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EXCLUSIVE: Mel’s Former Priest Says Remarriage in Church Not Possible

May 28 2009, Published 6:22 a.m. ET

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Actor Mel Gibson might want out of his marriage to long-time wife Robyn, but will his Traditionalist Catholic faith approve the split? And would they recognize a marriage between his pregnant girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva? talked to Father Louis Campbell, who formerly ran Gibson’s Agoura Hills, CA church, to find out.

Click here for the exclusive photos of Mel and Oksana’s secret getaway

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Campbell, who now leads St. Jude’s Shrine in Stafford, Texas, says he would rarely grant an annulment (an annulment is not the church’s equivalent of divorce, rather it is a determination that the marriage never existed).The Traditionalist Catholicism that Gibson and Campbell subscribe to is much more conservative than the Roman Catholic church. They don’t accept the modern church’s reforms or the authority of the current Pope—and they also look down on what they consider a too-liberal approach to granting annulments in the religion.

“The rules have become so loose,” Father Campbell said, ”almost everyone who applies gets one.” This aversion to annulments could mean trouble for Gibson if he hopes to marry Grigorieva in the church since his union with and separation from wife Robyn doesn't seem to fit the paramaters for annulments. Parameters which Campbell deem as insufficient regardless.

Click here for photos from Grigorieva's former model days!

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While the modern Roman Catholic church will review annulments based on immaturity at the time of marriage and other psychological factors, Father Campbell dismissed those grounds as “not sufficient.” So what kind of situation might be worthy of an annulment in the church? If someone can prove he or she was forced into a marriage—or that his or her spouse was already married to someone else when they tied the knot. Otherwise, Father Campbell suggested it’s doubtful someone would be able to celebrate a new union in his church if they had ever been married before. “Let’s say it was a Catholic that married in the Catholic church who got a divorce,” he said. “They certainly wouldn’t.”

A parishioner at St. Jude’s Shrine echoed his priest’s sentiments on the sanctity of marriage. “We claim no connection whatsoever to this modern church,” he said. “It’s a complete sham. It’s a divorce church.”

(Photo: Splash News)



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