When it comes to annulments, what is wrong with this forum? Attention: Markgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Mark, in a recent thread dealing with an annulment question, you made a comment which saddened me. You’re the second person in a few days to comment (I received a similar complaint in a private email) that this forum is no longer and ideal one for “compassionate and accurate advice and support” when dealing with annulment questions.
As a regular participant in this forum, I am troubled by your suggestion that a poster should go to Yahoo for help because this forum is devoid of “compassion and accurate advice and support” when dealing with annulment questions. Doesn't this comment reflect poorly on all active participants of this forum, including yourself?
In the past this forum has been very helpful to those who needed information and guidance concerning annulments. For evidence of this you need only to look at the other thread dealing with annulments running concurrently entitled “Am I eligible for an annulment and...” I see no lack of compassion, accurate advice or support in this thread. Secondly, as a reader, I don’t want to go to Yahoo to see what other advice might be offered the poster. I like it here. I prefer this forum's format, it’s easy to read and user friendly. I was interested in learning what others might've had to say concerning the poster's question. If the forum has a problem is the solution to send posters somewhere else for guidance or is it to find a solution and fix the problem?
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not intentionally centering you out for any particular reason. I fear you may have a valid point in criticizing the forum the way you have. I am interested in knowing what it is you find troubling about the forum that prevents it from being “compassionate”, or from giving out “accurate advice and support” when dealing with annulment questions. I would also invite others to comment in this regard.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 19, 2004
Let's send this thread over to "New Answers".
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2004.
I've had about 3 hours sleep last night, so maybe I'm not at my most coherent. Quite frankly, when I wrote the above comment, I expected that by this morning there would be at least three replies in the cited thread that would be attacking the poster for committing adultery, focusing on that point to the exclusion of actually answering any of the poster's annulment questions, and most of them so horrible that they would eventually get deleted, but not before causing pain and anguish to the original poster.
I must say I'm very pleasantly surprised that this did not happen. Maybe the recent bannings have had a positive effect in this regard.
-- Mark (email@example.com), March 19, 2004.
So what you’re saying is, your concerns centre around the fact that posters who reply might be judgmental and/or rude thus hurting and driving off those who come to the forum seeking guidance and help. Thanks for your input Mark. Anyone else have an opinions on this topic?
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2004.
My input would be that anyone posting on an annulment thread should have their name and e-mail address checked, and asked if they want it changed if it is complete and real. I know this is extra work, but IMO many of the people who post on this topic are not internet savvy, and don't realize that their names will pop up on search engines when people look for them. It could cause physical trouble for some people if they are found out to be asking this type of question, again, IMO.
Something to think about, but for example, if someone posts as "Angela Marianus @Petersnet.gov" it wouldn't hurt to let her know that her comments can be later tracked back to her, and change her address to "Angela@anon.anon" or something, assuming of course that she didn't WANT her real addy posted.
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 19, 2004.
I would suggest that Mark's logic is flawed IF he believes that a potential wrongdoing justifies a preemptive wrongdoing... Relative argument untethered to ultimate Truth is flawed by it's very nature...
Additionally, I would add that Mark has been 'advertising' the Yahoo Group for quite some time -I have visited and read many postings in the 'remarry' Group (P.S. Mark, the very term 'remarry' begs some thought) -in my opinion the Yahoo Group may be well intentioned; HOWEVER, most the 'advice' and guidance handed out suffers from the same error(s) that have been clearly illustrated in this forum...
Daniel//// Pro-Truth (this means not against or for annulments) Additionally, the best compassion is Truth...
-- Daniel Hawkenberry (email@example.com), March 19, 2004.
My thoughts are that Mark should get a good nights sleep.
-- - (David@excite.com), March 19, 2004.
Upon re-reading this thread, I need to correct a misunderstanding. I have no concerns as regards the accuracy of the annulment advice given on this forum. Soon-to-be canon law doctor Fr. Mike Skrocki does a very good job of keeping us on track when the rest of us make mistakes in our advice.
In the past, when I have referred posters to Yahoo (either after they have been subjected to a barrage of hostile replies, or preemptively in anticipation of such treatment), I have been variously criticized on the grounds that the Yahoo forum is not accurate or that it is not faithful to the magisterium. The "accurate" portion of my "compassionate and accurate advice and support" was meant solely to defend the Yahoo forum against such criticisms, and not to disparage this forum as regards its accuracy.
My concerns as regards this forum lie only with its compassion. However, the recent annulment threads have been exemplary in this regard, and if this level of compassion keeps up I will no longer have any reservations about referring people to this forum.
-- Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2004.
My thoughts are that Mark should get a good nights sleep.
David, you have a good idea there. I think I'll try it this weekend.
-- Mark (email@example.com), March 20, 2004.
The two most recent annulment threads other than this one happened to have factual circumstances that would favor a Declaration of Nullity.
I believe the difficulty with this forum occurs when the outcome is not so straightforward. Even more difficult is when a sacramental marriage obviously exists, and the poster is seeking a justification for seeking annulment. Worst of all, is when they are seeking an illegitimate decree nullity.
These cases are not so easy. There are some here who are pro- affirmative for declaring nullity for the sake of compassion. In my experience and knowledge, people with this same predeliction make up the vast majority of judges at American diocese tribunals. On the other hand, there are those who stoically hold to living the truth, no matter how difficult. I'm amazed at how these two types of people conflict as they are both drawn to God, but in very different ways. There is one other type of person or poster, that appears to be driven more by pride than anything else. Lets leave that one alone.
So when the outcome comes that requires a less facile outcome, this is when the conflict arises. In this case, conflict is better than collegiality. It is far better that this forum presents comment and advice that conforms with Catholic Doctrine.
I also think that it should be left to the poster to decide whether to use their real name. I personally believe in trying to live an integrated life and have never written anything that I would be ashamed if another person read it. I can understand Frank's concern. But he's never walked a mile in my shoes so he doesn't know what I've experienced. In any outcome, I do not want my postings altered, including my name.
-- Pat Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2004.
Pat, I appreciate your comments. Please allow me to comment on a few points you made.
Why is the forum less effective when cases are “not so easy”? The purpose for the forum in annulment matters is not to render a decision on the application for annulment, is it? Isn’t that the Church’s responsibility? The purpose of the forum is not to sit in judgement with regards to a specific case based on the merits as they are presented to us, is it? Isn’t that for the Church to determine? Shouldn’t the function of forum participants in annulment matters be to provide factual information in a Christian/Catholic environment? If this is so, then the cases put before us that are not so clear cut, really shouldn’t affect how we assist posters. The problem with the forum in the past, in part, has been when individuals disagree about the validity of the marriage and the merits of the application for annulment, which really isn’t within our mandate to determine anyway. Even if, in everyone’s opinion, a sacramental marriage exists, is it within our authority to render a decision or opinion? If we do, what weight does it carry? If we do, does it carry sufficient weight for the applicant to withdraw their application for annulment? Of course not! So of what value is it? We are falling into the temptation of judging the merits of the application when in fact, that is the sole responsibility of Church. I have noticed that it is in these instances, when participants of the forum disagree about what the outcome of the application should be, that discord and friction have arisen. Perhaps the solution to correct this problem would be to prohibit posts that give an opinion on what the outcome of the application should be, or on what the present status of the marriage is (ie. whether a sacramental marriage exists or not). Perhaps our comments should be confined to factual information, references to proper Church authorities and support.
If judges in American tribunals in your opinion are “pro-affirmative for declaring nullity for compassion” that really shouldn’t be a concern of this forum should it? Shouldn’t that concern be brought to the attention of the USCCB for examination since they oversee the process? Should our criticism of the American annulment process be brought into a dialogue we are having with a particular poster concerning a particular application for annulment? Aren’t we confusing our intent here in the forum to provide information with Christian love and support for those seeking annulments with our opinion of how effective we feel the American tribunal system really is vis-a-vis the Church’s teachings on annulment? What does it matter what we personally feel the outcome of any given application should be or how effective the tribunals are in their work, with respect to our conduct in this forum and what help and advice we give those who come here?
“So when the outcome comes that requires a less facile outcome, this is when the conflict arises. In this case, conflict is better than collegiality.” I don’t agree here Pat. You’re implying here that we must decide the outcome of the application and that if we disagree amongst ourselves it should be settled even if conflict is required. There is no need for conflict in my opinion since we have not been charged with the responsibility of determining if the application does or does not “require a less facile outcome” or that in order to be able to even give advice we must first determine or anticipate what the outcome will be. That is for the Church to decide, not us. Addtionally, if we don't carry our comments to the point of speculating what the outcome should be, if we keep our comments limited to the areas of advice and support, then conflict shouldn't arise.
“It is far better that this forum presents comment and advice that conforms with Catholic Doctrine.” I totally agree on this point. But that’s where it should end, shouldn’t it? Is it incumbent upon us to then proceed to pronounce a decision based on what we feel the outcome should be? I don’t think so. I don’t think it is within our responsibility to go that far.
