Sunday, February 14, 2016

The time has come, the walrus said...

I'll make this as brief as I can.

Karen and I have permanently split.

The reasons for our splitting are what they are, and I won't go into them. I only choose to address this publicly because I know there may be questions and I'd rather address them all at once rather than have the same conversation several times. I've already had "the talk" a few times and it is quite draining, so I'd like to minimize this going forward.

Our split actually occurred last year. I've kept it under my hat for a few reasons, mostly because I was holding on to hope for a reconciliation and I didn't want to involve anyone in what I hoped would just passing period. I'm mentioning this now because I've moved beyond that, and am no longer actively looking to reconcile, but rather to just simply get firm ground under my feet so I can move forward.

Please know that this split has been completely amicable and I still consider her a best friend.

The issue I'd most like to address is, what's next?

As you know, I'm Catholic, and the Church does not recognize divorce. I do, however, happen to find myself in the situation where I may be eligible for a Nullification.

What is a nullification? It is a statement that there was some deficiency that prevented a valid marriage from ever having existed. That is to say, that at the time of our wedding, either Karen or I were not in a position to enter into marriage.

It could be that we are eligible, it could be that we are not. I have my opinion on the topic, but I have to admit that I am both biased and stubborn. The Church will set up a tribunal to review the facts of the case and make a determination.

Here's the rub: In my opinion, the Church has become quite lax in its granting of nullifications. If St. Thomas More was sitting on my tribunal, I'd be comfortable; but as it is, my reading has led me to believe that the Church has been granting nullifications left and right, and that doesn't sit easy with me. So, if the tribunal nullifies our marriage, I will appeal the decision, simply based on the fact that I don't think I would feel truly comfortable if I didn't. I would be comfortable in abiding by the result of the appeal.

So what are the consequences?

If my marriage is nullified, I would be free to live my life as a single man. I'd be able to form a new relationship, to marry again, etc.

If my marriage is not nullified, then my marriage to Karen would be considered valid, and I would be considered married in the eyes of the Church. So I would have to live my life as a married (but separated) man.

Thems be the breaks.

But before I could even discuss a nullification through the Church, I need to get a legal divorce. That becomes inconvenient for a variety of (financial) reasons, so I'm not necessarily in a rush to push this forward. It will happen when it happens, and that discussion is beyond the scope of this note..

For the time being, I'm comfortable making my situation public and focusing my attention towards bringing about better days. This has been a long time in the making, and so while it may be news to some, I've both chewed and digested the events that have led me here, and so I've found a way to be content in the place I've found myself (so condolences are not necessary).


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Notes on E supremi

Source: E supremi, St. Pope Pius X; promulgated October 4, 1903

Venerable Brethren,
Health and the Apostolic Benediction.

In addressing you for the first time from the Chair of the supreme apostolate to which We have, by the inscrutable disposition of God, been elevated, it is not necessary to remind you with what tears and warm instance We exerted Ourselves to ward off this formidable burden of the Pontificate. Unequal in merit though We be with St. Anselm, it seems to us that We may with truth make Our own the words in which he lamented when he was constrained against his will and in spite of his struggles to receive the honor of the episcopate. For to show with what dispositions of mind and will We subjected Ourselves to the most serious charge of feeding the flock of Christ, We can well adduce those same proofs of grief which he invokes in his own behalf. "My tears are witnesses," he wrote, "and the sounds and moanings issuing from the anguish of my heart, such as I never remember before to have come from me for any sorrow, before that day on which there seemed to fall upon me that great misfortune of the archbishop of Canterbury. And those who fixed their gaze on my face that day could not fail to see it . . . I, in color more like a dead than a living man, was pale for amazement and alarm. Hitherto I have resisted as far as I could, speaking the truth, my election or rather the violence done me. But now I am constrained to confess, whether I will or no, that the judgments of God oppose greater and greater resistance to my efforts, so that I see no way of escaping them. Wherefore vanquished as I am by the violence not so much of men as of God, against which there is no providing, I realize that nothing is left for me, after having prayed as much as I could and striven that this chalice should if possible pass from me without my drinking it, but to set aside my feeling and my will and resign myself entirely to the design and the will of God."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Notes on Humanae Vitae

Source: Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI; promulgated July 25, 1968

Honored Brothers and Dear Sons,
Health and Apostolic Benediction.

