Becoming a catholic but living with a catholic who has been divorced


#1

Hi
I would appreciate your help.
I have been baptised in a protestant church in Germany 40 years ago. When I came to New Zealand 19 years ago I met my current partner who was separating from his wife at the time. My partner and I have been living together for 19 years. We have got four beautiful children who have been baptized in a catholic church. Four years ago I felt a strong desire to join the Catholic Church. I felt the desire after the death of a very good friend. The feeling was overwhelming and unexpected. This is something that I thought would never happen to me but the desire became stronger and stronger. I approached the local Priest and participated in the "rite of Christian initiation for adults" RCIA at our local catholic church for two years. During that time I was told that I can only become a catholic if my partner goes through an annulment process. My partner and I have talked about this canonical procedure and my partner has decided that he does not want to go through this. He is also not interested in another marriage. I have to accept his decisions. His belief and actions are effected by a very strict upbringing in the catholic church and some very hurtful times during his first marriage.
However during the last year I have experienced great sadness when I am in the Church during Mess times, especially during Eucharist. I have watched other people who have participated in the RCIA being confirmed into the catholic church which has left me feeling sad and frustrated.
I have talked with different catholic people who do not understand why I am denied the wish to become catholic on the basis that my partner has been married before. If I was to leave my partner and my children I would be able to become a catholic. I don't want to believe that this is what the Church would propose that two people who love each other separate.
I believe that my partners descision to not try for an annulment should have nothing to do with my desire to join the catholic church.
At the moment I am an active memeber at local catholic church. I have participated in all of our children's communion preparation. I take our children to church and foster their faith. Not being able to become a catholic feels like punishment to me though I am doing the right things.
I would appreciate any advise you can give me.


#2

Until it is proven otherwise in a Marriage Tribunal, your partner is a married man, and he is married to someone else - not to you.

He can assert that this is not the case if he wants to, but until the Tribunal process has been completed, it's only his personal opinion.

I know that that's very difficult to hear, and that it's not what you wanted to hear - however, it is the truth.

For the sake of the children, you obviously can't leave him, but at the same time, there is no way that either you or he can receive the Sacraments, until this issue has been resolved.


#3

I am sure the pair of you love each other or you would not have made it 19 years. The question is, how much does he love you and how much do you love him.

Do you love him enough to help him stop committing a mortal sin? (Adultery) Does he love you enough to help you stop committing the same mortal sin?

Do you love each other enough to deny your own sexual pleasure so that your partner can go to heaven?

Do you love your children enough to take your relationship to God and the Church and make it legitimate?

You are correct that if you leave your partner, you can receive the Eucharist. But you won't be receiving the Eucharist because you tore your family apart. You would be receiving the Eucharist because you left behind a mortal sin so that you could embrace eternal Husband, Christ.

Did your partner ever express why he doesn't wish to have his first marriage declared null? Something is amiss if he would rather be married to his first wife, whom he never sees, than be married to you, the woman who cares for him daily, shares children with him, and shares a life with him.


#4

I hope you understand I really mean this in a loving way

[quote="Rodewald, post:1, topic:234180"]
. His belief and actions are effected by a very strict upbringing in the catholic church and some very hurtful times during his first marriage..

[/quote]

If after 19 years, his first marriage can still affect his beliefs and actions, he is NOT over his first wife and whether you see it or not, it IS interfering with your relationship with him. His first wife is still very present in his life and you deserve to be number 1

[quote="Rodewald, post:1, topic:234180"]
. . I don't want to believe that this is what the Church would propose that two people who love each other separate.
.

[/quote]

The Catholic religion is not a secular romance novel. The search for 'true love' they way Hollywood wants us to believe is nothing but a myth. The Catholic religion wants to bring people closer to God so we can know His love. We can not truly know God's love if we are in sin

CM


#5

I am so sorry but there seems to be something missing here - if he truly loved you as the mother of his children than he should want everything for you that is good for you including the religious, sacramental life you desire. This should include setting the right example for your children by providing the example of a married mother and father not a mother who is left as the other woman to a woman who is already his wife. Please for your own sake talk to him and make sure he understands how important this is. God bless.


#6

He is also not interested in another marriage?

Honestly, how does that make you feel?