“I also think that it should be left to the poster to decide whether to use their real name.” I believe Frank suggested exactly that - that no real names should be changed without the permission of the poster. I just don’t particularly agree on Frank’s point of suggesting the Moderator do this however, since it creates more work for him. I also feel that anyone who enters the Internet, can find this forum and figure out how to ask a question on it, should already be aware of the dangers such actions expose them to.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 20, 2004.
I have not posted here in quite awhile and plan to make this a rare comment.
In the case I am intimately familiar with and comment on with personal and factual knowledge it is very clear that the interest of those who have anything to do with either the annulment decisions on the Rotal level or below or with the Bishops responsible for either of the parties involved is not justice.
Even in the face of overwhelming evidence of violations of Canon Law by clerics, Canonists and lay parties to the process there is no, absolutely no, pursuit of accountability. It is a corrupted process beyond any excuses that Paul the liberal moderator or Fr. Mike the Canonist may put forth. For the record, I have respect for Fr. Mike.
I would gladly testify before any formal inquiry in the Church, controlled by layity outside the control of the Church, regarding my personal knowledge of the corruption I have seen. The Catholic Church is too corrupt to police itself on this issue.
In my opinion, the Church, while it eventually arrived at the truth, destroyed a Sacrament in the process, accepts and encourages adultery and civil remarriages, and cares not a squat about those adversely effected by its actions. It has abandoned our children, me, my family and openly accepts the unrepentant adulterous criminals, who continue to persecute me and my family, and who publicly represent themselves as a "Catholic married couple" on a daily basis in their Catholic parish with the full and open support of the local ordinary and the parish priest.
Go ahead and delete this truth.
-- Karl (Parkerkajwen@hotmail.com), March 20, 2004.
-some comments on some comments:
"Perhaps the solution to correct this problem would be to prohibit posts that give an opinion on what the outcome of the application should be, or on what the present status of the marriage is (ie. whether a sacramental marriage exists or not). Perhaps our comments should be confined to factual information, references to proper Church authorities and support."
I would suggest that as Catholics WE have a duty to uphold and respect marriage and ALWAYS presume the status of any marriage that has not been declared invalid by the proper authority as a valid marriage; additionally, anything else -such as an invalid 2nd 'marriage', relationship etc is objectively invalid and sinful. The message is Truth always no matter...
"If judges in American tribunals in your opinion are “pro- affirmative for declaring nullity for compassion” that really shouldn’t be a concern of this forum should it? Perhaps by rephrasing the question another perspective becomes illuminated -if marriages are being sytematically destroyed by a faulty process instead of given opportunity to be reconciled with God's grace is it a concern of Catholics? Concern does not warrant wrongdoing but should warrant discussion and even outcry...
Shouldn’t that concern be brought to the attention of the USCCB for examination since they oversee the process? Should our criticism of the American annulment process be brought into a dialogue we are having with a particular poster concerning a particular application for annulment?
The USCCB does not oversee the process AT ALL -it is a nameless body with no authority on the matter...
I assume the intent to be providing Truth (Catholic teaching etc as determined by the Magesterium). Truth -not opinion -- Truth for all including those seeking tribunal investigation of thier marriage...
Is there a topic that Catholic's should avoid -one too controversial - one that Truth does not adequately address? Should the Truth be unwelcome if intent is questionable? Truth stands alone -no realtive justification, no merit calculation, no debate -just obedient acceptance....
-- Daniel Hawkenberry (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2004.
Ed., Very well said.
I have posted rarely, of late.
We have debated the Declaration on Nullity issue countless times.
The tribunals are doing a job many of us would not want.
Can you imagine holding a person's future in your hands?
Compassion is the key. If one is trying to reconcile with God and with the Church, all help should be given.
Humans sin. Most sins cannot be reversed.
I'm very sure a lot of people told Jesus that the woman caught in adultery should have been stoned -- according to the law.
Should we welcome people back into the Body of Christ, or should we punish them and tell them they are not worthy of being in OUR Church?
-- john placette (email@example.com), March 20, 2004.
Hi Karl, I would normally delete your post (you can’t call the Catholic Church corrupt and get away with it, at least not in here you can’t). I feel however, it’s in the best interest of this discussion to let it stand for now while we wade through this topic and see if we can’t come up with solutions to what some perceive is the problem when dealing with annulment questions. I also realize you have a deep personal interest in this topic and feel quite strongly about what you are saying.
