This one has been on the burner for quite a while. It’s time. In fact, it is long past time.
One of the key problems with regards to the whole mega-problem of “divorce”, “remarriage” and the outright war on the Sacrament of Marriage, and on the family in general is the fact that no one, not even the most traditional of Catholics, will bluntly tell people this one, simple truth. It is too uncomfortable, too “unattractive”, or so people think. Really, the problem, and it takes many forms for different people, but can be generalized as the orange button you see to your right – the one that says “Donate” on it. Mine is orange. Others are yellow and say “PayPal”, others are pop-up windows asking, even pleading, for money. For others, the cruel mistress isn’t outright monetary donations, but rather career tracks, salaries that are direct deposited into their checking account on the 15th of the month, retirement packages, or just the threat of being transferred to a rural parish – horror of horrors!
Sadly, most people let their financial “cruel mistress” rule the roost, and everything they say or do, to one degree or another, is done in a state of submission to her. I try very, very hard to wear the proverbial pants in the family, and submit in no way to my little orange button to your right. Given that preamble, let me now state the blunt truth:
Civil divorce is a fiction and an abomination and in no way alters a person’s duty to their marital vows. Therefore, if a validly married couple does civilly divorce, BOTH SPOUSES, no matter the circumstances or blame, are FINISHED in terms of engaging in ANY KIND of romantic relationships, because ANY ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS would be, by definition, adultery.
There it is, folks. That is what even the most Trad priest in this day and age will do anything to avoid saying. Even the most Trad priest will immediately try to see if an annulment can possibly be finagled – and I use the term “finagled” very specifically. The truth is that almost all marriages between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman are valid, and that the whole business of near-100%, rubber-stamped “annulments” granted over the past 50 years are abject nonsense, and a pure function of the infiltration of The Church over the past century, culminating in the “Asteroid Impact” in the 1960s. Annulments absolutely, positively have become in all but the rarest cases “Catholic divorce” – no question. Up until the 1960’s, there were only a few hundred annulments declared per year in the entire world, precisely because the circumstances that truly cause Our Blessed Lord to NOT confect a marriage are very rare.
Remember, marriage is a tri-party agreement. Annulment does not mean that there was a marriage, and then that marriage “failed”. There is no such thing as a “failed” marriage that ceases to exist. If two people are married, that ontological reality CANNOT be changed. Period. Marriage is INDISSOLUBLE. Words have meaning, folks. That is why marriage is a really, really, really, really big deal.
A declaration of nullity means that there was NEVER a marriage – ever, because Christ Himself never entered into the tri-party contract. For example, if a man tried to marry his half-sister, Christ would NEVER join them in marriage. Another example is fraud. If a man were to have a clandestine vasectomy and sterilize himself before marriage and withhold this information, Christ would NEVER join the couple in matrimony because this is an act of fraud against the woman, who has a right to the possibility of conceiving and bearing children. Another circumstance is coercion – TRUE coercion, not just pressure, even intense pressure as with a man being pressured into marrying a woman that he had impregnated, but a true threat against one’s life or the lives of others if one does not marry someone against their will. While this sort of true coercion is common in musloid culture, it is exceedingly rare in Christian and even post-Christian culture. And, OBVIOUSLY, no marriage is even confected wherein one of the parties is ALREADY MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE. Period. And remember, civil divorce is a fiction, and an abomination. Just as abortion is legalized first-degree murder, civil divorce is the state granting legal permission for one of both spouses to commit adultery.
Today, almost all requests for a declaration of nullity are granted by The Church. In many dioceses in the former United States, the rate is literally 100%. And one no longer need be a Kennedy, greasing the wheels of the marriage tribunal with a $250,000 “charitable donation” to the Bishop’s slush fund. The logical premise that yields near-100% granting of annulments is the FALSE PREMISE that the vast, vast majority of marriages are invalid and never existed to begin with, and therefore, as a logical corollary, anyone entering into a marriage should expect that their marriage is almost certainly no marriage at all, and that their spouse almost certainly is not their spouse. This is FALSE. This is satanic. This is why Antipope Bergoglio, who it seems with ever-growing probability is the False Prophet Forerunner of the Antichrist, the literal Anti-John the Baptist, has said exactly this – that more than half of marriages are invalid. Filthy, lying wretch.
