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  #1  
Old Jan 6, '13, 1:47 am
CTuck CTuck is offline
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Default How do YOU respond?

I've met quite a few people who have been married and divorced, and many of them are "re-married." A good many of my relatives fit in here; people to whose house I was sent to stay at when I was a kid. It made no difference to me, mostly because I didn't understand and was just plain oblivious to it all. But now, I'm finding it hard to fit in a world that wants me to act like it doesn't bother me. I'll lay out a few scenario questions.

1. I know a guy who says he was married once, divorced, and is now married to someone else. He has a very nice family, but I'm finding it hard to recognize the woman he calls his wife as such, because I know the history. Would I be compromising my Catholicity by referring to her as his wife, or coming over to their house for dinner?

2. Many of my relatives are in the same situation as the previous guy. If they were to come to my house for a visit, would I be wrong to accomodate them with the same room?

I'm very confused. How am I supposed to look at it all? I don't exactly know how to approach all the people who seem to have no qualms about taking vows and getting a divorce when I DO! Am I missing something?
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  #2  
Old Jan 6, '13, 5:03 am
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Sirach2 Sirach2 is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTuck View Post
1. I know a guy who says he was married once, divorced, and is now married to someone else. He has a very nice family, but I'm finding it hard to recognize the woman he calls his wife as such, because I know the history. Would I be compromising my Catholicity by referring to her as his wife, or coming over to their house for dinner?
Legally, she is his wife and the title is correct - even though it was a civil ceremony. The state recognizes the marriage and if he were to separate or divorce her, there would be consequences in court.

Quote:
2. Many of my relatives are in the same situation as the previous guy. If they were to come to my house for a visit, would I be wrong to accomodate them with the same room?
See # 1's answer.

Quote:
I'm very confused. How am I supposed to look at it all? I don't exactly know how to approach all the people who seem to have no qualms about taking vows and getting a divorce when I DO! Am I missing something?
Do you know for a fact whether or not they had an annulment granted before remarriage? If not, and the subject comes up, you can enourage them to pursue it and validate their second marriage. Otherwise, shaking the finger of shame or isolating them would not be prudent, for they already know what the situation is. Just pray for them and be gracious, as Christ would do toward any sinner, with the hope that some day your words of encouragement may produce a good effect.

It may help to consider Jesus' dealing with the woman at the well.
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  #3  
Old Jan 6, '13, 8:14 am
yellowbird yellowbird is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirach2 View Post
Legally, she is his wife and the title is correct - even though it was a civil ceremony. The state recognizes the marriage and if he were to separate or divorce her, there would be consequences in court.



See # 1's answer.



Do you know for a fact whether or not they had an annulment granted before remarriage? If not, and the subject comes up, you can enourage them to pursue it and validate their second marriage. Otherwise, shaking the finger of shame or isolating them would not be prudent, for they already know what the situation is. Just pray for them and be gracious, as Christ would do toward any sinner, with the hope that some day your words of encouragement may produce a good effect.

It may help to consider Jesus' dealing with the woman at the well.
I agree with your answer - it's what I would do for sure.

Pray for them, encourage them, be gracious as Christ would toward any sinner.

I do find it interesting though that although sin = sin, heterosexual sins are treated so differently than homosexual sins. I wonder if any will post on this thread that these people are an abomination - and that their behavior is a disgusting form of abuse that they continually thrust in our faces?
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  #4  
Old Jan 6, '13, 9:18 am
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fixxer fixxer is offline
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Red face Re: How do YOU respond?

So many in my family are in the same situation, I work hard against the temptation to judge them. It is my greatest sin. If asked I answer honestly but because they all know how I feel they don't ask. I just love them and pray for them. I ask for their prayers for me and always strive to be a good example. I have to constantly remind myself I'm not the one in control of the world and that I should strive to take care of the things that I can control, and I pray that I do this in the right way. Ten years ago after waking from a 3 month coma after an auto accident in which I sustained permenant brain injury, I completely lost faith and refused to believe God even existed. Through it all, my family and friends prayed for me, not judging me but supporting me. Now I still remain disabled physically but spiritually I was healed. Through this miracle I have found my faith and it is stronger than it ever was! I realize God gives us gifts daily, all we have to do is remain open to Him and accept them! Let God control He will do what is best. He knows how to reach them it is up to them to respond. Your Prayers for them is the best thing you can do.

God Bless and Happy New Year!
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  #5  
Old Jan 6, '13, 10:38 am
PaulfromIowa PaulfromIowa is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

Are these people Catholic or other Christian? Were their previous (or current) marriages valid Christian marriages? Do they even know about Christ's teaching against divorce and remarriage? It is difficult or impossible for you to know all these things. Therefore, you should generally not judge the validity of other peoples' marriages as you do not know their circumstances.