Whether I agree with you or not is not the issue. This forum was not created to pass judgment on how corrupt the Church is, or is not, when dealing with annulment applications. This forum’s purpose as our rules explain is, “to provide Catholics with an opportunity for discussions that will contribute to the deepening of our knowledge and the strengthening our faith; and secondarily, to provide non- Catholics an opportunity to ask sincere questions about the beliefs and practices of Catholicism, in a courteous Christian atmosphere.” This clearly indicates to me that to criticize the efficiency of the annulment process is not our responsibility, it’s not within the mandate expressed above. Such criticism should be brought to the attention of those who control the process so that if there is a problem, something can be done about it.
Your entire post deals not with what we’re discussing here - problems in the forum, but rather with how ineffectual the annulment process is in the Church. Some have complained here in the forum that far too many annulment threads lately have been derailed because your reaction and the similar reaction of others have dominated each and every thread, in much the same way it has here.
Hi Daniel, I agree with you. All marriages should be presumed valid by us until proven otherwise by a proper authority. As to condemning invalid second marriages as sinful, I prefer to leave that up to God. I am not prepared to sit in judgement of someone who comes to the forum looking for advice and guidance. We can certainly explain how the annulment process works and the criteria required, however, I feel it is not within our parameters to comment on the validity of any particular marriage based on the facts as they are presented here in the forum. If you think tribunals aren’t doing the job adequately, how can you expect us to be effective in this regard given the scant bit of information usually provided to us.
Assuming everyone agrees with you (by the way, so far, I’ve only read of two other individuals who do agree with you of the many who visit the forum), that marriages are being systematically destroyed as you say, by a faulty process, I don’t think the ideal venue for exposing such an injustice is this forum. The problem should be addressed to the powers that control such a process. It’s been my observation that to debate this issue in a thread here in the forum accomplishes only one thing - destruction of any possibility of constructive help and advice for the original poster as his/her thread deteriorates into an argument about the validity of the process. Sure as Catholics, we should get concerned when we identify injustices, but once identified, these matters should be referred to the proper authorities for their examination. The forum is here to answer questions about the faith, not point out perceived flaws in the Church.
I wasn’t aware that the Catholic Church doesn’t “oversee the process”. That’s a new one on me. I was under the impression those who serve on tribunals were appointed by Catholic bishops who are members of the USCCB. I was under the impression the tribunals followed canon law in matters of annulments, a canon law that has been created by the Church. Anyone who is involved with the annulment process in the United States no matter who, is involved with the USCCB and the Church whether they like it or not. The entire process is Catholic-Church operated and one that was instituted by the Catholic Church. We can play with words all we want, but the reality is the Catholic Church’s annulment process was created and is managed by the Catholic Church.
There is no topic that is too controversial in my opinion to be discussed, however, there are topics that are forbidden for various other reasons. For example, posters are not allowed to disrespect the Church or Her representatives. Posters are not allowed to monopolize threads with personal feelings or agendas, with matters that do not pertain to the topic at hand, etc. Criticism of the Church will only be tolerated to a point. Posters are allowed to make their point provided it is done respectfully. Heaping a barrage of insults and criticism on the Church and accusing Her of unholy actions such as dishonesty and corruption will not be tolerated.
Hi John, I agree with you. I would not want the job of those who sit on tribunals. You’re quite correct, compassion is the key, particularly here in the forum. I don’t think it’s our position to sit in judgment based on what we are told. We should provide the best possible information we can, make suggestions and provide support; but it really isn’t within our mandate to pronounce judgement on anyone’s marital status. Nice hearing from you again John.
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2004.
It has been eons since I visited the forum, and it was this very topic which caused me to decide to go away..yesterday when I chose to visit again and read this post, I said to myself "AHA",here it is again..In the past, whenever some new person posted a question concerning annulment, and dared to bare their pain in doing so, many folks seemed to respond in the most curt ways possible..there were few words of kindness offered..replies were more in the vein of cool, businesslike answers. I wondered if people had any idea of how difficult it was for others to type the words explaining their situations, submit them, and then wait anxiously for responses? Surely a kind word wouldn't be out of order? Or even a few words of "welcome to the forum" !!!!! My own opinion was that there were perhaps people who had their own agenda regarding annulments (as in against them) and they were allowing this to spill over into their lack of Christian compassion for people posing annulment questions. Or...perhaps because there are so many annulment questions, people just get fed up with answering them....either way, I was totally turned off by the lack of Christian charity. That was then and this is now..sure hope the situation has improved.
-- Lesley (email@example.com), March 20, 2004.
"I'm very sure a lot of people told Jesus that the woman caught in adultery should have been stoned -- according to the law."
