Sunday, June 25, 2006

Marriage: an ever-fixed mark?

Roman Marriage Relief

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare Sonnet CXVI

I recently entered into a discussion about the Sacrament of Marriage. The question came up, if a Catholic is divorced should she be encouraged to date and remarry? At first I thought that the person who was advocating dating and remarriage had failed to realize the individual was divorced and had a child. I said that this person, a convert should attempt to reconcile her marriage, raise it to the level of a Sacrament, restore the family for her child and be true to her marriage vows. This is the path of sanctity. I was told that I was mistaken because perhaps, maybe, it was possible after all, that the individual had received a declaration of nullity. It was treated as a mere formality. After all how many Catholics stop to think that they should not divorce, apply for the annulment and remarry? Far too few.

Annulment is viewed as the rubber stamp on their declaration of independence. Independence from their marriage vows and independence from the Church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

Annulment has become the loophole expanded to fit a tractor trailer comfortably. The reasons that the Church permits annulment can be found here. Funny, you don't see "immaturity" or "failure of communion of life and love" or "I found someone new" in this list. And why do we always give the benefit of the doubt to the person divorcing his or her spouse and never to the spouse abandoned? Why is the person encouraging restoration of the marriage bond the villain, and the person encouraging the divorcing spouse to date and remarry the "hero"? Because there is something wrong with our thinking. It is Americanist, individualist and not in the least Catholic. Marriage is a path to sanctity not self satisfaction, self fulfillment, wealth, respectability, ease, comfort or peace. It is far too important a societal construct than that. Once, that was recognized. No more.

Bai McFarlane has launched a movement to encourage Catholics to reject no fault divorce and re-establish marriage bonds and not encourages annulment and remarriage. She has been abandoned by her husband, had her children taken from her custody to be put in daycare and public schools (after homeschooling them for ten years, ordered to sell the family home, find a job and pay her husband child support. She is arguing that her marriage was formed not be virtue of the State but is under the jurisdiction of the Church. Therefore the Church is the arbiter of custody and separation. Bai seeks a restoration of her marriage and recognition by the Roman Rota that her marriage is valid. This she hopes will encourage her husband to honor his marriage vows. Her website is here.


Carolina Cannonball said...

since you are referring to me, then please let me comment. I did not appreciate your attacks on my blog.

You simply had to ask me if I had indeed taken the proper recourse through Tribunals and seeking counsel with a cannon lawyer. I have so indeed and am completely free to marry within the church.

The details of our divorce are personal... let's just say ... if you can FIND (he is evading chidl support) my ex-husband and he wasn't indeed married to some one else then I suppose reconciliation would be an option- after he sought counsel for certain addictions.

Now I am left with the daughting task of raising a child on my own. I never intended to be divorced (though by the Church's standard I am "single")and I do indeed believe in the sacrament of marriage, I am seeking to remarry and have many Catholic chidlren- God's will willing.

Carolina Cannonball said...

I also wanted to add, that HE abandoned the marriage, not I. And our marriage was never valid to begin with (without the details).

This I can only hope you can trust.

Other then that, I do agree with your comments on marraige and that an annulment does make it an "easy out". But not all times is that an option. There is nothing "easy" about being abandoned.

I suggest before condemning others you simply try their shoes on for a mile & see what the circumstances are. An email to me would have prevent my all out condemnation.

M. Alexander said...

Attacks? I left one comment out of concern for you. If by the Church's standard you are single why didn't you say that? I did not condemn you I acted out of concern for you.

Jess said...


After reading both your blog and Mary's blog, I think you rushed to judgment. In this day and age when a "divorced" woman announces that she's ready to date and find another spouse, you cannot expect people to assume that the Church is involved in this process at all. Recently, while venting my frustation to fellow Catholics about a couple that I knew getting married in the Church had been living together for three years I was told, "you can't judge that they're actually sleeping together." Hello?? There's only one bed in their apartment? What else am I supposed to think? I don't see anywhere in the bible that it says that we need to bury our head in the sand and look the other way when our fellow Catholics are living in mortal sin.

