June 28, 2014

HBO Documentary: 112 Weddings

I can't think of any film more timely distributed than this one. From the upcoming Synod that threatens to negate 1/3 of the marriage bona to all the hoopla over same sex marriage debate, this film will not get the publicity it seemingly deserves. I probably won't be able to watch it until it comes out on DVD, but like one of the interviewee's said, it sounds like it "should be required viewing for couples approaching their own wedding." And that would include Catholic couples. Divorce and separation; personality conflicts and contentious behavior; mood swings and immaturity; soul-mates and lovers for life...all are defined in today's marriages. And as I believe Catholics in the last 50-60 years have lacked formative catechesis - especially in marriage (look at the annulment stats...and me) - we need all the input possible as an obvious corollary to the manifold prayers prospective Catholic's send Heavenward to help discern a marriage vocation. 
                                      *********************************
                          

["The film stresses that marriage is hard, that it takes work," Block said. "People see that as a negative, that it's a bad thing. But it's not.]

NEW HBO DOC DETAILS HARDSHIPS, REWARDS OF MARRIAGE

















from AP 26 Jun 2014



NEW YORK (AP) — As filmmaker Doug Block sat in a coffee shop talking about his "112 Weddings" documentary, a stranger interrupted him to talk — at great length — about the state of her marriage.

She wasn't even aware of the film, which debuts Monday on HBO (9 p.m. EDT). The conversation she eavesdropped on enthralled her. As Block gets more exposure for "112 Weddings," during which he revisits couples for whom he shot wedding videos to ask how marriage has gone, he'd better get used to such interactions.

The New York-based Block has made wedding videos to earn extra money, and sensed from the beginning there was a film there. He made sure to retain ownership of wedding footage, although he doesn't use it without permission of the couples.

"I loved the idea of starting a movie where most Hollywood movies end, which is the bride coming down the aisle," said Block, who has delved into personal topics for his work before. He made a film about his parents' marriage and another about the empty nest syndrome when his daughter left for college (she's now, at 24, back home).

He knew the time was right when he called Janice and Alexander Caillet of Newton, Massachusetts, who talked at length about why they didn't need the official sanction of a marriage when Block filmed their "commitment ceremony." Thirteen years later, they were getting married.

Janice and Alexander believed their word to each other was a strong enough commitment for many years. Once they had children, the legal advantages became apparent. "We wanted to make sure that nothing was going to keep us apart," Janice said. "We didn't need anything to keep us together."

Some of the marriages ended in divorce. One couple has struggled to care for a sick child, another has hung on through the wife's depression. Children and job pressures take a toll, and the relationships ebb and flow. Block focuses on 10 couples, including No. 112 as they prepared for their wedding.

When he called the couple from his first wedding video, Sue Odierna of Mamaroneck, New York, had filed for divorce the day before. The clips from the wedding seemed to foreshadow trouble: Sue seemed a lot more excited than Steve, who later grew distant and found someone new. The more weddings he shot, though, Block said he was less able to predict which couples would last.
READ THE REST AT BREITBART HERE...

HBO's Trailer is here...


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 27, 2014

Remember When...

...you first met her and how you admired her Audrey Hepburn neck?

...you put the first note on her windshield and she refused - kindly?

...you let it go for awhile and then did it again?

...you heard nothing from her?

...you joined the choir to be close to her?

...you knew it just wasn't happening and you backed off and gave her back to God?

...you were pleasantly surprised when she invited you to the choir picnic with her and her parents a few weeks later?

...you thanked God for this unexpected Blessing?

...you could not be parted from that moment on?

...you worked on the church bulletin together?

...you bought the ring and carried it around for weeks?

...you proposed to her while walking in the Park?

...you felt your Heart leap for joy when she said "Yes."

...you almost fainted as she walked up the aisle to stand beside you?

...you placed the ring on her finger?

...you kissed her for the first time as Mrs.________?


Then what the hell are you doing contemplating separation and/or divorce? What the hell are you doing not talking it out, and if you can't, why the hell aren't you seeking the help you need? Why the hell are you not co-partners in trying to save your marriage and family, instead of being contentious litigants trying to end it? What the hell? Have you gone mad? Or just plain foolish? Don't you remember? Or has mental incapacity robbed you of the remembrance of the vows you spoke before Spouse, God and Priest: 

I, ____ ,Take You, _______, For Better, For Worse...For Richer, For Poorer...In Sickness and In Health...TILL DEATH WE DO PART."  