-john, you write incompletely -is this incompleteness for a reason - did Jesus imply that the woman did not sin, was not caught sinning and could continue sinning? Do you suggest that forgiveness is unconditional? Do we all go to heaven?
-- Daniel Hawkenberry (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2004.
I don't understand your post?
This forum never had a Moderator that let the forum be as you describe? Ed isn't going to be a "superman"! You are always going to have people disagree with you.
I have had many disagreements with Frank, but I will be the first to say that I never read him let someone be abused in an "annulment" thread. Paul never let people be abused either.
Maybe you want a "yes boy"?
God bless Emerald.
-- (David@excite.com), March 20, 2004.
Hi Lesley, welcome back. I am sorry to hear this topic drove you away from the forum in the first place. I agree with you there needs to be improvement in how we treat people who come to the forum seeking advice, counsel and support. We are trying to improve things here but as you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I don’t know if we can do much about your observation that answers in the past have been “cool, curt and businesslike". While providing good advice, after all, that’s what people come here for anyway, some people just can’t write compassionate feelings into their responses. For the most part though, we should be able to come up with a few Christians that can show empathy to those who come here for what they are going through and offer words of support and compassion. At the very least, we can certainly cut down on some of the abuse that takes place. I can assure you that won’t be tolerated. I can also assure you that derailment of threads, particularly for posters who are in dire need of help will not be permitted.
Lesley, why don’t you stick around and help us make things better? As Moderator, I would appreciate hearing from you in the future with regard to this topic, particularly when you read something that offends you. I would rather have that, than have you leave the forum again.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 21, 2004.
Thank you Ed...you are,indeed,a kind soul. I guess my philosophy is that we should rejoice, truly rejoice, everytime we encounter a person who wishes to return to the fullness of the Church.. For those who didn't understand my post, allow me to clarify: when people ask a question here, especially one involving annulment of previous marriage/s, often it is very painful for them to do so. Naturally they hope to hear that in their case, all will be well and in the opinion of the nice people on the forum an annulment will be granted easily..no problem. Then they can re-marry and go on with their lives. Slam dunk. If we put ourselves in their shoes for just a moment then, how would we like to hear the news that it's NOT an easy process at all and that with rare exceptions it's unlikely that anyone on the forum can tell you with any certainty IF an annulment will be granted? In the past, heartfelt posts were answered by oneliners such as "see a priest"..period. Great advice, but not exactly worded in such a way that would encourage a fallen away person to actually carry through with it. Also in the past, folks would zero in on posters who weren't attending Mass and asking about annulments.."why ask about annulment if you're not even a practicing Catholic"? to me, this kind of attack ensures that they will will stay where they are..a fallen-away Catholic. The very idea that they're interested in the annulment process says they are being drawn back to the Church..why would we want to chase them away by OUR lack of charity? Anyway, that was my point. And no, I don't need everyone to agree with me..I'm quite happy holding my own point of view, because there is never such as thing as too much Christian charity. Thanks again Ed and I will stick around..
-- lesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 21, 2004.
The problem that the stoic-types, myself included, have identified is that there is a pro-affirmative mentality at work at diocesan tribunals. The mentality is so pervasive that many valid sacramental marriages are being erroneously declared null. This is particularly evident under cases investigated and decided based on Canon 1095 of the most recent code of Canon Law.
These same cases, if presented to the Rota for an objective analysis, would be declared valid. In other words, the sacrament of marriage is not protected by these tribunals. The affirmance rate for Canon 1095 cases appealed to the Rota from American diocese tribunals is less than 5%.
This is a source of great conflict on this forum. Its basically a contest between truth and compassion. Other types get involved from time to time.
-- Pat Delaney (email@example.com), March 21, 2004.
“There is a pro-affirmative at work at diocesan tribunals”. Isn’t the jury still out on this Pat? What you and 2 others in this forum have perceived as a great travesty in the Church has gone for the most part, undetected by the rest of knowledgeable Catholics in the forum and anywhere else for that matter. It is no coincidence, in my opinion, that all three of you feel this way, as all of you have had unpleasant, unfavourable decisions rendered against you. All of this aside, is this the place or venue to discuss what you perceive to be a major problem in the Church? Aren’t there proper authorities to refer this matter to? Should we instead clutter up someone’s personal thread who is looking for guidance and support in this area?
