This is very long, and normally I would not put something this long on my blog. But I 'know' Karl, and how hurt he has been by no fault divorce, and by the lack of help after his marriage was found to be Valid by the Rota.
If you take the time to read Karl's two letters, it may open eyes to the 'other side of the issue' for some of you.
I am uncertain, but think that Bai got my WICatholic email address from my comments on Fr Joe's blog in the past. I have decided that this one is worth passing on, to help Karl. Please keep him in prayer, with his family.
If you are interested, Bai Macfarlane has her email address included. Please write to her and let her know. I think she wants names and city/state/country.
---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Bai Macfarlane < email@example.com>
Date: Sep 9, 2007 7:37 PM
Subject: Would you please join me by adding your name to my letter to five authorities
Dear Group and friends.
Would you join your name to mine as I send a letter to four Roman Catholic Church authorities with this message:
Please help us. The Catholic Church appears to care nothing about marriage when it remains silent in the wake of millions of unjust divorces in the United States. We faithful have no answer for Karl (see attached letters ) so long as professed Catholic abandoning spouses, like his wife, are never advised, at the time of their unjust marital abandonment, that they are even doing anything wrong.
Attached are two of letters explaining Karl's concerns which we lay people cannot address. 1) an open letter to the USCCB and 2) a letter he shared with a 'defending marriage' internet discussion group.
Bai Macfarlane, founder Marriage Advocates.
plus anyone else who will join me
If you will sign, just let me know via e-mail.
[I want to print these two letters from Karl, and send to my Bishop, Bishop Raymond Burke, The Apostolic Nuncio,the President of the Pontifical Council on the Family, and to the Pope]
open letter to the USCCB. Karl writes:
My youngest daughter is very troubled by my recent formal
defection from the faith and her heartbreak hurts me very deeply.
This is yet another fruit of the handiwork of the Catholic Church.
Interestingly enough, our daughter knows I have been corresponding
with a very respected, retired judge from the Roman Rota and asked me
for his Email address because, my adulterous wife, is still trying to
find some grounds to nullify our marriage and believes she has been
unjustly denied a hearing in the United States, since every tribunal
which has heard her "new evidence" has refused to reopen our case.
I have encouraged our daughter to have her mother contact this priest
so that he may hear her pleas and perhaps give her some guidance.
Honestly, I was completely surprised by my wife's willingness to
communicate with this priest, but I have always valued his opinions
and can think of no better or more qualified person to listen to what
she has to say.
I have no delusions that this communication will have
any other effect on my situation but I have made it clear to our
daughter to let her mother know that I would only accept a Rotal
hearing of any new case. I am morally certain of the complete
corruption of the American Tribunals in every single case and would
trust none of them, at all. Likely, now, if I was told that there
must be a hearing in the United States, I would probably refuse to
take part and I would tell them that I would only cooperate with a
Roman hearing of the case. She could have her annulment in the United
States. It would be meaningless before God and that that would have
to suffice for me.
BTW here is a letter I wrote to each of the USCCB committee members
who are responsible for the recent "marriage initiative".
To Whom It May Concern:
In late 2006, I wrote and spoke to the pastor of the church of my
baptism and requested that he make a notation on my Baptismal Record
of my defection from the Catholic Church. I did this in response to
a document I read which described how one would "officially", in the
canonical sense, leave the Catholic Church.
This came sixteen years after I was divorced against my will in
Davenport, Iowa and lost everything including complete custody of our
five precious children, when I refused to accept the authority of the
civil court over our marriage. My wife was advised to divorce me and
to seek an annulment by a priest still attached to the diocese of
Davenport, as best I know. I was never given the opportunity to speak
to this priest except after I found out about his actions and called
him, whereupon he soundly criticized me for wanting to heal our
marriage and told me I should start my own Church because I certainly
did not know what the Catholic Church taught.
I defended our valid Sacrament through three successive tribunals,
the final two being separate panels of auditors from the Roman Rota.
