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Monday 26 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Joachim and Anne

Should You Try to Get an Annulment, Even If You Don’t Need One?

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/30/16

Short answer, from Scott Eric Alt, yes:

Filling out all the paperwork to petition the Tribunal was an emotional ordeal of its own, because the questions (at least on the long form I used) feel very invasive. I didn’t want to say all that. Still less did I want to receive the editing directions from the procurator and re-say all that. Why read that mess again? There was this sin, there was that sin, we did and said this while we were dating, there was much stupidness: It’s more detailed than the confessional. It was a great pain to remember what I meant to forget.

But out of all that I noted a curious thing: In what I wrote, I talked a great deal more about my sins than K’s. I said what I needed to, but see this here that I did — I am the wretched and awful person in this.

It was an examination of all the ways I had failed that I have never forgotten because, more than showing me my failures, it showed me how I could change. And it showed me that I could change. And I stopped even remembering how K. had wronged me. I learned to forgive.

Read on to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his divorce and annulment.

Speaking from my own experience—from years serving as an advocate for the Tribunal during the annulment process—I can say that all those who have completed the process have expressed gratitude and relief. It does demand that you take a hard look at your life, your choices, your circumstances—the person you were and the person you pray to become. You retrace mistakes made, and why—and as anyone who has spent time in a confessional knows, that’s never easy.

But there’s also this: even if you believe you’ll never remarry, you just never know.

I’ve handled several annulments for people who were divorced 30 or 40 years ago (once, even, 50 years ago) and as they try to put together the pieces of the past, and collect witnesses to give testimony, the job becomes more daunting. Old friends and family members have died or moved on, and there’s no way to contact them. Memories become hazy. Details become sketchy. Paperwork becomes harder to find. A challenging (and often time-consuming) undertaking becomes even more difficult.

Thinking about getting an annulment? Just do it. It’s not a simple process, but it’s always worth it.  You’ll feel a lot better when it’s done.

Photo: Pixabay

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