You have to admit that your case is a rare one indeed. Accept that, accept the concern of your fellow Catholic and move on.

David L Alexander said...

Selected works from man with black hat:

Where does forever go?

Step 1: Open Wound. Step 2: Add Salt. Step 3: Stir...

The X Factor

Carolina Cannonball said...

Ms. Alexander wrote:
"Attacks? I left one comment out of concern for you."

The fighting hairs on the back of my neck went up in repsonse to being called "not a good catholic", yes I felt attacked.

Jess wrote:
"I don't see anywhere in the bible that it says that we need to bury our head in the sand and look the other way when our fellow Catholics are living in mortal sin.

You have to admit that your case is a rare one indeed. Accept that, accept the concern of your fellow Catholic and move on."

Jess I completely agree. When our fellow Catholics are going down the wrong road it is our responsibilty to help re-direct them in as charitable manner as possible.

However, I do not believe concern for me was the full motive. I was called a bad catholic and I received no email asking me for further details. I was not even given a chance. Yes, I admit I did chose the wrong wording, in which I will go back and make the corrections to avoid further confusion at my first oppurtunity. I appreciate my poor choice of words being brought to my attention by Ms. Alexander.

M. Villegas said...

As someone outside of the issue totally I read the initial reply in Carolina's blog by M. Alexander as an attack. I agree that if it had been a comment made out of true concern M. Alexander would have e-mailed it to Carolina privately. The public comment was in very poor taste, rude, and (in the eyes of this outsider) an attack on the moral judgement of another Catholic. That is something that NO OTHER HUMAN SOUL had the ability to see.

Jesus and Mary, we love you. Save souls.

Mrs M. Villegas

qlinger said...

I am also outside of the issue but I did not find M. Alexanders comments as an attack. I thought the same thing and was concerned. If people outside of the church had looked at the blog what would they think and how would they feel about a divorcee asking catholics to find her a husband when it is well known that catholics are not allowed to divorce but must seek an annulment. The church has a terrible reputation right now and we catholics need to be on the alert as to how we can be perceived. Also I know of a case where a woman was told that since she was married outside of the church and divorced she did not need to have her first marriage annuled. But after six kids she was told that her first marriage was valid and was consequently living in sin. What a tragedy ! It is true charity tell people the church's stance and hopefully keeping them from mortal sin.

M. Alexander said...

It is interesting to me that Carolina is to be given the "benefit of the doubt" and I'm to assume that she is free to marry (though she never says so) but I am not given the benefit of the doubt as to my motives.

Defensiveness is not a defense.

When a Catholic says I am divorced and want to remarry that does not mean they are free to marry. It just doesn't.

And look around people- are the majority of Catholics abiding by Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage among other issues I could name? Are so many people making heroic commitments to their marriages with great personal sacrifice so that divorce and adultery through remarriage is unknown? Get real.

Carolina made a mistake. I pointed it out. A gracious, well meaning person would have responded by assuring me that my concern was unnecessary and that she indeed was free to marry. Instead I was called a bitch. It is not hard to read a motive into that statement. It is amazing what a little opposition or even lack of agreement can reveal about a person's character.

Jess said...


This whole thing is because you think that M. Alexander thinks your not a "good catholic". Who cares about that? Can a Catholic be concerned about how others perceive him/her? I'm sure many people thought that St. Francis wasn't a good "catholic" when he gave away his family's property, left their estate and became a begger. Others may have said that he should have used his father's status and money to help the poor -but instead he became one of them.

One of the biggest obstacles to sanctity is human respect and vanity. I know, because its one of my chief faults.

Madeline said...


It's interesting to me that you not only felt it necessary to launch an "all out condemnation" of M. Alexander, but that you needed to carry it onto the next web-site. I didn't find you, or your particular circumstances, mentioned in the post on M. Alexander's blog, and wouldn't have known about it, except for your post.

