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I am not a practicing Catholic.  This means I was raised as a Catholic, went to Catholic schools, been baptized, had first communion, and was confirmed in my teens as a full-fledged, bona fide Catholic.  Years of schooling, church on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation,(there are many) confessions to the Priest, and more than a few raps on the knuckles informed my childhood. I was devoted, more than anything, I wanted to become a missionary nun, not unlike those three in Nicaraugua killed in service to God.  Bishop Romeros assasination had a profound impact on my dedication in those early years.  I was in CYO, I wore the little footies on the collar of my uniform.  

As I entered my adult years, something changed how I felt about the Catholic church, how I felt about myself, and how I connected to other people based upon the lens that had altered my perception of anyone I would have called non-Catholic.  An event occurred in my later teens that irrevocably distanced me from the Catholic church.  My Dad got an annulment and married in the church.  

My mother, having adopted me after their non-church marriage at the age of three, insisted dad work toward annulment and I be raised a Catholic. She could not recieve communion, but more importantly she was "living in sin". For sixteen years they lived in sin.  She went to confess repeatedly. We sat in the back pews.  She became more fervent.  Without an annulment, there can be no marriage in the church, and without a sanctioned marriage, it is cohabitation.  

My dad complied, years of study, interviews, paperwork, and finally an annulment.  More years of religious instruction to become a Catholic.

There were of course those inconsistencies that kept nagging at my conscience.  The rigidity of prayer, the eternal infantilization of girls in those childish costumes, while boys were dressed in suits, as little men.  (I was always uncomfortable in those uniforms.)

My father's first marriage was annulled, basically considered a sin of cohabitation, as far as the church was concerned, I did not exist.  I only existed as a remnant of sin.  I had spent my entire life in loving devotion (not without a few attempts at sin myself) to God, and I was reduced to a byproduct of a sin with the signature of some Bishop or Cardinal that I had never met.  I was happy for my parents, they could be married in the Church, but I was in limbo.  I was my her bridesmaid, a simple ceremony at the alter.  But I left my devotion there.  I left who I thought I was.  I had been stripped of my personhood after years of believing I belonged.  I had been made an outsider.

The sin of divorce in those days seemed so grave as to send a person to hell.  Divorce issues tore the Catholic Church from England.  Divorce issues tear families apart, and in the Catholic Church, if you are divorced, you cannot be married in the eyes of the church without an annulment.  You cannot recieve communion, and you cannot drink the wine.  You have to sit down while everyone else goes up,  so everyone knows you are not in a state of grace.  It is subtle, no one calls you out on it, you perhaps only forgot to go to confession, or you are tired, but week after week, month after month, your congregation knows why you sit.  You are living in sin.

Originally posted to lilorphant on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:42 PM PDT.

Poll

Is Giuliani living in sin?

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| 25 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sorry to hear about your suffering... (0+ / 0-)

    But what you don't know about the catholic church is a lot.  I hope you get good counseling, if you're interested.  The idea that you are a non-person is absurd.  

    Speak truth to power, it's a sin to tell a lie.

    by queen on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:39:27 PM PDT

    •  The idea that she was considered a (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ducktape, BachFan, lemming22, chigh, Lujane

      non-person by the Catholic Church is, indeed, absurd, but it is certainly what we were taught in the 1950's...at least you could never be a Catholic, which was pretty much the same thing.

      "...our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East...are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas." Kurt Vonnegut - 2005

      by mooshter on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:52:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed the church of old was rather abitrary. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ducktape, lilorphant, BachFan, mooshter, chigh

        My grandparents had to get married in the church rectory, not the church itself because my grandfather was a Swedish Lutheran.

      •  Yes, very absurd... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        queen

        So absurd that the Catholic church actually holds the opposite view. Findings of annulment effect the marriage sacrament only and have no effect or comment on the dhildren of the marriage. IOW children of an annnulled marriage are considered as children of a marriage. Full stop.

