Sentence first; verdict afterwards.

SkylerWurden scoffed at my assertion that the 70 fold increase in RCC annulments in the US after the 1960s* represents a important shift in RCC thinking on the permanence of marriage.  He revised his calculations several times, but he seems to have finally landed at an estimate that around 7% of Catholic marriages end up being annulled.  Yet the crux of his argument remained the same.  There are simply too few annulments in the US to have a meaningful impact:

This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read period and easily rhe dumbest thing Dalrock has ever written.

1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. In 2007 there were 58,322 annulments, worldwide.

Round that up to 60 thousand.

60 thousand is .00005% of 1.2 billion.

So the scourge of ‘Catholic divorce’ currently affects .00005% of worldwide Catholics yearly. It’s an epidemic! A terrible tidal wave sweeping across Catholicism! Look at those numbers and weep in despair!

Seriously, this is retarded.

Yes, it is definitely retarded.

Also, another correction!!!!

Catholic “divorce” (Annulment) rate is actually closer to 7%

Leaving the question of the actual percentage aside, the problem with his argument is that the US annulment tribunals have by decades of practice taught all American Catholics that a very large percentage of what they think are marriages aren’t actually binding.  More specifically, the lesson that has been taught is that your own marriage might not actually be a marriage at all, and your vows are only binding if you think they are binding.  This of course fits right in with our divorce revolution, as nearly every divorcée will be quick to assure you that her divorce wasn’t a “real” divorce, because her marriage was never a “real” marriage in the first place.

Even worse, the RCC teaches that annulments merely are a formal recognition that the marriage never was binding. They aren’t “granting” an annulment, they are investigating and then declaring what was always true.  Getting an annulment is merely a formality. As others pointed out on the same post, many divorced Catholics simply marry again outside the RCC. The explosion in annulments hasn’t just destabilized the marriages of 7% of Catholics. It has destabilized the marriages of all Catholics.

But SkylerWurden denies this as well:

That’s just poor theological understanding. The marriage is assumed valid until “proven” otherwise. The divorcee can say they don’t think marriage is permanent all they want now, what matters is what they thought about it on the day of their marriage. If a person never intended to keep the vow, then God didn’t consecrated the vow. That seems pretty simple and straightforward to me. That doesn’t destroy the Catholic marriage or add instability, it just recognizes the destruction that already occurred: if people treat marriage like a 7-year shack-up then God isn’t going to call it marriage and neither is the Church. Nor should they.

Technically he is correct, the stated position of the US tribunals is that a marriage is presumed valid until it is proven otherwise**.  But in practice (in the US and most countries) the tribunals betray the opposite belief.  If one party to a marriage believes the marriage isn’t valid, the tribunal insists that the first thing to be done is to get a divorce.  Only then, after the required divorce, will the tribunal take up the question of whether the marriage was really a marriage.  As Robert J. Kendra explains in Defending Families Against Forced No-fault Divorce: American Annulment Mills (emphasis mine):

A worse problem for the Church is complicity in promoting divorce.  A conscientious petitioner (the party seeking the annulment) would first seek an annulment to be assured that no valid sacramental marriage existed, prior to seeking a civil divorce.  However, faced with this request, tribunal officials respond that a divorce is required prior to accepting an application for annulment, allegedly to assure that the marriage is irreconcilable.  But Jesus clearly condemned divorce even without remarriage, “Therefore, what God has joined together let no man put asunder” (Mk 10:9), and canon 1060 stipulates, “in doubt the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.”  Therefore, a tribunal must prejudge the marriage to be invalid prior to judging its validity, in order to justify a divorce preceding an annulment.  Assurances of obtaining an easy annulment, given by the pro-annulment pastoral tribunals to perplexed petitioners (little or no effort is made toward reconciling the couple), actually precipitates the divorce.  Once divorce is granted, which is a given with no-fault divorce laws, the tribunal is programmed to grant an annulment.

Getting an annulment is rather like registering your purebred puppy.  It is a formality only required in specific circumstances.  For puppies registration is required to show or breed the dog.  For divorced Catholics an annulment is only required if you want to marry again in the RCC.  In both situations, it is a formality that in nearly all cases merely confirms what you already thought was the case.  Not surprisingly, after the initial explosion of annulments taught American Catholics the reality of the RCC’s new (practical) view of the permanence of marriage, over the decades US Catholics have become less and less inclined to go through the formality of requesting an annulment after divorcing:

The result has been an increase from 338 annulments in 1968, to 5,403 in 1970,   to a peak 61,945 in 1991.  Since then, the explosion has stabilized at around 40,000 U.S. annulments per year.  However, these commonly quoted statistics implying a recent decline are deceiving.

Tribunals are not getting tougher on granting annulments.  They are getting fewer petitions for annulments, probably due to divorced Catholics cohabitating and not bothering with annulments.  Since 1964 the tribunals have consistently ruled for annulment in about 97 percent of the cases they accept.  Seventy percent of annulments worldwide are accounted for by American marriage tribunals though the U.S. has a mere six percent of the world’s Catholic population.

*Using the data presented in the original post from the Archdioceses of Boston showing that the Boston tribunal had gone from issuing 10 declarations in 1968 to 700 in 1996. The national data presented above shows that the jump for all of the US was an even larger 183 fold from 1968 to 1991 (338 to 61,945)!

**Just like the stated position of the family courts is that the whole process is about what is best for the child, and is not biased against fathers.

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109 Responses to Sentence first; verdict afterwards.

  1. Pingback: Sentence first; verdict afterwards. | @the_arv

  2. Anchorman says:

    For divorced Catholics an annulment is only required if you want to marry again in the RCC.

    This is the real reason annulment was put in place – if one person wanted to remarry in a Catholic church.

    My ex was a Catholic (I was raised Catholic, but later changed to Protestant) and forced the divorce.

    I think a lot of Catholics labor under the impression that Protestants are just fine with divorce and remarriage and only “The Church” stands against such things. There’s a difference between rhetoric and reality. When I contacted the parish (though Protestant, I attended services because we were raising our children Catholic and they attended the school) about the impending divorce, the priest literally said that he didn’t want to get involved.

    That was about six years ago and started me on the Red Pill path.

  3. Zippy says:

    Dalrock:

    I completely agree with you that the process is backward. The requirement to get divorced first before investigating nullity is just insane. The situation in the Catholic Church on divorce and annulment is insane and hypocritical in general — the book “What God Has Joined Together” by Robert Vasoli is old but as pertinent as ever. And I think someone in these threads mentioned Mary’s Advocates, a worthy organization attempting to help bring some sanity back to the subject.

    Getting an annulment is rather like registering your purebred puppy. It is a formality only required in specific circumstances. For puppies registration is required to show or breed the dog. For divorced Catholics an annulment is only required if you want to marry again in the RCC.

    The part of the theology that nobody ever talks about anymore is that any Christian engaging in any sexual relations whatsoever outside of a valid, sacramental, Christian marriage damns himself to eternal hellfire. Sex outside of wedlock – and a ‘marriage’ that never actually happened is outside of wedlock – is mortal sin. (Non Christians are already damned for other reasons, so they don’t really constitute an exception).

    (Protestant marriages between Protestants who have never been Catholic are sometimes valid, sometimes not — Canon law explicitly exempts never-Catholic Protestants from the requirement to follow proper Catholic form with a priest as witness, etc, but the essentials of marriage must still be present: permanence, exclusivity, openness to children, etc. It is important to note that Protestants, like all baptized Christians, are – in the RCC understanding – subject to the universal authority of the RCC whether they acknowledge it or not).

    So an annulment and valid marriage in the Church is a “formality” required in each and every sexually active circumstance which involves avoiding eternal torment in Hell. One unconfessed sexual act outside of wedlock, go to Hell for eternity. Most Catholics including priests will carefully avoid stating that part of the doctrine clearly, if they even believe it themselves.

    It is at this point that many people will start invoking subjective ignorance, as if ignorance were a salvific eighth sacrament that we can count on to save “nice people” from Hell no matter what objective actions they choose. But the thing about ignorance is that once you’ve been told, you are no longer ignorant. Sleep with someone out of wedlock, go directly to Hell: do not pass Go. Confession can relieve the eternal penalty for past sins, but Confession isn’t valid without a firm commitment to stop sinning in the manner confessed. And now everyone who has read this comment knows.

    The right thing to do for most people who were in invalid marriages which ended in divorce is to join a religious order and spend the rest of their lives in celibate penitence, doing works of service under vows of poverty. But that is just my opinion, not a doctrine of the Church.

  4. princeasbel says:

    Lol, so few comments! Usually there are dozens by now. Maybe people are still waking up, but seriously… This article is a BURN. I wonder how many fewer readers you will have after scorching the Catholic church’s sacred idol-esque claim to more stable marriages with fewer divorce rates (which they clearly don’t have).

  5. ACThinker says:

    Where to begin. I’m not usually this personal – but I am Catholic, and have had an anullment.

