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  #1  
Old Dec 28, '11, 8:37 am
mathematoons mathematoons is offline
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Default Divorce and celibacy

I'm trying to evangelize to a man who is on his second marriage. I know that marriages between non-Catholics are generally valid, so if he converts, he and his wife will have to live as brother and sister, unless he can get an annulment. But suppose he can't. How can I, especially as someone who chose celibacy before converting, tell him he has to give up sex forever? That's not going to make the faith appealing to him.

I don't pretend to understand why some people would rather go to Hell than give up sex, so I'm stumped on this one. (I think people who refuse to convert because of a cherished sin forfeit invincible ignorance.)
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  #2  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:27 am
silicasandra silicasandra is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathematoons View Post
I'm trying to evangelize to a man who is on his second marriage. I know that marriages between non-Catholics are generally valid, so if he converts, he and his wife will have to live as brother and sister, unless he can get an annulment. But suppose he can't. How can I, especially as someone who chose celibacy before converting, tell him he has to give up sex forever? That's not going to make the faith appealing to him.

I don't pretend to understand why some people would rather go to Hell than give up sex, so I'm stumped on this one. (I think people who refuse to convert because of a cherished sin forfeit invincible ignorance.)
I think you could be wrong about that. Often it's because they feel so strongly about the issue that they think that the Church must not be the one true faith, after all.

I'm not sure it would be your place to tell this person anything about how to conduct his sex life. He will discover it on his own as he explores the faith and it will probably be addressed by a priest in RCIA if he decided to go that route.
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  #3  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:31 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathematoons View Post
I'm trying to evangelize to a man who is on his second marriage. I know that marriages between non-Catholics are generally valid, so if he converts, he and his wife will have to live as brother and sister, unless he can get an annulment. .)
get your facts straight before you try to evangelize on this issue. Marriages between two non-Catholics who are otherwise free to marry are presumed valid until proven otherwise. You are probably not in a position to advise someone in their particular marriage situation unless you are the priest who is receiving them into the church and has interviewed them to ascertain all the facts surrounding their marriage. Yes if he was divorced and has since remarried, with the first wife still living, there may be an issue, but that is for the priest to determine. You serve him best by getting him to see the priest.
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  #4  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:41 am
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

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Originally Posted by mathematoons View Post
I'm trying to evangelize to a man who is on his second marriage.
Being that divorce is so widely practiced, I've wondered that same thing about the conversion process.

The non-Catholic Christian man whom I have conversations with about Scripture, he has three children. Two from his second wife and one from his first.

I foresee this man possibly studying himself into Catholicism only to be hit with the consequences and implications of his remarriage.
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  #5  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:43 am
mathematoons mathematoons is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
Yes if he was divorced and has since remarried, with the first wife still living, there may be an issue, but that is for the priest to determine. You serve him best by getting him to see the priest.
But that's exactly my problem. He doesn't even want to consider the Catholic faith for that reason.
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  #6  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:51 am
catharina catharina is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
get your facts straight before you try to evangelize on this issue. Marriages between two non-Catholics who are otherwise free to marry are presumed valid until proven otherwise. You are probably not in a position to advise someone in their particular marriage situation unless you are the priest who is receiving them into the church and has interviewed them to ascertain all the facts surrounding their marriage. Yes if he was divorced and has since remarried, with the first wife still living, there may be an issue, but that is for the priest to determine. You serve him best by getting him to see the priest.
YES.
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  #7  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:52 am
Suslar Suslar is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

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Originally Posted by Barbkw View Post
. . . . I foresee this man possibly studying himself into Catholicism only to be hit with the consequences and implications of his remarriage.
Consequences are not a bad thing . . . . working through his situation and having to wrestle with his past (and perhaps even his future) might be a great source of grace for him. He would always be able to call the local Tribunal office for the diocese he lives in and ask questions about his situation and what options exist. As posted above, none of us can really comment about specific circumstances because we just don't know (and have no need to know) the details nor do most of us have backgrounds in canon law to evaluate properly.
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  #8  
Old Dec 28, '11, 10:13 am
Castello Castello is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

