As I said yesterday, Bai Macfarlane has resources available for Catholics who wish to defend their marriages in an annulment proceeding. Her website, Mary’s Advocates, has information and resources.
I have a high opinion of Mrs. Macfarlane and her efforts. As far as I know, she is the only person offering assistance to those who are facing an unwanted civil divorce or an unwanted Catholic annulment. (If anyone knows of any other resources, please let me know.)
I have heard from many Reluctantly Divorced persons, and I know they are hurting. When the Catholic Church grants their spouse an annulment, it adds insult to injury. When they have to see their spouse, in church, with a new “spouse,” both receiving communion, it is salt in an open wound.
Please note: I do not know whether Mrs. Macfarlane is correct in her interpretation of canon law. I do not know how the tribunals will react to the arguments and ideas that Mary’s Advocates provides. Respected canon law authorities disagree with her position. Other canon lawyers evidently agree with her, at least in part. I am not qualified to offer an opinion on canon law.
I do believe though, that bringing the issue before the tribunals in a dignified and intelligent manner is worth trying. Reluctantly Divorced Catholics have few other resources (none, actually, that I am aware of) in trying to defend their marriages. This process of presentation and response has the best chance of discovering how the Church can serve those who wish to defend the validity of their marriages. As Dr. Ed Peters wisely commented after presenting his case,
Readers can form their own conclusions about which presentation is more likely correct and, more importantly, Roman authorities will certainly reach theirs in due course.
I want the Roman authorities to be presented as often as possible with this issue and others related to ending the scourge of divorce. Let’s put the arguments out there, in a forum where it actually matters, the tribunals, and see what happens.
If anyone has used Mrs. Macfarlane’s materials, I would be very interested in hearing about their experiences.
5 thoughts on “More about Bai Macfarlane”
“I want the Roman authorities to be presented as often as possible with this issue and others related to ending the scourge of divorce. Let’s put the arguments out there, in a forum where it actually matters, the tribunals, and see what happens.”
This has been going on for over 4 decades now — almost five. The annulment abuses have been staggering and it has been proven to Rome over and over by the sheer numbers of affirmative decisions and whenever a respondent appealed their own affirmative decision. Upwards of 95% of those granted have been overturned. There have been thousands of articles written over this time period by priests. canon lawyers, pastors and other knowledgeable people exposing the hypocrisy and utter disbelief that there can possible be so many invalid marriages.
The Roman authorities — The Sacra Roman Rota was the only hope in correcting the liberal and wrong decisions of nullity and the tribunals that granted them. Unfortunately, this will no longer be the case since all relating to annulments in the Church has been liberalized from the very top.
“The final battle…,” as Cardinal Cafarra was told by Lucia of Fatima in a letter, “will be on marriage and the family.” This is we we are now.
You know, you may be correct. When Dr. Peters made his comment, I had an image of local tribunals considering the arguments and making decisions. That is more or less how civil law works. He may have meant what you said. Hmmm.
The comment made by canonist Ed Peters, “Readers can form their own conclusions about which presentation is more likely correct and, more importantly, Roman authorities will certainly reach theirs in due course” was more of a snide dismissal of Bai’s affirming the idea that the Bishop’s permission is required before Catholic couples can separate or divorce. She has proven this to be true. He lessened her credibility because she is not a canon lawyer and he is.
“Waiting for Rome” = meantime business as usual. Rome has spoken back in 1983. I predict there will be no new “answer.” Catholics want annulment and they need unfettered no-fault to get it. Are bishops going to uphold canon law and get in the way? Hmmm, better “wait for Rome.”
If you think Rome has spoken in 1983, and there is no chance of getting any other answer, then what exactly is the point of spending so much time and effort on promoting a particular interpretation of canon law?