Karl wrote, in part, in a comment that I have since deleted:
I am a former Catholic due to the liberal practices of the Catholic Church regarding marriage, divorce, adultery, nullity…
Do not be sure of the nullity of your marriage unless Rome renders the decision.
American Canonists are notoriously liberal.
The Catholic Church accepts my wife and her lover as a couple in your neck of the woods in North Carolina, in spite of two Roman Rotal decisions holding our marriage as valid. So the priests ignore them and tell my wife she just could not prove it.
She could not prove it BECAUSE it IS VALID!
So, I left the Catholic Church, after seventeen years of asking it to ACT to help heal our sacrament, which is a real joke about these things.
You can be nearly certain that you will obtain nullity, but you are gambling with your salvation so its up to you. Send it to Rome to be sure, no matter how long it takes or what it costs.
Just my two bits, as a lifelong Catholic, I am 53 now, who knows what truth means.
This is not said to hurt you. I care. How many men do you know who remain faithful to their adulterous spouse because they meant their vows? I am eighteen years abandoned but I meant what I said. But the Catholic Church mocks my faithfulness. I will remain faithful to her as well, I just cannot live with her either.
God be with you,
So wrote Karl in a comment to my post on my nullity process. I deleted his comment from that page because he went on to add potentially identifying information of his former wife. In fact, the more I think of it (this is my 3d edit of this post) the more I am certain that I am acquainted with his ex-wife.
First of all, I think it’s incredibly arrogant to presume to know more than Mother Church. Sinfully arrogant.
Secondly, in very general principle, one must remember that civil law, which governs divorce, has been almost chokingly rigid until only about twenty-five years ago. People could not leave marriages without visual evidence of adultery – either photographic, or the testimony of a professional investigator. Non-support, violence, innumerable acts that made life burdensome and insupportable were difficult and humiliating to testify to, publicly; many people simply endured rather than air their dirty laundry in open court.
What people like our friend Karl, here, must ask himself is how many men and women were in canonically invalid marriages that Civil law would not allow them to escape? How many arranged marriages, for example, undertaken under coercion rather than free will, occurred in past eras? Marriages between members of royalty, for example, were often politically expedient rather than ecclesially cherished.
Less generally, Karl seems to think that his conduct after the marriage should have validated the marriage; however, it is issues existing at the time of the wedding that determine the validity of a marriage. We see, in a link Karl provided and which I have deleted in order to protect the parties, a nominally Catholic couple, both strong-willed and unwilling to consider wiser counsel; engaging in sexual relations prior to their marriage and, in fact, the ex-wife was pregnant at the time of the marriage – all issues which would hinder a full understanding and ability to enter into a sacramental marriage. In fact, the “lack of discretion” issue seems well-established in the testimony, based upon that engagement history – although the Roman Rota declared on April 17, 1997, that nullity could not be proven based upon the evidence.
Note: Nullity was not denied; it was simply held as not affirmed. Thus, Karl and his ex-wife are in a sort of nullity netherworld – and he is right in stating that his ex-wife was in serious error to have remarried under these conditions.
Now, Karl has asserted in his message that the priests of the Raleigh diocese are ignoring this decision and accepting his ex-wife and her “lover.” If this is the woman that I believe it is, there is more to the story than Karl has included in his passionate narrative. She may not be presenting herself for Communion, she and her husband may be living together as brother and sister… there are several factors here that we are not told, nor is it, for present discussion, any of our cotton-picking business.
However, the fact is that Karl has left the Church – and although he says he left because of this nullity issue, the testimony bears out that the couple were not very serious about the Faith prior to the marriage and had, in fact, united with a nonCatholic religion during the marriage. This fact makes me sad; it seems to me that this decision is a self-centered bit of a temper-tantrum.
Karl is accountable to God. The Catholic Church is the One True Church, established by Our Lord while he was upon the earth. The Church is God’s instrument, and it is incumbent upon Karl to reconcile himself to the Church, and not to be distracted by his former wife’s choices, nor to use them as his thin excuse for his own rebellion.
Come on Home, Karl. Let go, detach, from your former wife’s choices, and fling yourself into the great and gracious arms of Grace.