REMEMBER??!!?? If you can't, then maybe Alan Jackson can help remind you:




<sigh> I'll keep praying for you...someone has to for its clear you two don't do it for each other.


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 26, 2014

May The Synod's Force Be With You...

There is one aspect of divorce and annulments I think is overlooked in any discussion, and that is of the innocent spouse who seeks no active part in the destruction of his/her family, but who is: (1) forced to participate in a no fault divorce where there is no defense of the marriage to be had; (2) forced to participate in an annulment tribunal where the defense of a Sacramental Marriage is at best acknowledged, but never truly defended; (3) forced into an acknowledgement that the Sacramental marriage is "irreparably broken", simply by virtue of a civil divorce decree; (4) forced to acknowledge he/she no longer Loves their spouse by the sheer force of the wills arrayed before them, and the requisite renting of a large portion of one's Heart if they succumb to it; (5) forced into "moving on" when all that is desired is a healing and a "moving back"; (6) forced into fragile parent-child relationships through the breaking of established methods and principles concerning children and divorce;  etc, etc....Where is the True Pastoral Care in all this? What most annulments accomplish and petitioners urge is nothing more than forced decisions from a spouse who is loathe to see a marriage destroyed, a Love clinically removed, a family live aborted. Where is the mercy and compassion in that? 

I for one will continue to resist the promoting of annulments as a cure for marital woes and spousal "healing". Spouses are to sanctify each others Souls through patient acceptance of each others faults and frailties, and if necessary with complete resignation for the good of the children, if any. The same Love that Christ showed from the Cross is the same Love that spouses are supposed to have for each other. If any allow themselves to be forced by a divorce or annulment to acknowledge that their Love has died for the one they vowed to honor and Love forever, then maybe they had not the strength and fortitude to accept such a vocation - or the True Love that was required to sustain it.

The Synod will accomplish nothing but the forcing of the innocent to endure the emotional platitudes showered on abandoning spouses, who willingly chose to step outside the box in order to "move on" -  devoid of any responsibility for the marriage they abandoned and now possibly welcomed back with palms and flowers - regardless of the devastation of the first marriage strewn behind them.


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 23, 2014

REPOST: The SSPX and Me

I came across a post from Mundabor he wrote in June 2013 and re-posted today entitled: The SSPX, This Blog And You . Very well written, as his posts always are (maybe I'll reach that plateau someday), and though he and I hold the same view of the SSPX, I do not so narrowly define mine. I am full-in, without reserve and without any worry about becoming a SV-wannabee. I've said often that until the SSPX starts preaching heresy, stops praying for the current-reigning Pope and the local Bishops or openly breaks with Rome in some other obvious and public manner, I'm staying put...literally, as I've bought my plots (yes, for her, too) in the cemetery and don't relish wasting the money. 

That being said, his post parallels one I wrote in January 2014. I'd never read his above post until now and re-post mine in the spirit of full disclosure, in case there was any doubt which side of the line my own feet are planted on: 2000 years of Tradition or 50 years of the New Springtime. -dah


I have been an attendee of SSPX Masses for over 20 years now, owing to my deceased parents influence (Thank You, Mom and Dad!) and most of my children attended and graduated from SSPX schools. So, yeah...I support the SSPX. But wait! I also pray for my local Bishop, and still maintain my Fidelity to Rome and to the Pope's authority - am I in schism also? Or just a poor, misguided, confused ultra-uber Traddie who longs and yearns for the Darkness that was pre-Vatican II? Where is that psychiatrist when you need him??? Where are those darn pills...<sigh>

Anyway, back to the matter at hand...

It doesn't take a moral theologian, or even Michael Voris, to make the distinction that VII has been an unmitigated disaster for the Church. Unless you are a low-information Catholic and are content to set in the pew and nod your head up and down occasionally to let the lector-of-the-day know you are paying attention to his/her reading, you will understand the former statement is true by simply reading the Headlines on Pewsitter or Rorate Caeli.  I would dare say that if one produced a reverse-timeline chart of the problems in today's Catholic Church, the ending point would probably fall somewhere between 1962 and 1965, with a couple notable spikes in the 70's and 80's (a meteoric rise in annulments being one of the more notable). Decimation of convents, lack of priestly vocations, decrease in Mass attendance, the increase of cafeteria Catholics...the New Springtime has been wonderful and glorious to behold, has it not? 

