I am completely certain I am married.
I am equally completely certain that if push came to shove the local visible Church would rule that I am not married.
Never mind arranged marriages and so forth were all seen as true valid marriages down through the ages. Marriages which no one questioned, just as I don't question mine because I trust God to have created a world sufficient for us to live in where that sufficiency would likewise include our capacity to actually contract marriage.
A sufficiency which foresaw our fallen nature. And foresaw we would contract marriages in our weakened, blinded condition.
A sufficiency which foresaw the passions, joys, impulsiveness and similar of young love found in virtually every love song ever sung, because God created us to marry young, (as evident from marriage being ordered to procreation), before we have fully matured and grown in wisdom.
Christ gave us the sacrament of marriage to strengthen us with sacramental grace because he knew we would marry without discretion because we do have fallen nature and because we would marry young and impulsively.
We all know by now more than a few couples whose marriages have been annulled. And what we have observed is that those annulments were virtually an automatic no matter the circumstance. An observation which tells us that in the eyes of the local visible Church marriage is the most uncommonly occurring of all the sacraments, even more uncommon than priestly ordination.
In fact, I wonder in all seriousness, do I know anyone who in the eyes of the visible local Church, who is married? Is Fred married to his new hot Catholic babe of a wife?
If Fred, (not his real name), wasn’t married the first time to the mother of his 6 children, why would it be different the second time around? I mean different other than the new babe fits on his arm much more cozily than his not so hot former. Fred didn't start off thinking about annulment, he separated from his wife over some issue while considering himself still married, and a priest at his parish suggested he get an annulment.
Or take Susie, (not her real name either), she separated from her husband over finances, and perhaps because he too was kind of dumpy and embarrassing at parties. And she too found the Church willing to not only tell here she could separate from her husband over such trifle, but that she was not even married to him.
Of course Fred's former wife and mother of his six children is very hurt, as well as more than a bit angry at the visible Church. We know how destructive divorce is to the spouse and especially to the children. Annulments are no different, and on the face of it far worse because at least divorce recognizes that there was a bond between the husband and wife. Where as annulment doesn’t even grant that much casting all concerned adrift without any anchor.
Annulments are truly a creature of our modern rootlessness, causing further loss of place. If the family is the foundation of society, then annulments are a terminal disease causing its ruin.
And not just annulment, but also separation.
Separation is likewise treated with surprising cavalier by priests giving marriage advise. Probably because our priests have also been infected by the disease of annulments. The thought is probably something akin to : if annulments then why not likewise give sanction to separation, (on the most flimsy of reason as I know does occur), because they no doubt have annulment in the back of their mind while giving the advise on separation.
True, the Church teaches that reason for separation must be grave, but so likewise does it teach the same with regard to annulments, but as a practical matter we know by experience just how far that gets us.
What we do get is charity and understanding, , but we get them as the world understands them. An understanding which we better know as false charity and as false understanding because they are not finally grounded in actual charity and understanding, but grounded in a false understanding of ourselves. The same kind of false charity and false understanding which takes pity on all those disposed to one sexual sin or another telling them it's alright to indulge.
Marriage, then annulment then marriage again is nothing more than a license to practice successive polygamy. No differently really than the Protestants with their divorce giving them license to practice successive polygamy. Or should I say for Catholics, the right to practice successive fornication since no one is actually married?
In contrast to the above cavalier attitude:
Is there any aspect of our lives more important than our marriages? Our marriages form our lives. We give our lives for our family constantly working for its good. We love our families more than life itself, or as life itself, because it is our life. And when we have difficulty we expect actual and real help. We expect the Church to help us according to subsidiarity where the more perfect community, i.e. the Church, helps lift us up according to our actual need as a less perfect community. We ask for bread, but instead receive annulments and separations, which are as stones which break our teeth and starve our children.
I know marriage problems are common among Catholics, but why would we expect otherwise when we consider the modernist culturally materialist rootless society we live in which serves us poorly by giving us harsh soil to raise our families on? I likewise know we are poorly served when we are given stones when we ask for bread. Marriage is a duty we take on, and according to subsidiarity it is a duty equally binding on the visible Church to help us as we need that help.
We are damaged irreparably individually by each individual harmful advise and annulment which breaks up each individual family. Irreparable damage which extends down to our children.
And we are damaged irreparably as society. We must have communities according to our nature, and we cannot have community without families, and without their bond of marriage.
If you like the above article on the annulment scandal then perhaps you will like my others on the same subject:
My other solution to the annulment scandal
The solution to the annulment scandal
Stressing the unitive aspect of marriage only makes the problem worse
Marry a hot Catholic babe with a 2-year long marriage contract and receive a guaranteed annulment because of "lack of due discretion" when the contract runs out
Never trust a priest to help you solve your marriage problems.
"The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops" and of those who serve on their marriage tribunals because they are recklessly scandalizing our children, driving a wedge between our children and the Faith.
No one is in hell for committing adultery