    Insight from someone who was on the inside of this. Yes victem of a “frivoce” by a woman who wanted out after about 3 years. I persued an anullement afterward the divorce. I looked over the issue of anullment. Basically while being covenent, it leans on some contract concepts. When entering a marriage, it requires proper matter (man and woman both free in their actions to marry) and proper form (the public exchange of vows that are proper in their form) and in the case of marriage, it must have susiquant marrital actions (ie sex).
    There are about 12 conditions that are violations of these elements. I don’t remember them all, and some of them even Dalrock would agree that there is no marriage. If the man or woman is not free to marry – say they are already married – then that would be a readon for anullment, after all no polygamy. If there was a kidnapping and the marriage was force because of that. If the couple never had sex, but lived celebate, then they marriage could be anulled.
    The problem has become in the ‘free in their actions’ and that has expanded into psychological areas, like drunkeness, or drug abust. Was there a psychological constraint that prevented a marriage? this is large enough to drive whatever anullment you want through it. because let’s face it, if we apply the “you can’t agree to something that you don’t know the consequense of” when agreeing to, then ALL marriages fit that standard for none of us know what we are getting into. And I suspect most marriages are anulled in the US along these lines. The predictions being hard, especially about the future and all.
    So there can be a reason for it (no polygamy, no kidnapping, etc) but I think that would take us back to the older numbers of a few hundred a year, not 50K.

    Why divoce first? Well I was told that the American RCC – I can not speak about this globally – has decided that “we aren’t going to spend our time doing this anullment, unless you are serious enough to first go through a US legal divorce.” This is in some respects a “how to deal with speration of spheres” that is unique to the West. In the rest of the world, the churches(Catholic and otherwise) would be the legal authority, and would be a one stop for anullments/divoce.

    I agree with Dalrock and others that any weakening in the assumption of marriages being permament weakens all. See above where the idea about “sufficent knowledge of consequences.” I do disagree with the bold quote
    “Therefore, a tribunal must prejudge the marriage to be invalid prior to judging its validity, in order to justify a divorce preceding an annulment. ”
    Um this is like saying “for the jury to decide that the person is guilty of a crime, they must prejudge him to be guilty and thus deny the presumption of inocense until proven guilty before proceeding.” Which I don’t think is true of our jury system, or of the anullment process. But given us humans or squishy things, it could be. But a divocre is a legal decree that ‘these two people are no longer legally bound together by secular law”. The RCC recognizes that such a situation could arrise and still not free the persons involved to engage in a later marriage. Example in the case of abuse, a civil divorce might be needed provide protection for either spouse. But that wouldn’t automatically mean they never had a valid bond. Spousal abuse in this case would mean teh posiblity of grave bodily harm, not just the ‘feelz.’

    As to a ‘change in RCC thinking’ that is tricky. Do you mean taught doctrine? nope not changed. Do you mean de facto application – yeah sadly that has changed. It is the fight going on with Rome and the German bishops over “well let them come to communion if they are in an illicit marriage”
    This line highlights the problem when talking about things like “America” or “RCC” or etc. We use shorthand of ‘RCC’ to mean about 4 or 5 things. It can mean just the Clergy (priests and bishops). It can mean the physical structures. It can mean the people who are Catholic. It can mean the teachings. It can be the actions of the people either collectively, or the leadership. And then at times, it can mean regionally the structures, the clergy, or the people.

    btw, Zippy’s post (and mine for that matter) are examples of why neither of us will ever be pope. One has a lot of judgement with little mercy, the other has way to much mercy with not enough judgement. In both cases, there is no forgiveness of sins – something we all require. One because there is no forgiveness offered. The other because there is no sin recognized and therefore can not be forgiven.

  6. Gunner Q says:

    “Lol, so few comments! Usually there are dozens by now.”

    Most of us are Protestants who don’t know enough about RCC internal practices to meaningfully contribute. Those of us who wanted to weigh in on Skyler already have in the previous thread.

    It’s exasperating to watch zealots of whatever branch of Christianity think they’re above these troubles. It’s not just the one-upmanship, it’s the false hope of a safe harbor.

  7. Carnivore says:

    “The result has been an increase from 338 annulments in 1968, to 5,403 in 1970, to a peak 61,945 in 1991. Since then, the explosion has stabilized at around 40,000 U.S. annulments per year.”
    For such a horrific increase (even if to “only” 40,000 per year in the USA), the US bishops and cardinals should be doing penance in sack cloth and ashes. THEY are responsible for the pre-cana process and instruction in each diocese. “Modern times” should have made vetting and instruction much easier and better not much worse. All those “invalid” marriages should not be slipping through.
    Regarding the number “stabilizing” at a lower figure of 40,000 because there are fewer applications for an annulment and folks are just OK with living together – well, golly gee, I wonder why? Perhaps it might be because no mention is made from the pulpit that fornication and adultery are both mortal sins?
    But even this does not expose the entire story. In the 1950’s the RCC had a reason to be smug. In 1956 there were 392 annulments worldwide.

  8. The Question says:

    ” The explosion in annulments hasn’t just destabilized the marriages of 7% of Catholics. It has destabilized the marriages of all Catholics.”

    This is why the discussion of the issue can’t be confined to actual divorces/annulments that occur, because the impact goes far beyond that. The capacity to break up a marriage at will, i.e. the threatpoint, is a deeply destabilizing tool on the entire institution and any one who participates in it. Regardless of whether it is employed, its presence creates an imbalance in the relationship. How many marriages remain intact but are fraught with division, strife, tension, and conflict as a result of this?

    Merely keeping marriages together that produce misery and unhappiness among its members isn’t a sign of success, unless you’ve set the bar artificially low, and we should stop pretending it is. The reason is that a miserable marriage creates a downstream effect on the children who then grow up and go on to marry, or not. Either way, their attitudes are influenced by what they saw in their parents’ marriage. Inevitably the institution collapses, even if the number of divorces annulments are progressively getting higher.

  9. The Question says:

    “aren’t getting progressively higher.” Small error there.

  10. Dalrock says:

    @Carnivore

    But even this does not expose the entire story. In the 1950’s the RCC had a reason to be smug. In 1956 there were 392 annulments worldwide.

    Wow. That is truly impressive. Do you happen to have a link I can bookmark on that?

  11. earlthomas786 says:

    It gets back to the heart of the matter…the lack of respect for what marriage is about. It’s been this way since Moses.

    Marriage is not about your happiness…it’s about work and sacrifice and hopefully the spouses help each other get a better understanding of God and themselves.

  12. earlthomas786 says:

    ‘Perhaps it might be because no mention is made from the pulpit that fornication and adultery are both mortal sins?’

    You’re right.

  13. Elspeth says:

    Numbers are instructive, but even they can be misleading. Years ago (I haven’t worked in 23), I worked with a middle-aged, Catholic woman whose husband left her. (Yes, HE left HER. She had been living with another man for about 5 years already when I encountered her, and my relationship with her spanned about 8 years.

    The man repeatedly expressed that he wanted to marry her, but she wouldn’t do it because she knew she couldn’t marry him in the Catholic Church. There was a Catholic church about a mile from where we worked in she stopped in that place a couple of times per week, easily. The confession was like a workout to her, she was faithful to the liturgical calendar, all that stuff.

    When I last heard from her (about 10 years ago) the man’s job was changing or transferring or something and he had to move to Nebraska. She picked up and moved to Nebraska. When I used to ask her how she squared her religious devotion She honestly believed her adherence to the sacraments and regular confession coupled with the fact that her husband has abandoned her and married someone else meant she was okay. better off shacking up than remarrying, which would be a true mortal sin.

    My Protestant sensibilities couldn’t square it for a bunch of reasons. I wonder if she’s among many Catholics trying to straddle that fence. And if so, how many there might be.

  14. Dear Peeps:

    She picked up and moved to Nebraska. When I used to ask her how she squared her religious devotion She honestly believed her adherence to the sacraments and regular confession coupled with the fact that her husband has abandoned her and married someone else meant she was okay. better off shacking up than remarrying, which would be a true mortal sin.

    My Protestant sensibilities couldn’t square it for a bunch of reasons. I wonder if she’s among many Catholics trying to straddle that fence. And if so, how many there might be.

    Earl or Zippy could probably answer this in detail. My only guess is that, perhaps, they didn’t have physical sex very often. Whenever they did, she ran down and confessed?

    In any case, all these complicated legalisms and reversals sorta boggle my mind. Your scenario, as you’ve described it, doesn’t seem unrealistic, though. I live in a Catholic town now, and date (i.e. have sex with) Catholic women (though not the married kind). I’ve come to be used to their oddnesses.

    Boxer

  15. earlthomas786 says:

    Earl or Zippy could probably answer this in detail.

    Sounds to me like she thinks her husband’s sins are worse than hers therefore her sins are ok.

    Adultery, fornication, cohabitiation…the seriousness of the sins doesn’t change just because someone else is doing it so that gives you the right to do it. She’s focusing too much on her husband and herself and not how the lifestyle is offending God.

  16. Derek Ramsey says:

    Since 1964 the tribunals have consistently ruled for annulment in about 97 percent of the cases they accept.

    I wonder how a Catholic explains a 97% annulment rate. If the Church is just rubber stamping the ones it sees, then it doesn’t matter if the fraction of divorces that are annulled is ‘small’. The message it sends is loud and unambiguous.