The final decision was published, I believe, in December 2002 and
concurred with the earlier Rotal panel which had decided against
nullity, in opposition to the decision reached by the Davenport trio
of judges in July 1994.
All of this was to no avail as from the beginning of our marital
difficulties the clergy of the Catholic Church have openly and
consistently encouraged my wife and her lover to violate our vows
and do so to this day . It is a disgrace.
The tribunal system is corrupt and the pastoral practices of the
Catholic Church are hell-bent against those who want to save their
marriages or heal those which have been wounded . Instead, all is
focused on encouraging annulments, via required divorces in a civil
legal system that is NEVER JUST and which only DESTROYS marriages,
which are SUPPOSED to be PRESUMED VALID, yet it is a "practical"
PRESUMPTION of the legal system of the Catholic Church in America, in
spite of what the universal canon law says otherwise, that a marriage
is DEAD when it has accepted a petition for nullity.
I was taught from childhood that marriage was for life. Cruel
experience has shown me otherwise and has further convinced me that
the Catholic Church feels the necessity to overlook all the crimes and
evil of adulterers (and their accomplices no matter how grotesquely
unjust and/or unending) and to treat with scorn those who would hope
for Catholics and the institutional church to act, canonically and
pastorally, to create conditions where it was in the best interest of
all that valid marriages be healed, ESPECIALLY when its own legal
system has concluded that validity.
My discouragement and hopelessness is so thorough that I am
contemplating abandoning Christianity altogether. Outside of
countless empty words and endless articles/statements filled with
lies by canonists and others who support the divorce/annulment
complex of the Catholic Church, I have seen no reason to believe that
my experiences are anomalous, but are rather sadly, the rule, in
badly wounded marriages. There is virtually no chance that I will be
reconciled with the Catholic Church in the absence of radical,
canonical/pastoral action to directly support those who have been
abandoned by their spouses and to firmly require repentance,
restitution, and a full accounting, both morally and civilly, from
their errant spouses and ALL their Catholic abettors (especially
among the clergy) or they would face formal automatic excommunication
if such just actions are refused.
This, I know, will NEVER be the coarse chosen by the hierarchy of the
Catholic Church, which is not interested in helping those who are
already mortally, unjustly, wounded. It would rather take the
convenient way out and focus on prevention.
The Catholic Church is in grave error and is actively destroying
lives and marriages with its pastoral practices and its tribunal
system. A million valid annulments do not justify a single valid
marriage being violated. Our marriage was destroyed by the Catholic
Church in cooperation with my wife, her lover, her family and their
friends. I begged for help from the Catholic Church for years and
years and years only to be ignored . After so many years of asking
for help, in vain, to heal a valid Sacrament, I have finally decided
that the Catholic Church, virtually, abandoned me and our marriage in
January 1991, when it was presented with a petition filled with
falsehoods and, in practice, did the same when a priest ensured our
divorce with his assurances of the 90-95% certainty of an annulment,
which would follow the REQUIRED civil divorce.
Simply put, the end was used to justify the means and since justice
delayed is justice denied, I am now a former Catholic.
From the outset, the actions of the Catholic Church were expressly
designed to bring about my agonizing death as soon as "invisibly"
possible through my persecution/demoralization by its proxies, my
wife, her lover and the state, in cooperation with the clergy, so
that my wife and her lover could be "validly and sacramentally"
married in the Catholic Church. The validity of our marriage was
just a minor inconvenience since the "adulterous couple" had been
accepted, since BEFORE we were divorced, by the Catholic Church.
This is simply murder by another name made legal by the state and
morally justified by the Catholic Church.
Go ahead, continue to ignore the Rotal allocution of John Paul II
when he taught that an accurate decision on nullity was BOTH just and
pastoral and the teaching of as solid a Theologian and Canonist as
Cormac Burke, the Retired Rotal auditor, when he wrote that a
decision in favor of validity was an indication of the need to accept
it and to heal the sacrament. How many more valid marriages, spouses
and children will you destroy to run your annulment mills so
I have no desire to receive a reply from this letter because I already
know what it will say. I have been told the same since 1989. Nor do I
have a desire to return to this imposter of a Catholic Church.
