Thursday, July 26, 2007

Clarification on Kennedy Annulment

Ed Peters is a Canon lawyer now teaching at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit; before this, he was a canonist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

He also has a blog, and has clarified the information regarding the Rauch/Kennedy annulment. In fact, Rome did not "reverse" the annulment as we originally posted.

Sheila Rauch Kennedy, in her oddly organized book, Shattered Faith, at p. 215, quotes her letter to the Tribunal of Boston: ". . . in accordance with canon law, I am appealing your affirmative decision to the [Roman] Rota as the Court of Second Instance . . ." My emphasis.

Thus we must conclude that, because he had only one of the two necessary affirmative decisions (as explained below), Joseph Kennedy never received an annulment from the Catholic Church; the Roman Rota did not overturn an American annulment in this case for the simple reason that there was no annulment to overturn.

While the effect was the same (neither Kennedy nor Rauch can marry again in the Church), the predicate for that statement is different.

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