  17. Elspeth says:

    @ Boxer:

    Her man companion, who I got loosely acquainted with over the time of our friendship, thought her Catholic shenanigans were the cutest thing he’d ever seen.

    At the time I was very young and not familiar with Catholicism at all, so I took her explanations at face value while thinking in the back of my mind that it was all too complicated for my simple Baptist brain to untangle. Of course n retrospect, I was knee deep in with my own -not yet- husband and I somehow didn’t think I was going to Hell either, should I have died in that state.

    Hamsters are strong, adaptable creatures.

  18. earlthomas786 says:

    It’s a nasty trick humans do…trying to push out and point out the worse sinner to cover up your own sins.

    Adam did it. Eve did it.

    The Pharisees did it when they brought out the woman caught in adultery.

    But if you notice…God doesn’t play that game. You better take care of your house.

  19. As a Catholic, I want to go on the record and say I have nothing but praise for your posts on annulments. Speak on, brother.

  20. Anonymous Reader says:

    princeasbel
    Lol, so few comments! Usually there are dozens by now.

    Much of this was discussed in a previous thread. Also the unique status of the US RCC regarding annullments is hardly a secret, at least in the androsphere. Fewer comments therefore is not a surprise.

    No Christian denomination is immune to this, either. Any man who is in a leadership position in a church needs to be very aware of the Female Imperative in its various forms, and to be prepared to push back hard against “just this one time” or other “temporary” attacks.

  21. Pingback: Sentence first; verdict afterwards. | Reaction Times

  22. LexHow says:

    Again, the Vatican 2 Novus Ordo Sect is not Catholic. This is why this is happening. Vatican 2 has heresy in it. This is the great revolt (apostasy) Saint Paul was talking about. Marriage is mixed up and people are not happy because they don’t understand and accept or SUBMIT to their roles especially females. How is someone going to be happy if they don’t do what they are born for? Furthermore, just like the OT teaches the worst punishment God can give people is bad clergy. Who’s fault is this number one? The fathers of the house. Why? They should tell their daughters if you destroyed your OWN house, what is my house to you? and then DISOWN them. but not their little angels.

  23. earlthomas786 says:

    test

    [D: I just checked spam and trash, and don’t see any comments with your email address.]

  24. Opus says:

    What i would find instructive is to know:

    1. Of those who apply for annulment in the RCC what percentage applied in civil proceedings (I mean the Family Courts) and if they were the Petitioner for annulment rather than divorce.

    2. Of those who apply for annulment in the RCC and who were Respondents in civil proceedings what percentage defended the action (if that is possible in their State).

    3. What percentage of people apply for annulment if such is possible in churches which are not RCC.

    Has anyone I wonder brought proceedings against the RCC for marrying them when clearly they were not appropriate candidates for that particular marriage?

    I don’t have any dog in this fight.

  25. Novaseeker says:

    Opus —

    I think pretty much no-one applies for an annulment in civil courts in the US. Divorce, but not annulment. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone seeking a civil annulment, although I suppose it may happen very rarely.

    I don’t believe other churches have annulment processes, either.

    What would be the basis of a claim against the RCC? Certainly there would be no civil basis for any kind of claim because the civil divorce is always available on a no-fault basis regardless of what the RCC says, and a claim that you are entitled to be remarried in the RCC won’t lie in a civil court under first amendment grounds. As for the substance of what I take you are asking, the RCC does in fact prepare couples and ask them if they understand what a Catholic marriage entails and if they consent to it and so on — how can these people subsequently obtain a decree of nullity? Well, they say that they didn’t really understand what they were saying, or that they didn’t believe they were saying anything about being requried to have kids, and not use artificial contraception, and not getting divorced and so on — it’s pretty easy to make that showing for most Catholics in the US in 2018, really, I think.

  26. This reminds me how in recent years the Pope suddenly announced that Limbo doesn’t really exist, even after decades of the Catholic Church promulgating and insisting that it did.
    And then curiously, after announcing Limbo doesn’t really exist and correcting the record on that question, Christ’s Vicar on Earth declares he is ready to be infallible all over again.

    LOL, you can’t make this shit up!….can you?
    Well, of course you can.

  27. Hmm says:

    @earl: “Marriage is not about your happiness…it’s about work and sacrifice and hopefully the spouses help each other get a better understanding of God and themselves.”

    I believe there’s also a little bit in Scripture about “Be fruitful and multiply…” And dominion is in there somewhere as well.

    In my experience, marital happiness is not a goal to be pursued, but a by-product of both husband and wife obeying God in all those other things.

  28. earlthomas786 says:

    This reminds me how in recent years the Pope suddenly announced that Limbo doesn’t really exist, even after decades of the Catholic Church promulgating and insisting that it did.

    I listened to a priest on EWTN discuss that…basically Limbo was always a theological opinion and it wasn’t ever offical Church doctrine. Hence something like that could be rejected.

  29. Opus says:

    @Novaseeker

    It would appear then that the grounds for nullity in RCC are wider than those in civil proceedings and yet the RCC appears to me to be using exactly the same process that one comes across in actions by wives to renege on mortgages in the joint names of themselves and their husband and where the husband has (usually for business) been anxious to secure a further loan charged against the family home. As a result of loosing so many of these cases the Banks now insist that the wife obtain independent financial advice as to exactly what she is signing and what the consequences of non-payment of mortgage interest might for her be. Women don’t always understand: I have known at least one wife point blank following superb advice (if I may so myself ;)) refuse to sign. Do women in the RCC on learning what the Church expects of a wife end their engagement.

    Oedipus was entitled to an annulment; Othello wasn’t.

  30. Carnivore says:

    I had to do a bit of digging in my library since it’s been a while that I’ve looked up the source. As it turns out, the number I quoted is incorrect. It’s too HIGH. The relevant sentence is: “From 1952 – 1956 only 392 annulments were granted worldwide.” The sentence is from the 1959 book “The Nullity of Marriage” by Frank Sheed, page 127.
    I do not have this book (although it is available on Amazon as a newer reprint; Sheed has been dead almost 40 years) but it is referenced and the citation given in the 2004 book “Tumultuous Times” by Fr. Francisco Radecki and Fr. Dominic Radecki which I do have.
    I am not aware of any online references.

  31. m11nine says:

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/britney-spears-shotgun-wedding-turns-10-remember-55-magical-hours-20140103

    Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage annulled in a Nevada civil court, so I guess its theoretically possible:

    “At 10 a.m. that morning, Chesnoff files the annulment complaint with the Clark County Courthouse, paying a fee of $122. In the annulment papers, the reason cited for the dissolution of the marriage is that Spears “lacked understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage.”

    In 2012, Alexander calls this “bullshit.”

    “I was in love with her,” he insisted. “I feel like she felt the same way.”

    At precisely 12:24 p.m. on January 5th, Lisa M. Brown, a Clark County Family Court judge, signs off on the annulment papers. The marriage is over.”

  32. BillyS says:

    Women don’t know what they are doing, except when they do. Silly people. Get with the program! Whatever benefits the woman at this moment is the proper choice!

  33. Dave says:

    Does it mater what a person claims they “think” while signing a binding contract?
    If the terms of the contract have been clearly and truthfully explained to, or known by, all parties, and it is signed without coercion or fraud, shouldn’t it be binding?
    Methinks it should.

  34. Zippy says:

    Dave:

    Does it matter what a person claims they “think” while signing a binding contract?

    Even worse, the context is typically about what a person claims – in obviously self-serving circumstances – that he thought, years back, when he made the public, binding commitment.

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/bill-and-teds-bogus-annulment/

    Also relevant:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/uncontracts-and-the-seductiveness-of-selective-anarchy/

  35. thedeti says:

    The United Methodist Church has no annulment process or procedure. It’s a nonentity in the UMC. Divorce is viewed as “regrettable” and “sad”, and “should not be done lightly”, but there are no prohibitions on remarriage following divorce, for any reason. Kind of the same with abortion: “sad and difficult” but we “recognize there are situations where ending a pregnancy might be the best option”. (note the euphemisms and pronouns)

    It’s the same with most other issues. “It’s bad, and we don’t like it, but we have to love and be inclusive, and we can’t send them away, so we’ll accept it. But it’s bad.”

  36. Zippy says:

    ACThinker:

    btw, Zippy’s post (and mine for that matter) are examples of why neither of us will ever be pope. One has a lot of judgement with little mercy, the other has way to much mercy with not enough judgement. In both cases, there is no forgiveness of sins – something we all require. One because there is no forgiveness offered.

    The Gospel preaches repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People mostly gloss over the part before the preposition, and all that it entails. In particular, modern people seem to think that it is possible to repent while at the same time insisting on a circumstantial reset button, a fresh start, as if our deliberately chosen actions have no ongoing consequences. The fact that our actions have objective consequences that we have to live with – that we have a duty to live with –
    doesn’t enter into this peculiar modernist idea of “mercy.” Instead of cleaning the eternal slate, modernist “mercy” rationalizes the deliberate ongoing choice of objectively evil behaviors.

