Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Innocents--The Kingdom of Heaven Belongs to These

Carl Bloch
"MYTH NUMBER FOUR: If an Annulment is Granted the Children will be Illegitimate"
"The truth is that an ecclesiastical annulment is concerned only with the spouses, and not the children. An annulment has no effect at all on the legitimacy of children, or other arrangements regarding children, such as custody or support. These are all concerns of the civil law, and an ecclesiastical annulment has absolutely no effects under civil law. It is a myth that granting an annulment makes the children illegitimate."   
Why is it that anti-Catholics are so angry and bitter that they must bring children into the argument?  After all, Jesus did say, "Suffer not the children to come unto Me."  Why?  Because He would hold them responsible for their parents guilt?  I don't think so.  In fact, He performed many of His miracles just to prove this erroneous notion, held by many Jews, wrong.  Why else would He say, "Your sins are forgiven" to the lame man who then walked.  Being born crippled or blind was seen as punishment for the parents' sins.  Jesus proved that wrong.
"Canon 1137 Children who are conceived or born of a valid or of a putative marriage are legitimate."  http://www.catholicdoors.com/misc/marriage/canonlaw.htm

Now if children are born to parents who later decide that marriage was a mistake--whether their marriage was annulled and/or they divorced--the children are not to blame.  Not only is the notion that these children are illegitimate ridiculous, it flies in the face of Jesus' love and compassion for all children.  No child is considered illegitimate by His Church.  They are children of God on equal ground with you and me, as they should be. 

"Does annulment make our children illegitimate?"
"No — children of a marriage that's determined to be invalid by a Catholic annulment, are still legitimate. (Code of Canon Law, canon 1137)  When a couple marries, they assume the marriage is valid and was entered into in  good faith. Children conceived under this assumption of a valid marriage, are considered to be legitimate.  This fact does not change even if the marriage is later found to be not valid."
"In the United States, Catholic annulment does not affect any state civil laws.  It is unrelated to civil concerns such as illegitimacy, child custody, alimony, visitation rights, or division of property."  http://www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-annulment.html
Maybe people in the church had a different idea about this at one time, but that is not true any more.  I believe we have a better perspective on Christ's love and compassion for humans and their frailty.  We should not be so hard on our fellow Christians.  Gone are the days of making children feel ashamed because their parents didn't or wouldn't do the right thing.

15 People even brought babies to him, for him to touch them; but when the disciples saw this they scolded them.

16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
17 In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.'  Luke 18:15-17
13 Then people brought little children to him, for him to lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples scolded them,

14 but Jesus said, 'Let the little children alone, and do not stop them from coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs.'
15 Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.  Matt. 19:13-15


Anonymous said...

Ask my children, now adults, what they think of the Catholic nullity process. It would not be pretty.

It is a bad joke, all the way around.

I speak from experience.

Successful nullity = broken home = forever wounded children and spouses who are abandoned
who do not want a divorce.

The hierarchy is completely blind to the judgment God is exacting on the Catholic Church for this process. God will not be defied.

Those of us who have experienced this hell have witnessed it to the Church, who ignores us. There is, quite literally, hell to be paid.

Go ahead and delete this comment. It is your blog.
But, delete the truth I have spoken to you, as I know that deceit may cost me my soul which I have no intent on doing, and you will be held to account, by God.

In theory, the process has merit. In practice, it is devastating to those who believe in their marriages and to all children involved, but, especially children of spouse, one of whom wants another "chance" and the other who simply knows their marriage is valid. Period.

Go be with you, dear. I mean that sincerely.


cathmom5 said...

I am so sorry for your terrible experience. I truly am. I pray everyday for the healing of broken marriages at home.

But, I'm afraid you've missed the point of my post. I was not commenting on the merits/problems with annullment process. I was not commenting on whether or not the Church has let people down. I will not have to "be held to account to God" for YOUR feelings on the matter or whether or not I publish your comment. And, such bitter comdemnation before a "sincere" "God be with you" seems to me to nullify any such "sincerity."

I was speaking about the legitimacy of the children in annulment situations. Jesus said, "Suffer not the children to come to me." The parents guilt, the Church's faults, the failure of the process, do not affect the legitimacy of the children. They do not and should not carry a label of illegitimate. A label that has long since been dropped for babies of unmarried mothers.

The Church does not label the children as illegitimate and those outside the Church (in this case one snobby person who claims to be Orthodox) should not be making snide remarks that children of annulled marriages are illegitimate.