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  #1  
Old Nov 28, '12, 3:23 pm
AndromedusO AndromedusO is offline
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Default Annulment Question

My fiance is Russion Orthodox. She married a (non-practicing) Catholic some years ago. The marriage was a justice of the peace (civil only, no clergy present). They divorced, also some years ago. This was the first "marriage" of either of the two.

My understanding is that if one of the spouses is Catholic, then the marriage is invalid if the form was lacking, which in this case it would have been as a result of there being no clergy, among other things (I've also read that this can be extended to Orthodox Christians as well).

I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on this situation. I had in fact initiated the annulment in one diocese, and the tribunal head indicated that he believed it would be a short matter, but he had to travel to Rome and I had to move, so he told me that I would have to restart the annulment in my new diocese. You can imagine my frustration... It's worth noting that he went to Rome and I moved before he had a chance to actually receive the documents of the annulment (various declarations, marriage cert, divorce cert, etc.).

Additionally, does anyone here know what happens when the previous (Catholic) spouse refuses to participate? He has refused to give the name of the church he was baptised in (something the original diocese requested), and said he would not answer any more questions about it. Again, imagine my frustration...
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  #2  
Old Nov 28, '12, 4:07 pm
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Nan S Nan S is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndromedusO View Post
Additionally, does anyone here know what happens when the previous (Catholic) spouse refuses to participate? He has refused to give the name of the church he was baptised in (something the original diocese requested), and said he would not answer any more questions about it. Again, imagine my frustration...
If the ex refuses to cooperate someone else in his family may be willing to provide the information.

Simply knowing the city and approximate date may be enough to find the records. In most cases Catholic babies are baptized soon after birth, in a church near their parents' home. You can start by contacting the diocese where he was born.
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  #3  
Old Nov 28, '12, 4:25 pm
AndromedusO AndromedusO is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

From what I have read, I'm now realizing that it may not even matter if the Catholic ex wishes to participate, because she is Orthodox. The Catholic Church actually recognizes Orthodox sacraments as valid, including form requirements in marriage (the only church that it recognizes) and therefore if either participant is Orthodox, then Orthodox form must be adhered to. As a result, if she can provide her birth certificate, then her ex's does not matter.

This would explain why the Judicial Vicar wanted her baptismal certificate (which we have), a piece of the puzzle I hadn't put together.
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  #4  
Old Nov 28, '12, 6:39 pm
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Steveabrous Steveabrous is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndromedusO View Post
My fiance is Russion Orthodox. She married a (non-practicing) Catholic some years ago. The marriage was a justice of the peace (civil only, no clergy present). They divorced, also some years ago. This was the first "marriage" of either of the two.

My understanding is that if one of the spouses is Catholic, then the marriage is invalid if the form was lacking, which in this case it would have been as a result of there being no clergy, among other things (I've also read that this can be extended to Orthodox Christians as well).

I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on this situation. I had in fact initiated the annulment in one diocese, and the tribunal head indicated that he believed it would be a short matter, but he had to travel to Rome and I had to move, so he told me that I would have to restart the annulment in my new diocese. You can imagine my frustration... It's worth noting that he went to Rome and I moved before he had a chance to actually receive the documents of the annulment (various declarations, marriage cert, divorce cert, etc.).

Additionally, does anyone here know what happens when the previous (Catholic) spouse refuses to participate? He has refused to give the name of the church he was baptised in (something the original diocese requested), and said he would not answer any more questions about it. Again, imagine my frustration...
O.K. First of all, a marriage between two baptised christians is considered valid regardless of who married them. however, there is a litany of other circumstances that could still render the Marriage null. 80% of all annulements go through so take a sigh of relief. Also breath easier that if the none petitioning party(that's her ex) refuses to cooperate (like my ex-wife) it doesn't affect it at all. In fact if the other party doesn't respond they simply take your word for it and consider only your side of the story. So it's actually better if they don't. And the church realizes they probably won't
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  #5  
Old Nov 28, '12, 7:25 pm
AndromedusO AndromedusO is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveabrous View Post
O.K. First of all, a marriage between two baptised christians is considered valid regardless of who married them. however, there is a litany of other circumstances that could still render the Marriage null. 80% of all annulements go through so take a sigh of relief. Also breath easier that if the none petitioning party(that's her ex) refuses to cooperate (like my ex-wife) it doesn't affect it at all. In fact if the other party doesn't respond they simply take your word for it and consider only your side of the story. So it's actually better if they don't. And the church realizes they probably won't
I'm not sure what you are trying to say in your first statement. There is a presumption of validity, but it has nothing to do with whether the couple is Christian or baptised. All marriages taken in good faith are presumed valid until proven otherwise. It is only Catholics (and Orthodox, I've learned) who have the requirement of "form" when wedded. A Justice of the Peace would be considered valid for two non-Catholics, for example, but not between two Catholics in any sense other than the legal one.
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  #6  
Old Nov 28, '12, 7:53 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveabrous View Post
O.K. First of all, a marriage between two baptised christians is considered valid regardless of who married them. however, there is a litany of other circumstances that could still render the Marriage null. 80% of all annulements go through so take a sigh of relief. Also breath easier that if the none petitioning party(that's her ex) refuses to cooperate (like my ex-wife) it doesn't affect it at all. In fact if the other party doesn't respond they simply take your word for it and consider only your side of the story. So it's actually better if they don't. And the church realizes they probably won't
For a Catholic there is not even a putative marriage unless it was celebrated according to canonical form. No 'annulment' required, although most North American dioceses will have these cases go through the Tribunal for administrative processing.
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  #7  
Old Nov 28, '12, 8:43 pm
Burdensome1 Burdensome1 is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Andromedus, it sounds to me like your grasp of your situation already far exceeds the general level of knowledge about marriage on this site AND of course ultimately answers only come from the tribunal.
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  #8  
Old Nov 29, '12, 4:29 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Yes, you are correct regarding the requirement of form for Orthodox marriages.

