Annulment of absolution
March 1, 2013 § 97 Comments
Suppose a penitent knows Church teaching on (say) contraception, disagrees with the Church that contraception is gravely immoral and mortally sinful, and prescinds from confessing it during the Sacrament of Penance, saying nothing of the matter at all. What of the penitent who knows of the deontological conflict and just plays along anyway, staying silent, for whichever of many possible reasons?
As I understand it – I could be wrong – this invalidates the confession. The absolution which is given is only a simulation of absolution: no actual absolution took place, and in fact a sacrilege has been committed.
Turning our attention to the Sacrament of Matrimony the question becomes, how many situations like that (and perhaps other sacrament-invalidating matters of internal forum) take place at the matrimonial altar now, in recent decades, versus a century ago?
I’d be shocked if the number had not changed dramatically in the direction of invalidity, post sexual revolution.
I agree with Robert Vasoli and some of my commenters that the ‘pastoral’ lever of incapacity to consent is specious nonsense. I take a very jaundiced eye toward the de-facto “too dumb to consent” view: basically if anything the person didn’t anticipate happens, he was by definition incapable of consent on the wedding day. What a load of hooey!
But that is completely orthogonal to the concern I am raising here.
I imagine that people who strongly dissent from Church teaching don’t go to confession much, whereas a great many do get married. But even so I would guess that there are more invalid confessions taking place today than there were a century or so ago.
So I think it is reasonable to conclude that there are more invalid marriages now than there were a century or two ago.