Is it any wonder, then, that Rome and most of the Roman Curia have little Love for the SSPX? The Society has produced everything that the New Springtime of VII did not: over-crowding at their seminaries, abundant vocations in their convents, young families with their stair-step kids in the pews, increase in baptisms and weddings, a growing world-wide apostolate, a massive and successful publishing apostolate, increased enrollment in their schools, etc. 

Nope... you will never, ever convince me that the SSPX is in the wrong. What is going on with the SSPX - and probably the FFI as well - is nothing more than heavy-handedness in trying to shore up the fallacy that is VII and force it to work, àla Obamacare.  For Rome to do otherwise would be to jeopardize the Rodney King "can't we all just be friends?" meme of VII that has been so ballyhooed as a success over the last 5 decades. They are locked into a no-win scenario and must be exhausted at the end of each day...

If further convincing is needed that rather than demonizing the SSPX Rome should be assisting them in cultivating their apostolate, this quote by Saint Augustine from the recent Commentary on Mueller statement published by the SSPX USA  should suffice:

And on this point the reader may benefit from the judgment of Saint Augustine: “Often, too, divine providence permits even good men to be driven from the congregation of Christ by the turbulent seditions of carnal men. When for the sake of the peace of the Church they patiently endure that insult or injury, and attempt no novelties in the way of heresy or schism, they will teach men how God is to be served with a true disposition and with great and sincere charity. The intention of such men is to return when the tumult has subsided. But if that is not permitted because the storm continues or because a fiercer one might be stirred up by their return, they hold fast to their purpose to look to the good even of those responsible for the tumults and commotions that drove them out. They form no separate conventicles of their own, but defend to the death and assist by their testimony the faith which they know is preached in the Catholic Church. These the Father who seeth in secret crowns secretly. It appears that this is a rare kind of Christian, but examples are not lacking. Indeed, there are more than can be believed. So divine providence uses all kinds of men as examples for the oversight of souls and for the building up of his spiritual people.” (De vera religione, inAugustine: Earlier Writings, translated by John H. S. Burleigh [Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1953], 231.)

So there...here I was led and here I will stay. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I hereby inform one-and-all that I do attend the local diocesan Church with my two youngest sons twice a month, for that is where their Mother migrated in order to pursue her annulment, and where the priest made them do a "Profession of Faith" which I was informed they were thereafter barred from attending the SSPX Mass with their Father. Go figure...So, twice a month I fulfill my Sunday obligation at a NO Mass (and no, I do not secretly go and sneak in a Latin Mass later on because I believe the NO Mass invalid... or something.)


Deo Gratias!


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved



June 21, 2014

The Truth bears broadcasting far and wide...



In 2014, how can grown men write this with a straight face?

"Vatican II was a new Pentecost ... ."

International Theological Commission of the Catholic Church
June 10, 2014



The Church had one Pentecost. One. The Church does not need new foundations, she is not a country in search of new constitutional orders. Enough is enough: 50 years of collapse of the sensus catholicus, collapse of Catholic life in all countries where the Church was firmly established in Europe and the Americas, near-disappearance of all Catholic communities across the Middle East (in this case, mostly through no fault of the hierarchy, but still indicating that speaking of a "new Pentecost" is a mockery), collapse of vocations and religious life, that is enough. The only communities holding up are those of some regions in Africa -- and precisely those that preserve the faith of the original missionaries and that reject dialogue with the wicked immoral spirit of the contemporary world -- as well as those tiny congregations around the world making their best to worship as the Church always did and teach what the Church always taught.*

READ THE REST HERE...


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 19, 2014

THE IDEAL FATHER?

I came across this list recently, something I wrote over a year ago, most likely in a moment of frustration, sadness, pain and probably self pity. The list comprises various statements and emotions, either implied or spoken, associated these past few years with this particular divorce, annulment and me. I cannot deny there is Catholic Truth in some of the items listed as "Ideal" but still, I think, it would be hard for any Father to live the list as it is written...nor would I ever expect him to.