    Relevant:
    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/what-confession-doesnt-do/

  37. Anonymous Reader says:

    Opus
    Oedipus was entitled to an annulment; Othello wasn’t.

    Thread winner!

  38. OKRickety says:

    While looking for the book referenced by Carnivore, I stumbled upon an article at Catholic World Report (run by conservative Catholics), Annulment Nation, which points out that “The United States, with 6 percent of the world’s Catholics, accounts for 60 percent of the Church’s annulments.”

    Here is a possible explanation for annulments:

    ‘While most New Testament passages on marriage make no exception for divorce, our Lord says in St. Matt hew’s Gospel that “whoever divorces his wife, except for porneia (unchastity), and marries another, commits adultery.” Catholic exegetes have debated the meaning of porneia for centuries, with the Navarre Bible explaining that “it is almost certain that the phrase refers to unions accepted as marriage among some pagan peoples, but prohibited as incestuous in the Mosaic Law and in rabbinical tradition. The reference, then, is to unions radically invalid because of some impediment.… They had never in fact been joined in true marriage.”

    ‘This explanation speaks to the development of the annulment, the declaration by Church authorities that a putative marriage never truly existed because of reasons such as consanguinity or lack of consent. In the West, popes and bishops were declaring marriages invalid in the early Middle Ages, with Pope St. Gregory VII beginning to systematize ecclesiastical court procedures in the 11th century.’

    The most interesting part to me, though, is the discussion of why the USA has so many more annulments than other nations. Note how the USA is considered guilty of injustice, even by “the popes”, of failing to share their wealth of resources with their “poorer sisters” so that they, too, could have many more annulments.

    ‘Bishop Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, who also holds a doctorate in canon law, agrees. “The Church in developed countries—the US in particular— has been able and willing to educate large numbers of canonists, especially priests, and operate sophisticated tribunal offices,” he says. “Churches in less developed nations generally cannot afford the money or personnel or both. I have seen firsthand how this lack is an injustice to the Catholic faithful in these places. The popes have consistently urged the ‘richer’ churches to share their canonical resources with their poorer sisters.”’

  39. The most interesting part to me, though, is the discussion of why the USA has so many more annulments than other nations. Note how the USA is considered guilty of injustice, even by “the popes”, of failing to share their wealth of resources with their “poorer sisters” so that they, too, could have many more annulments.

    Yes! How dare you selfishly hoard your broken families? You must export your frivolous divorces to countries that have not yet seen the true benefits!

  40. Hrodgar says:

    “The explosion in annulments hasn’t just destabilized the marriages of 7% of Catholics. It has destabilized the marriages of all Catholics.”

    I think it might actually be worse than that.

    You know how, typically, even the more foulmouthed of crowds will typically clean up their act a bit when somebody they know doesn’t like it walks in the room? Among a group not wholly given over to vice, one halfway decent person will frequently raise the tenor of everybody’s behavior, at least a little. I suspect that in many areas, perhaps most relevantly to the present discussion things like contraception and divorce, the Church was filling a similar role relative to society at large. When she began slacking off, it didn’t just destabilize Catholic marriages, but removed one of the last and most reliable bulwarks against the destabilization of marriage in general.

  41. Splashman says:

    @Hrodgar, excellent point.

  42. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Hrodgar

    Your comment is profound. They were the city on the hill that could not be hidden and the light on the stand for all to see.

    Protestants don’t (or shouldn’t) gloat in the present faults of the RCC with regards to divorce. The loss affects us all.

  43. As a catholic, I view the abuse of the annulment process as a serious breach of God’s law.

    One thing that hasn’t been discussed here on this blog (that I’ve seen) is that Catholic priests are supposed to personally council couples considering marriage. This is something that they train for. In talking to one priest in Georgia, he confided in me that catechesis (religious training) of women in our culture can be shockingly bad, especially for cradle Catholics.

    On another occasion I had a young woman who went to Catholic High School with me claim that she’d never heard of the concept of sex before marriage being immoral. Since I’d gone to the same schools as her and HAD gotten that message, my blue pill nature assumed she was lying. After living life a bit more, and studying the red pill, I think it’s a little more like information women don’t want to hear goes in one ear and out the other, never registering on their brains.

    The fact that we see marriage as for life doesn’t mean that secularized Christians see it that way. At issue is that Priests aren’t properly doing the job that we’re asking them to, namely sort out the people who are lying about believing in lifelong marriage AND/OR that Bishops have allowed their annulment committees to be stacked with people sympathetic to the idea of divorce.

  44. American says:

    An estimated 28 percent of American Catholic adults who have ever been married have since divorced, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

  45. earlthomas786 says:

    On another occasion I had a young woman who went to Catholic High School with me claim that she’d never heard of the concept of sex before marriage being immoral. Since I’d gone to the same schools as her and HAD gotten that message, my blue pill nature assumed she was lying. After living life a bit more, and studying the red pill, I think it’s a little more like information women don’t want to hear goes in one ear and out the other, never registering on their brains.

    I’d almost say that’s probable. The sexual sins are certainly high up on the list for rationalization from both sexes.

  46. MarcusD says:

    @CeerilanAufen

    On another occasion I had a young woman who went to Catholic High School with me claim that she’d never heard of the concept of sex before marriage being immoral. Since I’d gone to the same schools as her and HAD gotten that message, my blue pill nature assumed she was lying. After living life a bit more, and studying the red pill, I think it’s a little more like information women don’t want to hear goes in one ear and out the other, never registering on their brains.

    I’ve seen it more than once, even amongst members of groups I would absolutely never suspect of harbouring such views. Religious education is generally atrocious in Catholic schools, as time spent on religious education takes away from other (typically competitive) areas such as math, science, and sports.

  47. Spike says:

    I left the RCC for Evangelicalism as a teenager. At the time, the RCC had a strict view of divorce. Annulments were, as the article says, difficult to get and required the approval of the church’s hierarchy.
    The evangelical church I attended had a different view on divorce: It did not exclude anyone or treat them differently IF THE DIVORCE WAS NOT THEIR FAULT. Thus, a divorced person was free to remarry if they did not cause the divorce. I now know that this would exclude 70% of women from ever remarrying in the evangelical church. Rightly so.
    When I wanted to marry, my father’s greatest concern was that my wife was not Catholic. His view was that the RCC’s strict divorce laws and procedure was a bulwark against divorce. In his generation, it was.
    Now, alas, neither the evangelical nor the RCC have held the line. Evangelical churches have rationalised away their fault-based system by raising the spectre of childhood unhappiness (“the children are better off without the parents constantly fighting in front of them” – which they actually aren’t), spousal abuse, alcoholism, abandonment and pedophilia. The problem with these is that they are fault-based reasons as they always had been.
    The RCC has simply moved the goalposts of what annulment means and what a valid marriage is.

  48. Opus says:

    Times have certainly changed. It was drummed into us (when I was at a school run by an order of Roman Catholic monks) that sex outside marriage and artificial contraception inside was wrong. No one mentioned homosexual behaviour for that would be covered by the first admonition – but then the Irish do have a way with words especially when backed up by a cane – and non-Catholics we were told were all to a man and woman had a one way ticket to Hell, which I felt was a little unfair on my Anglican Mother especially as she was paying my school-fees.

    In case one wonders whether the monks were guilty of hypocricy let me say that I never heard so much as a word of scandal attached to the behaviour of any of them: they had taken vows of chastity and lived up to their vows.

  49. ACThinker says:

    Zippy,
    I’ll let you have the last word as it A reinforced my original point, and B this is not a place for debating Catholic thought. That is what your blog is for 🙂 I will just note that ours is not the first age that has had confessors having to deal with many people falling for the idea of cheap grace. I can suggest examples if you need.

    Elspeth,
    I’m not sure your question? Is it a how could someone do this? Because of the weakness I the hearts of humans. Knowing if what is right and doing what is right are two different things. Compounded by the addiction factor things can be hard to change. To say that the attitude of cheap grace that is that we can just go and confess our sins with no need to actually try and fix ourselves. This infects all denominations, not just Catholics btw. So the question becomes how does a person convince this woman what she should do when it is against her wants and her chemical desires? Laying down new braipathways can be hard. Do we yell at her and hold up the fires of hell as a threat? Or do we look for another way? And I agree each person is different. I also agree we don’t sugar coat th at sin is sin and will cause us to die forever. But still lots of room for encouraging repentance. Jesus can be seen being both very hostile and very gentil (see temple purging v woman caught in adultery). I think many approaches have merit. And they are not alll likely to obtain results with all.
    TL;DR sum up. Yes this is sin, and any properly formed catholic would say that woman is behaving sinfully, and that confession to a priest doesn’t much if she goes out and sins again, rather than sinning no more.

  50. Asher says:

    The absurdity doesn’t come from either the civil divorce or the Catholic annulment. The absurdity begins with the erroneous premise that any earthly declaration is evidence that God has joined two people together. How do we know God has joined two people together*? He gives, or plans on giving, them children. Period. That is the sole condition for whether or not God has joined two people together.

    Frankly, the notion that God is bound by pieces of paper with human writing is pure blasphemy.

