Ask any diocesan marriage tribunal what lay Catholic thoughts are on annulment and most will likely say the church’s annulment laws invoke negative connotations. The annulment process has even been described as conducting a pathology of a marriage, essentially, investigating the disease of a failed marriage. However, that investigation could also shed light to preventive measures for a future relationship, even marriage.
Many Catholics have inherited myths about the annulment process handed down through family and friends as matter-of-factly as the optimal time to baptize a child, appropriate way to receive Communion at Mass, and which individuals are relieved from fasting during Lent. Many lay Catholics incorrectly believe Catholic marriage tribunals dissolve marriages, as opposed to understanding the tribunal assess whether or not a valid sacramental marriage was present from the beginning. Moreover, there exists confusion as to what an annulment actually means for divorced Catholics. Revised, more flexible annulment clarifications were instituted by Pope Francis in 2015 which allows the court to grant an annulment on grounds that are different than the ones originally used.
The same year, several divorced parishioners at Holy Trinity parish formed a ministry to share their personal stories and offer support to others. Together they took the lead in initiating, planning, and implementing a program for divorced individuals throughout the Archdiocese of Louisville. Their determination and concern for others is the foundation for Olive Branch Divorce Ministry, a program offering social, spiritual, and service opportunities, as well as, incorporating an educational component. Unlike a divorce support therapy, the ministry is formed to serve the needs of community as a way of healing from a broken marriage.
What were the common grounds for annulment? Conversely, what are the circumstances under which a couple should say “yes” to marry? What, then, is the picture for a successful marriage which the grounds for annulment may paint for a couple?
This Isn’t Your Parent’s Annulment: Dispelling the Myths and Learning the Truth of Marriage Divorce & the Catholic Church workshop hopes to address these questions and dispel other annulment myths. The session is free, confidential, and open to the community at large.
The event will take place Thursday, October 12th Clifton Center Community Business meeting room, 2117 Payne Street, 40206. The workshop will begin with a meet & greet at 6:30 PM, followed by a presentation from Fr. Paul Beach, JCL, Judicial Vicar, Archdiocese of Louisville and Pastor of St. Martin of Tours parish.
To attend the session, please RSVP to the Holy Trinity Parish Office at (502) 897-5207 or firstname.lastname@example.org by October 9th.