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

Kennedy, Sheila Rauch

69 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679439951 / ISBN 13: 9780679439950
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, 1997
Condition: Very Good + Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Second printing. Inscribed, signed, and dated on the front endpaper by the author: "For Abby & Jeff / Sheila Kennedy / June, 1997." Book is tight and unmarked; spine slant. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $23.00); light edgewear at spine ends, corners. Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7" - 9" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 002005

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Shattered Faith: A Woman's Struggle to Stop ...

Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good +

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +

Signed: Signed by Author

About this title


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.


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.

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