Faithful Spouses Applaud Pope Benedict XVI 

by Martin Barillas Saturday, January 30, 2010
For release January 30, 2010

To: National Desk

From: Bai Macfarlane, Founder
Mary’s Advocates
Westlake, OH

Faithful Spouses Applaud Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI’s recent speech about annulments reaffirms those connected with Mary’s Advocates, a non-profit educational organization that upholds marriage. Activists with the organization remain faithful to marriage, even after divorce or separation. Founder Bai Macfarlane says, “We have observed that publications about annulment and divorce from U.S. publishers contradict the teachings from the Holy See.”

Mary’s Advocates has collected on their website writings from the Holy See, including Appeals decisions from the Roman Rota and scholarly works by Roman Rota Judges.

Cindy Wooden with the Catholic News Service writes about the Pope’s January 29 annual speech to officials of the Roman Rota, a tribunal that mainly deals with appeals filed in marriage annulment cases. “Defending the permanent bond of a valid marriage is a matter of both justice and love, he said, because it is designed to protect the human and spiritual good of the couple and ‘the public good of the church,’ which teaches that marriage is forever and does not use annulments as a sort of church-sanctioned divorce.”

Macfarlane, from Mary’s Advocates points out “I’ve spoken with respondents in annulment cases who find their right to defend their own marriage violated by their local tribunals.” On their Internet discussion group, faithful spouses discuss canon law procedural practices, while keeping person details of their own cases secret.

One simple problem is that U.S. tribunals might overlook their responsibility to pattern themselves after the Roman Rota’s jurisprudence and start an investigation with no specific allegation made against a marriage. For example, someone wanting an annulment is supposed to name the “grave defect of discretion regarding some essential right/obligation of marriage” when lack of discretion is proposed as a grounds for annulment. (Note)

Karl Wengenroth from New York successfully defended his marriage at the Roman Rota against a mistaken annulment decision from a Midwest diocese. He explains, “Christian Americans should not be shocked that the government divorce courts annihilate families for no moral reason with no-fault divorce. But when pastors and tribunals expect us to accept the same treatment, we need to ban together and learn what we can do to solve this problem.”

NOTECanon 1095-2, Rotal Decision,
Dignitas Connubii Art. 35, Pastor Bonus Art. 126.

0    submitted by Martin Barillas
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