Alas, I could not remember it--it had something to do with....hmmm....I forget. But I did managed to reset the password thanks to upgrades by Google. And here I am.
I know that no one is reading, but I do find it useful to write from time to time, even to an imaginary audience, just to get a thought processed and out of my mind. And so, this has been on my mind due to local circumstances.
In order to validly marry, in ordinary circumstances, a Catholic but have vows witnessed by a priest who's been granted faculties by the local ordinary, the bishop.
No ordinary faculties, no marriage? Or so they say? That's the biggest issue I hear with those challenging marriages witnessed by independent or other non-canonically-deputized, non-chancery-stamped priests in reliance on ecclesia supplet in the current crisis of the Church?
But let's look at the other side. Can you say the converse: "ordinary faculties=valid marriage?"
Of course not.
One must ask if priests who do have regular faculties are capable of witnessing a valid marriage in any case. What are the odds that YOUR marriage will be upheld if put before a tribunal?
Let's see the annulment scores for Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, for a period even before Papa Jorge "improved" the annulment process:
- For 2011: 198 marriages annulled, 4 upheld: a 2% validity rate.
- For 2012: 193 marriages annulled, 3 upheld, a 2% validity rate.
- For 2013: 225 marriages annulled, 7 upheld, a 3% validity rate.
- For 2014: 186 marriages annulled, 0 upheld, a 0% validity rate.
- For 2011: 107 marriages annulled, 0 upheld: a 0% validity rate.
- For 2012: 68 marriages annulled, 0 upheld: a 0% validity rate.
- For 2013: 77 marriages annulled, 0 upheld, a 0% validity rate.
- For 2014: 72 marriages annulled, 0 upheld, a 0% validity rate.
- Given that annulments are about as hard to get as chigger bites on a Kansas summer evening, how does someone of genuine faith and a well-formed conscience--someone who DOES have a legitimate basis for an annulment--proceed through the kangaroo courts and look to their judgment with moral certainty? The illegitimate use of the tribunal sullies the legitimate use as well. I'm guilty of this myself--when I hear someone is "re"married after an annulment, my presumption is one of doubt. Not [always] doubt of the individual's good faith, but doubt about the process. I know that's not fair to the individual. But it can't be helped.
- How does someone of genuine faith and a well-formed conscience who thinks he IS validly married know that is in fact the case? It seems that even before Papa Jorge's relaxation of the supposedly difficult (cough) process, getting an annulment was an annoyance but a fait accompli around here. Doesn't the record cast a shadow of moral doubt over all our marriages? Are we all living in sin?