Polish sentence structure is so unlike English sentence structure that Google Translate cannot cope with it very well. Therefore, when I find out that someone has written something about Anielskie Single online, I go half-crazy trying to figure out what it is. The one solution is to get a native Polish speaker to read it to me, and they do not grow on trees.
Happily, there was one in the neighbourhood today, so I lured him in with doughnuts and got him to translate something written about beautiful, fascinating me. And we discovered that edited right out of this biography of former singledom was my divorce, annulment and remarriage.
Let's make this quite clear. I was divorced. I got an annulment. I am in my second marriage. If you have a problem in general with people who are granted annulments and remarry, then you have a problem with me. And I am sorry about that.
I am sorry about that because I think I have funny and interesting things to say and I would be sorry if someone lost out on the fun and the conversation simply because they think any divorced Catholic is not worth listening to. But I am also sorry about that because divorced Catholics are often treated like crap. I knew that when I got divorced, and you can bet the ink was barely dry on my divorce certificate when I was banging on the Marriage Tribunal door.
I didn't get my annulment to get married again. I got my annulment to end the fiction that I had been sacramentally married in the first place. I wanted freedom, not just the freedom to marry, but the freedom to be single, no longer tied to a non-husband in any way whatsoever. And of course I would not have married B.A. without an annulment, and he would not have married me. We're Catholics because we actually happen to believe the Roman Catholic faith.
It is obvious that the sanctity of marriage is in serious trouble. This is one of the reasons why I write this blog: to preserve the sanctity of marriage. People abuse marriage all the time, and in different ways. Some people mistake marriage for permanent-never-failing-romance. Other people mistake marriage for a Church-sponsored spouse trap. Still others use it as a vehicle to force others to say that their lifestyle is A-OK.
Therefore, I can understand why Catholics--especially European Catholics--are so frightened by divorced-and-remarried people. And I respect the fact that I would not be allowed anywhere near the microphone of an orthodox Catholic media outlet had I not been granted an annulment before I started to call myself single again, let alone married B.A. And I even see why the fact that I had a divorce and an annulment before I wrote my singles book was dropped from this particular bio: it was too complicated for that particular article, that particular magazine.
Life, however, is complicated. And I don't think it is helpful for the Catholic community to sweep complications under the rug and nail the rug down. We might all look wonderful and upstanding at Mass, whether beaming and clapping or bowed and silent, but we all are sinners, and we all struggle. One difference between people is that the more you have to lose, the smarter you are about keeping your mouth shut. When my pal X was Single, she would tell anyone about her latest crush object. When she was married, she told only me. (Yes, some married women--even respectable married women who love God, their husbands and their children--sometimes have crush objects. They also catch colds and the flu.)
I am no expert on ministry to divorced-and-remarried Catholics. The issues are horribly painful, pitting "being faithful" against "being welcoming." I understand that love sometimes means saying "No". I understand that receiving communion without being in a state of grace can actually harm a person. But I also understand that the divorced person so easily becomes a scapegoat. That makes me worry for divorced people, whether they are canonically single--as I was--or canonically married.
I understand why the divorce and annulment might have been dropped from my bio, but it makes me a little sad for the divorced-and-annulled all the same.