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Originally Posted by Suslar View Post
Consequences are not a bad thing . . . . working through his situation and having to wrestle with his past (and perhaps even his future) might be a great source of grace for him. He would always be able to call the local Tribunal office for the diocese he lives in and ask questions about his situation and what options exist. As posted above, none of us can really comment about specific circumstances because we just don't know (and have no need to know) the details nor do most of us have backgrounds in canon law to evaluate properly.
Amen. For me it was something different, to learn what the actual Christian teaching on sexuality is - that masturbation is not okay (they way many non-denominational preachers taught it was), that ABC was a grave sin, I sat and wept bitterly knowing how I had been deceived by the lies.
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  #9  
Old Dec 28, '11, 10:19 am
Suslar Suslar is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

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Originally Posted by Castello View Post
Amen. For me it was something different, to learn what the actual Christian teaching on sexuality is - that masturbation is not okay (they way many non-denominational preachers taught it was), that ABC was a grave sin, I sat and wept bitterly knowing how I had been deceived by the lies.
Castello, I would guess that your experience in coming to terms with Truth has given you a much more open and compassionate heart for those who are experiencing similar things. Isn't God amazing? From our greatest sources of pain, He not only delivers us, but allows us to minister to others with real compassion.
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  #10  
Old Dec 28, '11, 10:42 am
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joanofarc2008 joanofarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

Your best bet is to suggest he talk openly with a priest on this matter. It may also be best he goes through the declaration of nullity process prior to conversion as this could be a non-issue if a declaration of nullity is granted or even needed. The point is that there simply is not enough information given to know if one is even needed. Most RCIA programs will suggest that the process be at least started prior to being recieved. Also RCIA is a process of discernment not a process of joining. So if at any time he is not comfortable or does not feel that this is the right decision I guarantee no Catholic will drag him to the altar kicking and screaming against his free will. God does not do this and therefore no Catholic should. I know of people that have spent years in RCIA waiting for decrees. Also in some diocese those trying to enter the Church are given special priority in order. It depends on a number of circumstances that you are simply not going to be able to answer for him and neither are we.
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  #11  
Old Dec 29, '11, 6:41 am
mathematoons mathematoons is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

What no one seems to be understanding is that he WILL NOT consider coming to the Church because of the risk that he MIGHT have to give up sex. It's that important to him. Plus he was raised Catholic and left the faith as soon as he was old enough to leave home, so he knows the deal.

Is there anything I can do to help him change his mind?
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  #12  
Old Dec 29, '11, 6:49 am
catharina catharina is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathematoons View Post
What no one seems to be understanding is that he WILL NOT consider coming to the Church because of the risk that he MIGHT have to give up sex. It's that important to him. Plus he was raised Catholic and left the faith as soon as he was old enough to leave home, so he knows the deal.

Is there anything I can do to help him change his mind?
Sure. You can pray for him.
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  #13  
Old Dec 29, '11, 7:42 am
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joanofarc2008 joanofarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

If he was raised Catholic, chances are he was baptized Catholic. Now where was he married. If he was baptized Catholic and not married in a Catholic Church this is a non-issue. This is what we are all trying to tell you about getting him to someone who can look into these things.
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  #14  
Old Dec 29, '11, 8:12 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

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Originally Posted by mathematoons View Post
Is there anything I can do to help him change his mind?
you can get him talking to a priest who can answer his questions as they apply to his specific situation so he is thinking and acting from knowledge, not from presupposition and assumptions which may not apply in his case. there is simply not enough info to make any statement about this particular couple, there are at least a dozen variables to consider. His best answer will come by talking to a priest, not by random guesswork here.
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  #15  
Old Dec 29, '11, 9:28 am
blueadept blueadept is offline
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Default Re: Divorce and celibacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathematoons View Post
What no one seems to be understanding is that he WILL NOT consider coming to the Church because of the risk that he MIGHT have to give up sex. It's that important to him. Plus he was raised Catholic and left the faith as soon as he was old enough to leave home, so he knows the deal.

Is there anything I can do to help him change his mind?
If he is not willing to talk to a priest about this, may I suggest a book "Divorced. Catholic. Now What?" It gives a very positive message of the correct understanding of the stance of the church and that God does have a plan for him to be at peace and to be happy in this life. After reading that, maybe he will reconsider talking to a priest about his situation.

My 2 cents.

I've found the book very helpful in trying to find peace and happiness in regards to my own divorce. It's obviously a tough time to deal with, but the bottom line is that God hasn't left us and He really wants us to find that peace and happiness with Him.
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