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(LifeSiteNews) — Conservative commentator Megyn Kelly recently spoke to Bishop Robert Barron about “going through the annulment process” and her “crisis of faith.”

The interview, posted on Good Friday, highlights some common misconceptions about what an annulment is.

However, Kelly, a former Fox News and NBC News host, also defended the traditions of the Church and her goal of rectifying the problem of only being civilly married is good.

“I have been going through the process of getting an annulment of my first marriage,” she said. “I’ve been married to Doug now… for 16 years… But I never annulled my first marriage to my first husband, with whom I am still very friendly. He’s a great guy, it just didn’t work out,” she told the bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.

“And he and I agreed, he’s Catholic too, that we would try to get an annulment, and he would marry… and I would get married to Doug in a church… I’m not technically allowed to receive absolution and Confession until I do this and so on and so forth,” she said.

“Get an annulment” is an imprecise term, however.

Kelly is not a canon lawyer or a theologian, so understandably her language is not going to be perfect. But the Church cannot annul a marriage.

Yet many Catholics do speak of getting their marriage “annulled,” which creates the misconception that an annulment is “Catholic divorce.” A Pew Research survey, for example, asked about Catholics who have “sought an annulment.” Rather, the Church issues a “declaration of nullity,” which says that a true marriage never existed in the first place.

“Actually, nothing is made null through the process. Rather, a Church tribunal (a Catholic Church court) declares that a marriage thought to be valid according to Church law actually fell short of at least one of the essential elements required for a binding union,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains.

Kelly also said the process has not been beneficial for “renewing her faith.”

“I have to tell you instead of renewing my faith or leading me on a journey where I would feel closer to God and embrace things like Good Friday and Lent and Easter, it’s been driving me in a different direction,” she said.

“I didn’t even observe Lent this year. I did not go to church on Ash Wednesday. I’m feeling kind of emotional just talking about it… It’s been… the in-your-face interjection of man in between your relationship with God that’s getting to me.”

“You know as I fill out these forms… I’m submitting these forms about my first marriage, to whom? Who are these people who get to review my personal, private details and pass a judgment on my marriage?” she asked.

“Who is the man making me jump through hoops in order to have a more authentic, blessed relationship with God?” she added.

However, marriage is a public act and not a private one. “Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains.

“The public character of the consent protects the ‘I do’ once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it,” CCC 1631 states further.

Bishop Barron said it is “the Church’s deep respect for marriage that’s behind that whole process. So that the Church respects the sacramentality of marriage.”

He urged her to be “patient.”

“The Church respects marriage and so it insists upon honoring marriage as much as possible,” he said.

The prelate then clarified that an annulment process determines a “full, sacramental marriage did not take place.”

“I get the experience of it,” he said and defended the Church, saying it is trying to defend the “integrity of marriage.”

Kelly, bishop say Church traditions, rituals are good

Despite Kelly’s frustrations with seeking a declaration of nullity, she said she respects the traditions of the Church.

She shared that she tried to go to an Episcopalian church but left during a pro-transgender sermon by a female “priest.”

“Honestly, Bishop, I got up and got right out of there after the homily,” she said.

The rules of the Catholic Church appeal to her, she told Barron.

“There are these strict rules and sometimes feel weird and intrusive but resonate with me, you know, from birth,” she said.

“The Catholic Church has all the gifts Christ wants his people to have,” Barron said, quoting his mentor, the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

“The Catholic Church has always stood on an integrity to the moral life, there’s a form to the moral life,” Barron said. “And so, we can construe them as, you know, oppressive rules, or we can see them as an ancient tradition grounded in the Bible grounded in Jesus is telling us about who we are and what the good life looks like and how to pursue it.”

Kelly and Barron talked about how the rituals of the Church change us at the “cellular level,” such as genuflections and how we stand when we pray.

Kelly also affirmed Communion “actually is the Body of Christ,” leading to a further explanation of transubstantiation by the bishop.

“When we say the substance of the bread changes into the Body of Christ, the substance of the wine changes, it means at the deepest level of their being, they become what God says they are,” he said, wrapping up the segment.