                                              THE IDEAL FATHER:


·    IS ALWAYS TRUSTWORTHY

·    ALWAYS LOVES THE PROPER WAY SO THAT ALL FEEL      LOVED...WITHOUT QUESTION

·    NEVER MAKES MISTAKES

·    NEVER APOLOGIZES (FOR HE NEVER MAKES MISTAKES)

·    ALWAYS SAYS THE RIGHT THINGS, IN THE RIGHT MANNER, AND WITH THE PROPER WORDS

·   ALWAYS GIVES OF HIMSELF BEFORE GIVING TO HIMSELF

·   NEVER HUGS HIS CHILDREN EXCEPT WITH BEAR HUGS TO SHOW THE MEASURE OF HIS LOVE

·   TELLS HIS CHILDREN EVERYTHING THEY BELIEVE THEY NEED TO HEAR 

·   NEVER MAKES A MOTHER UNHAPPY

·   NEVER MAKES A MOTHER CRY

·   IS NEVER INATTENTIVE TO A MOTHER

·   ALWAYS SHOWS THE CHILDREN BY WORDS AND  ACTIONS HOW MUCH A MOTHER IS LOVED

·   ALWAYS REMEMBERS THE LOVE AND RESPECT OF HIS CHILDREN IS AN EARNED PRIVILEGE AND NOT A DIVINE  RIGHT

·   IS ALWAYS WHAT HE NEEDS TO BE IN ORDER TO BE  RIGHTFULLY CALLED “FATHER”

·   IS ALWAYS EMOTIONAL, EFFUSIVE AND ENGAGING

·   CAN NEVER BE HURT BY THE WORDS, ACTIONS OR EMOTIONS OF OTHERS

·   ALWAYS STRIVES TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY EVEN IF IT  CONFLICTS WITH FAITH, MORALS AND/OR REASON



   A year later, this is my rebuttal to what I wrote then.


                                             THE REAL FATHER:

·  IS ALWAYS TRUSTWORTHY [BUT ACCEPTS HIS OWN FRAILTIES WHEN HE FALLS SHORT. MOST ALWAYS REPENTS AND ASKS FORGIVENESS.]

·   ALWAYS LOVES THE PROPER WAY SO THAT ALL FEEL      LOVED...WITHOUT QUESTION [NO...HE DOESN'T. BUT HE  FUMBLES ALONG AND TRIES TO ANYWAY]

·   NEVER MAKES MISTAKES [ONLY ONE FATHER NEVER  MADE or MAKES MISTAKES. EVER.]

·    NEVER APOLOGIZES (FOR HE NEVER MAKES MISTAKES) 
     [ACTUALLY, HE NEVER STOPS APOLOGIZING. 
      EVER.]

·   ALWAYS SAYS THE RIGHT THINGS, IN THE    RIGHT MANNER, AND WITH THE PROPER WORDS 
    [NOPE...NOT THIS ONE EITHER. HE NEVER FINISHED COLLEGE. BARELY MADE IT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. DO YOU REALLY THINK HIM CAPABLE OF THIS?]

·   ALWAYS GIVES OF HIMSELF BEFORE GIVING TO HIMSELF
    [WELL...YEAH. HE'S A FATHER. BUT CAN'T HE BE FORGIVEN  IF HE'S SELFISH A TIME OR TWO? OR THREE? OR EVEN 10? HE'S NOT A DEMI-GOD, YOU KNOW...]

·  NEVER HUGS HIS CHILDREN EXCEPT WITH BEAR HUGS TO SHOW THE MEASURE OF HIS LOVE [BUT HE DOES HUG THEM, EVEN IF IT IS WITH HIS LEFT HAND IN HIS POCKET AND HIS RIGHT ARM AROUND HIS DAUGHTER. IS THAT REALLY LESS LOVING THAN A BEAR HUG?]

·   TELLS HIS CHILDREN EVERYTHING THEY BELIEVE THEY  NEED TO HEAR [NO HE DOESN'T...AND HE NEVER WILL.]

