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Shattered Faith: A Woman's Struggle to Stop the Catholic Church from Annulling Her Marriage Paperback – May 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (May 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805058281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805058284
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,580,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Shattered Faith is a fascinating look at divorce within religion. The Roman Catholic Church still does not recognize divorce. Instead it resolves a couple's incompatibility by declaring a marriage illegitimate from the outset. While divorce ends a marriage, annulment erases it--a distinction not lost on a Sheila Rauch Kennedy and many other women with similar experiences. When Rauch Kennedy is forced into annulment proceedings by an ex-husband who seeks to prove that their marriage was based on false presumptions and therefore never really existed, what can she do? Despite the high profiles of the protagonists, this is a down-to-earth account of a woman's attempt to maintain her sense of worth in the face of a church bureaucracy blinded by pride and incapable of compassion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When the American Catholic Church annulled her marriage to Congressman Joseph Kennedy so that he could remarry in the Church, Kennedy resisted.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am a Roman Catholic. My parents went through the annulment 'process' a year ago and based on personal experience - Mrs. Kennedy's book is, sadly, quite accurate. In an attempt to cater to the spirit of religious liberalism entrenched in american society, the church here no longer defends its own sacraments or the truth at all. But rather cheapens them with easy annulments. My parents paid their $600 or whatever, and poof, they were never married. To Catholics who really don't care about their religion, the annulment is just a piece of paper. But to Catholics who really believe, it is quite devastating. In my particular case, it has literally torn my family apart. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to gain a first hand insight into the absolute absurdity the US catholic church has sunk to.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ima Reader on October 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I liked the use of anecdotes and the thorough detail about the behind-the-scenes conversations at the tribunal and the legal process. I thought the logical and philosophical arguments were sound. It was a bit longer a story than it needed to be. I did not like the ending in that she did not reveal the outcome of the appeal to the Rota. (Does anyone know?) The book is very candid and emotionally appealing. It makes a fair distinction between marriages which could be annulled (short-term, no children) and those which should not be, such as her own. Overall it is an engaging personal story that is buttressed with strong arguments that you may or may not choose to accept.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have almost finished this book, and it is enlightening. I knew that the whole annulment process was a big joke -- when my ex and I divorced, arelative who was a priest actually asked if I wanted an annulment and assured me there would be no problem. I had no idea how pervasive or American a problem this was -- the American Catholic church must be the laughingstock of the remainder of the Catholic world!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am not a Catholic; and knew little about annulment until reading this book; but I admire Sheila Rauch Kennedy for her courage in taking on this powerful clan for something she believes in. Joe Kennedy ought to be ashamed of himself. Or perhaps he is and that is why he resigned from politics.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The unofficial but de facto division within the Church is displayed abundantly in Kennedy's book. The American Catholic Church annulment machine grinds forward, shredding into bits those who are faithful to the Roman Catholic Church. What disturbs me is the claim that their primary concern is to bring those who are separated from the Church back to the Sacraments. Isn't marriage a Sacrament? Accepting lies about the validity or sacramentality of long-term marriages just so someone can remain in the Church is simply saying that good can come of evil. Not one single case cited by Kennedy was about cruelly mistreated spouses - they were all simply about one spouse in the marriage wanting to call it quits, while expecting to continue having a 'sacramental marriage'. While women are primarily the victims described by Kennedy, there have been numerous men who have faced the same perversion inflicted on the faithful. Yes, as Kennedy points out, and as the Church agrees, there are sometimes good reasons to declare a marriage invalid, but these are rare occurrences. Depression? Personality disorder? What about 'in sickness and health'? Shall the marriage vows be changed to say 'until imperfections are apparent' instead 'until death'? Let's face it - the promoters of easy annulments have lost their faith, or have altered it to accommodate the 'modern' trend du jour. The Church should stop putting money into the annulment machine and begin to offer counseling services that make sense. The scandal caused by this situation is blaringly obvious. Those who blame 'the Church' have no understanding of the depth of damage the American Catholic Church has done to the Church all over the world. Those who have torn a sacramental marriage assunder with no faith-based (i. e.Read more ›
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ms. Kennedy's book is a detailed and accurate account of the sham of marriage "nullification" within the Roman Catholic Church. Her experience has been like thousands of Catholics who have been victims of institutional chicanary. The act of calling marriages "invalid", especially when they have produced children,is reprehensible. After reading this book, I am convinced that annulment is nothing more than a modern day form of selling indulgences. The Church charges hefty sums in money and emotional toll to give its blessing to remarriages.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bucherwurm on June 22, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was a young Catholic divorced members of the faith were rare breeds. If they kept the faith they new they would have to live out their remaining days as a single person. Now the Church seems to work overtime to allow folks to annull marriages that endured for 30 years or more and that produced many children. Ms. Kennedy provides some interesting anecdotes of various women who protested the annullment process, and who generally were not successful. The weakness of the book is that it is anecdotal. Four or five stories do not provide valid overall data. In my opinion the author makes these stories overly long, and adds other extraneous material in a seeming attempt to flesh out the book to a respectable 200+ pages. As a divorced Catholic I feel that I could get an annullment (I knew my wife only 8 weeks when we married, and I deeply resented and didn't believe the priest's pre-marriage counseling that the primary reason for marriage was to have children), but feel that my 12 year marriage that produced 3 children was a true marriage. Anecdotal or not the process described by Ms. Kennedy left me with very negative feelings. And as someone with a background in Psychology, I find the description of the church's process for assessing mental status 20 or 30 years ago (barring some documented serious psychopathology) to be laughable.
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