Fr. Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. reviews the book, ANNULMENTS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: STRAIGHT ANSWERS TO TOUGH QUESTIONS, By Edward N. Peters.
Here is a portion of Father review.
At the more theoretical level, Peters offers a well-balanced view of this delicate matter within a framework of great fidelity to the Church's teaching on marriage. The annulment process, Peters explains, works both to maintain justice and to extend mercy.
It starts from the presumption (somewhat analogous to the principle of common law whereby a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty) that a couple who have gone through a wedding ceremony are presumed to have married until the tribunal can legitimately establish that they did not in fact marry whether because of some problem with form, with the capacity of one or both of the parties to enter marriage, or with the consent of one or both of the parties.Yet there is an important difference: the annulment process is not like a criminal trial, for it is not a matter of discerning guilt, finding fault, or casting blame, but rather a forum for discovering the truth about whether there truly was a marriage from the beginning — even the "guilty party" (for instance, the spouse who broke up the relationship by adultery) may bring a petition for annulment!
Link (here) to the full book review in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.
Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., is the chair of the Philosophy Department at Fordham University. At Fordham he serves as chaplain and tutor at Queens Court Residential College for Freshmen and as the editor-in-chief of the International Philosophical Quarterly. He has published many articles on the history of medieval philosophy and on ethics, and he recently edited Prophecy and Diplomacy: The Thought of Pope John Paul
II. Link (here)