Mel Gibson’s family values?

April 28, 2009 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking about the contradiction here lately and this article talks about the points of theology, and hypocrisy, nicely.  It reminds me of my super-Catholic friends who have sex before marriage, committing the mortal sin of fornication… but have no issues doing so…

Why is it that these right-wing family-values guys are always the worst sinners? Newt Gingrich, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig and now Mel Gibson. Gibson was quoted in the Observer in 2000 as having said, “There is nothing more important than your family. If you ruin that part of your life, what’s left? Work? Money? Screwing around? I see a lot of people living like that tell themselves they’re having a good time, but if you look under the surface you see lots of corpses masquerading as human beings.”

It will be interesting to see what course of action Gibson takes regarding one of the most controversial matters of church law — seeking an annulment. Gibson is opposed to divorce. He accepts the view that the sacrament of marriage is indissoluble. He and his wife may get a civil divorce, but Mel will still, in the eyes of the church, be married. Conservative or liberal, the only way a Catholic can remarry in the church and receive the sacraments is to seek an annulment. Most Catholics find the procedure demeaning and hypocritical. A local church marriage tribunal decides that impediments existed at the time of the marriage that made the union not a sacrament. The most common reason annulments are granted in the U.S. is that one or the other partner exhibited “a grave lack of discretion of judgment.” Even if you were married for 28 years and had seven kids, like Gibson, tribunals can decide you were too immature when you got married and therefore it “didn’t take.” You were never really married. No sacrament of marriage means you can get married again to someone else.

Divorced Catholics who seek annulments tend to fall into two camps. Some are practical and close their eyes to the hypocrisy, make up an acceptable reason, take the annulment and move on. They are desperate to remarry in the church and have a Catholic family life. Some find the hypocrisy hard to swallow. Women, especially, feel like the church is telling them they were having illicit sex and their kids are illegitimate. The feisty ones appeal to the Vatican. Sheila Rauch Kennedy appealed the 1996 Boston Diocese tribunal’s decision to grant her husband Joseph Kennedy, the son of Robert Kennedy, an annulment on the grounds they were immature. She said it wasn’t true. In 2007, the Vatican agreed with Rauch Kennedy and reversed the annulment.

via Mel Gibson’s family values .

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