I am not sure how many more delays I can take. The Catholic Diocese Tribunal Office clearly has major flaws. They are not able to get things completed in 30 days. Does it really take more than 30 days to mail an official letter to the ex? I feel now looking back that it was God telling us to just get married outside of the church and seek a sacramental wedding later. But did I listen to God. Nope. No, I tried to stick to my faith and belief that this was just a human error and we would be back on track to have this annulment completed in about 6 months. See, our advocate verbally told us that each step takes 30 days and that we could have this completed in 6 months. This could only be completed in 6 months if we made sure that the ex and the witnesses were responsive and returned their forms in a timely manner. She stated that normally the witnesses do not respond and they hold up the process. Boy were we lied to by the advocate. Our witnesses made sure to answer all of the Tribunal’s questions in less than 14 days. Why did they get their questions answer so quickly? Because each of them knew that the Tribunal office had caused so many delays and that they knew how upset we had been with the entire process thus far. The people that have caused a delay at every step has been the staff at the Tribunal office. Every mistake has been caused by employees that work for the Church. I have been documenting every delay and the list keeps growing. Who should I share all of these errors with? Who oversees the Tribunal office and will actually make improvements? There needs to be some sort of checks and balances for this office as they have failed at every turn. Sending out a letter to the ex should not have taken as long as it did. If I made as many mistakes as this office has done, I would be out of a job. My boss would have never put up with such delays.
Sadly, I am not the only one that has experienced these delays by this particular Catholic Tribunal Office. I have heard so many stories now of the problems others have experienced from this same staff. Clearly, these problems persist and these employees continue to fail at their job. They are doing a great job at turning people away from the Catholic Church. Some people have heard of such a terrible job the Tribunal office does that they would never even consider an annulment. They have decided to just get married outside of the Church. That is what I should have done. I should have never waited for this annulment to be completed. I have wasted so much of my life waiting on this Tribunal Office to do their jobs that I now regret waiting. I was lied to by the advocate that this could be completed in 6 months and here were are way past the 6 months timeline. The advocate has made one excuse after another for the Tribunal office. I think the advocate needs to be honest with people seeking an annulment. The advocate needs to say that this will take over a year and recommend that people get married outside of the Church.
So if you are reading this and trying to decide if you should go through the annulment process, take my advice. Go and get married outside of the Church and file for an annulment. Once the annulment is completed, go and get a sacramental wedding. Don’t go through this pain and suffering that I have endured postponing my wedding for the annulment to be completed. Don’t miss out on becoming a husband or wife. Don’t miss out on starting a family while waiting for the annulment. Don’t let these unprofessional people who do not do their jobs cause heartache in your life.