Your marriage initiative is a sham. You bishops are corrupted to the
core, to the man, by a degenerate culture. You pay lip service
against it but your pastoral and tribunal practices bear witness to
your true intent. However, since there are so few good Catholics
left, who have not been absorbed by the culture of death which the
Church secretly espouses yet publicly eschews, there is no real
opposition to your diabolical actions.
There is not a single good shepherd among you, not one.
As a final note, because this is going to Spero and may be published,
to be accurate:
I have sought the intercession of the Catholic Church in order to
bring about a reconciliation between spouses. It has been said that
for the Catholic Church to excommunicate a person like those involved
in unjust divorces would prevent the adulterers from exercising their
I find this interesting since there was no interest at all, on the
part of the Catholic Church, to consider how my free will was
steamrolled by it's REQUIREMENT for a divorce, in a completely unjust
and corrupted civil legal system. Nor did the Catholic Church
consider that I was completely opposed to any annulment hearing. So,
again, my free will was not worth consideration. It is interesting
to note that such a "divorce" requirement is NOT included in the
universal canon law. That is a POLICY decision by each local Bishop,
I believe, and is pretty much uniform throughout the U.S., as is
deliberately ignoring any serious attempts to bring about a
reconciliation between the spouses, which IS part of canon law.
An excommunication does not, in any way, inhibit the choice faced by
an adulterer, which is to repent and heal their marriage, if they
really are intending on following the teachings of the Catholic
Church. By accepting unrepentant adulterers and merely denying them
communion but allowing them to give the faithful the impression that
they are "good, practicing Catholics", does harm to the abandoned
spouse, does harm to the children of the valid marriage and
effectively negates the practical meaning of marriage. It
streamlines the entire tribunal process to merely provide a
potential "way out" for adulterers while doing nothing to restore a
To say that it does otherwise is disingenuous of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is playing both sides of the permanence/divorce issue in a very nuanced way, in the eyes of the public. But from my perspective, as an abandoned spouse, the Catholic Church clearly favors the actions of my wife and her lover as she continues to violate our vows. This cannot be mistaken by the Catholic Bishops. They have made a deliberate choice to abandon spouses like myself. It is they who have left me and our valid, Sacrament behind. I have simply acted to make THEIR decision, formal, by defecting from the faith.
The Catholic Church does grave harm to all marriages by failing to
formally excommunicate everyone who obtains a civil divorce without
justification or whom refuses to work towards reconciliation with
their spouse. Our divorce, as in all wars with too many casualties,
has resulted in a triage decision, that our marriage is not worth the
resources and has been left to die in favor of new marriages, which
only have a fifty to sixty percent likelihood of failure. The "good
shepherd" has been cancelled by modern circumstances and the
permanence of real marriages is rendered archaic in the Catholic
God bless the US Marines who still try to leave no one
behind. The Catholic Church could use some Marines as Bishops!
On Sep 9, 2007, at 11:07 AM, wascatholic wrote:
Karl writes to the 'defending marriage' internet discussion group.
There cannot be a different Church within a Church. The same
universal rules must apply or it is not real. I could not imagine a
Church acceptable to me that would be in union with the Roman Church, which I am at odds with, also.
For me I cannot be in union with a Church which accepts unjust
divorce. It must take consistant action to restore valid marriages
that must include complete expulsion if reconciliation is refused,
unjustly by either or both spouses. I can understand an initial tack
of gently trying to cajole an errant spouse to rejoin an abandoned
union but if there is no movement toward reconciliation in a
reasonably short time then the move toward complete expulsion must be certain and reasonably swift. This expulsion must also include all Catholics supporting the errant Catholic, including the Pope himself, if he supports the error, and all clergy in between who support the error. So I doubt I will ever reconcile with the Catholic Church.
Consequently, I doubt I will ever reconcile with my wife. Such
action will never occur in the Catholic Church. It is part of my
great sorrow. An acceptance, in the long run, of such injustice, by
necessity gives incentive for divorce and all the horrors that follow.
