John Allen Jr. confirms what I have already suspected, that the coming Synod on divorced and remarried will likely broaden the annulment process.
Doctrinally, they are in a box. The Church teaching on the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage is clear and irrefutable. There is no where for them to go without doing great harm to the Church and violating the direct command of our Lord that what “what God has joined, let no one separate.”
However the Pope and Cardinals can hardly come out of this synod with the status quo or all the hope and change they have fostered among the moderns will be squandered. As such, they are eager to to cut a deal, and the only real avenue available is the annulment process.
Do not get me wrong, there are marriages that never really occurred and are truly null and void due to real circumstances. The annulment process is necessary. But I fear that the door will be opened up so wide, that almost everyone will pass.
John Allen reports that “mama-ism”, a domineering mother is being considered as a valid reason to consider a marriage null and void. Wow, if they are considering that, there is no telling what craziness may ensue.
And let’s face it, whatever the text of the instruction that comes out of the synod, the message will be loud and clear to progressive Bishops and annulment panels across the world. Grant as many as you possibly can. And many will do just that. We can expect annulments in Germany and elsewhere to be granted by the millions and upon the flimsiest pretext. And the word will be out. Get your Catholic divorces, cheap and easy.
If this happens, I think that the Church will have done more harm to marriage in this one instance than the entire gay marriage movement.
There are no easy answers to these questions but there are bad one. If the Synod thinks they have an easy answer in the annulment process, you can trust that the answer is likely worse than the problem they are trying to solve.