Friday, October 2, 2015

Annulment Complete

Earlier this week, I finally received the letter in the mail from the Archdiocese of Orlando granting the annulment of my past marriage.  It took thirteen months to complete (and a hefty sum of money).  I felt a quiet relief when it finally came through.  One chapter of my life that has come to a close and I feel I can more wholly put it behind me.

It also helps that Pope Francis has spoken about Catholics and divorce.  Here and then here.  I appreciate his compassion for those abandoned in a divorce and possible future consideration that annulments may be fast tracked when an extramarital affair takes place.  Significantly lowering the cost and making it a 45 day process also seems helpful.  While it does not change things for me, I'm glad the Pope is suggesting these reforms.

The timing of the annulment is good because I really wanted the process complete before T~ and I get married in December.  While we are not getting married in the Catholic Church, it still would have bothered me greatly had the annulment not come through.  T~ has agreed with me to have our marriage validated in the Catholic Church once we are married.  It would be nice to have the ceremony in a church, but that would take another year.  It would not necessarily be an issue with securing a time and date with a church, but the time it takes for the marriage preparation classes.  The Church wants people to be engaged for at least a year before marriage and it likely would not recognize the time T~ and I have been together before the annulment.  Sometimes you can have a clergy person vouch for you.  However, we just moved and do not have an established relationship with a church yet.  Plus, the churches that tend to be more understanding seem to tend to be more liberal.  So, finding a new person to vouch for us may take time to seek out.  Maybe not ideal, but I have made peace with the validation option.

I hope God is understanding and compassionate of our choices.  We are older and time is not on our side for having children.  Adoption may give us a little more time, but it is not a guarantee.  However, please know we are not rushing into kids.  We want some time as a married couple, but we are also balancing the reality of our aging bodies.  Our hearts are in the right place, and I hope He sees that.