If you have Catholic friends or relatives married outside the Church, should you offer them a bedroom in your home? This is a prudential matter. You should, of course, urge them to regularize their marriages with the Church so that they can receive the sacraments validly. This is often linked to the broader problem of being weak in faith so a good Christian witness and example on your part is important.
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  #6  
Old Jan 7, '13, 2:14 pm
BettyBoop416 BettyBoop416 is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

Quote:
I know a guy who says he was married once, divorced, and is now married to someone else. He has a very nice family, but I'm finding it hard to recognize the woman he calls his wife as such, because I know the history. Would I be compromising my Catholicity by referring to her as his wife, or coming over to their house for dinner?
Is this guy Catholic? If not, expecting him to embrace Catholic rules regarding marriage is not very realistic. Additionally, refusing to refer to his legal spouse as his wife would be pretty silly. Imagine that you are married and your friend who worships the god Thor discovered that you were not married according to the rules of his religion. Would you expect him to acknowledge wife? How would you feel if he refused?

Quote:
Many of my relatives are in the same situation as the previous guy. If they were to come to my house for a visit, would I be wrong to accomodate them with the same room?
A few years ago I went through a somewhat zealous stage where my Catholicism is concerned. During this period I was faced with a situation similar to the one you are asking about. A few relatives who were divorced and remarried were staying at my house and I tried to enforce Catholic rules on them. Yikes! What a mess. I'll never make that mistake again. If my guests are legally married, I don't care where they sleep.
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  #7  
Old Jan 7, '13, 5:08 pm
mcc804 mcc804 is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

I've had to deal with this as well.

My SIL was baptised and raised Catholic. She's on her 3rd non-Catholic "marriage."

My H uncle was baptised and raised Catholic. He's been married (Protestant weddings) and divorced twice and is living with another woman (the one he left his 2nd wife for).

My uncle was baptised and raised Eastern Orthodox. He's been married and divorced twice. First marriage civil ceremony. Second marriage Orthodox service. He has a girlfriend now.

A friend of my H's and potential future business partner, is Catholic and was married in the church 10 or 15 years ago (I don't know exactly when). He got a job far away from his and his wife's home state. They moved. Wife didn't like being away from friends and family. They separated. Eventually they obtained a civil divorce. Man was "single" for a number of years. He met another woman, he proposed marriage. She is also Catholic. However, they couldn't marry in the Church due to the fact that he was still married in the eyes of God. He looked into an annulment, decided it would take too long, and married his new bride in a civil ceremony at a country club.

Having fun yet? This doesn't include all the non Catholics married and divorced multiple times in multiple settings.

This has caused me no end of stress because of not wanting to act like everything was just hunky dory .. But I realized like the other posters that being polite and kind is not the same thing as showing approval for these awful circumstances.

Having them to dinner is one thing. Multply married and divorced Catholics sleeping under our roof ... that's an issue .. thankfully, everyone knows we practice our faith and it doesn't come up.

What can you do? You have to stick up for your principles, and if /when you have children you need to do the right thing as an example. How are you going to explain how Uncle John stayed over 2 years ago with his wife Kathy, and now he's here with his next wife, Debby ... ?

These folks make these decisions and it's their free will to do so, God help them. But then they shove it in our faces and we're the bad guys for not jumping up and down and holding a party for their latest romantic liasion.

Tough times.

Last edited by mcc804; Jan 7, '13 at 5:09 pm. Reason: Grammar
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  #8  
Old Jan 7, '13, 6:22 pm
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Cariethra Cariethra is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

My brother is in this situation. He has had 2 previous marriages. After marrying his current wife and having his second daughter, he came back to the church. He is afraid to seek an annulment and being denied. That fear keeps their marriage only a legal one. None of his other marriages were done in a church, they were all civil.

I see his situation as this; he is happy, and is closer to God now than ever before. I see him working hard to make his life holy and to bring his children closer to God. That is more important that an annulment.
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  #9  
Old Jan 7, '13, 6:38 pm
CTuck CTuck is offline
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Default Re: How do YOU respond?

Thanks for the responses everyone.

These people I talk about vary from not religious to Christian of some sort (no Catholics.)

I did have a guy I know who was raised Catholic but doesn't recognize himself as Catholic ask me to help him and his girlfriend move recently. I reasoned that doing so would be wrong so I politely refused. It is a hard issue to face. I still feel all too awkward about staying or even going over to a couple's house who is in this situation.

I guess what I'm really trying to see are my boundaries. Things I need to say 'No" to. Like I said, none of them are Catholic. Asking about an annulment would come out a bit strange I'm guessing.
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