Some people ask: “Isn’t it is hypocritical for the Catholic Church to forbid divorce, but permit annulments?”
Though it may seem hypocritical, there is actually a fundamental difference between a divorce and an annulment.
- A divorce is the attempt to dissolve a valid marriage.
- An annulment, അഥവാ, more properly, ഒരു decree of nullity, is the declaration that the marriage was defective from the start.
Because the necessary elements for a valid marriage were never present, the marriage in effect never took place.
In order for the Church to grant a decree of nullity, അതുകൊണ്ടു, it must be irrefutably shown that the necessary elements were absent from the beginning. ദി കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയുടെ മതബോധനഗ്രന്ഥം സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങൾ, “The consent [to marry] must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear. No human power can substitute for this consent. If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid” (par. 1628).
ഇടയ്ക്കിടെ, there is concern raised regarding the legitimacy of children from a marriage that has been declared invalid.
Because the granting of a decree of nullity has to do with the കൂദാശയുടെ status of the marriage only, and not its civil status, the legality of the children produced by the marriage is unaltered.
A decree of nullity does not deny a civil marriage took place; it denies that a sacramental marriage took place.
അതേപോലെ, the Church may grant a dispensation permitting one to marry under circumstances that ordinarily would be forbidden—to marry one who is unbaptized, for instance—but the Church does not grant dispensations for second marriages.