·  NEVER MAKES A MOTHER UNHAPPY [HE KNOWS HE DOES THIS MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, BUT STILL HE TRIES NOT TO. AND SOMETIMES FAILS. MISERABLY.]

·  NEVER MAKES A MOTHER CRY [HE KNOWS HE DOES...AND SOMETIMES HE CRIES ALSO, SILENTLY AND ALONE, BECAUSE OF IT] 

·  IS NEVER INATTENTIVE TO A MOTHER [THOUGH HE STRIVES TO BE A ST. JOSEPH, HE IS NOT ALWAYS SO.]

·  ALWAYS SHOWS THE CHILDREN BY WORDS AND ACTIONS HOW MUCH A MOTHER IS LOVED [MOSTLY. BUT NOT ALWAYS. HE IS, AFTER ALL, A HUSBAND. AND A MAN.]

·   ALWAYS REMEMBERS THE LOVE AND RESPECT OF HIS  CHILDREN IS AN EARNED PRIVILEGE AND NOT A DIVINE  RIGHT [ALWAYS REMINDS HIS CHILDREN OF THEIR OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT. PERIOD.] 

·   IS ALWAYS WHAT HE NEEDS TO BE IN ORDER TO BE  RIGHTFULLY CALLED “FATHER” [HE IS CALLED FATHER  BECAUSE OF MARRIAGE AND THE CHILDREN IT  PRODUCES. HE NEEDS NO OTHER REASON TO HOLD THIS  "RIGHT". GET OVER IT.]

·  IS ALWAYS EMOTIONAL, EFFUSIVE AND ENGAGING [HE IS MALE. ANTHROPOLOGICALLY, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO BE ALL THREE AT ONCE.]

·   CAN NEVER BE HURT BY THE WORDS, ACTIONS OR  EMOTIONS OF OTHERS [WRONG. HE BLEEDS RED, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. HIS HEART BREAKS WHEN IT'S HURT, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE'S. HE CRIES, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, EXCEPT HE USUALLY DOES IT ALONE.]

·   ALWAYS STRIVES TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY EVEN IF IT  CONFLICTS WITH FAITH, MORALS AND/OR REASON [HE WON'T COMPROMISE ON HIS FAITH, MORALS OR REASON. SO DON'T ASK HIM TO AND YOU WON'T EVER BE UNHAPPY.]




Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 17, 2014

6/17/2014 Tuesday Night Nostalgia - Air Supply, Gordon Lightfoot, Richard Marx

Air Supply...many of their songs tugged at the heart (well, mine anyway) of many a young man back in the late 70's. They remain popular worldwide, with a new single released this month that is #46 on a Billboard Hot Dance chart. Not shabby for a couple of old men...



Gordon Lightfoot...the male version of Anne Murray, in my opinion. A talented artist still touring in 2014 (see here). "Gord's Gold" from 1975 was my favorite album and this my favorite ballad from that album:




Richard Marx...I don't remember much of him, but I remember this one from 1989 where it hit #1 and scored him a Platinum:




The Encore from Air Supply: (...not hardly.)




 Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 14, 2014

6/14/2014 UPDATE and CORRECTION: Thoughts on the 2014 Synod

UPDATE and CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: It was brought to my attention by friends that my first paragraph had inaccurately - though I assure you, unintentionally - stated some statistics from Vasoli's book regarding defective consent. After many re-readings of the referenced text and the articles' paragraph, I have to agree that I did confuse the numbers and categories. I have pasted the revised paragraph below and sincerely apologize for my sloppy proofreading and any related misconceptions. (The information I referenced in the first paragraph can be found on pages 5,25 and 63 of Vasoli's book.) I have pasted below a more accurate revision...


Authors note:The following is an un-published article I wrote in February 2014. Though it was tentatively agreed by a Catholic publisher to try and find a publishing/print slot, none has been found to date. As the article is time sensitive, I notified the publisher of my intent to publish it here, as I felt it brings much needed commentary to the issue of divorced/remarried Catholics, specious annulments and the lack of pastoral care in preserving Sacramental First Marriages.