If many others feel as you do, that these cases would be reversed if presented to the Rota, then why haven’t they been? If there is such a miscarriage of justice presently why is there such a low rate of appeal? Are more and more people becoming aware of this problem as your are? Are there more cases now being referred to the Rota then ever before in order to right this travesty? Has the Rota ruled lately to reverse an inordinate amount of annulments that have been granted at the diocesan tribunal level? If they have, are they taking steps to correct such errors in the future? With all due respect Pat, shouldn’t you and others like you who are concerned about this problem be talking to the Church rather than to us?
It’s okay to make the forum aware of what an individual perceives is a wrong in the Church, but to dominate a particular topic for months is going to extremes it seems to me. This problem has been allowed to fester far too long. It’s gotten to the point now, where people are leaving the forum and not returning. It’s not that they haven’t heard your message, it’s quite the opposite. They’ve heard it over and over and over again, until finally they can’t take anymore and so, they leave. I don’t agree with you this is a source of great conflict in the forum. I would prefer to say that it HAS been a great source of conflict in the forum in the past. As of today, I foresee no further problems in this area.
It has become quite clear to me what the problem is in the area of annulments in the forum. For too long we have allowed some individuals to overrun threads with their own personal grievances. Posters have been discouraged from participating since topics are quickly turned into a debate about whether the Church is handling the annulment process in America competently or not. Criticism has been permitted to the point where Bishops are now heretics and the Church is now full of corruption. It think we have been more than lenient and tolerant in providing ample time for those to air their grievances. The criticism now borders on Church disobedience and insubordination. Comments levelled here in the forum against the Church who cannot defend herself, is unfair. If anyone feels the problem is that endemic and woven into the very fabric of the American Church, than perhaps it should be taken up with someone who has the power to deal with it. Destroying threads here with this lament will not accomplish a whole lot accept to destroy what little bit of interest we have left in those who come to the forum for advice and counsel on annulment matters.
From this point forward I will not permit annulment threads to be taken over by certain individuals for the expressed purpose of promoting personal views and/or agendas. If anyone has a problem with the process itself, let them appeal to Church authorities for resolution. In addition, I will discourage anyone from passing judgement on those who come here for assistance. If, in my opinion, someone has crossed the line in either regard, I will delete the offending post and advise them accordingly. The real travesty in all of this is not utilizing the talent we have available in the forum for annulment questions, such as yourself, to the fullest. I have noticed the level of expertise in this area is incredible. Hopefully, we can put some of it to good use in the not too distant future.
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 21, 2004.
Ed, thank you.
Daniel, You know as well as I that Jesus told the woman, "Go and sin no more".
But, I'm sure there were people who told Him, "The law said she should have been stoned, so she should have been stoned".
I think my message was clear. And I didn't post to enter a debate.
Today's Gospel is the parable of the prodigal son, or rather...The Boundless Love of the Father.
-- john placette (email@example.com), March 21, 2004.
Thank you Ed.. Truth is of the utmost importance...always. Truth shared in a compassionate manner is still truth.
-- Lesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 21, 2004.
You ask a lot of rhetorical questions, but here goes. I don't know any HTML so I'll type my response in CAPS, not for emphasis, but that it will be easier to read.
Isn’t the jury still out on this Pat? NO, THE JURY IS THE ROTA AND THEY REVERSE THE AMERICAN DIOCESAN TRIBUNALS 95-98% OF THE TIME IN CANON 1095 APPEALS. THIS ACCOUNTS FOR ALMOST ALL APPEALS TO THE ROTA FROM THE US AND CANON 1095 CASES ARE 70% OF ALL ANNULMENT GRANTED IN THE US.
