Shattered Faith: A Woman's Struggle to Stop the Catholic Church from Annuling Her Marriage

Shattered Faith: A Woman's Struggle to Stop the Catholic Church from Annuling Her Marriage

by Sheila Rauch Kennedy

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In 1993, Sheila Rauch Kennedy received a letter from the Boston Catholic Archdiocese announcing that her former husband, Congressman Joseph Kennedy, was seeking an annulment of their marriage. If the Church granted the annulment, the marriage, which had lasted twelve years, would be rendered nonexistent -- not simply ended, as was stated in the divorce decree, but invalid from the start. And their two sons would be regarded as children of an unsanctified union. Joseph Kennedy needed the annulment to remarry within the Church, and he encouraged his ex-wife to ignore the details. Stunned by the hypocrisy of the process and the betrayal of trust it involved, Sheila Rauch Kennedy was determined to defend the legitimacy of her former marriage.

Shattered Faith is the fascinating chronicle of that struggle, and of what Kennedy uncovered about the uses and frequency of annulments in the United States. Interweaving her own experiences with those of other women whose trust in the Church was shattered by annulment, she tells a story that will surprise, anger, and move readers of every faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307833785
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/15/2013
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 540,420
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Sheila Rauch Kennedy is a city planner who specializes in housing and community development.  She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her two sons.

Read an Excerpt

In 1993, my former husband asked the Catholic Church to annul our marriage. For him an annulment was a simple matter and his reasons for wanting one were straightforward. We had been divorced for over two years and he wanted to remarry. Since the only way he could do so and remain in good standing within the Church was to have our marriage declared invalid, he was prepared to testify before a church court that in the eyes of God our marriage had never existed ...

My husband and I had known each other for nine years before we married in a Catholic ceremony. We had been married for twelve years before we divorced, and we had two wonderful children. I could not understand how anyone could claim that our marriage had never been valid. It seemed that if I were to agree to an annulment, I would be lying before God.

I knew I would defend my marriage.

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