Nah, that twern’t no smear
Always good when Fr. Z has your back, but I don’t think the AP and US News & World Report are trying to “smear” me over my critiques of Mitis Iudex, esp. this one. Yes, their article reporting on (some of) my views is too short (I deserve much more attention—not), but I don’t think it unfair. Or did I miss something?
I do have one concern, though. The article says that I have warned that “Pope Francis’ new reform of the church’s marriage annulment process … could lead to ‘crises of conscience’ for even happily-married Catholics.” Not quite.
I did not specify “happily” married couples. There was a reason.
Since it has come up, yes, I do think the list of fast-track annulment factors might negatively impact some happily married couples by sowing doubts about the validity of their marriage where previously there was none, but I am more concerned about the impact the pope’s list might have on ‘sort-of-happily’ married couples, for those are more prone to self-doubts, worries, anxieties, or suspicions than are “happily-married” couples. I fear that some of these struggling couples, knowing their marriage would be eligible for expedited nullity processing (given the presence of one of more of the factors listed in Mitis) might yield to attitudes and actions that can, over time, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, lead to despair for their marriage.
And that’s a pity.