What is so hard for me to deal with, as I have now come to see the
Church, is that the Church as an institution is not the "conscience"
of an individual. It is a "teacher". The individual, adult, Catholic
is responsible for the education of their conscience and seeing to it
that their behavior is consistant with both the teaching of the
Church and their conscience in such a manner as to not scandalize
another, meaning to not create and take part in a situation that
tempts another to sin.
From my conversations with Catholics far better educated and
excperienced than me I have come to begin to see that my
understanding of what the Church is or should be, appears to be at
odds with the Catholic Church's view of itself, in real terms, as I
understand things right now.. That is exactly where I am right now.
I do not agree with that view, as I understand it.
The issue of being able to remain with an adulterous lover, giving
them the same support necessary to make a "household, family work", for the "good of their children" while simultaneously denying those same personalist elements to a valid, Sacramental spouse is somewhere I do not think I will ever be able to go and to accept as just.
But unless I am wrong, and this is what I have not been able to get
anywhere near adequately described and explained to me by a faithful, competant, Catholic in legitimate authority, this is exactly what the Catholic Church teaches, provided the relationship excludes sexual intercourse. This human being cannot get past this.
Knowing full well the vulnerability of innocent children, who have a
right to an intact family, this still, in my mind, does not justify
the functional abandonment of a valid marriage, when the other spouse is opposed. In fact even if the other spouse is OK with this, I see it as harmful to what a valid marriage means. This effectively
reduces marriage to sex, only and it means that marriage is not
permanent, but, in name only, not function.
This is my understanding of this issue from my perspective and from
what I believe is the perspective of the Catholic Church.
I have no solution other than to reach the conclusion that I have, to
defect from the faith. My entire faith is dangling on thread.
For me, if marriage is permanent, the spouses must live for each
other in order to sustain each other, for each other, but also for
their progeny. For another relationship to supercede this
relationship, to me, eliminates its permanance in function. To say
this other relationship supercedes it and is justified if sex, only,
is excluded, means that marriage equals sex, only.
Bai, I am extremely hurting over this . I have come to see that my
understanding of marriage may have always been at odds with what the Catholic Church taught. This, itself, may be grounds for an
annulment. I really don't know.
I could state with moral certainty, in retrospect, that I would not
have promised life long fidelity, and being open to children, if
there was even a sliver of justification that could ever have been
acceptable to the Catholic Church to justify such a negation of a
valid marriage. But, in addition to this, I would never have
promised life long fidelity, and being open to children if I knew
that the Catholic Church pastoral practices were such that what has
happened in our relationship would not be answered with formal
expulsion from the Catholic Church. Although I was mistaken,
excommunication was, to me at the time of our wedding, formal
expulsion from the Catholic Church, not merely refusal of communion.
At that time, I was well aware of the civil meaninglessness of the
marriage commitment. Divorces were a dime a dozen then, too. But
that was not my belief in how I expected the Catholic Church to practice.
I was learning "anew" about Catholicism, as an adult, at that time.
My wife and I were on a journey together. As time progressed, I
became more and more uncomfortable with Catholic practices in
America. I wish I could remember, accurately, when I finally came to
understand that divorce and remarriage, no longer resulted in
automatic excommunication, as it had for all of my life until 1977.
It had always been my understanding that divorce was simply not acceptable in the Catholic Church. In fact, I had relatives, my
mother's cousins, who were Episcopalian, due to divorce. I cannot
remember when, because as far back as I can remember I knew that Dad was Presbyterian, I found out that the reason he was raised
Presbyterian was because of Grandma, who was Scotch/Irish and a
staunch Calvinist. Grandpa and Dad were baptized Episcopalian due to a divorce in the generation or two before them. The Wengenroths had been Catholics.
So, Bai, as I am right now, I could not be a part of the Catholic
Church. I wonder if I ever was. I was baptised in the Catholic Church
so that probably seals that question but the issues I have just
discussed really trouble me.
Pray for me and all of my family, please.