Quantcast

«

»

Mar 22 2013

O’Reilly’s Ugly Catholic Divorce

While Bill O’Reilly has long blathered on and on about the importance of stable families and traditional marriages, it seems his own divorce and custody fight has turned very ugly indeed. And the Catholic Church, to which he donates a great deal of money, seems to be helping him. Gawker has the details from legal documents filed by O’Reilly and his ex-wife.

Another indication that it has become poisonous: the Catholic Church has gotten involved. Gawker has learned that McPhilmy has been formally reprimanded in writing by her church for continuing to take communion in her Long Island parish despite having been divorced and remarried—a no-no according to the Pope. The reprimand also instructed her to stop telling her children that her second marriage, to the Nassau County detective O’Reilly tried to destroy, is valid in the eyes of God. It warned her that if she didn’t comply, harsher measures may be in order.

Chad Glendinning, a professor of canon law at Canada’s St. Paul University, couldn’t say whether the reprimand was a first step on the road to excommunication. But he did say it appeared to be a first step toward barring her from the sacraments if necessary. “Public denial of holy communion is to be avoided as far as possible,” he said. “Instead, pastors should take precautionary measures to explain the Church’s teaching to concerned persons so that they may be able to understand it or at least respect it. It is possible that the letter you describe is such an attempt.”

There presumably aren’t too many people besides O’Reilly who know what McPhilmy is saying to her children about how God views her marriage. And O’Reilly, who interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan last year and donated more than $65,000 to New York Catholic parishes and schools in 2011, according to the tax return of his nonprofit foundation, carries considerable weight in the archdiocese.

While he’s busy harassing McPhilmy for asserting the holiness of her second marriage, O’Reilly is trying to deny the existence of his first: He is, Gawker has learned, seeking an annulment of his 15-year marriage, which produced two children. Null and void. Invalid in the eyes of God. Never happened. This despite his manifest belief in the “stability” that straight marriage brings to the culture and concern at the (purportedly) declining marriage rates in countries that allow gay people to marry one another. If successful, the annulment would presumably render his 2004 escapade with former producer Andrea Mackris, whom he repeatedly and vividly sexually harassed with threats to take “the falafel thing…and put it on your pussy,” retroactively kosher with Jesus.

Bill O’Reilly: Voice of Virtue.

36 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Robert Harvey

    My father, a devout Catholic, died believing he was going straight to Hell because he couldn’t afford the $50,000 that an annulment cost in those days. It’s cheaper now.

  2. 2
    tmscott

    So if his marriage is annulled, wouldn’t that make his children bastards in the eyes of the church? Gee, thanks Dad.

  3. 3
    Modusoperandi

    To be fair, O’Reilly is an awful person.

  4. 4
    Doug Little

    Marriage’s are created,
    Marriage’s are annulled,
    Never a miss communication.

  5. 5
    dingojack

    So Billo had no idea his prospective wife had been already married when he married her. Whew, how lucky, otherwise one might apportion some blame (from a RCC point of view) on him for marrying her in the first place! (Against the doctrine of his own beloved church).
    Dingo

  6. 6
    busterggi

    I thought Bill said REAL Christians don’t get divorced – is this evidence that he is a secret Muslim??

  7. 7
    doublereed

    I would love it if more right-wing fox news people started taking potshots at him.

  8. 8
    dingojack

    Doug Little – wouldn’t that be ‘never a missed communion’
    :) Dingo

  9. 9
    cptdoom

    @tmscott – From what I remember of my Catholic education, the status of the children depends on the reason for the annulment. From what I remember, annulments can only occur because of mental illness, fraud, adultery or non-consumation (which, of course, leaves the question of children’s status moot).

    So, in the case of someone like Newt Gingrich, whose first two marriages were presumably annulled because they occurred in non-Christian (to the Roman Catholics, at least) churches, the children would be considered illegitimate by the Church, because the marriage never happened (which means the sacrament, which is supposed to change the soul permanently, did not occur). OTOH, my cousin’s kids were considered legitimate after their parents’ annulment, because the reason was their father’s extreme mental illness, which was manifest, although not clearly, at the time of the marriage. Therefore, although my cousin made a good faith marriage, her former husband was not capable of doing so, and would have been refused the sacrament if his mental illness had been known.

  10. 10
    raven

    Marriages come.

    Marriages go.

    Can’t explain that!!!

  11. 11
    slc1

    I have a flash for Ms. McPhilmy. It’s a free country and she is perfectly free to tell the Raping Children Church to go fuck themselves and join another church, of which there are a goodly number here.

  12. 12
    Artor

    It was clear to me long ago that O’Reilly is a worthless piece of shit, and I couldn’t imagine my opinion of him going further downward than it already was. Call me surprised, I now realize he’s even worse than I imagined. What a waste of breathing air this worthless little weasel is! You just can’t explain that!

