"ADVENT EMBER SATURDAY" Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Toronto

Monday, 21 September 2015

Canonists speak out on Pope Francis' actions!

Full disclosure; your writer was granted a Decree of Nullity from the Tribunal in the Archdiocese of Toronto, therefore, what I write below is not to be construed as hypocrisy. The annulment was based on a Defect of Canonical Form, it was clear and precise and without question. It took nearly two years (because I was slow). It was not "painful" nor was it "humiliating" nor did it cost a lot of money. I recall that it was somewhere around $900 in three instalments as charitable donations for which tax receipts were issued. If I could not make a donation, it did not stop the process. It was thorough and detailed, witnesses were called and in the end, when the judge determined the issue of lack of form, it could have been decided in ten minutes! C'est la vie!

I didn't cry about it or whine about it. That time was good for me. It taught me patience and opened me up to God's possibilities for me. I didn't demand anything of the Church and I didn't whine about how mean She was. Had it been denied, I would have simply accepted it.

It was not a sacramental marriage, but it was a natural marriage and the fact that it was not sacramental did not necessarily invalidate it. That was not a criteria for considering the defect and I was told this clearly by the Auditor. There were other factors that could have been considered then, perhaps, other than the defect in Form. Under Pope Francis' changes to the annulment procedures, it would have been a slam dunk, notwithstanding the clear defect in form.

I do not support these changes. Not that the Bishop of Rome cares one bit about what I think. Having been through the process I find the whole debate about it insulting and manipulating. 

Marriage must always be presumed to be valid. Lack of faith. of one party to the marriage, must never be a consideration. The Church has always presumed validity of all marriages because marriage existed before the Church and in every culture. It was the Church that elevated it to a Sacrament - a Sacrament exchanged by the man and woman. The Pope may say in one breath that the doctrine is upheld, but the actions of this motu proprio do not support it.

The Pope cannot control what a bishop might do and whether or not he gives blanket approval to any case put before him. The issue of nullity is not an issue of mercy. It is an issue of law precisely because of the upholding of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. This is not the place for sentimentalism and emotionalism.  

Rorate Caeli blog has an important post to read with critical links to the commentary of some important canonists

I dare say that under this initiative of Francis, even Henry VIII would have been granted an Decree of Nullity to marry the whore Anne Boleyn and betray his true wife, Catherine of Aragon with Francis' blessing. Clearly, St Thomas More's martyrdom must have been for nought.  

Will the Pope head the advice or will he barrel ahead defying the whole notion of Vatican II collegiality?

How sadly ironic, eh?


Nat Ons said...

'This meant that Bishops had to act according to the law, in fact they were protected by the law, they could hide behind the law and one of the purposes of the law is for the weak to hide behind it.' Fr Ray Blake, Mary Magdalen Blog.

God bless you, VC; as ever a sterling witness to the Faith.

'The Pope cannot control what a bishop might do and whether or not he gives blanket approval to any case put before him. The issue of nullity is not an issue of mercy. It is an issue of law precisely because of the upholding of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. This is not the place for sentimentalism and emotionalism.'

Empathy with those in doubt as to their marriage, not least under the dire care of so many pastors, yes, but the false humility of Uriah Heep, or Pope Francis, and the vain mercy of Cranmer, or Cardinal Kasper, no.


What still awaits the proper attention of faithful, orthodox and trustworthy pastors is the reality of a decades long, pastor-led, Mass Apostasy from the Faith .. and how to deal with it, in Rome's accustomed manner - with genuine tender kindness, not regulation alone.

'O Lion of Judah, do Thou listen to Thy beloved Mother, and rise to protect us - not least from the well-intended waywardness of those allotted to govern Thy People.'


Anonymous said...

Could you explain why you feel Henry the VIII would have received an annulment under the new rules? My understanding is the standard of nullity was not changed...only the procedures required to arrive that conclusion.

Vox Cantoris said...

I'm being flippant. It's to highlight the point that he has, in fact, watered down the requirements for some that outside of "defect in canonical form" which can be determined fairly quickly, other factors are now entering in such as "lack of faith" or "pregnancy before marriage." This is a disgrace. Further, by giving the power directly to the bishop and in as little as three months if both parties agree, the door for abuse is wide open.

Given the circumstances today, Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon could received a more favourable hearing, except for one case, the Pope permitted the marriage in the first place by dispensation because Catherine was Henry's sister-in-law of his late brother. No Pope could go back on his previous decision. But if not for that, no problem.

James S. said...

"It was the Church that elevated it to a Sacrament..."

## I thought *only Christ* could institute sacraments. I have never heard it said, except as an example of error, that the power *of the Church* extended to this. Has there been some change in doctrine, and if so, why ?

*IIRC*, it is possible for the Church to alter *some* aspects of a sacrament, like its matter - but not to institute (or abolish) sacraments: that is exclusively a Dominical act, and wholly beyond the competence of the Church.