O’Donnell Appointed Court Expert by Colorado Springs Bishop for 2012
As a Professor—trained in the pastoral arts and psychological sciences—Reverend Michael O’Donnell, Ph.D., has been appointed by Most Reverend (Bishop) Michael Sheridan, S.Th.D., to provide expert testimony to the Catholic Church’s Tribunal (i.e., marriage court) of the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
Father O’Donnell, functioning in the role of “Court Expert” under the authority of Reverend (Monsignor) Ricardo Coronado-Arrascue, J.C.D., Diocesan Judicial Vicar and Chancellor, will assist in assessing the validity of weddings that have ended in divorce because of a “lack of due discretion of judgment”—which is principally concerned with the maturity and understanding that the couple originally brought to the wedding ceremony.
Since, in the opinion of Canon Law, this ordinary capacity of “due discretion” is susceptible to various mental illnesses (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), Father O’Donnell will give a professional opinion as to whether or not there is sufficient grounds for nullifying the marriage vows of the couple in question.
About “Court Expert”
Fr. Michael O’Donnell, Ph.D., is the Chief Stewardship Officer with Catholic Charities—the social service arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs. Catholic Charities provides help and creates hope for people who are poor and vulnerable in our area through the efforts of a wide range of programs and services. He also serves as the Counselor Referral Coordinator for the Diocese.
As an Episcopal priest, Michael is married to Rachel, a principal with The Classical Academy, and they have two grown children—Patrick and Kayla. They have been married for over 25 years and in 1991 lost an infant daughter, Cara, to a birth defect. Home from Oz (Word) and The Oz Syndrome (Hillcrest) were books that Michael penned shortly after her death that helped him to process her early passing.
A Best-Selling author or co-author of nearly 10 books, Michael’s latest book, What a Son Needs from His Dad (Baker/Bethany House Publishers), has already–-in just a few months–-gone into its 3rd printing; and his monthly column in The Colorado Catholic Herald has just won a Catholic Press Association (National) Award for 2012.
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