While chastising M. Alexander for not having e-mailed you privately, wouldn't a private e-mail to M. Alexander expressing your feelings and a simple post on your blog stating you had received an annulment been sufficient to clear up the whole matter?

How can you chastise M. Alexander for not showing enough charity when, because M. Alexander was mislead by your choice of words, you felt it necessary to launch an "all out condemnation." That's pretty strong, in my opinion.

With regards to M. Alexander's post, I agree that it was a hasty judgement. However, I also agree with M. Alexander that your choice of words, by calling yourself "divorced," did contribute to the situation.

Frankly, I'm alarmed at the rapid rise in vitriol over a small mistake. I suppose I'm not opening myself up to an "all out condemnation" by you, but I guess I can handle it.

Jess said...


While reading your blog, and then M. Alexander's post I can see why you would assume that this post is just to pick on you - but by turning this post into a personal attack, I think you've hijacked this topic. What might otherwise have been a fruitful discussion on some of the problems with marriage both in and outside the Church.

I say that we start over with this discussion, and perhaps, given your experience you might have something to add to it, rather than just defend your own situation. I'd be interested to hear it.

Tillely said...

"HE abandoned the marriage, not I."

Unfortunately that seems to happen a lot and I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through that pain.
However, the issue of who left whom is not entirely relevant. There are many woman (and men) who after being left by their husbands still consider their marriage vows to be sacred (even if the spouse is a smuck) and remain faithfully married to that person even if he/she commits adultry and remarries.

In your case, you have had the marriage annulled, so you can remarry -- but please remember that the annullment is based on things that existed at the time of the marriage ceremony and anything that happens after that (including abandonment) is NOT relevant for deciding about the validity of a marriage. I mention this because this process is often misunderstood and I think it's important for non-catholics who read this to realize that validity is only about the ceremony. In cases where one spouse is abusive, etc, then separation might be recommended, but if the marriage is valid, then the spouse remain separated but are not free to re-marry.

Are you sure you are ready for a new relationship? You still sound very angry and bitter about your first (civil) marriage.

Petrus said...

Mary - the link for the reasons for annulments isn't working.

Good post.

Tradcatholic said...

I have been away, and missed this little battle!

All I can say is that Carolina made the biggest mistake of all calling herself DIVORCED/CATHOLIC in the same breath. What she is, is a lady who WAS NEVER MARRIED which is what an ANNULMENT means. She needs to go back to the catechism and re-tool her vocabulary. If you were really married, Ms Carolina, you couldn't ever even get an annulment! I don't care if your husband had run off leaving you high and dry (though Carolina is not dry these days), took the family fortune, the house, the cars, the video games, and ran off with the Queen of Sheba - you would still be married!! Mrs A was right to believe what you I am...did you really call her a 'b-itch'? Tsk Tsk. Such immaturity. Methinks you protest too much, and there is more than meets the eye behind this story.

By the way, Mrs Alexander didn't "ATTACK" your precious blog. She attacked the glaring error posted on your blog. Mary attacked error. Don't take is so personally! It is corrected now and we can life happily ever after.

Bai MacFarland's HUSBAND abandoned her - she is still MARRIED and fighting for the Faith - this is a BIG story, smothered in the rage of the angry. Too bad.

lucy said...

TradCatholic -- Well said.
I've seen several people (on their blogs) justify their divorce/desire to remarry on the claim that their spouse left them. However, as you state, that fact is irrelevant.

EWTN Live had a show on last week (probably available via podcast) in which Father Mitch talked to a couple who had written a book about married couples. They had some incredible stories, including one where the spouse ran off, was an alcoholic, got remarried, etc. But the abandoned spouse kept praying and they have now re-united.

Rather than feeling bitter and resentful, it might be useful to remember that people who abandon marriages do so because they are having trouble. They need the love and prayers of their spouse (even though they won't admit it). After all, at the marriage you agreed to be their lifelong helpmate and this time is when they need you the most (even if they are pushing you away).

