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Clarifications of Kerry's marriage situation

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Apr 08, 2004

An article by a Washington Times White House correspondent on John Kerry's marriage situation reveals some details. For one thing, it shows his proclivity to leech off rich women and use his personal romantic life as a means to further his political ambitions. More specifically for our purposes, the article also reveals that Kerry treats marriage like the Kennedys do.

Kerry divorced his first wife, Julia Thorne, heriess to an old money fortune, in 1988. They separated in 1982 as she was going through a dark, deep depression. Over the next few years, Kerry paraded around with a succession of heiresses, actresses, and other women of greater means than him. Then in 1992 Kerry met Teresa Heinz at the Earth Summit in Rio. How very liberal of them. He says he escorted her to Mass. How very convenient. And how very rich she is. He hit the jackpot and is easily the richest woman he's been involved with. They married in 1995. Meanwhile it became clear that Kerry had not sought an annulment from his first wife until at least 1996.

The first Mrs. Kerry filed papers the following year seeking more child support. Kerry interpreted the move as vindictive and fired back: he asked the Catholic Church to formally annul his failed marriage. He didn't even tell her; the church sent her a letter in November 1996.
Thorne fought back, having the usual misunderstanding of Church teaching that an annulment would retroactively declare her children illegitimate, which of course it wouldn't. However, the linked article suggests that Thorne later gave up her opposition in 1997.

Of course, don't bother asking the Archdiocese of Washington (where the annulment was filed) the status, because they'll tell you it's none of your business. That's a strange attitude to take. On the one hand, I'll grant that the actual files related to the annulment should be kept confidential because they often contain details of a very private nature. However, the actual status of a marriage should not be kept private. After all, marriages themselves are public sacraments—anyone remember the publishing of banns?—and the state of a marriage can be an important fact to know. How about the father who's daughter is marrying a divorced man who claims to have an annulment. How is he to know for sure?

In any case, we know that Kerry—like he's done with so many other Church teachings—flouted the teaching on marriage and was at least initially married illicitly. It's not a surprise, considering everything else we know about him, but it still rankles nonetheless, like someone repeatedly spitting in the face of your Mother and then claiming to love her.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 08, 2004 7:41 PM ET USA

    ADDED TO THE FACT THAT HIS SECOND MARRIAGE WAS A CIVIL ONE AND NO RECORD OF IT BEING IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH???

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