The truth, however, is precisely the opposite, as one would expect in these Days of Fatima. The vast, vast majority of marriages ARE VALID, and thus NOT ANNULLABLE, because marriage is an ontological reality: it either is or it isn’t. No one has EVER been validly married, and then ceased being validly married while both spouses yet lived. Read that last sentence over and over again until you get it. The vast majority of marriages are valid precisely because the institution of marriage is so critically important to human civilization that it must be strong, stable and reliable. A culture in which marriage is an unstable, wishy-washy institution that people can drift in and out of with complete facility and indifference is a culture that is on a fast-track to self-destruction… EXACTLY as with our culture today.
If you think what I have just said is super hard-core, just wait. I’m just getting warmed up.
Let us consider the case of a man who is abandoned by his wife. Let’s call this hypothetical man Karl. After decades of perfectly valid marriage, Karl’s wife ups and leaves, and files for civil divorce. The fact that Karl wants absolutely no part of this separation is irrelevant to the civil authorities. Civil divorce is now almost universally “no fault” in the post-Christian west. The civil courts grant Karl’s wife a civil divorce, decree that Karl must pay not only his own legal fees, but also his abandoning wife’s legal fees, award her half of the marital estate, award custody of their minor children to Karl’s abandoning wife, and decree that Karl must write his abandoning wife a check for 50% of his pre-tax income for the rest of his life, even if his wife enters into an adulterous relationship with another man, including a civil faux-marriage to another man.
Now here what no one has the guts to say, because it is JUST TOO CHRISTIAN:
Karl, even after all of this massive injustice, is STILL MARRIED TO HIS WIFE, and thus Karl may not, under any circumstance whatsoever engage in ANY romantic relationship so long as his wife is still alive. There is absolutely NOTHING that one spouse can do to another that dispenses them from the Sixth Commandment. There is no sin, no injustice that Karl’s wife can commit that gives Karl permission to also commit sin. Karl is FINISHED in the romance department, and can only live in complete chastity as a married man that has been abandoned by his spouse. Period.
At this point almost everyone, including some VERY Trad Catholics will say, “But, THAT’S NOT FAIR! We have to see if we can get Karl’s marriage annulled (note the lying verbiage, “get annulled”) so that Karl can find another woman to (- and let’s be frank here, folks -) have sex with!”
Justice is rendering to each and to all their rightful due. Karl does not have the RIGHT to have romantic or sexual relations with anyone except his wife, no matter what injustice the wife commits against Karl. In fact, even though the wife has committed grave mortal sin by abandoning her husband, aping the sacrament of marriage by civilly marrying another man and then engaging in adulterous fornication, Karl’s wife STILL is rightfully due Karl’s fidelity. Perhaps most importantly, Jesus Christ, being the binder in and member of the marital union is also due, in justice, the fidelity of BOTH SPOUSES. Just because Karl’s wife chooses to forsake Jesus Christ in her marriage does NOT then give Karl the right to likewise forsake Christ. Karl still owes Christ, and his wife, his fidelity to his marital vows, which were made to both of them, and are irrevocable so long as both spouses live.
So, if after reading that, you are red-faced and preparing to send me an email with your tale of woe, detailing some spouse’s incredibly sinful behavior, save your effort. If a marriage is valid, which almost all marriages are, then it is valid. Period. Do you honestly believe that up until the mid-1960s, no one ever married a Diabolical Narcissist, or even just a run-of-the-mill jerk? Do you honestly believe that up until the mid-1960s, no one ever married someone rashly, and then regretted it? Do you honestly believe that up until the mid-1960s, no man’s wife ever got fat and turned into a nagging, hateful bitch? Do you honestly believe that up until the mid-1960s, no husband nor wife ever committed adultery? Do you honestly believe that up until the mid-1960s, no one was ever “young and stupid”?
The fact is simply this: none of the conditions or circumstances outlined above are germane to the question. If a person were to attempt to have a marriage declared null due to “immaturity”, or because, “love failed”, they would be laughed out the door before the mid-1960s. Even more shocking to the modern ear, up until the early part of the 20th century, it would have been nearly impossible to get a CIVIL DIVORCE with such flimsy attempts at justification. Do you realize that no-fault divorce was first enacted in Russia in December of ARSH 1917, as one of the first major acts executed after the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917? Kinda illuminates what The Virgin of Fatima said about “the spreading of the Errors of Russia”, doesn’t it?
