My previous post "Father Ignatius, Joanna and George" has sparked a lively discussion here and elsewhere on Blogland.
In writing the fictitious story, I researched as best I can the Catholic Church's current position on divorce and re-marriage; with or without a Catholic annulment. Read the post and comments for a quick flavor of the discussion thus far.
I had hoped that a priest or someone from the Catholic Church "in the know" would correct or confirm the views expressed on that post. This is yet to happen.
There is no doubt that the Church's position on divorce, annulments and re-marriage results in a lot of hurt in an already painful situation for many. As a result, many leave the Church altogether, or worse still, distance themselves from God.
It seems to many that, in dealing with the situation, the Church appears to forget an important factor.
God is love and God is forgiveness.
He forgives many sins far more serious than divorce, and when sin is forgiven the person is healed to go on with their lives once again.
Christ proved this many times when He forgave sinners and told them to go in peace.
The Church appears to withhold forgiveness in the case of divorce in some instances by not granting annulments - and regardless whether the individual has repented to God, in Confession even.
Some individuals are further punished through excommunication if they marry again in another Church or in civil ceremonies.
This seems to imply that the power and authority of the Church is higher than that of God as they withhold what God has forgiven.
Such views have been expressed to me several times.