- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On April 23, 2018
If in your conscience, you know that it was a valid marriage, that’s the way you have to live.
Separated faithful spouses from four different states met in Philadelphia this past weekend at the “Day of Recollection and Conference on Matrimony: Rediscovering Its Truth.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, Fr. Gerald Murray, and the rector of the diocesan Cathedral gave presentations.
Below are some highlights.
At our exhibitor’s table, one priest was very interested in our True Marriage Proclamation set, that gives couples the opportunity to set their marriage apart from the states’ understanding of marriage that includes unilateral no-fault divorce. A young woman took copies of all our information because she said she wanted to do her master’s degree work on divorce.
In Cardinal Burke’s presentation, he opened by explaining that all the Catholic faithful have the duty to remind Church leaders of their errors. When talking about sentimentalism, he said that we are blocking a sinner from an encounter with Christ that could occur if we don’t be truthful about the fact that sin is occurring. Separated faithful Catholic spouses are aggrieved by sentimentalism. We hope other Catholics and Church leaders would inform abandoning spouses of the sin being committed, but we find Church leaders too many times only know about the supposed-healing that occurs by going through the annulment process.
Cardinal Burke touched on the possibility of abuse in the annulment process, but he is very careful and precise with his statements that were pre-written. Though the particular procedure for judging invalidity of marriage cases is not of divine law, he said the requirement to have a good process that discovers the truth is of divine law. He cautioned that changing a process that has been developed over centuries could be problematic because the changes could make the truth less likely to surface. From 1976 to 1983, he said the USA tribunals were allowed to modify the process, and during that time (for good reason) the process became known as catholic divorce.
One person from our group was able to speak with Cardinal Burke about a question that many face. We know that two previous Popes, and several bishops addressed the abuse of the annulment process. For example, Bishop Morlino in Madison, said to Raymond Arroyo on EWTN, “The annulment processes in the United State, honestly, have been abused for many years” (see Sept. 2015 here).
What are we supposed to tell our children (who challenge that we are not following the Church) if we disagree with a tribunal decision that our marriage is invalid? Cardinal Burke said a decree of invalidity is not infallible, and that a party can always contest it.
video transcribed below
I know I have valid marriage and need to live my sacramental marriage. But what do I tell my children (y’know) “why aren’t I following the church when the Church grants an annulment”? Because there are abuses [if you live in one of those diocese] if you live in one of those diocese, and I know it was a valid marriage.
Cardinal Raymond Burke:
All you can say to your children what is your own conviction, and that you have to live according to your conscience. And that also, that the process for the declaration of nullity is not an infallible process. The judge makes the decision with moral certitude–that is–that for him there hasn’t been brought forth anything reasonable against the nullity of the marriage.
But/ A declaration of nullity of marriage can–in the Church’s law–be contested, always contested, simply because we know that it is not a divinely inspired decision. [They do it] The judges, and everyone, they do their best. [But] So, if in your conscience, you know that it was a valid marriage, that’s the way you have to live.
Mary’s Advocates shows separated faithful how to uphold their procedural right of defense in cases challenging the validity of their marriage.