End this postcode lottery of annulments
SIR – Not long after our marriage my husband wanted to “revert” to the Church. I, as an Anglican, wished to convert. This was a second marriage for us both. Right from the start, we understood, thanks largely to a wonderfully compassionate priest, that we must seek annulments.
For many and diverse reasons, our personal experiences of the annulment process were opposites. My husband’s experience with the Diocese of Wrexham was professional, compassionate, efficient and friendly, even though his annulment was thought to be more difficult than mine. However, mine, at the hands of a large London diocese, was the worst experience of my life. Had it not been for the love and support of my husband and parish priest, I would have quit many times. Eventually, after six months and two-and-a-half years respectively, our annulments were granted.
My point is this. Whether or not we as the laity like it, at the moment the process is with us, with all its flaws. Reverts and converts must be treated with love, compassion and kindness, but also with an understanding of the true indissolubility of the marriage Sacrament. However, what I think is much needed is a streamlining of the annulment process so that best practice is achieved in all dioceses, and it is not, as it would appear to many at the moment, a Hobson’s choice.
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