is reviewing the sacramental nature of the union, not the reality of the marriage, as such.
The former Mrs. Kennedy’s complaint was that the church was “denying” that the marriage had ever occurred (I seem to recall that she had been raised Episcopalian) and at that point we simply run into the problem of two groups viewing the same events from wholly different perspectives.

I doubt that.

I certainly imagine that the anullment was granted; if there were children of the union, I doubt that the reason was lack of consummation.

So I put a shotgun in your back and march you down the aisle to marry my pregnant daughter.

Is the annulment follpwing that event “silly?”

eleanorigby, the “of Castille” in these cases refers to a geographical location: the county-later-kingdom of Castille (Castilla in Spanish). A lot of Spanish lastnames are toponimics, this doesn’t happen only with kings. Someone starts being calles “Tom of New York” to distinguish him from “Tom of Connecticut” and their kids inherit the nickname. St. Francis Xavier was “Don Francisco de Jaso y Azpilicueta”, from the castle of Xavier; he got the Xavier just to distinguish him from the 100 other Franciscos who studied in the Sorbonne at the same time.

The Reconquista is full of “soap-opera” times; my own little story is from the 15th century. My books are all an ocean away, I’m going home next week but it’s going to be a roller-coaster so I can’t promise to look up the specific relationship between Eleanor, Henry and Blanca. The bloodline in Navarra was more stable than in Castille for those 3 centuries, though; she may actually be related more closely to Blanca than to Henry!

I assumed that Castille was a region in Spain, but can’t help but wonder if they might be related some way. According to my New Columbia Encyclopedia here, she was the daughter of Ferdinand the III. She died in 1290, so she is a bit before the time you are posting about. The encyclopedia makes no reference to them being related (I’ll bet they are, however distantly-power being kept in families and all that).

so, in other words, this anullment is only in the eyes of the church. Again, this strikes me as odd, but to those to whom these things matter, it is a good thing, right?

I like the Episcopal way of doing things–so practical, IMO.

Whatever Nicole decides to do, I hope she takes into consideration more than her own personal gratification, ie her kid’s needs and her parental responsibilities. I don’t have much liking for her (true!) so I’m not holding my breath.