annulments and abusers / why can't/won't the church help abused spouses?

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DJCleo

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I don't think that the Catholic Church doesn't care at all, ever, about helping abused spouses, but it just seems like they don't have any protocol for helping abused spouses get out of what they've sealed as a marriage without more danger.

Now, I don't think that the Catholic Church necessarily is trying to aid anyone to abuse their spouse. Not necessarily. For the record, I am catholic, but I do see problems in the church as it is made of people. It should be honoring God as much as possible, and there are huge issues with doing things that mean people aren't honoring God... but that's a whole other discussion.

Anyway, so.... what should such a process be able to do better? I've been wanting to at least know what I think they could do better since I know that the annulment process is not a quick or easy one. In most circumstances, this allows for a lot of healing to the parties who were in the non-marriage and then parted ways with their ex. They are forced to do a lot of introspection, probably a lot more than they did before getting married, if they're being honest. I am entirely sympathetic to this process being difficult and not easy. However, for many, it seems to be a necessary hurt to help them move on.

As for those other "marriages". My husband's PD mother insists she tried to get an annulment many, many years ago, but that it was too expensive, plus the "spouse" had been the one to be unfaithful, so she took it personally as the church telling her that she had to pay for his wrongdoings if she wanted an annulment. I have no doubt that the church is often strange and doesn't explain things such as annulments very well. They also should have presented this much differently, but it wouldn't have made enough of a difference anyway because of her PD traits. It would have been an issue because she would not have seen her own PD issues and would not have processed that into the lengthy paperwork, etc.

My sister though, does not have a PD. She did marry someone who likely had a PD or at least what mimicked one through his alcohol and drug abuse. He abused her in many ways until she got out. She is very afraid of him and does everything she can to not draw attention to herself in a way that would let him know where she lives, etc. This is not your run-of-the-mill divorce situation.

So, why do institutions such as the Catholic Church make it so difficult to get away from such a terrible person? I understand the spiritual promise ones make to spouses and to God as a covenant. I get that. However, shouldn't there be a way to easily get away from such a person for good and for an annulment to happen more easily? I understand they're a not the government and it's a sacrament, but ... there just has to be a better way. I asked a priest about this recently who seemed to think that Rome needs to figure this out as well, but there really was no answer. If the annulment proceedings need to include speaking to a spouse, then what?

Have any of you any knowledge where they helped a spouse out with an annulment without contacting the abusive "spouse"?


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DJCleo

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  • I'm sorry in advance. I make a lot of mistakes.
Ok, can one of the moderators pretty please delete this post? I can try again after a while. I'll try to make my question more succinct.