I’ve got 25 “drafts” in various stages of development [including a “full post” response to a comment several entries back], Roman’s (from Theology and Justice) counterpoint to “Accept the Mystery…” to reply to, some Catechist Formation work to do, and (however inconveniently) actual life and work tasks to accomplish — but I did just want to take a minute to chronicle the latest developments in my personal story of coming into the Church.
The big news is that, this last Thursday, I finally had my hearing/testimony with the Judicial Vicar in charge of the Tribunal regarding my annulment!
Although it turns out that I’d been far more concerned about this event than I’d let myself know [I barely slept the night before and I got to the Diocese Offices a good 40min early*], the meeting itself went quite well. After going through the testimony I’d submitted at the start of the process, the Monsignor asked a few clarifying questions and made a few notes. He proceeded to review for me the requirements for marital consent [necessary for even a natural marriage to occur] and noted how my testimony excluded–unequivocally–each and every one. Then, gesturing towards the Code of Canon Law on his desk, told me,
“In all my years in this post, I’ve never even heard of a case this clear. If we were going to add pictures to this book, yours would be the very definition of ‘total simulation [of marriage]’ (Can. 1102 §1).”
There are a couple more pieces to the process but, when I suggested that the decree of nullity might make a nice Christmas present, he said he felt pretty certain that present would be early.
In addition, we discussed my RCIA problems and, as it turns out, his parish is only a couple miles away, offers ‘customized’ RCIA formation, and is headed up by a Dominican Sister!(!!!) [Be still my heart. I didn’t know we had any left!] I need to talk to Sr. B but, Deo volente, it looks like I might end up with precisely the kind of initiate formation I’d hoped for… go figure.
* I brought a copy of The Ratzinger Report to read while waiting and that is certain to become yet another “draft” in gestation.