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Lorena Franklin wrote:

Hi, guys —

My question is regarding an Annulment.

I'm a Catholic and civilly married to my husband who is a Protestant. We also have two children. In order for our civil marriage to be blessed in the Catholic Church, he needs to annul his previous marriage.

We have been working on it for over a year and within that year his paperwork has been lost, found, lost again, etc. In short, it has been a mess and he's begun to think it's all a joke — not to mention he does not believe in the whole process anyway.

Too keep this story short, he has started over and is being asked to fill out the Petrine Privilege form along with two other petition forms which are said to go to Rome and to the Pope. He, of course, does not believe they will actually go directly to the Pope.

On one of the petition forms, which is a pre-written letter addressed to the Holy Father, my husband would just fill in the blanks. He refuses to address it to Holy Father since it goes against his Protestant beliefs and therefore it keeps us from completing the annulment process. He has addressed his concern to the Priest at the tribunal who is overseeing his case and says there's no way around it.

I'm heart broken and don't know what to tell him, or what to do if he doesn't get the annulment, so we can marry within the Church since he is now beginning to change his mind about even petitioning for an annulment.

  • How do I convince him that this is necessary and what do I do if he refuses?

Thanks for your help!

Lorena

  { If my spouse doesn't believe in the Papacy, how do I get him to fill out the annulment paperwork? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Lorena,

  • If he went to a foreign land and met the ruler, would he refuse to give the ruler their proper title?
  • Would he not call Queen Elizabeth Her Highness if he met her in person?

Tell him to think of the Pope as a ruler of a foreign nation who has a certain title
(i.e. the Vatican).

As to, will the Pope literally see his letter, unlikely, but the letters will be seen by members of his staff who will bring it before him with other materials from other people and he will take their word for it and grant them. I have had these staff members reject letters that do not follow protocol so it is best not to do it incorrectly.

In the end, he is doing this not for himself but for you — if he respects your faith, he will do this eventually.

Fr. Jonathan

Lorena replied:

Wow!

Thank you so much. This is a great way of explaining it to him!

Thank you and God Bless!

Lorena

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