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.


2. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger. There is also the fact that not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Notes on Libertas

Source: Libertas, Pope Leo XIII; promulgated June 20, 1888

To the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and
Bishops of the Catholic World in Grace and
Communion with the Apostolic See.

Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignity - that he is "in the hand of his counsel"(1) and has power over his actions. But the manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and the greatest evil alike depend. Man, indeed, is free to obey his reason, to seek moral good, and to strive unswervingly after his last end. Yet he is free also to turn aside to all other things; and, in pursuing the empty semblance of good, to disturb rightful order and to fall headlong into the destruction which he has voluntarily chosen. The Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, having restored and exalted the original dignity of nature, vouchsafed special assistance to the will of man; and by the gifts of His grace here, and the promise of heavenly bliss hereafter, He raised it to a nobler state. In like manner, this great gift of nature has ever been, and always will be, deservingly cherished by the Catholic Church, for to her alone has been committed the charge of handing down to all ages the benefits purchased for us by Jesus Christ. Yet there are many who imagine that the Church is hostile to human liberty. Having a false and absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom, or they extend it at their pleasure to many things in respect of which man cannot rightly be regarded as free.

Notes on Immortale Dei

Source: Immortale Dei, Pope Leo XIII; promulgated August 4, 1885

To Our Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs, Primates,
Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and
Communion with the Apostolic See.

The Catholic Church, that imperishable handiwork of our all-merciful God, has for her immediate and natural purpose the saving of souls and securing our happiness in heaven. Yet, in regard to things temporal, she is the source of benefits as manifold and great as if the chief end of her existence were to ensure the prospering of our earthly life. And, indeed, wherever the Church has set her foot she has straightway changed the face of things, and has attempered the moral tone of the people with a new civilization and with virtues before unknown. All nations which have yielded to her sway have become eminent by their gentleness, their sense of justice, and the glory of their high deeds.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Notes on Aeterni Patris

Source: Aeterni Patris, Pope Leo XIII; promulgated August 4, 1879

To the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and
Bishops of the Catholic World in Grace and
Communion with the Apostolic See.

The only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, who came on earth to bring salvation and the light of divine wisdom to men, conferred a great and wonderful blessing on the world when, about to ascend again into heaven, He commanded the Apostles to go and teach all nations,(1) and left the Church which He had founded to be the common and supreme teacher of the peoples. For men whom the truth had set free were to be preserved by the truth; nor would the fruits of heavenly doctrines by which salvation comes to men have long remained had not the Lord Christ appointed an unfailing teaching authority to train the minds to faith. And the Church built upon the promises of its own divine Author, whose charity it imitated, so faithfully followed out His commands that its constant aim and chief wish was this: to teach religion and contend forever against errors. To this end assuredly have tended the incessant labors of individual bishops; to this end also the published laws and decrees of councils, and especially the constant watchfulness of the Roman Pontiffs, to whom, as successors of the blessed Peter in the primacy of the Apostles, belongs the right and office of teaching and confirming their brethren in the faith. Since, then, according to the warning of the apostle, the minds of Christ's faithful are apt to be deceived and the integrity of the faith to be corrupted among men by philosophy and vain deceit,(2) the supreme pastors of the Church have always thought it their duty to advance, by every means in their power, science truly so called, and at the same time to provide with special care that all studies should accord with the Catholic faith, especially philosophy, on which a right interpretation of the other sciences in great part depends. Indeed, venerable brethren, on this very subject among others, We briefly admonished you in Our first encyclical letter; but now, both by reason of the gravity of the subject and the condition of the time, we are again compelled to speak to you on the mode of taking up the study of philosophy which shall respond most fitly to the excellence of faith, and at the same time be consonant with the dignity of human science.