    * What do you think the words “joined together” mean? It’s a reference to recombinant DNA. It’s a strictly physical joining, of the sort only God is capable of achieving. Again, the notion that marriage, as assessed by God, is subject to human institutions is pure blasphemy. Anyone claiming that a civil marriage is the same as God joining two things together is akin to replacing God’s Word with man’s word.

  51. Asher says:

    Most marriages in Europe until the high middle ages were remained unconsecrated by any authority for a substantial portion of the marriage. Often an official marriage ceremony did not take place for years and even decades after the first child was born to a couple. If “marriage” does not occur until after a formal written agreement has been issued then all those children were born out of wedlock and all the sex that took place prior was fornication.

    I find it pretty difficult to believe that God forbids sex prior to a formal written agreement issued by a modern civic institution or entity.

  52. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl: “I listened to a priest on EWTN discuss that…basically Limbo was always a theological opinion and it wasn’t ever offical Church doctrine. Hence something like that could be rejected.”

    That’s just another lie from the pit of Hell, courtesy of the Satanic and apostate Vatican II Sect, that goes around masquerading as the RCC.

    Although Limbo may not have been formally defined, all believing Catholics who understand their Faith know to a certainty that a place having the basic characteristics of what we term “Limbo” MUST exist.

    Earl, I can prove this by asking you one simple question – what happens to the souls of babies (and children below the age of reason) who die without benefit of baptism?

    They cannot go to the Hell of the Damned to suffer for eternity, since, due to their age, they cannot have any guilt for personal sin. Since they are innocent of having committed any personal sin, it would be most unjust to punish them. And God is not unjust; ergo, they cannot go to the Hell of the Damned.

    Nor can they go to the Heaven of the Saints, in order to enjoy the vision of God for all eternity. For they died in a state of Original Sin, without being “born again” through water and the Sacrament of Baptism. Our Lord specifically tells us in the Gospel that unless a man be born again (baptized), he cannot see God. Besides, if Original Sin will not keep us from Heaven, what need was there for a Savior? Just don’t commit any personal sins and you’d be good to go!

    So since these souls cannot go to either Heaven or Hell (nor to purgatory, which by its very definition is only temporary), there MUST be another place they go to where they can enjoy perfect natural happiness (because they died without having any personal guilt for sin) for all eternity, yet without seeing the face of God like the Blessed in Heaven do (because they died in a state of Original Sin, without being “born again” through baptism).

    P.S. If the souls of those who died unbaptised and under the age of reason were to go to the Heaven of the Saints, then widespread abortion would be a huge defeat for Satan! We’ve aborted 50 million+ in this country alone since 1973 – imagine if they all went to Heaven! And imagine what a small percentage would have gone to Heaven had they lived into adulthood, instead. Therefore, Satan would be doing all he could to stop abortion!

    Abortion a defeat for the devil and a triumph for good? Yep, this is just one of the many theological errors and absurdities that flow from the counterfeit Vatican II Sect and its leader, the Argentinian Aposate, Antipope Francis (cursed be his name).

  53. seventiesjason says:

    Again. Baptism does not get one into heaven. Accepting Christ as your Savior does. The thief that hung on the cross next to Him was not baptized. Nor was Lazarus, nor was Moses, nor were the prophets of old who spoke of the coming Messiah. Nor were countless multitudes who came to see Jesus. In fact in The Bible Christ never said “line up and get baptized or you cannot be in the Kingdom”

    He only mentioned that one may only come to the Father through Him.Not by works, deeds, money or baptism. Not by a Sally Army uniform as well.

    Baptism is a beautiful symbol of change. I will not knock it, but as a requirement for “Salvation” no, it isn’t. I was “christened” as a baby (May 1971) in the COE but many have told me that is not baptism. I am not against baptism but there are too many situations in The Bible where it did not happen and Christ didn’t seem to worry. We are told that many upright and righteous were justified by their Faith and obedience to God. Abraham comes to mind here

  54. Otto says:

    Marriage has been degraded by every Christian denomination in the US.

    Arguing over who has the best arranged deck chairs on the Titanic is a waste of time.

  55. Elspeth says:

    Elspeth, I’m not sure your question? Is it a how could someone do this?

    There wasn’t a question as much as a wondering how many people out there are like the woman I worked with; namely, trying desperately to find ways to live on both sides of the line and aren’t in the numbers for obvious reasons.

    I am fully aware of *how* someone can do this, having once been among the someones myself, but I *squared* it by living in denial and not thinking about it. The issue I had at the time (I am much better educated now) is the way people like my acquaintance are able -using a checklist of sacraments as a defense- to somehow make their lifestyle “legal”.

    But I get it now, so no answer required.

  56. Jeff Strand says:

    Jason: “Again. Baptism does not get one into heaven. Accepting Christ as your Savior does.”

    That’s your (erroneous) opinion. The constant teaching of the Holy Catholic Church for two millennia, all the saints and martyrs, etc…is that baptism is required for salvation. Excepting extraordinary circumstances such as the case of St. Dismas (aka “the Good Thief”), as you mentioned. There is also a tradition going back to ancient times that a “baptism of blood” (i.e., martyrdom) can substitute for the Sacrament. More controversially, some have advocated a “baptism of desire” (for example, where the inhabitants of the New World before the time of Columbus, who could not be baptized, through no fault of their own, could still be saved if they adhered to the Natural Law and were faithful to their conscience) but various saints and Doctors of the Church have different views on this – it is not settled doctrine.

    It is my understanding that the Orthodox churches profess likewise to the Catholic teaching – under ordinary circumstances, baptism is REQUIRED. It is not just an outward sign, but as a Sacrament instituted by Our Lord it imparts actual graces, and changes the character of the soul, wiping out the stain of Original Sin. (Any Orthodox, feel free to correct me)

    Since you’re a Prot, of course you can just invent whatever doctrine and dogmas you like, and then justify it based on your “personal interpretation” of Scripture. That’s how we ended up with many tens of thousands of Prot sects in the world, all with different dogmas. It’s mass confusion and a scandal, and if that’s how you really think Our Lord intended things to be…well, good luck with that.

    Anyway, if baptism doesn’t really impart actual graces, what does happen to children and babies who die before the age of reason? They are not capable of “accepting Christ as their savior”. So they clearly cannot go to Heaven, according to you. (And remember my prior point – if they DO go to Heaven, then abortion is huge defeat for Satan – all those snuffed out lives enjoy the vision of God for eternity.)

    So if Heaven is impossible for them, does God send these poor innocents to Hell? Is God really that cruel and unjust? And is there really no difference between the souls of unbaptised infants who die, versus the baptized? The saving waters of baptism do NOTHING for them?

    Anyway, my point was to Earl…to demonstrate that the existence of Limbo flows inexorably from Catholic teaching. And therefore, for FrancisChurch to even suggest that the doctrine of Limbo can be done away with just provides more evidence that the modern-day Vatican II Sect is NOT the RCC of the ages.

    As a Prot, you have no dog in this fight.

  57. Opus says:

    Hang on a minute. Baptism can not of itself be sufficient for salvation and one can only be baptised once whether in the Protestant or Catholic tradition. I thought that only Catholics went to Heaven though not if they have sinned mortally, otherwise they are stuck pro-tem in Purgatory. That at least is what they say.

  58. ACThinker says:

    Elspeth,
    “how many people are like this” …. enough that we all know someone, or are that someone. I’d say that it is very common. Based on simple numbers, if 50% marriages end in divorce adn 25% of the US is Catholic, then about 12.5% of the population. or 1 in 8. Which fits with my we all know someone.

  59. Pingback: And Bureaucracy for All | Things that We have Heard and Known

  60. Gunner Q says:

    Jeff Strand @ 10:17 am:
    “That’s your (erroneous) opinion.”

    Also the opinion of Christ. John 14:6.

    “Anyway, if baptism doesn’t really impart actual graces, what does happen to children and babies who die before the age of reason? They are not capable of “accepting Christ as their savior”.”

    They don’t need a Savior because they’re innocent. Same as in human courts, if they’ve done no evil then they deserve no punishment.

    “The saving waters of baptism do NOTHING for them?”

    Nothing. Baptism is an external acknowledgment of an internal decision. Infants cannot decide for Christ so infant baptism is only an expression of well-wishing by the parents. Many Prot churches therefore offer infant ‘dedication’ rather than infant baptism.

  61. OT: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01FZLMTSO/ref=mp_s_a_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1515517719&sr=8-10&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=ursula+disney

    Disney righting past wrongs, because no purple haired freak with a history of making atrocious decisions can really be a villain (just look at the demographic they’re pandering to).

  62. BillyS says:

    Jeff Strand,

    Since you’re a Prot, of course you can just invent whatever doctrine and dogmas you like, and then justify it based on your “personal interpretation” of Scripture.

    You do a similar thing by deciding the current pope is not really the current pope. You decide your own rules as well.

    At least some of us Protestants hold the Scripture as the standard, not man’s opinions! We may be wrong, but we can be corrected. No such control exists when it is purely in your own mind.