What you and 2 others in this forum have perceived as a great travesty in the Church has gone for the most part, undetected by the rest of knowledgeable Catholics MOST PEOPLE DON'T GET EXPOSED TO THIS ED, IT ONLY COMES UP IN A BIG WAY IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE ONE OF THE UNLUCKY PERSONS AS A RESPONDENT, USUALLY TO A SPOUSE WHO WILLFULLY DESERTED THEIR MARRIAGE AND WANTS TO APPROACH THE TRIBUNAL TO ABSOLVE THEM OF THEIR GUILT. It is no coincidence, in my opinion, that all three of you feel this way, as all of you have had unpleasant, unfavourable decisions rendered against you. ED, YOURE SMART AND I'M GLAD YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE ENGAGING BUT YOURE NOT A MIND-READER, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO GRIEVANCE. I SIMPLY HAVE FOUND THAT GOD HAS PUT ME IN AN UNUSULA LIFE CIRCUMSTANCE All of this aside, is this the place or venue to discuss what you perceive to be a major problem in the Church? YES, THE NUMBER OF ILLEGITIMATE ANNULMENTS BEING PASSED OUT IS A CENTRAL PROBLEM IN THE OUR CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY. OUR AMERICAN CHURCH IS EMBRACING THE WESTERN CULTURE OFDIVORCE AND SELFISM, THE PROBLEM IS FAR MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN THE HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIVIDUAL PRIESTS. Aren’t there proper authorities to refer this matter to? THE HOLY FATHER IS DOING WHAT HE CAN, HE DOES NOT WANT A SCHISM TO OCCUR BETWEEN ROME AND THE DIOCESE IN THE UNITED STATES (WHICH AT ONE POINT WAS A SIGNIFICANT POSSIBILITY). THE HOLY FATHER IS GRADUALLY REPLACING THOSE BISHOPS IN OUR COUNTRY WITH INEFFECTIVE POLICIES. Should we instead clutter up someone’s personal thread who is looking for guidance and support in this area? I DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING EXCEPT WHEN THE PRIDEFUL STEP IN TO BLOW AND BLUSTER. If many others feel as you do, that these cases would be reversed if presented to the Rota, then why haven’t they been? MOST PEOPLE DO NOT APPEAL THEIR CASES AS THEY DON'T WANT IT EXAMINED OR THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW THEIR OPTIONS. THE OPTION TO APPEAL THE CASE TO ROME WAS NEVER EXPLAINED TO ME AND WHEN I SOUGHT GUIDANCE FROM THE TRIBUNAL, THEY REFUSED TO RESPOND. If there is such a miscarriage of justice presently why is there such a low rate of appeal? THE APPEAL RATE TO THE ROTA HAS SKYROCKETED 400% IN THE PAST 10 YEARS. THE ANNUAL NUMBER OF ANNULMENTS IN THE PAST TWENTY YEARS HAS STAYED THE SAME. SOMETHING APPEARS TO BE HAPPENING HERE. Are more and more people becoming aware of this problem as your are? YES, THROUGH VENUES SUCH AS THIS. THERE WAS ROBERT VASOLIS'S BOOK, THERE WAS ALSO SHIELA KENNEDY'S BOOK. Are there more cases now being referred to the Rota then ever before in order to right this travesty? YES, SEE ABOVE. Has the Rota ruled lately to reverse an inordinate amount of annulments that have been granted at the diocesan tribunal level? YES, THEY REVERSE AMERICAN DIOCESE TRIBINALS 95-98% OF THE TIME WHICH IS SCANDALOUS. A NORMAL REVERSAL RATE BY ANY APPELLATE COURT IS LESS THAN 40%. ATES HIGHER THAN THIS SIGNIFY JUDICIAL ABIUSE BY LOWER COURTS. THUS A REVERSAL RATE OF 95-98% IS ASTOUNDING. If they have, are they taking steps to correct such errors in the future? AGAIN, THEY ARE DOING WHAT THEY CAN. THE TRIBUNALISTS IN THE U.S. DO NOT ADVERTIZE THIS DIFFERENCES THEY HAVE WITH THE HOLY FATHER ON THE PROPER APPLICATION OF CANON LAW IN MARRIAGE CASES. THERE IS NO DIRECT JUDICIAL OVERVIEW OF THE DIOCESAN TRIBUNALS EXCEPT BY ROTA REVIEW AND THE EVIDENCE IN MARRIAGE CASES IS KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. THE APPEAL PROCESS IN THE U.S. IS MEANING LESS. THE AMERICAN APPEALS TRIBUNALS AFFIRM THE LOWER TRIBUNAL'S DECISION 99% OF THE TIME. TYHE SAME CASE IF APPEALLED TO THE ROTA GETS REVERSED 95-98% OF THE TIME. THIS IS THE SCANDAL. With all due respect Pat, shouldn’t you and others like you who are concerned about this problem be talking to the Church rather than to us? I HAVE APPROACHED THE BISHOP IN MY DIOCESE BUT HE HAS REFUSED TO ENTERTAIN ANY DIOLOGUE. OTHERS HERE WHO HAVE TRIED TO APPROACH THEIR BISHOP ON THIS TYPE OF PROBLEM HAVE HAD SIMILAR OUTCOMES.
END CAPS I myself Ed have appealed my case to Rome. I am writing a couple articles and am working on a book to catalogue Rotal Jurisprudence. I don't believe I'm haranguing anyone Ed. When the topic pops up, I drop my two cents. If some one chooses to tell me I'm mistaken, I point out why I think they are in error.
Would you prefer that I no longer post on the topic?
-- Pat Delaney (email@example.com), March 21, 2004.