I was disturbed by how bitter Carolina Cannonball was toward her ex-husband. That's so sad, especially since he is the father of her children. Her ex needs all the prayers he can get so that he can receive God into this life and turn his own life around -- for the sake of his children.

David L Alexander said...

"I was disturbed by how bitter Carolina Cannonball was toward her ex-husband. That's so sad..."

I'll tell you what's sad, and that's that we think we can determine the state of a person's emotions/perceptions through an e-mail or a comment on a weblog. In saying "HE abandoned the marriage, not I," the one left behind in this case was clearly on the defensive, for reasons unrelated to the abandonment itself.

When I look at what my son had to endure through his adolescence, I am angry with this mother for not allowing me the access to him that he badly needed from a father. I am angry that the power of the State could be manipulated at his expense. If that doesn't make me the Roman Catholic poster boy everyone expects, I don't give a rat's patootie! If that makes me more like Whomever would take a whip of cords and clear out the money-changers... well, a guy could do worse.


lucy said...

Obviously being denied access to your child causes angry and resentment toward the mother and the state. However, prayer is very powerful. Just because someone is angry doesn't mean that they can't also pray that the other person, the legislators, etc. can't become open to God and change their mind.

With time, maybe your ex-wife (I assume ex) might come around and repent how she treated you. It's never too late to change, and one day (hopefully) she might feel guitly about what she's done and try to make amends.

Hanging onto anger will make it harder to be forgive the person that wronged you.

Being angry doesn't make you a bad person or even a bad Catholic -- it's what you do with that anger (do you hang onto it, do you let it change you for the better, etc). Mother Angelica had an excellent show is. Her father left her and her mother and she talked about the feelings she went through and how she was able to forgive her father. The title of the show is Forgiveness (available in the EWTN archives). It's very inspiring.

David L Alexander said...


My story was meant to convey a point. I regret it has been missed.

Nothing I said would have indicated that; a) I didn't pray, b) my prayers weren't answered, c) my son's mother wasn't forgiven, or, d) anyone can tell me whether anything is "too late" or not.

My son lives with me now, his mother having remarried and moved away. This is what I prayed for, and by cracky, I got it. You can't change the past, or what others do; you can affect the future, and how you respond.

lucy said...

Glad you are able to raise your son.
I hope his mother is still actively involved in his life.

Sorry to hear that your marriage didn't work out.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry to hear that your marriage didn't work out."

Didn't mean to give this a negative connotation.

What I meant was that you weren't able to reconcile with your son's mother.

Thomas Shawn said...

As a child of divorced and then remarried parents, I'd advise parents to cool their jets until the children are 18. Praying the rosary daily and taking cold showers should do the trick.

Remarriage after divorce is salt on the wound of the child. Dime a dozen annulments don't fix this pain. Usually the parents find ways to escpae the truth and suceed in feeling great about themselves. The children suffer the worst.

Who left whom is irrelevant as there are a million and one ways to drive someone away and appear the victim afterward.

I think the cause of my own parents divorce will always be a mystery shrouded by inaccurate human perception, defensiveness, some lying, a complete loss of Faith and complete disobedience to God.

As far as posting a vain personal on ones own website, describing onesself as a divorced Catholic looking to get re-hitched, tring to legitimize it with a picture of a Bishop and then calling someone a bitch for suggesting that they pray for the resumption of their marriage .... well that's just silly.

David L Alexander said...

"As a child of divorced and then remarried parents, I'd advise parents to cool their jets until the children are 18."

It's not nearly as simple as you make it look, Tom, but it's usually pretty good advice. Usually.

Petrus said...

You know, David, I just went over to your blog and posted a rather lengthy comment asking why you seem so bitter, not at your divorce, but at this discussion.

