Deacon Bob asked:

A friend of mine received an annulment from the Church because her husband abused her. He didn’t participate in seeking the annulment. It was later decided that the husband would need to apply for an annulment separately. Did the Church annul the whole marriage or just half the marriage?

Fr. Dave Dwyer replied:

"My first reaction is an annulment is about the marriage. It would apply to both people. But I guess there’s more layers here, Mike?"

Mike Hayes replied:

"Well technically speaking Father Dave you are right. That is true. The annulment is for the entire marriage. However, there is another matter along with this ... What seems to be at play, according to Sister Jean Hamilton who is a canon lawyer in the Wilmington area ... I called her up and asked her about this, and she said ... probably what happened is that they probably attached what is called a vetitum to the decree of nullity. Which means that it’s basically a prohibition that says you’re not suitable to be married in the Catholic church ..."

Fr. Dave Dwyer replied:

"We would call that an impediment to marriage. This would impede you. If a couple came in even aside from being married before and they came in and one said yeah I want a pre-nuptial agreement. They would say no that’s an impediment to marriage. There can be no conditions. If this person was already known to be physically abusive to other girlfriends, we might say unless you get some serious help and this problem is completely solved that would be an impediment to marriage ..."

Brittany Janis replied:

"I think that’s very interesting that the Church is able to do things like that ... So the fact that the Church is putting a protection in place for the other party who might enter into a relationship is actually, it’s a good idea. It’s refreshing it’s good that the Church actually looks out for people like that."


© 2013 Busted Halo®

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Show air date: June 9, 2009

Name of show: #200

Guest comments by: Fr. Dave Dwyer, Mike Hayes, Brittany Janis

Question appeared in show: 8:28

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