Monday, June 26, 2006

Here's how Nicole could marry in a Catholic Church

And I thought it was because being married to crazy Tom Cruise who probably never touched her. So she's seen as just living in sin then? TC had to know this, it's all part of his evil crazy master plan. At least he had the decency to let her have her wedding, which she has had before him, by not releasing photos of his cabbage patch doll, er, supposed offspring.


off of BBC news:

How did Nicole Kidman, one-time spouse of Tom Cruise, get re-married in a Catholic church if she didn't have an annulment? Clue: she wasn't actually married before.

Nicole Kidman's wedding to country singer Keith Urban in Sydney at the weekend drew plenty of media attention.

But some Catholics will have looked on perplexed at how the former bride of actor Tom Cruise managed to tie the knot for a second time, in a Catholic church.

It was widely reported in the run up to the weekend wedding that Ms Kidman had received an annulment for her previous marriage - the Catholic Church's procedure for allowing a follower to wed again.

Father Paul Coleman, who conducted the latest nuptials, was said to have advised the Oscar-winning actress on the dissolution.

In fact, Kidman didn't need an annulment for one simple reason: in the eyes of the Catholic Church her 10-year union with Tom Cruise, a renowned Scientologist, never happened.


A feature to the BBC News Magazine - aiming to answer some of the questions behind the headlinesThe original wedding was performed in the Church of Scientology and wasn't recognised by the Catholic faith.

The divorce granted to the couple in 2001 was a legal rather than religious procedure for Kidman.

So Kidman would only have had to have obtained a licence from the Catholic Church saying that she was legally free to marry and that the Church had not recognised her first marriage.

Not recognised

"The Catholic Church sets down requirements to have a valid Catholic marriage. In the case of Nicole's first marriage, those requirements were not fulfilled," said Father Coleman, who married Kidman and Urban.

The Vatican is unhappy about annulment rates in the USKidman had dabbled with Scientology and Father Coleman talked of her Catholic wedding in terms of a spiritual homecoming.
Annulment is, nevertheless, controversial in some Catholic circles. How can the Church rule a marriage never really happened, especially if it's been a long one and generated children?

The Catholic Church began to make annulments easier to get in the 1970s, adding a category of "psychological grounds", which includes "lack of due discretion" - in other words, an applicant might claim they'd not fully appreciated the responsibilities of marriage.

Today, this category - which also takes in "psychological incapacity assuming the obligations" - is the main grounds upon which annulments are granted.


Lack of due discretion centres on the question of what it is that couples are consenting to when they agree to marry.

Priests say considering a petition for annulment on such grounds is very complex - and requests for annulments are often turned down (in which case an applicant cannot remarry in a Catholic church).

While many in the Church argue priests should be trying to discern a "grave" lack of discretion, some argue that priests, particularly those in the US, are too easy.

According to the Holy See, 43,153 straightforward annulments were granted worldwide, almost 29,000 of which were issued in north America in 2003. This compares with 511 in Great Britain and 304 across Ireland. Many of these were later overturned by the Vatican.

Rome has long been concerned that priests in the US are handing out too many annulments.
The Vatican argues that American culture demands maximum self-fulfilment and that includes what can be expected from a marriage. As a result, more annulments are granted in the US, leaving Rome worried that the Americans are, essentially, letting divorce in through the back door.

For Kidman, however, such difficult questions never needed to be answered.

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