  63. Jeff Strand says:

    Opus: “Hang on a minute. Baptism can not of itself be sufficient for salvation and one can only be baptised once whether in the Protestant or Catholic tradition”

    Opus, authentic RCC teaching (as opposed to whatever drivel FrancisChurch puts out) is the following:

    Baptism is both necessary AND sufficient for salvation for those under the age of reason, or those so mentally impaired that they cannot understand good vs. evil (and so cannot incur personal guilt). If they die after being baptized, they go to the Heaven of the Saints, to enjoy the vision of God for eternity. Period, full stop.

    If they die unbaptized, they cannot go to either Heaven or the Hell of the Damned (as I explained in my last couple of posts) so they must go someplace else. The common opinion of the theologians and Doctors of the Church is that they go to a place of perfect natural happiness, often called “The Limbo of the Innocents” (as opposed to “The Limbo of the Fathers”, which was emptied by Our Lord just before His Resurrection).

    For those of us who HAVE reached the age of reason, baptism is NECESSARY (except for some extraordinary circumstances, as I mentioned above) but not SUFFICIENT. Having passed the age of reason, we have free will and can incur personal guilt and even reject God totally. So it is necessary to cooperate with the graces that God gives us, and make sure we die in the bosom of the Church and in a state of grace (meaning, absence of the guilt of mortal sin). As St Paul said so memorably, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”.

    Since we cannot know when we will die, nor if we will persevere to the end, having been baptized is no guarantee one will reach the goal of Heaven. As a matter of fact, and contrary to certain Protestant sects that claim to know for certain they are “saved”, the Council of Trent condemned such an assurance of salvation as contrary to the Faith. So any Catholic who claims to know for certain that he is “saved”, i.e. that he will be one of the Elect, is actually committing the sin of heresy. (Unless the knowledge that he will be saved is given to him directly from Heaven by means of private revelation, as in the case of the three children of Fatima).

    Hope this helps. This is the real, authentic teaching of the RCC. As for what the modern-day Vatican II Sect teaches, who knows? It will probably contradict both authentic Tradition and even right reason, as so many teachings of the counterfeit church do. It will change again tomorrow anyway.

  64. Jeff Strand says:

    Billy: “At least some of us Protestants hold the Scripture as the standard, not man’s opinions! We may be wrong, but we can be corrected. No such control exists when it is purely in your own mind.”

    Billy, my apologies. I realize what I said came off as an insult, even though it was not my intention. That would be bad form on my part, and an abuse of Dalrock’s hospitality.

    I was just trying to convey that (as I understand it), every Prot has the right to interpret Scripture as he sees fit…in effect, creating whatever doctrines that appeal to him. And that this process has led to the creation of the innumerable number of Prot sects in existence today. So I see no point in arguing points of Scripture with a Prot like Jason – he can interpret it anyway he likes, and for me that’s a waste of time.

    Whereas, and to the contrary, Catholics are constrained by Sacred Tradition (prior Church teaching) when it comes to doctrine, dogmas, the interpretation of Scripture, etc. And these dogmas can never change – what’s true today must be true tomorrow.

    Since the Vatican II Sect teaches doctrines that clearly contradict the prior teaching of the actual RCC, it is therefore perfectly obvious that the Vatican II Sect is a counterfeit church…and, contrary to its claim, it is NOT the authentic RCC of the ages. The other possibilitiy is that Our Lord is a liar, and He intended us to live in perpetual confusion and without a dependable Rule of Faith. And this possibility is one I reject out of hand.

    Hope this helped. Sorry again for the tone of that comment from the prior thread, I was in a hurry when I wrote it and didn’t vet it sufficiently.

  65. Jeff Strand says:

    Gunner: “They (unbaptized infants) don’t need a Savior because they’re innocent.”

    So there is no such thing as Original Sin. Roger that.

    (This is a perfect example of what I meant when I said Prots can just make up any doctrine they like. Not trying not to be insulting, but I don’t understand how anyone can believe this is how Our Lord willed it – total anarchy when it comes Faith and Morals. Each man his own (infallible?) interpreter of Scripture and arbiter of Christian doctrine. Each man, in effect his own pope (no matter how uneducated in matters spiritual, ancient languages, the writings of the Church Fathers, etc. that each man may be). Except, scratch that – each man much MORE than his own pope, for no pope ever dared to claim the ability to change prior defined dogma, nor to change the Canon of Scripture as Luther did!)

    Heaven preserve us from such madness.

  66. earlthomas786 says:

    Yeah I agree with Jeff…unbaptized infants need a Savior as much as us sinners do. That’s why Christ came to earth and suffered, died, and was resurrected to reconcile humanity’s orginal sin to the Father. Whatever state their souls end up with in the afterlife..is based on the merits of Jesus.

  67. seventiesjason says:

    I’m not making stuff up Jeff. Christ said “blessed are those who have not seen but yet believe”

    Nowhere in his Great Commission did he command “baptise them”

    And if baptism is a requirement….who then has the authority to baptise? Can I baptise someone? And since Christ was baptized in the River Jordan….perhaps then anyone who wasn’t baptized there didn’t have a “real” baptism. What of your own Church? Anyone who has been baptized post Vatican II isn’t really batized?????

    Too many variables. If Christ truly made a requirement for the entry into Eternity. He would have told us how crucial it was.

  68. earlthomas786 says:

    ‘Nowhere in his Great Commission did he command “baptise them”’

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28%3A+16-20&version=NASB

    C’mon Jason…that was an easy one.

  69. seventiesjason says:

    Corrected. Thanx Earl.

  70. Gunner Q says:

    Jeff Strand @ 11:45 am:
    “So there is no such thing as Original Sin. Roger that.”

    Speaking of Original Sin, look at Adam & Eve. They were flawed before the Fall yet God was able to relate to them directly. Only when they actually chose Evil did the barriers go up (clothing, being evicted from Eden, the first prediction of Christ’s coming).

    You can even look at Satan to see this. Ezekiel 28:15: “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.”

  71. Jeff Strand says:

    Jason: “Too many variables. If Christ truly made a requirement for the entry into Eternity. He would have told us how crucial it (baptism) was.”

    He did precisely that. In addition to the quote from Matthew that Earl just gave you, check out Mark 16:16: “He who believes AND is baptized will be saved.”

    Also, Our Lord said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see God.” And it’s clear in the Gospels that whenever Out Lord says “born again” He is referring to baptism.

  72. seventiesjason says:

    So when John baptized with water and proclaimed the One to come would baptize with the Holy Spirit???????

    I still am confused. And His way is not of confusion. So anyone who doesn’t have a water baptism now goes “someplace else”??????

    But anyone who does goes to heaven? Then why have a church, Bible, heirachy, parishes, Bishops, apostles, matyrs, saints, popes, monsignor’s, reverands, pastors, Bible study, morals, values, right and wrong if all we have to do to get into heaven is to be ” baptized ”

    Let the Lord rebuke me and call me a liar

  73. seventiesjason says:

    No Jeff. If he meant born again to mean “baptize” He would have said baptize.

  74. Jeff Strand says:

    Jason: “And if baptism is a requirement….who then has the authority to baptise? Can I baptise someone?”

    Actually, yes. And if the person is about to die in front of you, and is either under the age of reason or unconscious (and you have good reason to believe they are not baptized), you should baptize them immediately.

    Just pour some water over their head and say “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirirt”. That’s all that’s needed.

  75. seventiesjason says:

    Jeff…. Only if they are about to die….otherwise its invalid? No repentance. I should be a Catholic. Just get baptized and I’m “going to heaven”

  76. Jeff Strand says:

    Jason: “No Jeff. If he meant born again to mean “baptize” He would have said baptize”

    I could get into a debate here to prove you wrong, but suffice it to say, go read Mark 16:16. Then come back and you can retract your prior statements, as in this versie Christ specifically declares who will be saved – “he who believes AND is baptized”. You can’t get around it, it’s right there.

  77. BillyS says:

    Jeff,

    Also, Our Lord said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see God.” And it’s clear in the Gospels that whenever Out Lord says “born again” He is referring to baptism.

    Bzzt. Wrong. Try again.

    He meant that you had to be reborn spiritually, period.

    [2Co 5:17-21 NKJV] 17 Therefore, if anyone [is] in Christ, [he is] a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things [are] of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore [you] on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    Nothing in here about baptism.

    Adam and Even had a spiritual death on the day they sinned, as God said. It took years for that to finally do in their earthly bodies. We must be reborn in our spirits to get back to the proper state. This is the problem with ignoring the Scriptures Jeff and going only with the words of men.

  78. Jeff Strand says:

    Jason: “I should be a Catholic. Just get baptized and I’m going to heaven.”

    I’m going to disengage with you here, as it is clear you are being intellectually dishonest and disingenuous. You would have to be, to post the comment I quoted from you above, when you can read for yourself that several posts ago I said this:

    For those of us who HAVE reached the age of reason, baptism is NECESSARY (except for some extraordinary circumstances, as I mentioned above) but not SUFFICIENT. Having passed the age of reason, we have free will and can incur personal guilt and even reject God totally. So it is necessary to cooperate with the graces that God gives us, and make sure we die in the bosom of the Church and in a state of grace (meaning, absence of the guilt of mortal sin). As St Paul said so memorably, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”.