Robert Vasoli, in his book What God Has Joined Together: The Annulment Crisis in American Catholicism states that a total of 638,705 decrees of nullity were issued between 1984-1994 in the USA. Of those, 437,324 were for defective consent of which 92% were overturned upon appeal to the Rota. While mainly indicative of a revolving door mentality in granting annulments, it is also a quite obviously an indicator of marriages in trouble that were not given the proper pastoral care.  During the same period, American First and Second tribunals granted over 433,000 annulments based on defective consent. As of the printing of Vasoli’s book, the ROTA had been deciding about 200 cases a year and had overturned at least 92% of them. He also stated that if you apply the 92% reversal rate to the same time period, over 398,000 of the 433,000 defective consent annulments should never have occurred.  “Is it any wonder”, Vasoli wrote, “that the sacrament and institution of marriage are thought by some to be in mortal danger?” In my opinion it is also, at the very least, indicative of a revolving door mentality in granting annulments, but more so an indicator of marriages in trouble that were not given the proper pastoral care. 

Few parish priests, couples in marital trouble or perhaps even diocesan marriage tribunals must know of the existence of the so-called "Reconciliation" Canons (1152.1, 1152.2, 1152.3, 1153.2, 1155, 1446.2, 1676, 1695, 1713) in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. Nothing was sent to me referencing them in any of the mailing inserts that came with my "Notice-Of-Intent-To-Inflict-Great-Bodily and-Spiritual-Harm-To-Your-Marriage-And-Family" from the local Tribunal office. I was as ignorant as the next spouse. So...it begs the questions: IF the Church gives all Catholic marriages the favor of law; IF the Hierarchy believes in the Indissolubility of Marriage; IF the Hierarchy has TRUE Pastoral care and concern for Catholic spouses in marital trouble (C.1676 & C.1695 specifically mention the now-over-used and emotive word: Pastoral)...then why are annulments running amok and handed out like Halloween candy? Why?

Why, indeed?! The reason is that Mr. Spock’s oft quoted death song to Captain Kirk, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one", has been bastardized to “The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many” and seems to be the mantra espoused in the pastoral care given to the one - the abandoning spouse, rather than “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” which ought to be upheld by applying the Canon Laws which urge spousal Reconciliation, ultimately for the needs of the many - the family. But, if I may ask, considering the Sacramental value of Catholic Marriage, how can these Canon Laws that uphold marriage so beautifully be ignored or forgotten:

Canon 1152.1: “…it is earnestly recommended that a spouse, moved by Christian charity and concerned for the good of the family, not refuse forgiveness to an adulterous partner and not disrupt conjugal life…”

Canon 1152.2: “Tacit condonation exists if the innocent spouse has had marital relations voluntarily with the other spouse… if the spouse observed conjugal living for six months and did not make recourse to the ecclesiastical or civil authority.”

[Author Note: Condonation=In marriage, the voluntary pardoning by an innocent spouse of an offense committed by his or her partner conditioned upon the promise that it will not recur. Source]


Canon 1153.2: “In all cases, when the cause for the separation ceases, conjugal living must be restored unless ecclesiastical authority has established otherwise.”


Canon 1155: “The innocent spouse laudably can readmit the other spouse to conjugal life; in this case the innocent spouse renounces the right to separate.”

Canon 1446.2: “Whenever the judge perceives some hope of a favorable outcome at the start of litigation or even at any other time, the judge is not to neglect to encourage and assist the parties to collaborate in seeking an equitable solution to the controversy…”

Canon 1676: “Before accepting a case and whenever there is hope of a favorable outcome, a judge is to use pastoral means to induce the spouses if possible to…restore conjugal living.”

Canon 1695: “Before accepting the case and whenever there is hope of a favorable outcome, the judge is to use pastoral means to reconcile the spouses and persuade them to restore conjugal living.”

Canon 1713: “In order to avoid judicial contentions an agreement or reconciliation is employed usefully, or the controversy can be committed to the judgment of one or more arbitrators.”

While it would seem that Canon Law does favor marriage intervention to preserve troubled marriages, the reality seems to be that Canon Law, Christ's Words and the Church’s teachings of the past few hundreds of years have no validity in the modern views on marriage emanating from the "enlightenment" of the last 50.

