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  #1  
Old Sep 20, '10, 6:17 pm
belange belange is offline
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Join Date: August 15, 2010
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Default Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

Hello, everyone,
I have a question that I never thought I would be asking. I am a non-Catholic (although I am actively investigating converting) and my soon-to-be ex-son-in-law is interested in converting to Catholicism. He told my daughter that they need to have their marriage annuled in order for him to convert. Is this true? They are in the process of obtaining a divorce. I don't know if what he has said is a fact or not. Can anyone please clear this up for me? I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but they have a child together.
Thank you!
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  #2  
Old Sep 20, '10, 7:15 pm
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tr1strev tr1strev is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

No, anyone can convert provided that they go through the RCIA process. It doesn't matter if you are separated of have had a divorce in the past. That all will be discussed and dealt with, usually with a first reconcilliation. The Church doesn't close its doors to those seeking entrance because of a divorce.
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  #3  
Old Sep 20, '10, 7:20 pm
mswood mswood is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

He would only need an annulment if he converted and wished to remarry in the future.
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  #4  
Old Sep 20, '10, 7:23 pm
Catholic1954 Catholic1954 is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

You need an annulment in order to remarry in the Catholic Church, someone divorced, but not remarried would not need one to enter the Church. Since annulments are very personal and handeled on a case by case basis, you need to consult a priest to for advice on any particular situation. Children are not really considered one way or another, the annulment consentrates on just the marriage. Welcome Home to you and your Son-in-law!!
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  #5  
Old Sep 20, '10, 7:26 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

No, a decree of nullity is not required of a divorced person (who is single) in order to enter the Church. If a non-Catholic had divorced and remarried, this would be a different matter.

However, even for divorced persons who are not "remarried", often priests and others associated with RCIA will encourage a non-Catholic to go through the nullity process before, or simultaneously with, their inquiry into the Church.

This is because there is always a chance that the marriage will be found VALID and the non-Catholic needs to understand what that means-- they can never marry as long as their spouse is alive.

Many non-Catholics will decide not to become Catholic when presented with this hard reality or worse, those who've already entered the Church will leave!

So, wisely, a priest might counsel a person inquiring into the faith to go through the nullity process-- if there are sufficient grounds-- so that they can know their canonical status with certainty.

But, again, it's not required that they ever petition for a decree of nullity.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #6  
Old Sep 21, '10, 1:17 am
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Tietjen Tietjen is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belange View Post
Hello, everyone,
I have a question that I never thought I would be asking. I am a non-Catholic (although I am actively investigating converting) and my soon-to-be ex-son-in-law is interested in converting to Catholicism. He told my daughter that they need to have their marriage annuled in order for him to convert. Is this true? They are in the process of obtaining a divorce. I don't know if what he has said is a fact or not. Can anyone please clear this up for me? I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but they have a child together.
Thank you!
Nope. This is untrue.
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Tietjen
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  #7  
Old Sep 21, '10, 4:24 pm
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Patrick Joshua Patrick Joshua is offline
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Join Date: June 18, 2010
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Religion: Catholic (Latin Rite)
Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

Quote:
I am a non-Catholic (although I am actively investigating converting) and my soon-to-be ex-son-in-law is interested in converting to Catholicism.
Praise God, you and your son-in-law are coming home!

All my wished for your conversion process
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  #8  
Old Sep 23, '10, 11:36 am
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

Just to take it one step farther - if the person converting were remarried without benefit of anullment than yes they would need one - because they would be married to two different people and not able to partake of the Eucharist and therefore unable to complete their Sacraments of Initiation. What everyone else said is correct but just wanted to give the why.
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  #9  
Old Sep 27, '10, 1:23 pm
JMo68 JMo68 is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

So what if you are divorced, complete RCIA and become Catholic, then remarry later?
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  #10  
Old Sep 27, '10, 4:29 pm
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Need annulment to convert to Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo68 View Post
So what if you are divorced, complete RCIA and become Catholic, then remarry later?
You will not be able to remarry without the anullment as

a) as a divorced person in the Church you cannot date as your marriage is presumed valid unless a finding of non-validity has been made- not dating makes getting married difficult or impossible

b) you cannot enter into the Sacrament of Marriage in the Church when you are already considered married - which you will be without a decree of nullity - which you can get at that time but if it does not go trough there will be a whole lot of heartache

c) Once you are a Catholic you must be married in the Church unless you receive dispensation from the Bishop to marry outside of it - but regardless you will not receive dispensation of any kind to enter into an invalid marriage - if you do marry in a courthouse you will be cutting yourself off from the Eucharist.
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