    Since we cannot know when we will die, nor if we will persevere to the end, having been baptized is no guarantee one will reach the goal of Heaven. As a matter of fact, and contrary to certain Protestant sects that claim to know for certain they are “saved”, the Council of Trent condemned such an assurance of salvation as contrary to the Faith. So any Catholic who claims to know for certain that he is “saved”, i.e. that he will be one of the Elect, is actually committing the sin of heresy. (Unless the knowledge that he will be saved is given to him directly from Heaven by means of private revelation, as in the case of the three children of Fatima).

  79. Jeff Strand says:

    Billy: “This is the problem with ignoring the Scriptures Jeff and going only with the words of men.”

    Take a look at Mark 16:16 and Matthew 28:19. All will become clear.

  80. Opus says:

    @Jeff Strand

    Thanks for enlarging on what I understood. You certainly do not suggest that one should or even could be baptised twice. I omitted Limbo as I understand that is now seen by His Holiness as an imaginary place (or state) and had rather forgotten about it although I believe that a lot of ancient Greek philosophers were also situate therein. I always found the idea of Limbo rather charming though perhaps I am confusing it with supple and lithe dancers.

  81. BillyS says:

    Jason,

    Jeff…. Only if they are about to die….otherwise its invalid? No repentance. I should be a Catholic. Just get baptized and I’m “going to heaven”

    And what if they have a miraculous recovery? Is the baptism then invalid?

    Though the baptism issue has been argued many times, so it may be worth searching those out more. Some Protestants view the concept of “baptismal regeneration” as being valid, ironically putting them into alignment with Jeff Strand on the issue in some ways, though most of those favor immersion, which is what the term means.

    (Baptizing a doughnut in coffee means dunking it, not sprinkling it with coffee, whatever action you think appropriate for Christian baptism.)

    I don’t put any faith in being sprinkled as a baby in the RCC. I do put value in my decision to be baptized in a swimming pool many years later after I firmly believed in Christ, a fair while after I had completed Confirmation in the RCC, but completely independent of that. I was (ironically?) attending both the RCC and a Lutheran church at the time, the latter with my father and step mother.

  82. BillyS says:

    Jeff,

    Take a look at Mark 16:16 and Matthew 28:19. All will become clear.

    Taking those out of the context of the rest of the Scriptures won’t make anything clear Jeff….

  83. Jeff Strand says:

    “Taking those out of the context of the rest of the Scriptures won’t make anything clear Jeff….”

    Of course. When the Scriptures DIRECTLY contradict you, just claim it’s “out of context”, LOL. You can’t make this up, folks!

  84. Jeff Strand says:

    “And what if they have a miraculous recovery? Is the baptism then invalid?”

    Of course it’s still valid. It’s not like the stain of Original Sin can be put back on the soul. Once it’s wiped out by baptism, it’s gone. Forever.

    However, as I explained above at some length, if the individual in question should survive to an age that is past the age of reason, where he is responsible for his actions, he must COOPERATE with the grace of God in order to be saved. Baptism alone is no guarantee of salvation in that case, unlike the case where the person died prior to achieving the age of reason.

    It’s VERY possible for baptized persons to lose their state of grace and end up in Hell. That is a result of their own free will, and doesn’t imply their baptism was “invalid”.

  85. feministhater says:

    Yeah I agree with Jeff…unbaptized infants need a Savior as much as us sinners do. That’s why Christ came to earth and suffered, died, and was resurrected to reconcile humanity’s orginal sin to the Father. Whatever state their souls end up with in the afterlife..is based on the merits of Jesus.

    Conundrums are interesting. It would seem millions upon millions of children are condemned before being able to sin.. not something one would take lightly.

    Indeed, Jesus have mercy on us all, for Jeff and Earl cannot.

  86. seventiesjason says:

    I’m a horrible Christian, or not a real one. I have never been baptized. A priest did not pray over me and take my horrid, evil addiction away. I have never taken Communion. I don’t know the difference between heaven, hell and now this “other place” which I have been told about. I have never been to confession.

    All I did was beg God to end my nigthmare. Over 72 hours crying and writhing in pain. Begging. Promising with heartfelt sorrow for my actions not to make the same mistakes and choices again. Praying for my pain to be gone. Praying for a righteous life. Having true, true tearfelt sorrow. A conviction to turn away.

    Obviously the God I was begging to was that I had “made up” because I didn’t go the a church, get baptized and take cathecism classes and then have my assurances of heaven made no matter what.

    Obviously I was led astray and my blessing and salvation was that of the devil.

    A fools fool I am. Take care all. I do need a break and I am really sad now.

  87. earl says:

    Indeed, Jesus have mercy on us all, for Jeff and Earl cannot.

    Calm down FH…you make it sound like you’ve never heard of original sin before.

  88. Jeff Strand says:

    FH: “It would seem millions upon millions of children are condemned before being able to sin.. not something one would take lightly.”

    A. I never said unbaptized children (assuming here that they are under the age of reason) are condemned, in the sense of being sent to the Hell of the Damned (nor did Earl). On the contrary, I specifically denounced that idea (which btw was advocated by St. Augustine) and repeated what the Doctors of the Church have said – such souls go to a place of perfect natural happiness, that is typically called “the Limbo of the Innocents”. And just to be clear, by the term “perfect natural happiness”, it should be understood that no living person here on Earth has EVER experienced that much happiness. It is like being halfway between Earth and Heaven. The only thing these souls lack is the vision of God, but they don’t know they are missing out on that (if they did know, they would not be experiencing perfect natural happiness, you see?)

    B. If the souls of unbaptized children go to the Heaven of the Saints, as you seem to imply, then mass abortion is a huge defeat for the devil….is it not? Thanks to Roe v Wade, I guess we’ve sent 50 million souls straight to Heaven since 1973, just in this country alone! Well done!

  89. feministhater says:

    Calm down FH…you make it sound like you’ve never heard of original sin before.

    Are you saying that aborted fetuses go to hell? It’s not a measure of my state of mind to ask such questions. It truly is a conundrum and one you should answer well enough. I don’t even know why you need to think I’m angry. I merely posited a point..

    I have heard of original sin, I have also heard of our Lord’s mercy. It would not be merciful to send aborted babies to hell, nor retarded folks or down syndrome people or even younger orphans. They have not sinned against our Lord, they are unable to get baptised through no fault of their own, entirely blameless.

    B. If the souls of unbaptized children go to the Heaven of the Saints, as you seem to imply, then mass abortion is a huge defeat for the devil….is it not? Thanks to Roe v Wade, I guess we’ve sent 50 million souls straight to Heaven since 1973, just in this country alone! Well done!

    Those souls came from heaven, yes or no? They have had no appreciable time to have sinned, yes or no? The sin was not theirs, it lies on the people who committed the sin, those who do the aborting. Implying that God does not care enough to tell the difference is unmerciful.

    We are created in God’s image. We would likewise be merciful to those we consider innocent.

    There is now another form of purgatory I never knew of. Where sinless souls with the taint of original sin go, for they are not clean enough to join those who had the chance to be baptised.

    It’s not a win to have 50 million blameless souls return to heaven when the costs were the countless millions of sinners who murdered them in cold blood. The devil had no choice to corrupt the aborted babies but he has corrupted the rest of society. Not so much winning after all.

  90. earl says:

    Are you saying that aborted fetuses go to hell? It’s not a measure of my state of mind to ask such questions.

    I never said they were condemned to Hell…I said they have original sin. How mercy is determined upon them isn’t fully understood because nobody has seen what happens there and then reported back to earth…all we have is a theological opinion.

  91. Son of Liberty says:

    God has been clear in Revelation, to come out of her abominations and harlotry against God’s Bride…
    comeoutofher.org

  92. UK Fred says:

    @Jeff Strand
    “For those of us who HAVE reached the age of reason, baptism is NECESSARY (except for some extraordinary circumstances, as I mentioned above) but not SUFFICIENT.”

    I, a Presbyterian, was brought up in an area of Scotland that was 50% Catholic and 50% not. It was social housing, what Americans would call Projects. Perhaps the local Catholic clergy were very poor teachers because none of their flock seemed to understand the issue about needing to be born again. Nor did they understand that confession must be accompanied by repentance.

    The general Catholic view was that so long as the RCC priest had sprinkled water on you as an infant – they did not recognise any other baptism as valid- you could sin as much as you wanted to and were still saved so long as you confessed your sins to the Catholic priest..

    Sin was prevalent in the area, and the Catholics were no different from the others.

    Things have not improved for the local Catholic parish. The parish priest was publicly accused of false imprisonment of a man with whom he attempted to have a homosexual encounter after trying to get him drunk enough to ‘consent’, but the other man was unwilling;

    The picture I perceived was a picture of a groiuo which claimed to be christian, but had so little evidence of Christ in the lives of the members that it might as well have been a Sunday Morning Social Club.

  93. Jeff Strand says:

    Fred: “…you could sin as much as you wanted to and were still saved so long as you confessed your sins to the Catholic priest..”

    Technically that’s true, provided you meet the conditions for a good Confession. Meaning, among other things, that you have sorrow for sin and a firm purpose of amendment. So for example, if you confess to sins of fornication, but intend to continue cohabitating with your gf and being sexual with her, then your confession is not valid.

