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January 30, 1998     The Message
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!tnuaty 30, 1997 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 A marriage that&apos;s not truly a marriage By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service Question: I need advice on what makes a valid ar0.'age. It COncerns mv 26 year old broth r wh as married,-i j - - e, o y.. . wo _years and is now separated three Once he wa arati0- ,- s open, friendly and happy. Since the new, w' hOWever, he has taken on a completely it. '-urawn personality. He is almost lii<e a h'er- gi t e end f their two years, when he continued '6ner to e  " .... g t help for her mariiuana addiction, "'e told him to leave. " . r e months later she had a live-in boyfriend. l bwnd live'in friend gave her a baby daughter, , o- Is on No. 3. L.,,! 1 Very Worried about him In s ite of what ha t  " ,mses, out of some misguided loyalty = nage Sacrament, to consider a divorce so he I" on with his " Sl't a.__ . - life. hj ! i"Wlng away one's life on a one-sided love -,,v t.C  ith ' annot believe that God blesses a young health and a lovln h let a self.d,..._ . g eart to waste it on , tructive person or relationship. I believe divorce is a horribly hurtful thing in our society. Yet, do you think a marriage exists in the case of my brother? (Illinois) Answer: It is not my place to make such a judg- ment. For Catholics, that belongs to the tribunals (courts) established by the church for this purpose. I can, however, make some important observa- tions about the situation you describe. One way or another, your brother does seem to be throwing his life away in a dysfunctional reaction to what has occurred between him and his wife. As the Catholic Church understands it, marriage is an agreement or a covenant in which a man and woman create with each other a lifetime relationship, a communion, of all life and love. (See Canon 1055 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1601.) Thus, the object of marriage consent, or vows, is a particular kind of relationship, not simply one of any sort which happens to fit that particular woman and man. According to Catholic belief and tribunal prac- -" rice, the inability to form that type of relationship that identifies a real marriage makes the consent null, nonexistent. Canon lawyers sometimes compare the inability for consent to impotence, the physical inability to have sexual intercourse, which renders a marriage, and marriage consent, invalid. Similarly, there can be what is called psychic, or psychological, impotence. An individual so emotion- ally handicapped that he or she is incapable of that commitment to a lifelong communion of life and love is simply incapable of marriage. As one tribunal official puts it, whether it's impo- tence or severe emotional dysfunction, the person is promising something he or she cannot deliver. In the one case it is sexual relations they cannot "deliver," in the other it is commitment to a lifetime communion of love. If your brother can grasp the basics of what I'm saying, it may encourage him to talk to a priest or tri- bunal official about his circumstances. Judging from what you have told me, it is well worth his doing so. This could be his opportunity to put some closure on what is causing his self-destruc- tiveness and to move on with his life. A free brochure answering questions Catholics ask about annulments is available by sending a stamped, self- addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, IL 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. Street y . rn Indiana and northeastern Kentucky Jennifer Fox Nikki Lunsford Bill Greene Jim Greene E. 21st St. IN 47501 =gnment Correction: ISTEP results incorrectly reported ISTEP scores from St. Matthew School, Mount Vernon were incorrectly located on a chart in the Jan. 23 issue of the Message. The numbers and percentages were incorrectly listed as part of St. Joseph School, Princeton. At St. Matthew, in grade six, seven students (88 per- cent) met state standards in language arts and eight stu- dents (100 percent) met state standards in mathematics. Jasper Deanery to honor clergyand religious Parishioners from throughout the Jasper Deanery are invited to the annual Clergy Recognition and Apprecia- tion banquet, held to honor the area's priests and reli- gious. The Serra Club of the Jasper Deanery and the Othmar Schroeder Council of the Knights of Columbus will spon- sor the event at the Knights of Columbus Home, Jasper, Thursday, Feb. 12. The speaker will be Maryknoll Father Robert W. Greene, a Jasper native who devoted much of his life to the missions of China. Jerry Alstadt, president of the Serra Club, said he hoped to see man 3) parishioners from each parish at the banquet. Tickets are available from members of the two organizations, at $10 per per- son. Memorial Mass to be offered for accident victim A memorial Mass will be held at St. Meinrad Archabbey for Jorge Pulido, a 1997 St. Meinrad College graduate who died Jan. 11 in a traffic accident in Mexico. He was 22. While at St. Meinrad, Pullido was very active in the Hispanic communities in Dubois and Spencer counties. The Mass will be celebrated Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. EST. Theology school announces appointment Robert Feduccia has been named Associate Director of EnroUmet for SIL Me/hind School of..: Theology. Benedictine Father Mark O'Keefe, pres- ident-rector, made the announcement. Feduccia will focus on the recruitment of lay ministry stu- dents and direct the Youth Leadership Conferences this summer at St. Meinrad. FEDUCCIA Black History Month Program at the Woods The St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Student Activities Committee will present the musical and story-telling talents of James "Sparky" Rucker, in Le Fer Ball- room, Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. Rucker's program, "The Blue and Gray in Black and White," focuses on the American Civil War and its impact. The program is free and open to the public. Free Valentine meal for Golden Anniversary couples Old Country Buffet, 1356 North Green River Road, Evansville, has issued an invitation "'to any and all couples married 50 years or more to be our guests for a complimentary lunch or dinner" during the week, Feb. 9 through 14. For more itformation, call (812) 473-2876. uWiler Corner 47501 HOme: 254-3087 IN AUTO " HOME BUSINESS * FARM INSURANCE SERVICES SINCE 1913 HELFRICH Insurance Agency 464-5993 JAMES A. NIEMEIER Mater Dei Class of '69 Four Convenient Locations HIGHLAND CHAPEL  .ST VENU Hear it from the source! Vatican Radio World News Mon. - Fri. at 5:30 p.m. Only on WUEV-FM 91.5 University of Evansville On the air or on your computer at www.evansville.edul-wuevweb rr i i ] i i