Dating without an annulment

Relocating means finding a new job in a new town far away.

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage has made strengthening Catholic marriages a top priority.

My own Diocese of Phoenix and other dioceses around the country are revisiting their marriage requirements, lengthening preparation periods and examining couples closely, looking for trouble spots in their relationships and families of origin—indications that they may not be ready for the vocation of marriage just yet.

Another reform is the removal of the automatic appeal after the first decision is made.

Appeals are still possible, but they are no longer automatic - a simplification that has been used in the United States for many years.

Perhaps, as a result, more and more couples are choosing to live together without bothering to get married.

The Catholic Church’s response has been to get proactive about better preparing engaged couples before they marry.

Yes, the Church is and should be pro-marriage, but, like its Lord, it must also love and support those whose marriages have failed. As the survivor of divorce after 30 years of marriage, I know there needs to be a healthier dialogue within the Catholic Church between those who have never divorced (including our clergy) and those who have.

Here are seven things you may not know about divorce: Perhaps they don’t mean to.

A civil divorce in itself, while tragic, does not damage a person’s communion with the Church, and so divorced persons can participate in the entire sacramental life of the Church and they are encouraged to widely participate in the life of the parish.

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