Friday, June 14, 2013

Experienced Catholic Psychiatrist Joins Me as Co-Author

And he just happens to be my husband! Manny and I started teaching pre-Cana classes for Fr. George Rutler's parish in New York City back in 2003. Manny's training as a psychiatrist always provided valuable insight into the challenges couples faced before and after marriage. So, I'm thrilled that he is joining me as a co-author on my book, now our book, explaining the Catholic Church's beautiful teachings on marriage and family.

After graduating from medical school, Manny trained at the famous Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. He later established private practices both in New York City and in Long Island. For almost fifteen years, Manny has been helping Catholic (and non-Catholic) couples over rough spots in their relationships. In 2011, he began performing psychiatric evaluations for the Marriage Tribunal of the Archdiocese of New York to determine whether there were any mental health grounds for granting certain petitions for annulment.

In his psychiatric practice, Manny strives to take into account the central role of spirituality in an integral understanding of the person.  He has brought healing to those who have suffered depression as a result of the abortion of their child and to those struggling to break free from addictions to pornography or serial adultery. He has counseled couples who are negatively impacted by sexual misconceptions and neuroses and haunted by specters of past sexual abuse.

In addition to his professional qualifications, Manny is a wonderful husband to me and father to our six children. Please welcome him to this important project.


  1. There is much abuse of so called psychological factors in the annulment process.

    It is the playground of snake oil peddlers.

    Yes, I have been through the process before and currently, in NY as a matter of fact, have chosen to decline participation in my wife's second attempt, 22 years after her first, to have our sacramental marriage declared null.

    It is a joke, albeit a very sick, malignant and scandalous one which the Catholic Church is about.

    While I am not oppsed to rigorus study regarding nullity, I find the Church practices merely a smoke screen for tacit approval of all manner of sins and injustices

    I could go on but, why?


    1. It sounds like you've been going through a difficult and painful situation. The issue of psychological grounds for an annulment is complex and nuanced, and has to be carefully assessed based on each couple's particular circumstances. But Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has cautioned against easy annulments.

  2. An interesting article appeared here:

    Although, to me, there is some contradictory material in it I find the following to
    be telling...."...if we are all rewriting our memories every time we recall an event, the memory exists not as a file in our brain but only as the most recent rewrite of a scenario. Every memoir is fabricated, and the past is nothing more than the last retelling of it."

    To quote the author/researcher, directly, Dr Shiller says, "My conclusion is that memory is what we are now. Not in pictures. Not in recordings. Your memory is who you are now."

    In reality, memories are unreliable. Yet, these are what the Church uses as feed material. And, worse yet, feed material from people with vested interests in defending the "false kingdoms" they have created, years after persecuting their abandoned spouses and using, their own precious children, as pawns to destroy the other parent!

    These men and women on tribunals, even with the highest competence(which I do not believe to be true) and with the most pure intentions(which I am absolutely certain is not true, in most cases) are fallible, often listening to "experts" with their own "scientific/personal" agendas, and rendering judgments on the validity/sacramental nature(s) of marriages decades after the consent was exchanged are destroying marriages, people, especially children and abandoned spouses and are
    undermining any respect for the meaning of vows.

    Any conclusion, less than absolute certainty, should be rejected, leaving the presumption of validity, intact. Anyone, who seriously thinks justice is ever done in this system, is deluded. Moral certainty is way too low a standard for the validity of marriage to rest upon, in review. It is way too subjective, even with extraordinary self-discipline and integrated virtue.

    It is a pipe dream to think one can reach anything resembling a just conclusion.

    My pain is independent of the difficulties of trying to get at reality when reality is subjective and whimsical, to witnesses, experts, advocates, defenders of the bond, judges, bishops......

    We are destroying the institution of marriage in the Catholic Church and few of us care, except for isolated respondents, in view of my experiences.

    For me, I have lived faithfully to the vows I spoke so many years ago. God willing, I will stay that course. But, I am dead set against the practices of the Catholic Church regarding marriage, divorce, annulment.....there is far too much rampant corruption, all the way through the Papacy.

    I once asked my pastor, a good man, to speak about my experiences with marriage, divorce, our marriage preparation course. He told me that although he knew I would speak the truth, he could not let me because when I was through explaining my experiences he thought few would continue with marriage in the Church, perhaps not even civil marriage.

    I think his choice was correct but unwise.