The visible Church in the US practices Catholic divorce, even going so far as to require Catholics to obtain an immoral no fault divorce as a required first step before even granting a hearing to a petitioner seeking an annulment.
It's a required first step that makes a fait accompli the destruction of every marriage a tribunal even looks at. It's a required first step that makes the visible Church in the U.S. no better than the immoral civil court system that treats marriage as unilaterally dissoluble.
"Divorce is immoral also because it intorduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents, and often torn between them and, because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society," but yet the U.S. marriage tribunals require a divorce as a required first step.
It's a required first step that in and of itself proves the visible Church in the U.S. is not in keeping with the letter or the spirit of canon law.
Because the visible Church in the U.S. refuses to act in accordance with the Catholic Faith there is only one viable solution left, the visible Church must be forced to act Catholic.
Those who have had their marriages fraudulently destroyed by marriage tribunals need to file a class action lawsuit with commensurate damages equal to the harm caused to their lives and to their children's lives.
The lawsuit needs to be brought against the bishops and their marriage tribunals, and should be brought because the Catholic faithful have been defrauded by means of reckless disregard of canon law the bishops and their tribunals purport to represent. And in addition they need to be sued for the subsequent damages caused by their reckless disregard of canon law.
As it stands, we have a modern society which no longer respects the indissolubility of marriage, and the bishops are acting as creatures of our same modern society.
The pedophile scandal went virtually unchecked until it started costing the bishops money and prestige, and so likewise the only way to force the bishops to act like shepherds is to follow suite.
And in the same vein, any priest that gives permission to separate without just cause should be likewise sued for damages caused to the children by his reckless disregard of canon law.
Let it be that a wife comes to him with some horror story, let him give tentative permission, but if he lets it stand at that without due diligence investigation to the true nature of the circumstance, then by his action and subsequent lack thereof he is acting contrary to canon law. And in turn, let him be sued for incompetence, and if the horror story is untrue, let him be sued for damages to the family and children.
In contrast to the visible Church today, in the past when the good of the family was the concern of the visible Church, there was a concerted effort to keep families together as indicative by the following :
[i]Art. 5. Rectification of Invalid Marriages
937. INTRODUCTION. When a marriage is discovered to have been invalid due to the presence of a diriment impediment the greatest prudence is required. There are four courses open.
1. SEPARATION OF THE TWO PARTIES. Normally speaking, this should be avoided because of the many inconveniences which would ensue: however, if the impediment is one which cannot be dispensed and the putative spouses cannot live together as brother and sister this is the course of action which must be taken; but before such a separation a declaration is normally required from the local Ordinary to the effect that the marriage was invalid.
2. TO LEAVE THE PUTATIVE SPOUSES IN GOOD FAITH; this is not lawful unless there exists an urgent reason.
3. BOTH PARTIES MAY CONTINUE TO LIVE TOGETHER AS BROTHER AND SISTER; this may be permitted a) if the invalidity of the marriage is not pubic, and 6) if there is no proximate danger of incontinence.
4. RECTIFICATION OF THE INVALID MARRIAGE. This may be done in one of three ways: a) by a simple renewal of consent without any dispensation; b) by an ordinary dispensation; c) by regularizing the original consent (sanatio in radice). Each of these methods must be considered in turn.
[i] Prummer, O.P., Dominic M.; Handbook of Moral Theology; Translated from the Latin by Reverend Gerald W. Shelton, S.T.L.; Edited for American Usage by Reverend John Gavin Nolan, S.T.D.; P.J. Kenedy & Sons: New York; 1949. pp. 458-461. Published in Germany in 1949, under the title Vademecum Theologiae Moralis, by Verlag herder, Freiburg. Nihil Obstat: Revmus D. Thomas E. Bird, S.T.D., Ph.D.; Censor Deputatus. Imprimatur: FRANCISCUS Archiepiscopus Birmingamiensis; Birmingamiae, die 2a Decembris 1955. Nihil Obstat: Aidanus M. Carr, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D., J.C.D.
Imprimatur: Gulielmus A. Scully, D.D. March 24, 1957, Episcopus Albanensis.
Library of Congress Catalog Card number 55-9737; Copyright 1957 by P.J. Kenedy & Sons. Printed in the United States of America.
If you liked this post, you may like my others on the same subject:
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.
The Seven Canon Laws that Urge Separated Spouses to Reconcile
1152.1, 1153.2, 1155, 1446.2, 1676, 1695, 1713
Canon 1152.1 urges a spouse, out of Christian charity, to pardon an adulterous partner.
Canon 1153.2 instructs spouses to restore their common conjugal life when the reason for separation ceases. (This canon needs to be reinforced today.)
Canon 1155 says that “the innocent spouse may laudably readmit the other spouse to the conjugal life, in which case he or she renounces the right to separation.” (To be forgiven, we must forgive.)
Canon 1446.2 In the early stages of litigation, and indeed at any other time as often as he discerns any hope of a successful outcome, the judge is not to fail to exhort and assist the parties to seek an equitable solution to their controversy in discussions with one another. He is to indicate to them suitable means to this end and avail himself of serious-minded persons to mediate. (Discerning successful outcomes could be facilitated by calling to mind the trauma the children of divorce suffer. The judge should have a long list of these before him on a handout to set before the Petitioner and Respondent.)
Canon 1676 says that “before he accepts a case and whenever there appears to be hope of success, the judge is to use pastoral means to persuade the spouses that, if it is possible, they should perhaps validate their marriage and resume their conjugal life. (Hope of success is facilitated by reminding those who make vows that there is no place in heaven for those who break them. The judge should have this teaching on a handout to give to the parties seeking nullity.)
Canon 1695 says that “before he accepts the case, and whenever there appears to be hope of success, the judge is to use pastoral means to induce the parties to be reconciled and to resume their conjugal life. (Hope of success can be facilitated by having quotes of early Church fathers, St. Charles Borromeo, and others who have spoken on the seriousness of keeping vows and setting a good example of the permanence in marriage for the good of the children and of society.)
Canon 1713 In order to avoid judicial disputes, agreement or reconciliation can profitably be adopted, or the controversy can be submitted to the judgement of one or more arbiters.