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Couples seeking marriage are required to attend pre-marriage education sessions precisely so they can be fully informed about what they’re committing to.
Note that it’s important to distinguish between what the couple intends when they marry, and deviations later in the marriage.
If they are all met, then the marriage itself is valid. A Catholic annulment simply declares that to be the case. The Catholic Church does not say that a couple should always stay in a failed marriage.
Yes, we strongly encourage people to try to reconcile things, especially if children are involved.
Marriage between a man & woman in the Catholic Church is a sacrament. Annulment simply says that a true, sacramental marriage was never created in the first place — it was never valid.
Catholic annulment declares that a couple didn’t have some ingredient necessary for a valid marriage.
This becomes clearer when we compare Catholic annulment to civil divorce.
The proper term for Catholic annulment is “declaration of nullity”: the Church declares that the marriage never was valid in the first place.
Annulment upholds, rather than undercuts, the Catholic teaching on the sanctity and permanence of marriage. Real marriage, as God intended, as we feel naturally drawn to.
And if Divorce says that you were once married, but now you aren’t. Annulment says you were never truly married in the first place. Catholics believe that marriage is permanent, “till death do us part.” This teaching comes from Christ, as recorded in Scripture (See Mt -32 and 19:3-9, Mk 10:2-12, Lk ). As Jesus said, “So they are no longer two but one flesh.
But sometimes it is necessary to separate for serious reasons, and even seek civil divorce.
This is especially true in cases where one spouse is abusing another.