But I'm beginning to see it better. You think no one has suffered as greatly as you, and so no one else has anything else to say on the subject. Your reply to TShawn is curt to say the least - and he's talking about his own pain - something HE KNOWS ABOUT PERSONALLY. You seem to forget that TShawn of all people, had no say in his parents' divorce, annulment, remarriage.

While perhaps its not as "simple" as that, who cares how complicated it is if its harming the kids - and isn't the wellness of the children a pretty big part of what marriage is all about anyway? My aunt was abandoned by her husband, but wore her wedding ring until the day that he died - and raised three children alone. How simple could that have been before laws about child support were what they are now??

And your complaining about armchair opinions? Who is really throwing those around? We've been talking about church doctrine, and your saying "no one knows how hard it is". You're right, but we know what the Church teaches, and that's what's important. Sacrifice and suffers builds character, and helps you get to heaven.

Interestingly, CC never once mentioned if her child was ready for her to start dating again.

And back to the post here - who's suffering the most in the MacFarland case? I'd bet 100 to 1 that its the kids.

What's really wrong with this picture?

Rose said...

Petrus -- well said (as usual).

I am in complete agreement. I've had grandparents, cousins, and many friends go through divorce and it affects everyone. The children suffer the most. Some have never really recovered, even as adults they still have resentment and distrust of relationships.

This whole "debate' that has broken out really shows that there are very different viewpoints on this issue. You and TShaw clearly outlined why divorce/remarriage isn't JUST about the two spouses. It affects the entire family, especially the children. It's painful to see children forced to decide where to spend their vacation, Christmas, etc without hurting either parents feelings. Divorced parents can kid themselves by saying that being apart is "better for the kids" but more often than not, it's not. The kids are stuck in the middle. (If abuse is involved, that's a different issue).

The main theme on the other side is that if people are unhappy in their marriage then they should be free to move on and eventually find another partner who is more compatible. This is very natural given the individualist nature of the secular society -- it's mainly about what -I- want, not about sacrificing my happiness for the good of my children.
Given how easy it is to get an annulment in the US (over 95% are granted), I'm not entirely convinced that all annulments really indicate that the marriage was invalid. In a recent article (over at HolySpirit interactive, I think), there are some stats about how many US annulments are overturned in Rome -- the vast, vast majority are (only 1 in 9 annulment decisions are upheld)!! That's scary. It suggests that many of the people who are remarried, might not be eligible (in the eyes of the US Bishops yes, in the eyes of the Church as a whole no). If so, then the remarried couple is committing adultry.

Anonymous said...

"My aunt was abandoned by her husband, but wore her wedding ring until the day that he died - and raised three children alone. "

Your aunt is truly inspiring. What a wonderful women!
Her children are lucky to have a mother that is willing to sacrifice so much for their sake.

David L Alexander said...

Petrus, thou hast writ:

"You know, David, I just went over to your blog and posted a rather lengthy comment asking why you seem so bitter... But I'm beginning to see it better..."

Through a glass darkly, perhaps, but not a window.

My concern for my son was genuine, and came to eclipse any for myself. What other evidence do you need of my awareness of how the children suffer? I have challenged no aspect of Church teaching at any time, but have confined my challenges to the common assumptions some Catholics make about their brethren who are divorced. I didn't try to compare my situation with anyone else's, and have given credit where it was due. Any speculation about whether I'm bitter is just that.

Anyone who reads my weblog at any time can safely assume that, given the lack of an alternative, I've gotten on with life.

I stand behind my writings, and my writings stand with Peter.

Anonymous said...

Statements made by other comments about the problems of divorce and its effect on the children, family, etc, is completely consistent with the teachings of the Church and are NOT "common assumptions made by Catholics" (your statement implies that remarks made by the other commenters are just their opinions).

From the Catetchism of the Catholic Church
"2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces 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."

"2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself."

"1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence."

jack said...

david, you claim to be consistent with Church teachings but in your own blog you mock the prayer and the use of sacrementals. Those statements are dangerously close to blasphemy.
People who pray do NOT view God as some magic genie.

