Poof! My 26-year marriage disappeared

Can a “religious tribunal” nullify a marriage, especially one that lasted 26 years and produced three children? Apparently, the Roman Catholic Church thinks so. (Image from Adobe Stock)

I opened the mail this week to discover that 26 years and two days of my life had disappeared. Poof. Evaporated. It never happened.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee officially annulled my marriage. Legally, it ended April 15, 2010. But, according to some religious tribunal, it ended in God’s eyes on March 5, 2020.

Ecclesiastically free?

The decree I received from the archdiocese informed me that “both parties are declared ecclesiastically free in accordance with the prescriptions of the sacred canons and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Premarital counseling

Before we could get married, I had to agree to premarital counseling. Not both of us, just me. Why? Because I was not Catholic.

An “adulteress”

It could be that the Catholic church had left a bad taste in my wife’s mouth for many years after our wedding. Because we were married by a judge before we were married in a church, things got nasty.

It takes two to destroy a marriage

No marriage fails on the actions of just one person. A marriage involves two people, both of whom are sinners and often diametrically opposed to each other.

Unforgiveness and stubbornness

Regardless of what the Very Rev. Paul B.R. Hartmann, J.C.L., the judicial vicar, may think, it really does take two people to destroy a marriage, and a lot of unforgiveness and stubbornness on behalf of both parties to kill the relationship.

I write to ignite bored-again Christians and infuse them with God's kingdom power to become productive, passionate disciples of Jesus and live life to the full.

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