        DFooK

        "Impeach the Cheerleader, save the world!"

        by deepfish on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 05:00:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not understanding my point. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deepfish, mooshter, chigh

          It is convenient for the church to have "no comment". They cannot reconcile it, that is why there is no comment. Of course it was explained to me as having no effect, but that seemed (at the time, and still) contradictory.  No marriage sacrament, no marriage.

          Maybe they have clarified it since.  Neither my dad or his first wife were Catholic, so the marriage never occurred anyway right?  So why put them through the whole thing anyway? Begin with that, and end with the fact that it had to be annuled for the sole purpose of becoming married within the church because otherwise they were living in sin.  

          So the annulment should not matter to the kids, but seriously, can you imagine telling a child, well, "I never really married your mom anyway?"

          •  Here are a couple of links you might enjoy (0+ / 0-)

            What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

            by Demfem on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 06:10:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  But this is what the parents wanted (0+ / 0-)

            and requested of the Church, to annul their marriage.  The parents wanted the Church to agree that no marriage took place.  The Church needed proof from them, in a hearing, to be confinced of their claim.  

            Children of divorce suffer a great deal, and it follows certainly that children of an annulment suffer as well.  But this is what the parents were stating in their claim, that no marriage took place.  If they were able to convince the church of this, how is it the fault of the church that the kids are upset by it?

            Speak truth to power, it's a sin to tell a lie.

            by queen on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:50:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Now that doesn't make any sense at all (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deepfish, mooshter, chigh

          None whatsoever. How can children of a marriage that never existed be products of a marriage? Catholic logic, ya gotta love it, when you're not laughing at it, that is. BTW, I was born and raised a Catholic in a mixed marriage, ie. Mom was a Catholic, Dad wasn't. I left the Church when I turned 18, ran as fast as I could in the other direction. The Catholic Church is antedeluvian.

          What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

          by Demfem on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 06:17:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. Even in the 50's. (0+ / 0-)

        She is thd child of an annuled marriage.  This has no bearing on her status as a person or a Catholic. Are you speaking about the child, or the people in the non-sanctioned marriage?  

        Speak truth to power, it's a sin to tell a lie.

        by queen on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:43:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Non-person- (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howd, deepfish, BachFan, chigh, Lujane

      I don't think of myself as a non-person so much as the full force of the contradictions implied hit me full force.

      •  Wow wow wow... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane

        You raise a side to this issue that I have never thought about before.  This is really a revealing diary.

        Thank you for articulating your feelings.  I'll never think of an annulment as a "piece of paper bought and paid for" again.

  •  Thanks for sharing (4+ / 0-)

    Up until the part about your parents, you sound just like me.  Catholic schools, wanting to be a nun but since I am a little older, I mainly coached CYO.

    I bought into it.  All of it.  Until my mid twenties.  Can't say that any one thing changed me.  It was a compilation.  When I was younger, in the late fifties and all through the sixties, nuns and priests led the protests against war, against racism, against poverty.

    But they stayed paternalistic, have refused to end their sexism, and instead of continuing to move foreward, in my view the catholic church has gone backwards.

    And the hypocrisy is too hard to take.  But that is not exclusive to the catholic church.  Most of the Christian fundamentalists, extremists, as well as all religious fundamentalists (Islamic, Jewis) remain paternalistic and hypocritical in my view.

    Guilian typifies so many of those hypocrites.  He is a phony, a bully and I really wish he was not of Italian heritage.  He, Scalia and Alito are a worst legacy than the mafia for me.

  •  The annulment isn't supposed to affect the child (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deepfish, BachFan

    Any child of the civil marriage is still legitimate. What is fascinating to me is the Hispanic culture in our area (maybe typical of other areas too). The couples obtain a civil marriage and wait (often 20 to 25 years) before getting "officially" married in the Catholic church.