God DOES answer prayers but in HIS time, not yours. You get HIS wish, not your WISH. So, you waited a few years...big deal. What is a few years compare to an eternity? Maybe you would have reconciled, maybe not, but is running off and getting remarried anyway to respect your original marriage vows?

" The answer is simple; pray to God that you and your spouse will reconcile. While you're at it, sprinkle enough holy water all over the house. Otherwise you obviously haven't tried hard enough. After all, they know far better than you what went on in your house, your meeting with the pastor, your bedroom...

This approach -- besides making the would-be counselor look like a blithering idiot -- reduces the Almighty to some sort of magic genie. Rub the lamp hard enough and you get your wish, just like that. It doesn't work that way.

Petrus said...


You said that you "have confined my challenges to the common assumptions some Catholics make about their brethren who are divorced."

I think this statement sums up why your comments seem so vague - and I agree about the dark glass.

Are you responding to something that I particularly have said, or are you referring to a group of experiences that you've had and you are trying to respond to them altogether in this forum?

At one point, I recall you saying that people don't know how to react to a Catholic who has been divorced. That's probably also true for mother's who have miscarried, or people coming back to the Faith after falling away, or any other tragedy which is particular pointed and painful.

Again, I don't understand what the problem is. Some particular people lacking social graces is just part of the human condition.

What common assumptions are you referring to? How many of these "common assumptions" have cropped up this discussion?

David L Alexander said...


I make a point of writing what I mean, and meaning what I write. I choose my words and make my distinctions with great care. In four years of weblogging, and more than that on e-mail discussion lists, I have learned that most queries for clarification are resolved, either by repeating what I have already written, or inviting the reader to read it again.

I have stated already (and it has been posted for several hours now) that I am available for private correspondence. My address is manwithblackhat at yahoo dot com, by which means all shall be revealed.

As opposed to here.

jack said...

Why use email? The point of comments/blogs, etc is to have a public discussion that everyone can join in and learn from.

I get enough spam without entering into email conversations with strangers.

"I have learned that most queries for clarification are resolved, either by repeating what I have already written, or inviting the reader to read it again."
Makes sense -- it was the reader's fault for not understanding. Couldn't be that you were vague or unclear. ;-)

In my years of experience with email, and other writen correspondence I learned that most queries for clarification are due to lack of common background on the topic at hand and that input from multiple people helps all involved come to a fuller understanding than just a two-person conversation.

David L Alexander said...

"Why use email? The point of comments/blogs, etc is to have a public discussion that everyone can join in and learn from."

Find out why at manwithblackhat at yahoo dot com.

jack said...

"Find out why at manwithblackhat at yahoo dot com."
great, thanks an email address -- Please re-read MY comment for clarification: "I get enough spam without entering into email conversations with strangers."

strawberry said...

To chime into this discussion:

From what I can see from your blog, the only reason you disablde comments is because at least two readers did not read what was written. Or was it that you didn't agree with what they said. who knows. We can tell because those comments were censored.

"[FOOTNOTE: I will not be taking comments on this particular piece, and judging from the ones I have received so far, this was the right decision. In at least two cases, it is painfully clear that the reader did NOT read what I had written. I am more than willing to entertain any private correspondence. In order to do that, you must send me your e-mail address. I will be in touch.]"

David L Alexander said...

"thanks an email address -- Please re-read MY comment for clarification..."

I did. Looks like we're stuck, stranger.

David L Alexander said...

"Or was it that you didn't agree with what they said. who knows."

The person who takes my explanation at face value... that's who knows.

strawberry. said...

"The person who takes my explanation at face value... that's who knows."

Oh..the rube, then. There is one born every minute.

David L Alexander said...

"Oh..the rube, then."

No, the wise, because they claim not to know everything. They are NOT born every minute.

strawberry said...

A WISE person would not take the word of someone at face value if that person censors comments on their blogs, mocks prayer, holy water, and scapulars.