If my opinions seem a bit harsh, I have good reason after a forced divorce and annulment, and even more so as the reconciliation and/or the convalidation of our marriage was not even mentioned as an option, let alone any marital help or assistance. In his reply to a letter I wrote detailing what had become of our family post-divorce, my Bishop responded that "... your former marriage is irretrievably broken...". That got me mad upset passionate and I responded:

“I most vehemently object to your statement that “…your former marriage is irretrievably broken…” You have no validity in making such a statement, as neither yourself nor any member of the diocese, ever had a marital conference – pastoral or otherwise – with my spouse and me to make that determination. If you or the diocese relied upon the singular opinion of just the one spouse, it remains an unjust and uncharitable assumption on your part; if you or the diocese relied on the mere fact one spouse had a divorce decree in hand stipulating “irreconcilable differences”, you have subordinated the Divine to the Civil, without so much as a blink. It remains a fact of this marriage that both spouses had “differences”, just as it remains a fact that they were not “irreconcilable”. It remains a fact that our marriage was “broken”, just as it remains a fact it was not so “irretrievably”. In either case, she and I failed to pursue the correct solution – marital counseling. In either case, the diocese failed to pursue the correct solution – pastoral care to preserve a marriage, regardless of what the world says. Holy Matrimony is one of seven Sacraments - is this particular one not worth at least the semblance of respect due it by attempting to preserve it, despite the lack of proper action by both spouses?”

I have never received a reply from the Bishop.


My situation pales in comparison to others who have fought this injustice far longer than I. To illustrate both the injustice and the frustration, permission was received to publish a friend's post about his decades-long experience of defending his marriage against the very Church who blessed it those many years previous:

"The stark reality is that neither the pastoral practices of the Catholic Church, nor the tribunal process is oriented toward working to heal wounded marriages. There are canons which allude to this, but they are openly ignored, with no consequence to those who ignore them.

In a conversation I once had with a Judicial Vicar... I was told outright and I believe completely honestly, that he did not see it as the legitimate job of the tribunalist to have anything to do with taking remedial action to bring parties in a marriage, even a valid, sacramental marriage upheld as so by Catholic Tribunals, together to attempt to heal marital discord. He, specifically, cited that action as belonging to the local ordinary, the bishop. He indicated that he could not “make” a bishop do that but that it was the responsibility of the bishop. He viewed his position as being a person who must decide validity but not the person with the right or the authority to take pastoral action to facilitate or to attempt to facilitate reconciliation.

To me, I care little about the “division of responsibilities” pastorally or legally. It is simply indefensible that no one in a position of authority in Rome, in a diocese, be it the bishop, an auxiliary bishop, the local pastor or the Judicial Vicar or another functionary that I am not aware of or whom I have not named, has, does or will “step up”, when in the “face” of a valid, sacramental marriage, which has been canonically upheld to be a valid, sacrament and when one of the parties to that marriage, specifically, emphatically and publicly, as I have for two decades and counting, seeks the assistance of the Catholic Church to work to heal that valid, sacramental marriage, to take both pastoral and canonical action to foster reconciliation. There is no need to have a synod to discuss circumstance such as ours. The time to act was in 1989, when this Catholic husband and father was already knocking at the doors of the Catholic Church, before there was any divorce but my pastor and the Judicial Vicar refused my pleas. The time to act has been current for every moment since then and is current now.
To take the time to wait to act by way of a synod, on the part of the Holy Father, is little different than a qualified medical doctor seeing a suffering, living aborted child and concluding he must wait to discuss this circumstance with his colleagues before he can act, so he allows the baby to die. We are being murdered, no differently than in the abortuaries. However, we are being murdered by the Catholic Church. Our Catholic Bishops are our abortionists. Francis is Chief-of-Staff and Head of the Hospital Medical Ethics Board. He wants a meeting, months from now, to discuss our rotting flesh with his colleagues that have been going on for decades. I am sure Jesus wholeheartedly approves of Francis deep concern for our well being.

Thank you, Holy Father!

PS: My wife is lying on the abortuary table, right now, Francis. I am begging you to intervene, but I am simply the Father, I am not allowed in the abortuary to beg you. I am doing so from the sidewalk outside your clinic. I am on my knees, pleading with you to try to save our marriage. I do not know what else to do. Your colleagues have ignored me.”