Note, if you two are to be married it will have to be in the Orthodox Church unless she converts to the Catholic Church-- and even then it may need to be in the corresponding Eastern Rite.

So, not only do you need someone familiar with the Orthodox for the freedom to marry inquiry but also for your own mariage preparation.
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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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  #9  
Old Nov 29, '12, 6:25 am
dans0622 dans0622 is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
...Note, if you two are to be married it will have to be in the Orthodox Church unless she converts to the Catholic Church-- and even then it may need to be in the corresponding Eastern Rite.
....
Hello,

I've never heard of this requirement before. Would you happen to have a source? My understanding of the requirements is that a "sacred minister" would have to "intervene" but that sacred minister could be a Latin Catholic priest (cf. c. 1127.1). Having the wedding in the Orthodox Church, though, is not necessary--as far as I know.

Dan
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  #10  
Old Nov 29, '12, 6:33 am
Just Lurking Just Lurking is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by dans0622 View Post
Having the wedding in the Orthodox Church, though, is not necessary--as far as I know.
I thought it was necessary from the point of view of the Orthodox Church, for them to consider the marriage valid.
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  #11  
Old Nov 29, '12, 6:51 am
dans0622 dans0622 is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Lurking View Post
I thought it was necessary from the point of view of the Orthodox Church, for them to consider the marriage valid.
Hello,

I think (I am far from an expert in Orthodox law) it is more common that they would not speak in terms of "valid/invalid" even as they would consider a person who married outside of their Church to be excommunicated or "not in good standing" in their Church (cf., e.g., http://oca.org/questions/sacramentma...atholic-church )

That being said, I do think it might be wise for the OP to marry in the Orthodox Church even though I don't think it is necessary for validity. That would make "them" happy and it would be valid for "us" (Catholics)....

Dan
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  #12  
Old Nov 29, '12, 6:53 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by dans0622 View Post
Hello,

I've never heard of this requirement before. Would you happen to have a source? My understanding of the requirements is that a "sacred minister" would have to "intervene" but that sacred minister could be a Latin Catholic priest (cf. c. 1127.1). Having the wedding in the Orthodox Church, though, is not necessary--as far as I know.

Dan
It is necessary in order for it to be valid for the Orthodox fiancee (Orthodox do not allow dispensation to marry elsewhere), and in turn for the marriage to be valid as a whole (since it can't just be valid for one party to the marriage).
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Pax, ke

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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  #13  
Old Nov 29, '12, 7:31 am
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by dans0622 View Post
Hello,

I've never heard of this requirement before. Would you happen to have a source? My understanding of the requirements is that a "sacred minister" would have to "intervene" but that sacred minister could be a Latin Catholic priest (cf. c. 1127.1). Having the wedding in the Orthodox Church, though, is not necessary--as far as I know.

Dan
See this document: When a Catholic Marries an Orthodox Christian (from the USCCB):

Quote:
As a general rule, the Orthodox do not allow their faithful to be married in a non-Orthodox ceremony. For example, the dialogue between Catholics and Eastern Orthodox in the United States has recommended that all weddings between their faithful take place in an Eastern Orthodox ceremony, since this is the only way the Orthodox party can remain in good standing in his or her church. If the Orthodox party does not practice his or her faith, a Catholic ceremony might be the best option.
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  #14  
Old Nov 29, '12, 7:36 am
bilop bilop is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
It is necessary in order for it to be valid for the Orthodox fiancee (Orthodox do not allow dispensation to marry elsewhere), and in turn for the marriage to be valid as a whole (since it can't just be valid for one party to the marriage).
Or the fiance can just become Russian Catholic.

God Bless
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  #15  
Old Nov 29, '12, 7:56 am
dans0622 dans0622 is offline
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Default Re: Annulment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
It is necessary in order for it to be valid for the Orthodox fiancee (Orthodox do not allow dispensation to marry elsewhere), and in turn for the marriage to be valid as a whole (since it can't just be valid for one party to the marriage).
Hello,

According to c. 1127.1, a Catholic is to marry an Eastern non-Catholic in observance of canonical form for liceity only ("...the canonical form of celebration is to be observed for lawfulness only..."). In other words, if a Catholic married an Eastern non-Catholic according to canonical form, it would be licit. Therefore, it would also, necessarily, be valid.

That being said, I certainly agree that having the marriage in the Orthodox Church--with proper permission being granted to the Catholic party--is a more ecumenically sensitive and wise approach. In that sense, the marriage "has to" happen in their Church. [Thanks for the link, SuscipeMeDomine.]

Dan
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