You also attacked mary alexander on your blog, but then feel free to post comments on her blog (while at the same time deleting hers).
Why should I take you at face value -- or give you my email address?

David L Alexander said...


I disagreed with Mary, after making it clear that she "is obviously right about the indissolubility of marriage, and in taking Caroline to task, you could say she means well."

I believe in the power of prayer, of the rosary, and of the Scapular. I cited an example of the former as it applied to my own situation. What I mocked was the assumption that any single individual, who happens to be divorced, did not do everything possible to remedy their situation.

And if you can't appreciate those sentiments, then I would tend to agree that a direct correspondence would be pointless.

This continued misunderstanding -- not to mention the ease with which I have been dragged into it, such is my weakness -- is precisely why I blocked comments. Amy Welborn does it all the time. Go pick on her.

strawberry said...

It doesn't matter what Amy Welborn does (I like her blog, by the way)...what relevance is that. Many others don't (curt jester, cafeteria is closed, I could go on and on).

My main point is that I don't understand why so many divorced people play the victim, blame their spouse for the breakup (because after all it was THEM that left, I'm was faithful to my marriage vows, etc) and then get remarried! I especially hate it when people justify their actions "for the sake of the kids"
TShawn's post was an excellent example of how divorce is extremely bad for the kids. The same goes for getting remarried just so that the kids can have a father/mother -- right --has nothing to do with the adult being lonely, I'm sure! Heck, even Caroline Cannonball stated that she wasn't sure about sending her son off to class during mass because quote: "I will be sitting there all by myself (this is always dreadfully depressing to me)" ! Sheesh, makes my skin crawl.

The other person leaving shouldn't be justification for the remaining spouse to suddenly decide that they don't have to be faith to their vows anymore. It makes no sense -- oh, I would have faithful to that person for the rest of my life, but what the heck they're gone so I'll go find someone else.

Petrus's aunt, MacFarland, and many others are shining examples of how to move on with your live after being abandoned. My view on marriage don't have to abandon your vows just because your spouse left you.

I'm ending this conversation now, because you are obviously have no idea about why so many people in this country are opposed to divorce.

strawberry said...

m. alexander:
Thanks for your post about defending marriage and for allowing a free and open discussion about this topic.

The one good thing about the whole CC incident is that it lead me to your blog (which I hadn't read before). I've added you to my Bloglines list, and I look forward to your posts.

God bless you.

David L Alexander said...

Mrs Alexander:

I'd like to thank you as well, if only for putting up with me, when it would have been easy for you not to. My writings on this subject are on my weblog, available through the links provided in this forum. They will demonstrate my belief in, and support of, the Church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

Thanks again, Mary.


strawberry said...

My words were harsher than they should have been.
I don't apologize for my views, but for the way I said them.

Sorry, and god bless

Thomas Shawn said...

Sin is complicated ... fidelity has a child-like simplicity.

The irony of the remarriage of divorcees, in my parents case especially, is that these re-marriages other assoorted relationships were very shaky.

Then, the children grow up, get married, always a bit wary of the divorced parents the way all married couples are wary of divorced individuals. Of course we obey commandments concerning our parents but we're left, once again, we the "going it alone feeling."

And now my parents ... entering their golden years .. face it somewhat alone. Surely they don't enjoy looking back. They would have been better off submitting to the Lord in all things.

To the poster whose aunt stayed unmarried but died with her ring on .... she now sits at the feet of Our Lord and her example is one of perfect Christian testimony. I plan on playing it safe and always tending to the garden of my marriage. If it falls apart ... it helps to remember that we only get 65-75 years above ground (on average) before we face our particular judgement.

I'm 37, having excellent recall of certain events at age 4, so I'd ride it out with plenty of rosaries and cold showers when necessary.

David L Alexander said...


No problem. We're all Catholics here, just doing the best we can.

Blessings to all, and to all, a good night.

Tradcatholic said...

