Read commenter Taco’s story of how the Catholic annulment machine helped steal his family and realize that this is what our Kasperized hierarchy would regard as a successful operation, the system working as desired. Those of us that don’t like it must just be lacking in mercy. Both Zippy and the pope think that half of Catholic marriages are invalid. I disagree with both of them, but there’s a big difference between the two. Zippy recognizes it as a pastoral catastrophe; the bishops see it as good news. It means that half of married Catholics have a “get out of jail” card that can be given to them if and when convenient (for one of them). Perhaps with more careful analysis, it could be found that all marriages are invalid. Now that would really be ideal! Yes, it would mean that we’re all fornicators and our children are all bastards, but the whole point of the Kasperite heresy is that it’s subjective experience rather than reality that matters. You didn’t really want to bind yourself to another person; you just wanted to feel like you had.
It’s a very easy thing to do, arguing that at the time of a wedding, one of the spouse’s knowledge or will didn’t encompass the entirety of the sacrament’s meaning. In fact, we know that this is always true! Sacraments are, to use my prior terminology, supra-rational signs. What they signify can’t be exhaustively encoded in explicit human statements. If the signification could be thus captured, it wouldn’t be supernatural. If we follow this reasoning, saying that some (actually all) marriages are invalid because of the least bit of vagueness in the participants’ understanding or motives, then it follows that all baptisms are invalid, all confessions are invalid, no one has ever properly received the Eucharist, and the Church is useless as a vehicle of grace.
I suppose it could still get by as a vehicle of warm feelings, though.
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