International development consultant, single mother, justice advocate giving a voice for herself and women in the Catholic church tribunals, Lebanon and Canada
The silent abuse by the Catholic Church of Catholic single mothers in Lebanon
In Lebanon, to get a divorce you have to belong to a religious community. They decide on issues like alimony. Not the state.
In 2003, my husband filed for the annulment of our marriage based on false claims. With the full support of the church tribunal officials, he decided to paint me as an ‘incompetent’ woman, and his friend the bishop illegally stopped the processing of my alimony and child support.
After years of fighting for justice and appealing to the Vatican tribunals, every time I think I’m about to get justice, I find out that the tribunals are still dragging the case on, hiding decisions in my favor and refusing to execute it. My former husband tried everything, to the point of converting to a Muslim and filing a new case of marriage nullity painting himself as ‘incompetent’, to avoid paying me the accumulated retrospective alimony and child support covering many years.
Now, in 2023, 20 years later, a final ruling as to the validity of my marriage and retrospective alimony is still not decided by the Vatican tribunals.
Women living in male or church-dominated societies, rarely, if ever speak up.