Just one for the road.
I rent a condo apt near Raleigh, NC and all the inhabibitants except me, are in various stages of marriage/un-marriage; 1.unhappily married, 2. shacked up, 3.working couple not wanting kids, 4.smoking/arguing couple also unhappy, 5.another divorced and shacking up, 5.married and divorced three times and shacking up
6.hermit crabby old couple?married to each other
7.and the best of all, an 82 year old woman who 3years ago was divorced from her husband of 60 years. She had had 'enough'. So, last year HE moved up here into the next building because he missed her! They don't speak to one another even now.
We frequently have get-togethers over the barbecue and everyone has a great time. No one talks about anything contraversial - not religion, not politics. This is Baptist country, after all, the religion of 'NICE'.

We have had a great interchange on Ms Alexander's blog re: the marriage commitment but in the end we all believe the same truth about its sanctity and purpose. Not so with my neighbors. Nice as they are, they have no clue of what marriage is about (except maybe the crabby couple I never see). So, in this chiselling out of the truth, I remember this bigger picture of souls clueless and not able to find their way because they don't even know they are lost. Leaven (fungus) that's what we Catholics are to others. We,the South, will RISE again! (with God's help)

Carolina Cannonball said...

I think we can all agree in the sanctity in marriage and that marriage in this time is in trouble.

We all basically said the same thing but added our own personal twist to our responses- because marriage & divorce is personal.

I did pray alot ot save my marriage- I never in a million years wanted to be a single mother. Let me tell you, it's hard work.

But the situation I was in- it was better to leave. There are times when you have to leave, especially if you have children & they are in danger (spiritually as in my case). In fact it was a priest who helped me leave my marriage.

I waited to see if me packing up would be a wake up call, it wasn't. He has moved on and "married" someone else.

I am not bitter or angry. I have moved on. My only regret about my post was that so many have automatically assumed the worse of me for being "divorced" and showing a desire to move on.

I am really not that bad, folks. :)

violet said...

"moving on" doesn't have to involve finding another partner. Petrus's aunt raised the children on her own. One of my best friends is currently doing the same with her children (her husband died).

Raising children on your own IS hard, but so is the issue of adding step-parents and (possibly) step-children into mix. It can just add to the hurt and abandonment felt by the children.

Tradcatholic said...

Wow! Fifty comments on various stages and aspects of the marriage/divorce/annulment issue!!! Where will it end? Do I see one hundred comments on the horizon??

Sampson J. said...

Yep, this is definitely a hot topic!
It seems that a lot of blogs I read have people pouting about the annulment process and how "unfair" it can be (not the blogs mentioned in this comment, mind you, these blogs are more discussing).

Just today one of the questions over at EWTN had a woman complaining about not being able to receive communion.The question just makes me shake my head and wonder what's wrong with people -- it really bugs me when people act as though the church is punishing them!

What's going to happen if her husband's marriage is considered valid??

It's also sad that she's been receiving communion the entire time that she was having sex outside marriage without realizing that it is a sin.

Here's the question:
"My husband and I are expecting our first child in 8 weeks. We have only been married for 4 months. We were planning on getting married and had already gone to see my priest about getting his previous marriage annuled before we found out I was pregnant. Needless to say, my pregnancy wasn't the reason why we got married, but because of his previous marriage, we were not able to marry in the Catholic church. I just found out that because our marriage is considered "invalid" in the church's eyes, I am not able to receive communion. I am very upset about this and am not sure how to deal with it. Taking communion is something I cherish deeply and look forward to every Sunday. We do plan to continue with the annulment process and will have a convalidation ceremony, but as we know, that will take about a year on average. I do know that not all annulments are granted. If his isn't, does that mean I can never receive communion again?
I feel as if I am being punished. Taking communion is something I've done since I was 7 years old. How am I supposed to handle not taking communion for a year or so or possibly never? I love my faith and want to raise my daughter in the Catholic church, but this has not been easy for me to accept.

Also, can my daughter be baptized in the Catholic church even though our marriage is considered "invalid"?"