#7

[quote="Rodewald, post:1, topic:234180"]
Hi
I would appreciate your help.
I have been baptised in a protestant church in Germany 40 years ago. When I came to New Zealand 19 years ago I met my current partner who was separating from his wife at the time. My partner and I have been living together for 19 years. We have got four beautiful children who have been baptized in a catholic church. Four years ago I felt a strong desire to join the Catholic Church. I felt the desire after the death of a very good friend. The feeling was overwhelming and unexpected. This is something that I thought would never happen to me but the desire became stronger and stronger. I approached the local Priest and participated in the "rite of Christian initiation for adults" RCIA at our local catholic church for two years. During that time I was told that I can only become a catholic if my partner goes through an annulment process.

[/quote]

This is not entirely accurate. You can become Catholic whether he gets an annulment or not...What you cannot do is to be Catholic and continue to live together as husband and wife under the current conditions.

My partner and I have talked about this canonical procedure and my partner has decided that he does not want to go through this. He is also not interested in another marriage.

The annulment procedure CAN be frightening and troubling. But what troubles me more is that he is unwilling to do this for your spiritual well being. It does not speak well of his love for you. If I may make a suggestion (it helped me some years ago), see if you can get ahold of the annulment questionaire...If you and he were to go over it, along with reviewing what the Church considers grounds for an annulment, it might lessen his concerns.

Of course that does not get us past the second problem...He loves you but is unwilling to marry you (even civilly)....:confused: Not good...

I have to accept his decisions. His belief and actions are effected by a very strict upbringing in the catholic church and some very hurtful times during his first marriage.

You may have to accept his decision on this, but then he might just have to accept your decision on this as well

However during the last year I have experienced great sadness when I am in the Church during Mess times, especially during Eucharist. I have watched other people who have participated in the RCIA being confirmed into the catholic church which has left me feeling sad and frustrated.

This sadness is because your partner is forcing you to choose between where he wants you ( for what I believe are selfish reasons) and where God wants you (for your own good).

I have talked with different catholic people who do not understand why I am denied the wish to become catholic on the basis that my partner has been married before. If I was to leave my partner and my children I would be able to become a catholic. I don't want to believe that this is what the Church would propose that two people who love each other separate.
I believe that my partners descision to not try for an annulment should have nothing to do with my desire to join the catholic church.

As I explained above - your partner's decision has Nothing to do with your ability to Join the Church. It's not HIS decision that is preventing it, but yours. Lets' take your last paragraph above and address it sentence by sentence - You say:
1) I have talked with different catholic people who do not understand why I am denied the wish to become catholic on the basis that my partner has been married before. *
Wrong - you are not being denied on this basis. You are being denied on the basis that you continue to live in sin with him.
2) *If I was to leave my partner and my children I would be able to become a catholic. I don't want to believe that this is what the Church would propose that two people who love each other separate.

Leaving your partner is one option. The other is normalizing the relationship - annulment and marriage. Your partner rejects the second option and basically says it's either him or God....
3) I believe that my partners descision to not try for an annulment should have nothing to do with my desire to join the catholic church.
I appreciate that you believe this. But do you believe that the Church should welcome you into the fold in full knowledge of your current living arrangements?

I mean - you seem to "want your cake and eat it too". You want to enter The Church while at the same time flaunting it's teachings on marriage. Think carefully about this.

At the moment I am an active memeber at local catholic church. I have participated in all of our children's communion preparation. I take our children to church and foster their faith. Not being able to become a catholic feels like punishment to me though I am doing the right things.

Well you are obviously doing SOME of the right things...While at the same time you are obviously doing some very wrong things....

I would appreciate any advise you can give me.

I know that the advice you have been getting is - well - blunt, and not really what you would like to hear. But in all love and Christian Charity, we can give no other advice.

I'm sure that you do not feel as though you are living in sin, but in the eyes of the church you are - Living in Mortal Sin!!. The pastor of your church cannot, in good conscience, accept you into the Church until you correct this.

May God give you strength to clearly see his path for you.

Peace
James


#8

Forgive me…but, as Catholics, and the children of God, are we not supposed to be welcomers, rather than judges? Leave the judgement to Our Lord Jesus Christ.


