Update on my Annulment Decision

According to Canon procedure, I visited the Tribunal on Friday to review the decision in my case. It was very enlightening. What I viewed was the package that automatically goes to the Appeals Court in San Antonio. This is a rundown on what I reviewed on Friday.

Cover Page - just the typical name, case number, etc. At the end was a checklist that ensures that all of the procedure is followed and the file is complete.

Advocate (Petitioner) statement - This amounts to basically a brief filed on my behalf by an advocate arguing in favor of annulment. It was about 5 or so pages long and quite comprehensive. Essentially the advocate compiled my statements with my witness' statements, and added notes taken which were contained in files the Church kept from my pre-marriage interviews and classes. The Church notes were items that I was not aware even existed, but I had to chuckle because they proved to be quite prophetic. This advocate made a very strong and compelling case in my favor. After I read the decision I realized how strong it was.

Advocate (Respondent) statement - This is the same type document, except this advocate was arguing against annulment. This document was not quite one page. This person argued basically that my Ex denied my statements, they're not proven, and that an annulment should not be granted unless there is proof to the contrary. I am serious that was it. I joked later that it appeared that this advocate had nothing to go on.

Decision & Recommendation - Obviously in my favor. What was the most interesting about this document was that the adjudicant seemed to take the statements of the Petitioner Advocate as fact. He actually discussed that my Ex was not raised in a very stable environment, and he had a lot of resentment and problems.

Then, the adjudicant stated what I joked was kind of a "sentence". For me, it was stated that because I had not been married 5 years that T and I would need to participate in the Church's pre-marriage program prior to convalidation. I figured as much. For the Ex, the statement was something similar to this:

"Respondent was psychologically incapable of entering into this marriage and remains too immature to enter into any marriage. In the unlikely event that Respondent should ever wish to marry in the Church, he would need to undergo a full psychological evaluation and counseling, and his prospective spouse would need to be counseled regarding his past behavior, his immaturity, and potential problems."

And no I am not kidding about that. I mean that isn't an exact quote, but it is close. Damn...to be deemed by the Catholic Church as un-marriageable is quite an accomplishment, and not one many people can claim, I'm sure.

Honestly, it was kind of nice for a completely impartial person to verify for me that he was and is essentially crazy. Nonetheless, the Priest at the Tribunal explained about the automatic appeal, stating that it takes approximately 3 months. If the Ex chooses to appeal on his own, the entire file goes for re-review, and that would add about a month to the process. Apparently he can also appeal to Rome, but it would cost him $1,000 and I know he won't spend the money.

I'm hoping to be finished with this by June.


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