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Chapter 1 General Questions About Annulments 1
Chapter 2 The Meaning of Marriage 11
Chapter 3 Marriage Preparation in Canon Law 25
Chapter 4 Impediments to Marriage 37
Chapter 5 A Matter of Consent 49
Chapter 6 Who's Who in an Annulment Case? 61
Chapter 7 Formal Process for a Declaration of Invalidity 73
Chapter 8 Other Options 93
Chapter 9 Concluding Thoughts on Keeping Your Marriage Together 109
Posted January 1, 2010
Pete Vere and Jacqui Rapp are canon lawyers with more than 15 years of Church tribunal experience between them. Vere is an author and professor living in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, with his wife and four children. Rapp, an Assessor, Judge, and Defender of the Bond for several U.S. dioceses, lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and two children.
Their 100 questions book is designed to cut through legal jargon in an effort to increase understanding and ease common concerns about the annulment process. Using the question and answer format, they describe situations in which canon law is applied in regard to marriage and its validity. They introduce 100 questions with a simple explanation of how the church defines marriage, what is required to enter it, and why some marriages may be declared invalid.
The first eight chapters cover such issues as marriage preparation, impediments to marriage, and the requirements for a declaration of invalidity. We learn that although the term "annulment" is used in the Church it is not technically correct since the marriage is not ended, as in a civil annulment, but is declared invalid. In U.S. and Canadian dioceses, the majority of cases investigated fall under canon law 1095, which relates to an individual's lack of judgment and discretion about the rights and obligations of marriage. In addition to common grounds for seeking an annulment, Vere and Rapp present two general chapters on the annulment procedure: Who's Who in an Annulment Case and The Formal Process for a Declaration of Invalidity.
Their final chapter addresses a single question on building strong and happy marriages, a topic not strictly tied to canon law, but one the authors find relevant. They offer eight suggestions: pray, eat, play, and talk together; be kind; work with your differences; hold hands; and practice natural family planning. The accompanying explanations contain examples from the authors' own marriages.