  13. 13
    Trebuchet

    Money comes in.
    Annulments go out.
    Never a miscommuncation!

    I can explain that….

  14. 14
    lofgren

    If only O’Reilly’s poor children could have been protected from the devastating onslaught of gay marriage.

  15. 15
    lofgren

    OK, that’s not entirely fair. O’Reilly actually supports gay marriage.

  16. 16
    matty1

    It doesn’t even make sense, if the marriage is annulled then both of them get out of the consequences of being Catholic and divorced don’t they?

    Put another way, if the marriage is annulled then in the eyes of the church Ms McPhilmy never was married to O’Reily, which makes her current marriage her first and therefore fine with the cannon law. Someone isn’t thinking this through. Although in fairness it could be me.

  17. 17
    lofgren

    if the marriage is annulled then in the eyes of the church Ms McPhilmy never was married to O’Reily

    IANAST (I am not a Serious Theologian), but it wouldn’t surprise me even slightly if the Catholic church has some twisted, legalistic definition of annulment that allows one party (the man most likely) to abandon the marriage but continues to enforce it for the other party.

    Why would you collect the annulment fee once when you could do it twice?

  18. 18
    daved

    OK, that’s not entirely fair. O’Reilly actually supports gay marriage.

    But that’s in direct opposition to the position of the RCC — so how can BillO be in good standing with them? Well, I mean, aside from the money.

  19. 19
    lofgren

    how can BillO be in good standing with them?

    The same way that politicians who support the death penalty and oppose protections for the poor can be in good standing while priests are told to deny communion to pro-choice politicians.

  20. 20
    Jacob Schmidt

    IANAST (I am not a Serious Theologian), but it wouldn’t surprise me even slightly if the Catholic church has some twisted, legalistic definition of annulment that allows one party (the man most likely) to abandon the marriage but continues to enforce it for the other party.

    That’s unnecessary. All the church has to do is selectively enforce the marriage. That is, reject the annulment but let O’Reilly continue on his merry way while still enforcing the marriage on his ex-wife..

  21. 21
    d.c.wilson

    how can BillO be in good standing with them?

    His check cleared. Duh.

  22. 22
    iknklast

    When my husband and I got married, we talked about his church as a venue. (He is a non-believer, but belonged to an Anglican church for non-religious reasons). The church would not marry us if I did not get an annullment of my first marriage (which produced a son). He told me that, in spite of the child, the church would annul the marriage if I asked (and, I presume, pay a fee). I asked him if that wasn’t a bit…hypocritical. He laughed, agreed, and we got married by the side of Salt Creek, which is where I wanted to get married anyway.

  23. 23
    lofgren

    All the church has to do is selectively enforce the marriage. That is, reject the annulment but let O’Reilly continue on his merry way while still enforcing the marriage on his ex-wife.

    I don’t get it. Where’s the profit in that?

  24. 24
    Reginald Selkirk

    The reprimand also instructed her to stop telling her children that her second marriage, to the Nassau County detective O’Reilly tried to destroy, is valid in the eyes of God.

    Tsk tsk; what has happened to journalism? I was hoping to read, “God could not be reached for comment.”

  25. 25
    Doug Little

    Dingo @8,

    Ha ha, yes very clever.

  26. 26
    naturalcynic
    All the church has to do is selectively enforce the marriage. That is, reject the annulment but let O’Reilly continue on his merry way while still enforcing the marriage on his ex-wife.

    I don’t get it. Where’s the profit in that?

    Billo gets credit for his bribe contribution. However she doesn’t get credit unless he contributes more. Why not have a bidding war for absolution.

  27. 27
    Dr X

    @Matty1:

    Put another way, if the marriage is annulled then in the eyes of the church Ms McPhilmy never was married to O’Reily, which makes her current marriage her first and therefore fine with the cannon law.

    I’ve worked on the psychologist end of quite a few of these cases. It’s something I hate getting pulled into, but sometimes I don’t have a choice as events unfold. So here’s how it works.

    First, it’s cheap and since the 70s almost guaranteed to be granted. Over the last few years, it’s gotten a little more difficult in some dioceses because of the radical shift to conservative bishops, but it’s still pretty easy in most places in the US.

    So how it works: One person applies for the annulment and the other is asked to respond. Obviously, having no legal authority, the Catholic Church can’t compel a response. The responding party fills out the same questionnaires and is asked to submit witness statements. When an annulment is granted, it almost always comes with conditions specified for each party before they can remarry in the Catholic church–usually a psych eval or psychotherapy and a report from the psychologist. If a person doesn’t fulfill the conditions, they can’t remarry in the church. And if they don’t respond in the first place, they can’t remarry in the Catholic church.