Finally, I would like to address anyone out there reading this, and it is a statistical near-certainty that there are plenty, that might right now, for the first time in their life, have been fully confronted with the fact that the person you are “married” to, isn’t really your spouse. I understand that you must be feeling a combination of nausea, fear, dread, sadness, and especially anger, and that anger is probably at me, and might also be anger at God Himself.
Again, let me be blunt. Many, many people who are in a “second spouse” (or third, or whatever) situation would say something like, “I love my ‘spouse’ and any God who would tell me that I am not really married to him or her is a God that I reject. I love my ‘spouse’, and nothing, including God Himself, will ever convince me to believe otherwise. If I have to choose between God and my ‘spouse’, I choose my spouse.”
Indeed. The choice is yours. If you freely choose to place another human being, or yourself, above God, then you are committing the sin of idolatry, that is the FIRST COMMANDMENT. The Ten Commandments are in the order that they are for a reason. They are in order of severity. Violations of the lower commandments, like the Sixth Commandment, point to and eventually lead to violations of the higher Commandments, ultimately the First.
If you actually believe in the Four Last Things, that is, death, judgment, heaven and hell, then you have to come to grips with the fact that the 85 years plus-or-minus that we spend on this earth are nothing compared to the eternity that awaits us. Now, back your current age out of that. How many decades do you have left on this earth? How many decades does your putative “spouse” have left on this earth? If you die in a state of adultery, unrepentant and consciously and explicitly rejecting God, then you and your putative “spouse” will have a very difficult time making it through your particular judgment. IF you end up in hell, you will spend eternity raging at your spouse for cooperating and enabling your sin. If you really love your putative spouse, just sit and think about the fact that if you end up in hell, you will hate them for all eternity, because there is NO CHARITY in hell. IF your spouse is also in hell, you will spend eternity raging at each other. Spend time thinking about the horror of your putative spouse raging at you, the bared teeth, the blazing hate-filled eyes, the unending stream of hateful profanity and blame, and then think about yourself doing exactly the same back to them. For all eternity. Without rest, without consolation, without hope. That’s hell, folks.
Now, consider the other choice you have. Consider correcting your situation here on earth, before you die. Consider dying in chaste friendship with your putative ‘spouse’, and with Jesus Christ and His Holy Church, and then spending all of eternity together inside the Triune Godhead Itself, with all the angels and saints, where “none marry nor are given in marriage”. Consider the graces that would flow from such an act of TRUE LOVE, not just love of the putative ‘spouses’, but love of God Himself.
This business of trying to “game the system” and bee-ess our way through life, trying to make square pegs fit in round holes with unctious, legalistic solutions to every problem or sin simply has to stop. It has to stop with Antipope Bergoglio – (“We did not accuse him of heresy…we accused him of affirming and propagating heresies.”) Um, these people actually believe that those two things are different, because some ambulance chasing shyster told them that the plain meaning of words have no meaning, and they believed him.
It’s the same with marriage. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s words in the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 19 certainly mean that marriage is indissoluble – EXCEPT WHEN MRS. SMITH’S DAUGHTER MARRIES A CREEP, and then, of course, “there’s a way to work around “indissoluble”. Let’s see if we can try to “get it annulled”. Wink. Aren’t I such a NICE PERSON? Don’t you LIKE ME because I’M SO NICE and tell you lies that you want to hear? Please remember the parish (or PayPal button) in your tithe, as I ingratiate myself to you, and your wallet, by shredding the Sixth Commandment so your baptized pagan daughter can “marry” and have sex again.
If you or someone you love is in this kind of situation, start praying. Pray the Rosary, and petition the Blessed Virgin under her title of “Undoer of Knots”. Focus especially on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the fruit of which is Love of the Law, and Obedience. The other mysteries to focus on are the First and Second Sorrowful Mysteries. The First Sorrowful Mystery is Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden. The fruit of this mystery is SORROW FOR SIN. The Second Sorrowful Mystery is the Scourging of Our Lord at the Pillar. The fruit of this mystery is PURITY.
Don’t think for a second that I can not and do not empathize with people who are in adulterous faux-marriages, or are in a state of abandonment by their spouse and fear loneliness, especially as one ages. I’m not a monster. In fact, I hope it is the opposite. It is precisely because I really do care about other people qua people, that I say these hard truths and risk the ire, alienation, and yes, let’s say it, the loss of revenue that could result. So be it. My motto for many, many years now has been, “Do the right thing, and God will provide.” All indications so far are that this motto is 100% true, so why not believe it with regards to this question?
So, there’s me trying to do the right thing.
I hope this helps someone.