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My Opinion:

I will differentiate between my opinion and facts regarding Roman Catholic teachings. Since I am an Orthodox Bishop, I will simply provide my personal view in the area of validity of Holy Matrimony.

Here it is: I do not believe that an indissoluble marriage can break up. I do not see how two souls can be fused together by the Holy Spirit and it break. There was something wrong with it in the first place. It may have been subconscious. There was something there (or missing) about the prior marriage that failed to fulfill the matter and form of the required consent for the marriage sacrament: the consent offered and the consent accepted one to the other. This is why I will grant dispensations to people that have divorced. In my view, if they broke up, the marriage was defective (invalid) in the sacramental sense.

Another point is that if the Roman Catholic Church considers the marriage of two baptized Protestants just as valid as its own, then the marriage of two baptized Roman Catholics (likewise without impediments) should also be considered valid--

sacramental--regardless of where it is done and accepted as such. As I have pointed out previously, the Roman Catholic. Church considers even certain civil marriages indissoluble. The point here is that a marriage outside a Roman Sanctuary (church) is in reality indissoluble and will be considered as such unless a defect in consent or an impediment can be identified. Remember, that process of indentifying an impediment or defect is really what an annulment process is about. In the Roman Church it requires two separate Tribunals to make the same determination.

In addition, with regards to the Orthodox, Pope John Paul II himself has stated repeatedly, that they are:

" our Orthodox brothers of the
Catholic faith which, by God's grace we
share .... II

My Opinion Regarding The Roman Catholic Annulment Tribunals

My opinion is that this lengthy, double tribunal process is an enormous waste of time. These little church courts exist at the pleasure of the reigning bishop and web of Canon Law. The deliberate Roman scarcity of bishops causes them, again in my view, to have to resort to canon lawyer deacons to make decisions that ought to be made by bishops. In my opinion, a deacon should be serving at the altar and out managing charities – not sitting in judgment over the lives of the faithful. That had better be left to the "Successors to the Apostles" the bishops.

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