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REPORT: Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton Holding Marriage Until Annulment: Catholic Faith ‘Extremely Important’ To Her

Former No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani and country singer Blake Shelton have decided to put their marriage on hold until the Catholic Church approves her annulment with former husband Gavin Rossdale.
According to People, the relationship between the famous artists has been serious for some time; reportedly, Shelton had planned to propose to Stefani earlier but delayed so that God would be on their side in marriage.
“Constantly followed by rumors of a secret engagement or wedding, the couple have hit a roadblock as they plan their future together,” reported the outlet. 
“Blake was very serious about Gwen right from the start, and early on he thought about proposing,” said a source close to Stefani, whom People described as “a practicing Roman Catholic” who “hopes to have a church ceremony.”
“It’s definitely headed toward marriage,” the source added. “They’re all very like-minded and comfortable with each other. Gwen brings this sparkle to the country world. Her love for Blake is clear, and she’s been embraced by everyone. They fall more and more in love with one another, and their happiness quotient keeps rising.”
As noted by ChurchPOP, the report follows an Us Weekly article in March that said Stefani “began the formal process” to have her previous annulled by Catholic church officials “so she can marry Blake and have it be recognized by the church.”
“Gwen’s religion has always been extremely important to her, and Blake is completely supportive of this,” the source said. “They’re willing to wait.” 
In a recent interview with Taste of Country, Blake Shelton said that his relationship with Stefani encouraged him to attend church more and enlivened his faith in God.
“I believe in God now more than I ever have in my life,” he said. “The biggest part of that is just how [Stefani] came into my life and now our relationship. It’s just too weird. If you take God out of it, it doesn’t make sense. If you put God into it, everything that’s happened with us makes sense.”
Annulments have often been falsely characterized as a form of “Catholic divorce,” a quasi-legal loophole enabling the faithful to remarry. Contrary to popular misconceptions, annulments simply determine whether or not a valid Sacramental marriage took place at the time vows were exchanged. Catholic Answers provided a comprehensive list of examples on what a valid marriage requires and the types of situations that could render it null:
An annulment is a declaration of nullity by a Church tribunal that a marriage thought to be valid actually fell short of at least one of the essential required elements. It is lawful consent by both parties (canon 1057 §1) that makes marriage.
Marriage requires: 
1. the spouses are free to marry
2. they are capable of giving their consent to marry
3. they freely exchange their consent
4. they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another, and be open to children.
5. they intend the good of each other
Within the essential elements of consent for marriage there are various ways someone could fall short:
  • Getting married out of fear, to escape an abusive home, forced into an arranged marriage, etc. are things that can affect someone’s ability to freely grant consent to the essentials of marriage.
  • One of the spouses lied so extensively about their past that they essentially obtained the other’s consent through fraud.
  • One of the spouses attached a condition to his or her consent.  For example, the person agreed to the marriage with the condition that they would never move to a different city or state.
  • Psychological issues or addictions affected one of the party’s ability to truly consent.
In order for the Church tribunal to decide that the marriage was not valid, evidence needs to be offered in the form of testimony and witnesses who can shed light on the lack of proper intentions.

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