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  #1  
Old Oct 14, '11, 12:49 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Defective convalidation?

My husband and I were married in a Protestant church 24 years ago. He was a divorced baptized Catholic who had been married to a baptized Catholic in a Catholic Church ceremony. I was unbaptized and not attending any church at the time of our "marriage". Over the next decade, I went through the RCIA program and realized I wanted our marriage to be recognized by the Church so I could receive the Sacraments. Fourteen years ago my husband was granted an annulment and we then had our marriage convalidated in the Church. I was baptized soon afterward. However, I recently read that if you didn't understand that the vows you took in a convalidation ceremony were brand new vows and not a renewal of vows, that your convalidation was defective. I don't think I truly understood this at the time and I don't think my Catholic husband did either. In our eyes we were married civilly but not blessed by the Church. I understand NOW we were living in sin but I don't think my husband has ever understood that, even now. Now I am terrified that our marriage is not valid! My faith is very important to me, and what I recently read is causing me much anxiety. Is my marriage valid or not?
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  #2  
Old Oct 14, '11, 1:46 am
Pfaffenhoffen Pfaffenhoffen is offline
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronica97 View Post
My husband and I were married in a Protestant church 24 years ago. He was a divorced baptized Catholic who had been married to a baptized Catholic in a Catholic Church ceremony. I was unbaptized and not attending any church at the time of our "marriage". Over the next decade, I went through the RCIA program and realized I wanted our marriage to be recognized by the Church so I could receive the Sacraments. Fourteen years ago my husband was granted an annulment and we then had our marriage convalidated in the Church. I was baptized soon afterward. However, I recently read that if you didn't understand that the vows you took in a convalidation ceremony were brand new vows and not a renewal of vows, that your convalidation was defective. I don't think I truly understood this at the time and I don't think my Catholic husband did either. In our eyes we were married civilly but not blessed by the Church. I understand NOW we were living in sin but I don't think my husband has ever understood that, even now. Now I am terrified that our marriage is not valid! My faith is very important to me, and what I recently read is causing me much anxiety. Is my marriage valid or not?


The problem is hard and should be solved by a canon law priest.
Meanwhile, be at peace. You are a godwill person.
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  #3  
Old Oct 14, '11, 2:37 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

On the other hand, I wore the veil from my first wedding and we had a cake and celebration afterwards. I also remember saying to my husband we needed to consummate the marriage that night. I'm just so confused!
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  #4  
Old Oct 14, '11, 2:47 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

BUT we've always celebrated our first anniversay and not the convalidation. Although even before I found out about the new vows issue, I had recently suggested to my husband that we start celebrating the convalidation anniversary.
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  #5  
Old Oct 14, '11, 3:52 am
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LilyM LilyM is offline
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

I would second the advice to talk to a priest if you're genuinely troubled, and take the following advice for what it's worth, me being a regular kinda lawyer but not a canon lawyer ...

"Canon 1156 §1. To convalidate a marriage which is invalid because of a diriment impediment, it is required that the impediment ceases or is dispensed and that at least the party conscious of the impediment renews consent."

"Canon 1157 The renewal of consent must be a new act of the will concerning a marriage which the renewing party knows or thinks was null from the beginning."

The fundamental question is actually what you were thinking when you convalidated. If you were insisting on wearing a veil and on consummation, not to mention thinking of changing anniversaries, it sure sounds to me like you were sufficiently aware that your first ceremony in some sense wasn't quite a 'true' marriage - which I should think would be enough for the convalidation to be valid.