    For those who think that Confession sounds like a “get out of jail free card” or a “license to sin”, consider the following:

    A. Confession only applies to PAST sins. This is contrary to the Prot doctrine of “once saved, always saved”, wherein the believer is guaranteed a ticket to Heaven no matter what heinous sins he may commit IN THE FUTURE. This is crazy!

    Furthermore, committing serious sin with the intention of going to Comfession later is also a gamble because we are all mortal, and you could well die before you have the chance of attending the Sacrament. As St. Alphonsus put it, “Do you put off Confession until next week? But how do you know you will live another week? The merciful God who has promised forgiveness to the repentant has not promised tomorrow to sinners.” And this dovetails nicely with the words of Our Lord in the Gospel, in one of His parables: “Thou fool! Do you not know that this very night thy soul shall be required of you?”

    B. A good confessor may set requirements for the penitent before granting absolution, as part of his penance. For example, if one of your sins is theft, the priest will require you to make restitution to the victim before granting absolution. Or if you killed a man who was the breadwinner of a family, the priest will probably require you to do what you can to supplement the income that family has lost. (However, the priest WON’T require you to turn yourself in to the secular authorities (police) as a requirement for absolution, as the priest is not an agent of the State and it’s not his role to assist them in prosecutions)

    C. This may be a difficult concept for Prots to understand, but it’s important to realize that the Sacrament of Penance only removes the supernatural guilt due to sin (saving you from damnation, for example, if you were in a state of mortal sin). It does NOT remove the temporal punishment due to the commission of sins, which must be paid either here in this life or afterwards in purgatory. So for example, if you confessed to a grievous act of wanton murder and were granted absolution, and then dropped dead right after completing your assigned penanace, it is a virtual certainty that you are not going straight to Heaven. You would probably suffer greatly in purgatory for a very long time, possibly until the Last Day, before you are fit for admittance to the Heavenly Kingdom.

    Interestingly, this is NOT the case for baptism – baptism wipes out all sin AND the associated temporal punishment, so if you die right after being baptized, you are going straight to Heaven no matter even if you were a serial killer or serial rapist. This is why in ancient times, many converts wanted to wait to be baptized until late in life. The Church opposed this, but it took many years before the idea of putting off baptism finally died out.

    D. There are different levels in Heaven. Those with greater merits (think of the great saints and martyrs) achieve a higher level in God’s Kingdom than one who sins continually, but makes use of Confession to save his soul before dying. So the latter person was really cheating himself. (Although I should add that EVERYONE in Heaven, regardless of their degrees of merit, is completely happy in the presence of God and does not envy those whith greater merits. They are perfectly happy experiencing the perfect justice and love of God, and will even rejoice to see the highest levels in Heaven that the great saints have achieved)

    One last thought. There have been private revelations to various saints who have stated that those Prots who are lucky enough to avoid damnation suffer greatly in purgatory, because no one prays for them. This is because Prots don’t realize that refusing to believe in purgatory doesn’t make the reality of it go away. As one saint put it, “They will believe in purgatory once they get there.”

    But of course, those are really the lucky ones since they at least avoid Hell. And Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors stated definitively that it is an error to say “we can at least have good hope that Prots go to Heaven”. Obviously, the Vatican II Sect not only denies this, but now says the opposite…which is just another proof that it is NOT the true RCC.

  94. BillyS says:

    A. Confession only applies to PAST sins. This is contrary to the Prot doctrine of “once saved, always saved”, wherein the believer is guaranteed a ticket to Heaven no matter what heinous sins he may commit IN THE FUTURE. This is crazy!

    So you better die just after your confession or you are hosed.

    How many good things change you into someone who should get into heaven? If works don’t work one way, why should they work the other? The state of someone’s spirit is the issue, not the outward signs. Those signs point to the state of their spirit, but do not guarantee it. It is a misunderstanding of what it means to be reborn to not understand this.

    This is because Prots don’t realize that refusing to believe in purgatory doesn’t make the reality of it go away. As one saint put it, “They will believe in purgatory once they get there.”

    And they will believe in unicorns once they see them there! We are making things up with no Scriptural basis after all, why stop at Purgatory?

  95. Jeff Strand says:

    Billy: “We are making things up with no Scriptural basis after all, why stop at Purgatory?”

    It is in Scripture. St. Paul said, “They too will be saved, but through fire.” And Our Lord said in the Gospel, “You will not go forth from that place until you have repaid the last farthing.”

    Billy: “So you better die just after your confession or you are hosed.”

    Not unless you are committing mortal sins. Your last confession might have been many years ago, but as long as you die in a state of grace, you’re good. Not to mention that if you call out for God’s mercy and forgiveness at the very last moment, we cannot put limits on God’s mercy (even if you appear to worldly eyes to be in a state of grievous sin). God alone can judge a human soul. But of course, it would be foolish to count on this when Our Lord specifically gave us the Sacrament of Penance as the only ORDINARY means for the forgiveness of serious sins, post-baptism. It would be like throwing a great gift back in His face. So one should have recourse to frequent confession.

    As to the Scriptural basis for this sacrament, see the end of the Gospel of St. John where Our Lord delegates this power to grant absolution to repentant sinners to the apostles, who in turn delegated this power to their successors (bishops).

  96. BillyS says:

    Ah, you get to decide when someone/something is bad enough! Must be rough being God Jeff.

    It is in Scripture. St. Paul said, “They too will be saved, but through fire.” And Our Lord said in the Gospel, “You will not go forth from that place until you have repaid the last farthing.”

    Where does that confirm purgatory? Last I checked, fires burn things quite quickly, not over many years. Check the analogy used better. Gold is refined in a fire until it is pure and all else is burned away, not until it suffers enough to pay for its impurity.

    You should know better than to argue with someone who really follows the Scriptures.

  97. Jeff Strand says:

    Billy: “You should know better than to argue with someone who really follows the Scriptures.”

    Oh really? Then look up this quote from the Bible: “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.”

    Those prayers cannot be for the souls in Heaven, as the saints in Heaven certainly have no need for our prayers, nor to be loosed from their sins. And they cannot be for the damned in Hell, as our prayers cannot help them. So this biblical passage is clearly talking about praying for those suffering in Purgatory.

    BTW, it was always common in Christianity (since ancient times) to pray for the dead. I guess everyone had it wrong for thousands of years, but you got it right, LOL! Yeah, right!

  98. thedeti says:

    and yet again, it devolves into “you’re not a real Christian because……” and “if you didn’t do X and Y and speak in tongues, you’re not a real Christian….” and “I’m a better/more authentic Christian than you are”.

    Sad.

  99. Novaseeker says:

    Sad.

    Yep.

  100. earl says:

    Theological arguments can often look like political arguments.

  101. bdash 77 says:

    so feminists can be christians?

    Churchians can be christians?

  102. feeriker says:

    Churchians can be christians?

    No. The very nature of churchianity is to ignore and subvert the true tenets of the Faith in order to appease the World. That’s about as far removed from Christianity as it is possible to get.

  103. Almost catholic says:

    I guess the joke is lost on most of you heretic lot who don´t expect the Spanish Inquisition, but I can´t help but admire the trick of divorcing first and annulling later. It´s just like the old days, really, and in the best catholic tradition: the Inquisition would question and then declare a heretic but, contrary to popular misconception, The Church wouldn´t touch the poor lost soul. In fact the Church never killed a man or woman. Instead they proclaimed the verdict and then let the secular authorities do have their way with the criminal for them to go to hell for burning a fellow man (or a witch).
    This new annullment fun ride is very much the same. Of course the buggery causes a lot of suffering and trouble and ruins children´s lives and gets men to hang themselves on trees and open their veins and women to endlessly bore their cats and drink cheap booze, but hey, it´s the divorce that did that, not the annulment. That came only after all the damage had been done.

    Still my favorite related quote is the father talking to his five kids after he had an anullment: “You treated me like bastards, I made you bastards.”

  104. earl says:

    so feminists can be christians?

    Can a man serve two masters?

  105. BillyS says:

    I don’t accept Maccabees as being part of the canon Jeff. Any solid Biblical principle will be in one place as well. You are adding concepts, but even your mention of 2 Maccabees doesn’t validate Purgatory, it just indicates praying for the dead, with no specific indication of what and why. Still very vague.

    Deti,

    Some would say you cannot be a Christian if you do speak in tongues, so it goes both ways in that case.

    One thing I commonly see left out is the idea Christians are continually “washing their mind with the water of the Word” and must walk out life on this earth, not in a perfect state. We should never attempt to justify bad actions, but we should realize some may never quite get the victory over things, which doesn’t mean they are going to hell. 1 John 1:9 wouldn’t write about the need and ability to be forgiven (no priest required there) if that was not an ongoing issue for Christians.

    Too many Christians operate under the “anything I have mastered that someone else has not will send them to hell” approach to spirituality, unfortunately.

  106. BillyS says:

    BTW Jeff, you can believe in Purgatory if you wish, I will let the topic go now, or at least try to do so!

  107. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2018/01/14) - Social Matter

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