Will my friend see his marriage declared "null" or will he see his marriage declared to be still valid? The answer isn’t yet known, though the process has been on-going since 1991 and has already survived one attempt at nullity. My prayers are with him and all those who continue the defense of their marriages, despite the apparent lethargy of the Hierarchy.

Personally (and not without more than a tad of cynicism), I do not hold out much hope for the 2014 synod doing much of anything to defend Catholic marriage and reign in the annulment juggernaut. A few platitudes, obfuscations, and fluffly-wuffly apostolic exhortations perhaps, but nothing much will change. It has been too long allowed, too ingrained in practice and too complex to excise. The Synod will most likely allow the wound to heal on its own with no True Spiritual or Pastoral help and will allow it to retain its current rough, ugly and sensitive scab, rather than to courageously and mercifully inflict the pain required to heal such a grievous wound. The “Doctors” have so far been reluctant to exercise their Hippocratic Oath and I have seen nothing recently that leads me to believe otherwise, mainly because each has his own "cure" that is sure to "heal" and return the patient to "full Health Communion". I state that simply because in the last few months, all that is happening – at least as reported in some media - is the posturing and seemingly outright conflict by some of the “Doctors” involved in the Synod. There should not be such division; there should only be one desire: to uphold the Sanctity of Catholic Marriage, by applying current Canonical Laws and the Teachings of the Catholic Church. It is not the Church and Her Laws that need to conform to the desires of us mortals... No! It is we mortals that need to conform, however much it may sting or pain us – or make us “unhappy”. Our only true happiness lies in Heaven anyway, not here on earth.

But, personal bias aside, I cannot escape the fact that I am a Catholic Husband (or used to be anyway) and Father and my path is already laid before me. Thomas a Kempis, in The Imitation of Christ, put it all in perspective when he wrote:

 “… For with God nothing that is suffered for His sake, no matter how small, can pass without reward. Be prepared for the fight, then, if you wish to gain the victory. Without struggle you cannot obtain the crown of patience, and if you refuse to suffer you are refusing the crown. But if you desire to be crowned, fight bravely and bear up patiently. Without labor there is no rest, and without fighting, no victory.” 


I failed in understanding this within my own marriage. But I have not regretted my decision to stop refusing its Crosses and the Crown I hope it eventually brings. I have made the commitment to honor my first vows and my one and only spouse and by doing so hope to save the 11 Souls (one Mother and 10 Children) entrusted to my care a little than more 25 years ago. I hope and pray also, that the Synod will - enlightened by the Holy Ghost and strengthened from the Prayers of the Faithful - make meaningful changes that will defend Catholic Marriages from annulment abuses, pro-actively promote marital healing to preserve first marriages and especially their families, and return to its rightful owners that privilege of Sanctifying their marriages and achieving the victorious Crown we all desire.



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 6, 2014

RIP Beloved Niece:Jill Renee Laird Shaw:1976-2014

The reason for my silence this past week...

Jill Renee Laird. 1976-2014 

My Niece, Jill Renee Laird Shaw, died in her sleep Ascension Thursday morning, found by her son after school. Please remember her Soul in your prayers, as well as my eldest sister Marianne, who is very distraught at the loss of her daughter at such a young age. Jill would have been 38 this coming Saturday. Beseech the Holy Virgin on Jill's behalf, that she was granted the Grace of final perseverance before her last breath and is hopefully suffering the Purgatorial Fires. It is a sincere belief I shall always retain that that is where she currently resides, as she awaits her Eternal Reward, praying for her children, her Mother and her sister.

Jill leaves behind a 19 year old daughter, as well as her 13 year old son. Please remember them all in your Prayers.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her Oh, Lord, and Let thy perpetual light shine upon her...may her Soul and all the Souls of the Faithful departed through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace. Amen.

Jill's obituary is here.

God Bless and Thank You...


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

June 3, 2014

6/3/2014 Tuesday Night Nostalgia - David Gates, Ann Murray and Roy Orbison

What baby-boomer doesn't remember David Gates, Bread and "If"...



Anne Murray remains one of the most popular of the Canadian songstresses, who along with Sara McLachhlan, Shania Twain, Joni Mitchell and six others, rank in the top 10. She remains one of my favorites...



And...Roy Orbison. 'Nuf said...




The Encore: Because there are times it fits.



 Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved