Unlike Henry VIII, the Croat presented a well-supported argument.
We lived as proper Catholics. We got married out of love and respect, and we kept our virginity until the wedding night. But, instead of making love, we experienced horror. Such marriage does not make any sense. We both want children, but how can we have children when we cannot consummate it? Simply, you know, he could not get in… This is a sad story of a couple from an Istrian parish who recently ended its marriage with the so-called church divorce, a very complicated process in which divorce is eventually approved by the pope himself, reports 24sata.hr on October 10, 2018.
While the procedure has been simplified recently, thanks to the initiative of Pope Francis, the case of the unhappy Istrian couple, whose main obstacle was the impressive dimensions of the husband’s penis, is unique. The couple eventually received a permission from the Holy Father for divorce, or marriage annulment as it is officially called in the Catholic Church.
Today, they are both happy with new partners of “appropriate dimensions,” they have remarried and have children. Interestingly, in the very same small Istrian parish, the “church divorce” has been approved to two more couples in the last 15 years.
For at least ten years, the Church has to keep secret all the details of approved divorces. But the inability to consummate a marriage is certainly a problem for which the Vatican has a lot of understanding. The webpage of the Inter-Diocese Court lists “12 canonical barriers of divine and ecclesial law which make a person unable to properly marry.” Although having a too large penis is not explicitly listed among them, the list refers to something called “permanent sexual impotence.”
The process of a so-called church divorce is precisely defined. Before going to a church court and submitting a “divorce” request, couples must consult with the parish priest and then go to the Office of Advice at the first-instance Inter-Diocese Court in Zagreb. They are later sent to family counselling centres and eventually talk with experts in canon law. Without a legal foundation and evidence, couples cannot even file a divorce request.
A marriage can be annulled when the married could not “carry out in a human way a marital act suitable for birthing children by which married companions become a single body,” as it is quizzically described in church documents.
The other option is, of course, taken by most “devout” couples who want to get a divorce. They formally stay in the Church marriage until the end of their lives, but instead get a civil divorce and enter further civil marriages.
Translated from 24sata.hr (reported by Hajrudin Merdanović and Anamarija Burazer).