#9

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:8, topic:234180"]
Forgive me....but, as Catholics, and the children of God, are we not supposed to be welcomers, rather than judges? Leave the judgement to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

[/quote]

Yes but is tough to welcome someone to the Sacraments if the behavior is precluding them from receiving those Sacraments. In this case this is called correction - not judging.


#10

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:8, topic:234180"]
Forgive me....but, as Catholics, and the children of God, are we not supposed to be welcomers, rather than judges? Leave the judgement to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

[/quote]

It is Church law that persons in irregular relationships (living together without marriage, second marriages, etc.) may not receive the Sacraments - including any of the Sacraments of Initiation. It isn't a matter of not being "welcoming" - it is simply impossible, at this time, for her to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. She is certainly welcome at Mass, and she can participate in the Catholic life in every other way - just not the Sacraments.


#11

[quote="jmcrae, post:10, topic:234180"]
It is Church law that persons in irregular relationships (living together without marriage, second marriages, etc.) may not receive the Sacraments - including any of the Sacraments of Initiation. It isn't a matter of not being "welcoming" - it is simply impossible, at this time, for her to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. She is certainly welcome at Mass, and she can participate in the Catholic life in every other way - just not the Sacraments.

[/quote]

Understood :) with respect, is it not possible to take each and every case individually, and immerse ourselves in the Grace of God, and...as we are all sinners, trust in His Mercy and Love?


#12

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:11, topic:234180"]
Understood :) with respect, is it not possible to take each and every case individually, and immerse ourselves in the Grace of God, and...as we are all sinners, trust in His Mercy and Love?

[/quote]

In a general sense of course we are all sinners, but none of us receives any of the Sacraments while remaining in a state of sin - we go to Confession, amend our lives, and then approach the Sacraments.

But if one is unwilling or unable to amend one's life, then one cannot approach the Sacraments.


#13

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:11, topic:234180"]
Understood :) with respect, is it not possible to take each and every case individually, and immerse ourselves in the Grace of God, and...as we are all sinners, trust in His Mercy and Love?

[/quote]

Well, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this in regard to this particular thread.

I didn't see anybody "judging" this woman. They simply reported to her what the Church teaches. How can that be 'judging?"


#14

[quote="jmcrae, post:12, topic:234180"]
In a general sense of course we are all sinners, but none of us receives any of the Sacraments while remaining in a state of sin - we go to Confession, amend our lives, and then approach the Sacraments.

But if one is unwilling or unable to amend one's life, then one cannot approach the Sacraments.

[/quote]

In that sense, I believe that we *all*have a choice as to our behaviour...in what circumstances would someone be 'unable' to amend their behaviour?


#15

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:14, topic:234180"]
In that sense, I believe that we *all*have a choice as to our behaviour...in what circumstances would someone be 'unable' to amend their behaviour?

[/quote]

In the case where she has had four children with this man, and if she leaves him, it will have a bad effect on her children. She is really caught in a terrible bind, here, because the father of her children is unwilling to marry her, and unwilling to seek a Declaration of Nullity against his wife.


#16

[quote="Tantum_ergo, post:13, topic:234180"]
Well, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this in regard to this particular thread.

I didn't see anybody "judging" this woman. They simply reported to her what the Church teaches. How can that be 'judging?"

[/quote]

TE, you are quite right, our Church's teachings were being made clear and I totally respect and adhere to those teachings. Just voicing my thoughts 'out loud' to clear my own mind x


#17

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:11, topic:234180"]
Understood :) with respect, is it not possible to take each and every case individually, and immerse ourselves in the Grace of God, and...as we are all sinners, trust in His Mercy and Love?

[/quote]

Each and every case IS taken individually. Each case is looked at to see if there are impediments and these impediments explained, along with other Church techings. Each case is looked at to see if the conversion is genuine and complete. If it is, if the candidate is is true, repentant, and prepared to take up their cross, then they may be initiated into the Church.

However, if the person is NOT willing to remove the impediments then the conversion process is not yet complete and this person needs more councilling and other helps before they can be initiated.

In such a case, allowing the person to enter into the church without repenting and correcting their sinful life, would do more harm than good both to the individual and to the body of Christ.

It is sad that we were unable to give this woman different advice, but even if the medicine is distasteful, it still remains the proper medicine.

Peace
James


#18

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