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Evansville, Indiana
September 18, 1987     The Message
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September 18, 1987

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September 18, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana :" Question Corner I I I 13 Q&A By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN NC News Service Columnist Columnist answers questions about divorce and the (:hurch Q. I am a Catholic woman who has never been married. My Catholic fiance has been married twice before. His first marriage was in the Catholic Church and lasted only five months. I have seen a photocopy of the annulment decree granted by the county in which he was married. Is this comparable to, or acceptable as, a church annulment or is that a separate document? He was married several years later to another non-Catholic in a non-denominational Christian church. That marriage lasted two stormy years. Is there any hope for us to be married in the church so that we can both again be practicing Catholics? (California) A. Since divorces are so easily obtainable, an- nulments of marriages are not common in civil courts. These courts do grant them on occasion, however, in certain types of cases and under clear- ly defined conditions. A civil decree of annulment does not substitute for a declaration of nullity by a Catholic tribunal. While some conditions for the annulment may be similar or identical, the parish priest Of either yourself or your fiance would need to pursue the case through your own diocesan offices. Judging from the information you give, his seems to be a case well worth pursuing in that way. Since your friend is Catholic and presumably was at the time of his second marriage in another church, that marriage in itself should present no obstacle to your marriage and full practice of your faith as Catholics. I realize too well that sometimes these rules Oc- casion inconvenience and pain. But when you allow yourself to go beyond that, isn't it true that you are concerned and that you esteem Christian m .arriage enough to want to share it with your friend, only because countless other couples have considered that kind of marriage and those rules important enough to honor and respect? For your own happiness and for the good of us all I hope you will decide to be among them. Please talk to your parish priest or a priest friend and ask him to help you. Q. I am a practicing Catholic and wonder about any rules regarding my marriage to a Methodist who has been divorced. still all right for me to marry him? Can I receive the sacraments? Sometimes I wonder if rules are nearly as impor- tant as the love we have for one another. (Colorado) A, If by rules you mean certain ways of doing things that one is expected to follow, I doubt that you really believe we should do away with them. Even in your letter you say you want to marry this man. If rules aren't important', why bother with marriage? Why not just start living together? Isn't it because you know you'll lose something very special if you just ignore everything and everyone else because you love each other? Any kind of real and significant rules are intend- ed to keep us from destroying or losing something important in our lives, individually or as a society. The Catholic community is no different than any other in this matter. As a church, as a Christian family, we hold cer- tain realities very sacred and vital to our life. Mar- riage is right near the top of the list. Without going into details about specific rules, that is the simple reason we Catholic Christians have regulations about marriage. We want to safeguard those things without which marriage would become just another minor arrangement of life. A free brochure explaining Catholic regulations on membership in the Masons and other organiza- tions is available by sending a stamped, self- addressed envelope to Father ]ohn Dietzen, Holy Trinity Parish, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, Ill. 61701. Questions for'this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. {Copyright (c) 1987 by NC News Service) Priest says Pope John Paul unwilling to talk with opposition By TRACY EARLY opposition" in the church, an afternoon press conference NC News Service "They (the Jewish delega- and evening panel discussion tion) finally forced him to Sept. 2 sponsored by the NEW YORK (NC) -- Father listen, but they had more power Association for the Rights of Hans Kung, the Swiss priest than we had," Father Kung Catholics in the Church, an whose right to teach as a said. organization ofl,000members. Catholic theologian was He also welcomed the pro- The events were held to suspended by the Vatican in raise of a Vatican document on publicize a forthcoming collec- 1979, said in a New York ap- the Holocaust, but said that tion of essays, "The Church in pearance that he was glad Pope issue could not be dealt with Anguish: Has the Vatican John Paul II had .received a adequately without Vatican ac- Betrayed the Council?" (Harper Jewish delegation Sept. I but ceptance of diplomatic rela- and Row), produced to coincide charged that the pope was un- tions with Israel. with the papal visit to the o, willing to talk with the "loyal Father Kung participated in United States. ,, Father Kung and an associate UO 0 edited a similar book, "Whither 5"C..pl31LIp'; the Catholic Church: Against (:Amoo SEPT. 27th NEW FORD VAN Fully Equipped . 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Swidler said he selected some ofthe essays from the Ger- man book for translation in the American volume, and then solicited U.S. contributors for several others, He said the goal of getting the book out in time for the papal visit could not be s . 9 9 met, but advance copies were distributed at the press con- ference and bookstores were scheduled to have their copies Oct. 14. Publicity for the book describes it as"a theological in- dictment of Pope John Paul II and other Vatican officials" that shows how they are "try- ing to turn back the theological clock." ONE STOP Does it All Jim Clayton Ph. 476-1359 FABRIC CARE CENTER Evansville Professionally Finished Dry Cleaning Coin Operated Dry Cleaning Coin Operated Laundry Clayton 1404-10 Wash. Ave. I I IHI "Being a member of America's Number One Long Term Health Care Team ts a responsibility that we take seriously." 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