    They truly believe that once you are married in the church, there is no divorce. However, before the marriage is blessed by a church ceremony, they can marry and divorce at will, it seems. An interesting concept.

    "Blessed are the Peacemakers" - Jesus

    by SisTwo on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:48:52 PM PDT

    •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SisTwo

      Of course it was explained all as formalities when my parents went through it, It occured to me that through annulment the prior marriage did not exist, therefore how could I be "legitimate"?  The church said both were true, but logic dictated to me an inconsistency that I could not reconcile. Either illegitimate status is wrong and should not exist, or the marriage existed. Going through all that work, being denied communion (my mother) to get a paper that seemed contradictory at the core basically opened the floodgates to other incongruities.

      Perhaps the civil marriage thing you talk about is sort of a "trial run", as so many people do anyway.  

      •  A formality is a good term for it (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't make sense to me either, but my husband has a Master's degree in Pastoral Ministry and he seems to think it is perfectly sensible. He's always been very good with philosophy, while those things make my brain hurt.

        "Blessed are the Peacemakers" - Jesus

        by SisTwo on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 07:05:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My father asked my mother for an annulment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SisTwo, chigh

      after 25 years of marriage and four kids so that he could marry my stepmother.

      My mother told him to take a long walk off a short pier.  The four of us siblings reacted just as badly, despite his explanations that the annulment would not affect our status in the eyes of the Church. Although this is in fact Church doctrine, it made no sense to me -- if that was true, then how was a Catholic annulment different than a civil divorce?  In the end, he didn't get one (I never figured out what the grounds were supposed to be) and my stepmother didn't take communion again until she was literally on her deathbed.

      Anyway, for the record Julie Annie got an annulment from wife number 1, who was his second cousin (supposedly Julie Annie didn't realize that they needed a dispensation to marry, or didn't realize she was his second cousin, or something completely unrelated to his desire to marry wife number 2) and didn't get an annulment from wife 2.  Julie Annie thus married wife number 3 in a civil ceremony (officiated by Mayor Mike Bloomberg) and in the eyes of the Church is living in sin.

      "You are seeing impeachment as a constitutional crisis. Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis." -- John Nichols

      by litigatormom on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 07:34:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was raised Catholic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deepfish, BachFan

    and I consider myself a "semi" practicing Catholic. There are things about the Church that I do not agree with, and things about it that I do. I'm in a sort of suspended state with the Church, an establishment that I think has to grow with the times.

    I cannot see how anyone would rightfully believe that God would consider a child born within the second marriage of a man or woman to somehow be a "child of sin." I also refuse to believe that God considers any child born out of wedlock to be somehow less than acceptable in His eyes than a child who was born within some church-approved marriage. Are both children not from Him? Or does the Dark Angel also provide the world with the miracle that is children?

    Anyway, I think I'm getting off point. I cannot say that I understand your feelings, but I do know about feeling conflicted when it comes to the Catholic Church. It's unfortunate that you and your parents had to go through that. It's hard to reconcile when you are truly doing what one believes is in their best interest and in their quest to please God.

    •  I am not a catholic, but I do remeber a month (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deepfish

      or so back when the pope said that only catholics were true christians and paraphrasing that the catholic church was the only true church and thus the only route to heaven..Did I misread the pope on this or was it a delaid knee jerk reaction to all the evagelicals who been souting that only the born agains can go to heaven, and I think they even included the pope..or can a pope be born again or does he need to be ? It gets confusing at times..Times like this, I thank God that I is an atheisist..No confusion, just try to basically live a life that does no harm..Wurks for me..

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Oscar Madison

      by Johnny Rapture on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:58:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You remember right (0+ / 0-)

        It's always been that way, "The fullness of salvation rests in The Holy Roman Catholic Church".  It's just that after Vatican II it was whispered quietly and with the speculation that righteous folks who weren't Catholic, say Ghandi might also be in heaven.

        Pope Benedict reacting against the rising tide of secularism in Europe apparently feels the need to be more of a throwback to the old days.