Hi Pat, you’ve certainly given me a lot to chew on. Without challenging your very impressive numbers which seem to point out a glaring problem in the American Church, I will concede to the following: In excess of 60,000 annulments are granted in the United States each year (1996), these make up 2/3 of all annulments granted around the world. Currently 90% per cent of all applications for annulments in the United Sates are granted. I haven’t been able to confirm your extraordinarily high figure that 95-98% of all “Canon 1095" cases, which comprise of 70% of all annulments granted, are reversed by the Rota. I will concede that a major concern exists by many Catholics that the American tribunal system is not functioning in the way the Church intended. I too, am aware that even Pope John Paul II has expressed alarm at the high number of annulments in the United States.
Now, having said all of that, what does it have to do with someone who comes to the forum seeking information, guidance and support about an impending anticipated annulment application? Every organization functions for a purpose. Every successful organization has a mission statement. Our forum’s mission statement is as follows: “The purpose of this forum is to provide Catholics with an opportunity for discussions that will contribute to the deepening of our knowledge and the strengthening our faith; and secondarily, to provide non-Catholics an opportunity to ask sincere questions about the beliefs and practices of Catholicism, in a courteous Christian atmosphere.”
The key words in our mission statement that apply to this discussion is “provide Catholics with an opportunity”. Too often when threads are taken over by topics not directly to do with what the original poster intended, the discussion soon breaks down into a pro/con debate about why the Church is wrong in doing what She is doing in a given circumstance. The thread is eventually so convoluted that the original petition for help is thrown by the wayside and full blown war is declared as the two sides firmly settle in for an epic battle. All or most opportunity for the original poster to get help is lost. This is not what our forum is all about. Our mission statement clearly indicates we are here to inform and assist those who have questions about the faith. We are not here to judge how effective the Church is in certain areas. We are not here to judge the merits of any given pending annulment application. We are not here to judge anyone’s marital status. That is un-Christian.
I am even quite open to beginning new threads to discuss the problem of the American annulment process, however, it’s been my experience those who debate this issue are so emotionally charged from their own personal past experience and from their frustration at the speed in which change is taking place that the discussion soon takes the form of disrespectful criticism of the Church - something which is not permitted here. I’ve noticed the same problem exists with Traditionalists, born-again Protestant evangelists, Catholic bashers, etc. who visit the forum - anyone who has a personal axe to grind. It’s okay to put your two cents in, but it’s not okay to take over this orthodox Catholic forum and flood it with a barrage of comments dealing with criticism of the Church and/or one’s personal agenda.
Pat, I’ve looked up the definition of “haranguing”. It is as follows: "1.) A long pompous speech, especially one delivered before a gathering. 2.) A speech or piece of writing characterized by strong feeling or expression; a tirade." I will not accuse you personally of “haranguing” although to express a strong feeling bordering on the verge of tirade certainly has been in evidence here in the forum the past few months by many. It is this very characteristic in posting that I will be on the lookout for in the future. This sort of response in threads has been driving participants away from the forum as witnessed above by what Lesley has said and it has to be addressed.
Finally, to the last question you posed and probably the most important. I think that if you were to cease from posting in this forum, the forum would lose one of its finest minds and one of its most fervent Catholic defenders. I hope you stick around for a long, long time. My intent is not to send people away, especially you, but rather to foster a friendly Christian environment where individuals feel welcome to discuss the Faith.
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 22, 2004.
Sounds to me like a turn for the better on this forum. But you sure are taking on a lot of work.
One thing I would watch for is when true dialogue (i.e., constructive discussion) in any thread degenerates into ad hominem attacks. Regularly, when the prideful realize their position is untenable, they can turn quite ugly. Things get worse if the other side has a thin skin. In my experience this is the real problem.
In my opinion, the best rule of thumb is to let disagreement blossom in any thread as long as the truth is sought. But as soon as courtesy and respect are abandoned by any party, particularly when sarcasm is delivered baldly or inter-woven into a substantive response, that whole response should be deleted. That sarcasm is there for one reason, ...to ignite emotion and to promote degeneracy because the prideful realize they have promoted a losing position and want to pollute the thread.
Thanks also for the kind words. The article, whenever I finish it, will be will be well footnoted to support the above figures, and other salient points.
God bless you,
-- Pat Delaney (email@example.com), March 22, 2004.
Pat, I agree with you about your views on sarcasm. I also look forward to reading your article some day when completed. At least you're doing something constructively about what you feel is an injustice in the Church. I admire your passion to protect the integrity of the Faith.
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 22, 2004.