I don’t think the Newsweek article Earthling cited mentions it, but Kerry and his first wife technically had their marriage annulled, so from the perspective of the Catholic Church, he’s not divorced per se, and can take Communion. (At least, he could before the whole denying politicians Communion for their political views thing started.)
Two people can be married for over a decade, and that marriage can produce children, then later on someone can testify that the marriage was never really consumated?!?
That’s a better trick than anything David Copperfield has done so far…
Oh wait a minute, haven’t the Kennedys done something like that too? Ok, so it’s a “rich, politically-connected Catholic” thing, maybe.
No, it’s not. Brooke Shields is not, to my knowledge, politically connected and her marriage to Andre Agassi was annulled because she wanted to remarry. That doesn’t rule out the famous part. I’d give you some non-famous examples, but I don’t know any.
Anyway, I don’t think your implication that Kerry and and the Kennedys have gotten special treatment stands up to any kind of scrutiny. A lot of people get divorced these days, and some of them are Catholic. Clearly this is a case where the Church has bent a little to go along with the times.
I’m glad she supports him and they appear to be on good terms. After I watched the Kerry Biography at the DNC last night, my heart almost seized when I realized that his first wife could still be out there somewhere, waiting for her shot to shoot down his dreams of becoming President.
“Sacred Origins of Profound Things” by Charles Panati has an interesting section on Catholic annullment.
Basically, “annullment” is their word for divorce, and as he quoted some high-up priest in the text, if you give them long enough, they can find a reason for ANY marriage to be annulled. You’ve just got to be willing to wait long enough to go through the process.
What I want to know is are Kerry’s children considered illegitimate by the Catholic church considering their parents were never “really” married in the church’s eyes?
I don’t know what the official doctrine says about this issue, but in practice there seems to be a kind of grandfather clause which says that if the marriage was thought to be valid at the time, then the kids are legitimate no matter happens later.
I know of one-my uncle (by marriage) got an anullment from his first wife so he could marry my aunt in the church-previously they were married by a JP. I don’t know what grounds it was on, or how he got it, although my mother suspects some palms got greased.
I have a friend in England who was married for 25 years with two kids. His wife ran into her college sweetheart again one fine day, and asked husband to divorce her so she could marry BF#1. He was sucker enough to do it, taking the onus and paying all the bills. An annulment was obtained, and she married the ex-BF. They moved to the continent. Discarded hubby went on for more than 10 years unwilling to even date. Y’see, she had been chronically ill for some longish time early in their marriage. He kept thinking she’d get sick again and hubby #2 would bail, at which time she’d need him. So he was standing by (he told me this!). And sending his ex postcards from wherever he traveled for his job (he sends them to lots of people, including grandkids, godchildren, and the children of friends). Truly a pathetic situation for a brilliant sucker.
Umm, did I mention that he has a photo of himself shaking hands with the Pope on display in a prominent place in his home? He’s a very devout Catholic.
<editorial>There’s divorces and divorces. There are none where one of the partners is totally innocent. However, there are definitely degrees of culpability. I don’t know - don’t care, really - who was more to blame in my friend’s marriage. I just think it was pretty crummy treatment she gave him.</editorial>
I’d known him for about five years before I actually learned this much. When I did, I did a survey of divorced femmes for him (ones he knew). We all assured him that there’s no way any of us would go back to an ex, no matter what. We’d starve in a ditch first (well, nearly - other women know what I mean). After that he began to go out with a woman he already knew there in England, and has been calling her his GF for the last several years. I doubt he’ll ever remarry, though. Some hangups can only be conquered through counseling, and by someone who wants to get over them.