      •  Pope seems to be reigning in the cafeterias. (0+ / 0-)

        I was raised Roman Catholic, and generally, no, non-Catholics have been misled and will not go to heaven.  Pope John Paul II loosened up the rigidity a little, concentrating on other things, but there is a tradition that is still strong that means business about this point.  The way it goes is that only through the Pope, as St. Peter's representative can the path to heaven be opened.  Even Orthodox Catholics do not have this succession, so they are in mortal danger of hell.

        Of course how do you think all churches achieve and maintain devotion?  A guarantee they alone are the path to eternal life.

        •  That is something that I was never taught (0+ / 0-)

          in my Presbyterian church.  "All who profess faith in Jesus" were (and are) welcome to participate in communion.  I have regularly participated in interfaith services and activities.  From the Presbyterian Church (USA) website

              Central to the ongoing story of the Bible is God's long-term, patient, merciful purpose of recreating a human community in which the love of God and neighbor becomes a fact of history.

             In the spirit of Jesus Christ, we are called to maintain a respectful presence with people of other faiths. We commit ourselves to meet such persons with gentleness and humility and to seek to learn more about the worshipping practices and faiths that they represent as a way of deepening our own. And we acknowledge that we are called, by the God who created us and the world in which we live, to remain faithful in our proclamation of the gospel in Jesus Christ, and to work with others irrespective of their practices and faith commitments, toward a world marked by justice and peace and in which the whole creation is nurtured and protected.

        •  No, again you are wrong about Church teaching. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not surprised, most people are, but it's tedious to constantly hear these teachings misrepresented by people who don't know what they're talking about, usually prefaced with "I went to Catholic Schools in the 50's."  

          Maybe it's time to have an adult faith formation in the 21st Century?  

          Christians and even non-Christians may well be "saved."  (No one knows for sure if any of us will be).

          Here is a very good article on the recent statements by the pope on other Christains and the fullness of salvation.  I hope you all read it:

          Article on Ecumenism

          Speak truth to power, it's a sin to tell a lie.

          by queen on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:01:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  My wife is a Southern Baptist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deepfish, BachFan

    (Not an evangelical or a fundamentalist, thank God!) She can't understand why the Christian right is so tolerant of divorce. It used to be that among the Baptists, divorce was so shocking it was scandalous, and she knew of preachers who were driven out by their congregations because they got divorced. Now, of course, they don't seem to make a big deal of it. (Unless, of course, it's a Democrat.)

    It will be interesting how they react to Guiliani's multiple divorces. (Same with Fred Thompson and, if he should run, Newt Gingrich.) So far their so-called "leaders," like Dobson, haven't made a major issue of it, but I don't know what the rank & file think.

    Silence is assent -- Impeach now!

    by Shiborg on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 04:52:49 PM PDT

  •  FWIW Rudy had his first marriage annulled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howd, BachFan

    But not his second, so he's not in good standing with the church. He doesn't present himself for communion when he attends church in Manhanttan -- my uncle has seen him from time to time there.

    •  and the first, to claim he didn't know (0+ / 0-)

      that he was related to her, is crazy. What about all the family at the wedding? And after?? Didn't it take like 15 years before he discovered they were related, which if memory serves, is the reason for the annulment.

      Rudy is also BBF with a priest involved with the pedolphilia scandal.

      annulment is utter BS
      you used to be able to just pay for it

  •  tags fixed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lilorphant

    I fixed your tags per the tagging guidelines.

    Frugal Fridays, where the cheap come to chat.

    by sarahnity on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 05:48:57 PM PDT

  •  Straight people are so weird! (0+ / 0-)

    And, btw, it's the ROMAN Catholic Church of which
    you write. There are many churches with the word
    "catholic" in their names, and, while the Roman
    Church wants you to think, mistakenly, it is the
    only "catholic" church, it is not.
    See the US Library of Congress, Name Authority File.

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