At the same time, the language used by the Canon is 'renewal' of consent (implying that consent was actually given in the initial marriage, and is somehow given again, but this time in a sacramental way, at the convalidation).
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  #6  
Old Oct 14, '11, 4:49 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

A convalidation recognizes that a legal marriage exists but not a valid one in the Church. You knew your marriage was not valid since you couldn't receive Communion. You asked to make things right and you renewed your vows to make that happen. I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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  #7  
Old Oct 14, '11, 9:59 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

Actually I think my husband was the one who suggested the consummation--it's so hard to remember 14 years ago! I don't think I realized until recently that we had been living in sin prior to the convalidation--coming from a Protestant background I only knew that my marriage was not valid in the Catholic Church--the church I wanted very much to fully join. My husband, even though he grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school all the way through, still doesn't grasp many of the truths I have come to grasp, especially in the last few months. I have had a "spiritual awakening" so to speak. I do know that we both meant our vows at the convalidation and intended for this to be forever.
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  #8  
Old Oct 14, '11, 12:13 pm
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

I found this on the internet:

DEFECTIVE CONVALIDATION
This means that the couple was in an invalid marriage (usually due to a lack of canonical form), and later they had the marriage validated before a priest or deacon. However, this attempt at validation lacked something essential for marriage. Why? Some Catholics and practically every non-Catholic consider validations as mere “blessings” of a prior marriage, or simple ceremonies to be celebrated for the satisfaction of someone else. With this mentality, new consent (i.e. a new decision to marry) was not elicited as legally required (c. 1157). There must be a new act of the will together with knowledge or suspicion of nullity of the prior invalid bond (usually the civil ceremony). Please note that there has been a change in the law. In marriages that took place before November 27, 1983, (when the new Code came into effect), all baptized parties had to make this new commitment. After this date, only Catholics have to make this renewal of consent (c. 1156-1160).
However, whenever a non-Catholic convalidates marriage with a Catholic, the non-Catholic is bound to elicit new consent (c. 1059). In other words, the person(s) must recognize that the first ceremony was invalid, and must make a new act of consent to their partner. In this situation, the civil marriage has no canonical relevance.

With that in mind, I can say that we both KNEW our marriage was not valid in the eyes of the church and we both DESIRED for it to be. We were very happy to be "right" with the church. But I didn't think I was cheating with another woman's husband b/c they were civilly divorced, and I'm sure my husband didn't look at it that way either. Does this mean we had enough consent for our marriage to be valid in the eyes of the church?
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  #9  
Old Oct 14, '11, 12:18 pm
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Monica4316 Monica4316 is offline
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronica97 View Post
My husband and I were married in a Protestant church 24 years ago. He was a divorced baptized Catholic who had been married to a baptized Catholic in a Catholic Church ceremony. I was unbaptized and not attending any church at the time of our "marriage". Over the next decade, I went through the RCIA program and realized I wanted our marriage to be recognized by the Church so I could receive the Sacraments. Fourteen years ago my husband was granted an annulment and we then had our marriage convalidated in the Church. I was baptized soon afterward. However, I recently read that if you didn't understand that the vows you took in a convalidation ceremony were brand new vows and not a renewal of vows, that your convalidation was defective. I don't think I truly understood this at the time and I don't think my Catholic husband did either. In our eyes we were married civilly but not blessed by the Church. I understand NOW we were living in sin but I don't think my husband has ever understood that, even now. Now I am terrified that our marriage is not valid! My faith is very important to me, and what I recently read is causing me much anxiety. Is my marriage valid or not?

I think just ask a good priest. The worst that could happen is you having to convalidate your marriage again. Try not to worry.. just talk to a priest.

God bless
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  #10  
Old Oct 14, '11, 7:42 pm
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

Thank you--I have made an appointment to talk with our parish priest next week. I called him today and finally told him that I have been suffering from scrupulosity and now I also have concerns that my convalidation may not be valid. I would appreciate any prayers anyone can send up for me.
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  #11  
Old Oct 23, '11, 11:11 pm
Veronica97 Veronica97 is online now
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Default Re: Defective convalidation?

I spoke with my priest, who has worked on marriage cases in the Tribunal in the past. He said we are married in the eyes of the church, and based just on what I told him, we would not be able to get an annulment even if we wanted one! In other words, the marriage is valid and I can stop worrying.
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