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November 18, 1988     The Message
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November 18, 1988

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November 18, 1988 I The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Question Corner II Q&A By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN NC News Service Columnist Helping a daughter understand parents' divorce 15 Q. About two years ago my parents separated and divorced six months later. My father had another girlfriend (a neighbor) at the time. This woman also has divorced her husband. In the-meantime I found out my father has seen other women in the 21 years of my folks' marriage and was dating this woman long before their separation. I was told yesterday by my father that he pians to marry this woman. I am devastated. He says she is going to convert Catholic and they are going to he married in the Catholic Church. I cannot see at all how this marriage can even take place. Please answer me soon as there might be something I can do. --Florida A. ] nearly passed by your letter because it in- volves awfully heavy matters for a daughter like you to be forced to deal with. However, you seem to be old enough to understand the hard things that need to be said and which may be helpful to many others in circumstances like yours. Do you know what an annulment is? Briefly, it is a declaration that some circumstances existed throughout the marriage that make a marriage be- tween those two people impossible. It could be that an essential condition for a valid marriage is lacking. For example, if it can be proven that a man had no intention of being faithful to his wife, that marriage would be invalid from the beginning. We know also that some people, even adults who may say the marriage vows beautifully, and even to some degree live a decent marriage, may in fact be so emotionally immature and unstable that a true marriage covenant with any 6ther person is impossible. 1 have only your letter to go on, of course. And in no way do I pretend to anticipate decisions of marriage tribunals. I'm simply trying to help you to understand what may be going on here by telling you that, from what you have said, it is quite questionable whether your father is capable, or has been capable, of the genuine commitment marriage requires. The promiscuity you describe during an entire marriage would seem to indicate a terribly dwarfed personality. Such an individual may be sincere in entering a marriage, yet just not possess enough emotional or psychological equipment to commit to the community of life that we believe marriage to be. From your letter it appears that your father has introduced some sort of case to your diocesan tribunal, though if I were you I would not be too sure until I checked. If he has, the priests and other experts involved must and will make judgments on the information they receive from competent people in and out of the families, It needs to be said also that granting an annul- ment does not automatically allow an individual to enter a new marriage in the Catholic Church. When serious emotional incompetence is establish- ed as the grounds for an annulment, the annul- ment decree insists that no Catholic marriage may take place unless and until appropriate psychiatric therapy has brought that person to a level of emo- tional maturity sufficient for a real marriage. Otherwise the same problem would make the second marriage as invalid as the first. I realize this is brief, but it is important for you to know that the officials of the Catholic Church involved in those processes have the same concerns and fears and reverence for marriage as you. They do not take these responsibilities lightly. We hold marriage sacred. It is only because we do honor it as a radical commitment and dedica- tion of one's whole self to another person that cases such as your father's are dealt with carefully and respectfully to everyone concerned. Your father seems to be a confused and emo- tionally mixed-up person. If you discover that he has in fact initiated a case with your diocesan tribunal office please feel free to contact that office and talk with one of the priests or other personnel there. As a profoundly concerned daughter, I'm sure they will do their best to help you understand what is going on. In the meantime continue your prayers and keep your obviously high ideals. It sounds as if your parents, as well as yourself, will need all the help you can get. A free brochure explaining Catholic teaching and practice on annulments is available by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Parish, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, IIL 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at e same address. COpjcight [c) 1988 by NC News Service. i i Remember For Funeral Planning i Miller & Miller 424-9274 , ,,,, . i COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 311N. Wabash 425-3187 i i American National Bank Bicknell - Sandborn Vincennes Drive-in Facilities. Member F.D.I.C. A Full Service Bank TheMESSAGE CLJ00SSlFIEDS (There Only will be a $3.001 JP- r?mum charge per on all classified wc)rd! advertising) Print your ad on this form. One word, symbol, or abbreviation per blank. Phone number counts as one word. Clip and mail to out office with payment. No Phone orders; No billing. Copy deadline is nine days preceding the Friday date of issue (a Wednesday) I:()R SAI.I( NOVI!NAS 20 3.00 21 3.15 22 3.30 23 3.45 24 3.60 25 3.75 26 3.90 27 4.05 28 4.20 29 4.35 30 4.50 31 4.65 32 4.80 33 4.95 34 5.10 35 5.25 36 5.40 37 5.55 38 570 39 5.85 40 6.00 41 6.15 42 6.30 43 6.45 44 6.60 45 6.75 46 6.90 47 7.05 48 7.20 49 7.35 50 7.50 Cost of your ad is the dollar amount that appears below the final word ($3.00 minimum) iNO PHONE ORDERS--NO BILLING The Message Classifieds 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. P.O. Box 4169 Evansville, IN 47711 (812) 424-5536 iii i i I I I I ii Vatican Continued from page 5 theological battling over the en- cyclical misses the point that its teachings about the value of marriage and the meaning of sexuality are not being com- municated to the laity, par- ticularly the young. Her contact with high school students and their parents has convinced her that "Humanae Vitae" needs a "re- presentation" of its ideas, and a "good P.R. job" as well. Twenty years la-ter, "Humanae Vitae" still stirs passions and fuels conferences. But for those like Miller and Father Batule, the academic battles seem increasingly irrele- vant to those ministering to young people and the survivors of the sexual revolution. In the words of Father Batule, "The final word on 'Humanae Vitae' from the average Catholic may not be 'No,' but 'What?'" Message classified ads HAVE A REAL TREE MERRY CHRISTMAS. Choose now and cut later. Ubelhor Christmas Trees, 8000 West No. 6 School Road, Evansville, Indiana. I I II.P WAN'I'II) HIRINGt GOVERNMENT jobs -- your area. Many immediate openings without waiting list or test. $17,840-$69,485. Call (602) 838-8885. EXT. 4880. OH, HOLY ST. JUDE, Apostle & Martyr, great in virtue, rich in miracles, Jl H i "t near kinsman of Jesus Christ. ratlntul intercessor for all who invoke your special patronage in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart & humbly beg to who God has given such great power to come to my assistance. Help me in my present & urgent petition. In return, I promise to make your name known & cause you to be invoked. Say three Our Father's, three Hail Mary's & three Glory Be's for nine consecutive days. Publication must be promised. St. Jude, pray for us all who invoke your aid, This novena has never been known to fail. P.B, The Message Classifieds Deadline: Nine days preceding the Friday date of issue (a Wednesday). Rates: 15 per word, symbol, or abbreviation. No minimum number of words needed. Novenas: Cost of publication for Novenas is $15.00. Please include your initials. Payment: All ads must be paid for when placed by mail. NO ADS WILL BE TAKEN OVER THE PHONE; NO BILLS WILL BE SENT. Rejections: Ads that are illegible, lacking proper payment, or that fail to meet the advertising standards of the Message will not be published. tit t i lit i