    So in the case of O’Reilly, the annulment could be granted, it applies to both, but unless O’Reilly’s wife cooperates she’ll have a church remarriage restriction in place. If she cooperates and fulfills the annulment conditions, then she would have her second marriage convalidated (validated by the Catholic church).

    Re the kids being bastards: this is a misunderstanding of church annulments. What’s viewed as null is the Catholic “sacrament,” not the legal marriage. The Catholic church regards marriage in the church as a sacrament, like baptism, communion, confession/penance. The Catholic Church regards non-Catholic marriages as valid marriages, but they aren’t necessarily considered “sacramental.” Nutty distinction, but with a consequence. Let’s say a Jewish person is going to marry a Catholic and the Jewish person had a previoius marriage to a Jew. The Catholic Church would say that first marriage was a valid marriage, but a divorce alone suffices for that person to enter a Catholic recognized marriage with a Catholic, because the first marriage was valid but not sacramental in the eyes of the Catholic Church. In any case, the kids aren’t regarded as bastards because the Catholic church views any civilly legal marriage as a valid marriage.

  28. 28
    Dr X

    Missing a closed blockquote above after the first sentence quoting Matty. Everything after that is my comment.

  29. 29
    Moggie

    He is, Gawker has learned, seeking an annulment of his 15-year marriage, which produced two children. Null and void.

    I wonder how they chose those names?

  30. 30
    matty1

    @22 Since when did Anglican churches require annulment, didn’t they effectively invent divorce?

  31. 31
    democommie

    “The reprimand also instructed her to stop telling her children that her second marriage, to the Nassau County detective O’Reilly tried to destroy, is valid in the eyes of God.”

    Reading this got me thinking…

    Just this once I would WELCOME some thuggish cop beating a working journalist within an inch of his life. Okay, I’m just kidding. I know that O’Liarly is not a fucking journalist.

  32. 32
    poose

    I was married to a Catholic once. We divorced, and separated.

    She found herself a “good catholic boy” and wanted to remarry-so she sought an annulment.

    One day, an “interesting” letter from the Diocese shows up-announcing that I’m barred from taking communion, taking a new relationships, participating in church events. etc.

    Two things came to mind:

    The first was that if I fought this, I could fuck over my ex mercilessly in tying up her plans to remarry. I could have, but I’m a good person, and I let it pass. She has since remarried, and they have a good family life-he’s a good person and gave her what she wanted-a family. He accepts my child as his own.

    The second?
    I was in my “exploration of alternate religions” period, and at the time was a Pagan. Laughed about it for days, and eventually settled on “none of the above”, with minor satanic leanings (I have a really cool tattoo of him on my left shoulder,,,)

    I eventually framed the letter-the Catholics reject me.

    Perfect.

  33. 33
    Stacy

    So Billo had no idea his prospective wife had been already married when he married her.

    No. Her first marriage was to him. That’s the marriage he’s trying to annul. She’s since remarried, and the Church is smacking her on the knuckles for taking Communion while being divorced-and-remarried. But Billo wants to annul his marriage to her–her first–so then maybe her second marriage will be okay. Or not.

    Yeah. You need a scorecard.

  34. 34
    Samantha Vimes

    For what definition of valid do they accept non-Catholic marriages as valid?

    My husband had to give up his godfather status for his nephew because, irreligious person that I am, we’d done a non-denominational outdoor ceremony. Since it wasn’t a Catholic marriage, the Catholic school where the kid went determined that my husband was living in sin with me and would have to make confession, do penance, take communion, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if the penance was to force us to marry under church law, which would have resulted in me going to counselling with him just so I could thrown something in the face of one of the collared criminals for insulting and trying to blackmail my family. Anyhow, I didn’t have to, because my husband flat out gave the church the finger and told his brother to find the boy a new godfather if we weren’t good enough.

  35. 35
    Erp

    @30 Anglican church and annulment

    Officially Henry VIII’s ‘divorces’ were annulments (one on the grounds of incest [his first wife was his brother's widow] and one on the grounds of non-consummation [he never had sex with his fourth wife]). The Catholic church wouldn’t allow the first (mostly because she contested and her nephew had a large army right outside Rome) and wasn’t asked on the second (or to be exact his third since he had his second marriage also annulled before executing his, now former, wife).

    However I’m a bit surprised that the Anglican church asked for an official annulment (unless it happened some decades ago) since in many countries the Anglican church (the Episcopal church in the US) allow remarriage (they might require a bit more pre-marital counseling and permission of the bishop) or failing that allow a blessing in the church of a civil second marriage (this is what Prince Charles did when marrying his second wife [though that was mostly for reasons other than his second wife still having her first husband alive]). However in the Anglican Communion the ultimate authority is the national church not the Communion or the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  36. 36
    Raging Bee

    You gotta give the Catholic Church one thing: they never miss an opportunity to show how vile they can be. This is just one more data-point proving they have no moral authority or credibility on any subject.

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site