Anyone here knowledgeable about St. Louis Archdiocese info on regularizing marriages?


#1

I'm in Illinois, but work on the St. Louis side a lot. A co-worker who is a decade or so older than I, with an ill wife, mentioned he and his spouse are each Catholic but with unresolved prior marriages. I encouraged him to look into regularizing the situation & explained I just went through all that myself about 5 years or so ago. He seems doubtful despite being a regular attender and despite having a relative associated somehow with vocations at the St. Louis Archdiocese. I don't want to be pushy--I CAN'T be pushy, we're at WORK, and there are expectations not to make a rear of oneself in workplaces. But this fellow seemed to appreciate my (hopefully) gentle encouragement to look into the matter. I can't help but feel like the Archdiocese probably has some literature on the issue which I could hand off to him to keep the idea in the back of his head. At some point, this ball is in HIS court. But, there's still some room to give him some material encouragement.


#2

His doubt could stem from a number of sources. Perhaps someone else has told him that they had a major problem with this archdiocese. Their view would have been subjective but your colleague may believe this archdiocese gives people a hard time on such issues. Another reason could be that he thinks the Church generally treats people badly in these situations. There is a lot of misinformation out there. His reluctance might be due to the fact that he doesn't really want to resolve the issue. There could be other reasons. It is difficult to know why he is reluctant.

I am sure that this archdiocese will have a web site. Do a search online for it. There may be a section on there about marriage that will provide the information you want.

A very good starting point for this man and his wife would be to go and see their parish priest and explain their situation to him. Their priest should know what steps to take in his archdiocese.


#3

[quote="flameburns623, post:1, topic:299964"]
I'm in Illinois, but work on the St. Louis side a lot. A co-worker who is a decade or so older than I, with an ill wife, mentioned he and his spouse are each Catholic but with unresolved prior marriages. I encouraged him to look into regularizing the situation & explained I just went through all that myself about 5 years or so ago. He seems doubtful despite being a regular attender and despite having a relative associated somehow with vocations at the St. Louis Archdiocese. I don't want to be pushy--I CAN'T be pushy, we're at WORK, and there are expectations not to make a rear of oneself in workplaces. But this fellow seemed to appreciate my (hopefully) gentle encouragement to look into the matter. I can't help but feel like the Archdiocese probably has some literature on the issue which I could hand off to him to keep the idea in the back of his head. At some point, this ball is in HIS court. But, there's still some room to give him some material encouragement.

[/quote]

is it possible that he is doubtful because probably he knows that his marriage is invalid and that there is only a really tiny possibility to regularize it? Probably he understands what an annulment really means and probably he is not willing to deal with it because he would be force to face a very difficult reality. Sometime people prefer to be unsure than knowing an uncomfortable truth.

My suggestion is that you just find a minimal set of references (e.g. a contact name and maybe a book title) and then leave him alone. If he is interested he will ask for more help and if he is not then he will still appreciate you for your Christian support and your discretion.


#4

On the Archdiocese of St. Louis' website, their Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal spells out the annulment process. You could direct your friend there.

It doesn't appear they have their own specific pamphlet. our Sunday Visitor publishes a pamphlet on annulments that gives the general info, if you want something physical to hand him.

Christiano is right. You might just try giving him the phone number for the Tribunal Office (314-792-7400) and if he has any questions, he'll let you know. He might need time to process the idea by himself. If you're too in-your-face, he might just dismiss it.


#5

Canon lawyers Pete Vere and Ed Peters have inexpensive books on annulments:

amazon.com/Annulment-100-Questions-Answers-Catholics/dp/0867168730/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348759585&sr=8-1&keywords=pete+vere
"'Annulment: 100 Questions and Answers for Catholics' by Pete Vere and Jacqui Rapp"

amazon.com/Annulments-Catholic-Church-Edward-Peters/dp/1932645004/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y
"'Annulments and the Catholic Church' by Edward N. Peters"


#6

Thanks for the responses. Since my co-worker has a relative who is a priest at the Archdiocese--the co-worker has resources available to tap into if he so elects. He IS skeptical of a favorable outcome from the Archdiocese, but from what I gather, never sought an annulment, on the assumption it was unlikely. Who knows why? Or, if he tried but doesn't care to discusss it with a casual acquaintance? His wife's prior marriage,to a Protestant, outside of the RCC, sounds fixable, to me. That's why my own prior marriage could be annulled. His own marriage, I don't know about. Since he hasn't tried, he can't really know. I'm just trying to be an encourager here. Thanks for the help!


#7

It can be difficult to resolve. If both of their prior marriages were without Catholic Church approval, and they were both Catholic at that time, then the marriages were not-existing. It seems that is the case for the wife, but what of him, was it an approved Catholic marriage?

Assuming they were both Catholic from infancy, and never formally defected between 1983 and 2011 (if the marriage attempts took place at that time).


#8

The co-worker himself married IN THE CHURCH, at 20; divorced at 32. He's well into his 60's, so working with round estimates, was married twixt 1968 and 1980. Why that comes into play is a bit obscure for me but in any case, I'm not a canon lawyer. MY experience in regularizing MY marriage was pleasant and quick, because my marriage and that of my spouse were outside the Church, with the added wrinkle that we established easily that my wife has never been baptised. MY CO-WORKER's situation doesn't reflect mine. He guesstimated that if anything could be done 't'all, based on experiences of other friends, it would take two or three years. Which--given the decades of time he has been either out of the Church entirely or attending but ineligible for sacraments--ain't really a lot of time.


#9

Just recollected the only situation close to the one my co-worker is facing. My godmother's son, who was roughly an age with my co-worker, had married in the Church at about 19, was married for around 8 years, divorced, and civilly-married a divorced non-Catholic girl. The girl opted to convert, but it took years upon years to regularize the marriages, especially the Catholic spouses' marriage. I was a teenage convert, and I think it took from a couple years prior to the time I was received into the Church in 1976 till I was already in the Army in 1978 before all this got thrashed-out. (My godmother had wanted me to attend whatever celebration they had when Marcia got baptised and Steve & Marcia had their marriage regularized--but I was away when it finally happened). Anyhow: Steve's case suggests to me that situations like this CAN have a positive resolution: but of course, the cases are bound to be different in some respects.


#10

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