Can I be baptised?


#1

I am currently in a RCIA group at my church, expecting to be baptised & receive sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

Today I was told that the paperwork from the diocese says I cannot be baptised because I was married (still am) by a Justice of the Peace.

Does this sound right??

My husband and I planned to get married in the church this summer, so it's not as if I don't want to do it. I just don't want to have to rush a ceremony before Easter if I don't have to.


#2

This is not making sense. Before I, or anyone else can give you any information, there are many other factors that need to be considered.

The biggest one being your current marriage. Is this your first marriage, or have you been married before?

If you were married more than once, even if not Catholic, the first marriage is considered to be the only one that "counts". Any subsequent marriage would be "illicit" (illeagal), because the Chruch does recognize divorce.

These are complicated issues that you should really be talking to a priest and your RCIA team about.


#3

If you were married by a justice of the peace AND it was your only marriage.....then the church shouldn't have a problem with it because the church does not recognize that kind of union as a valid marriage so there should be no need for an annulment.


#4

This is my only marriage. I have never been divorced and my husband is Catholic.

The only reason I posted here is because I am confused but it all and was looking for some insight. I just got a phone call about it today about it and we will discuss Sunday when I see them. I guess I’m just looking to see if anyone has ever experienced this or heard of a similar situation.


#5

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:3, topic:311717"]
If you were married by a justice of the peace AND it was your only marriage.....then the church shouldn't have a problem with it because the church does not recognize that kind of union as a valid marriage so there should be no need for an annulment.

[/quote]

Not true.
She stated she is a non-Baptised Catholic, who is in RCIA. In fact, the Church would consider her marriage by a JOP valid & licit- so long as it was her & her husbands first marriage, and he is not Catholic either.


#6

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:3, topic:311717"]
If you were married by a justice of the peace AND it was your only marriage.....then the church shouldn't have a problem with it because the church does not recognize that kind of union as a valid marriage so there should be no need for an annulment.

[/quote]

That's what I always thought. I never thought it would be an issue, especially this far into my 'journey' to becoming a Catholic.

I guess I will have to wait and see what comes of it Sunday.

Thank you.


#7

[quote="Densie, post:4, topic:311717"]
This is my only marriage. I have never been divorced and my husband is Catholic.

The only reason I posted here is because I am confused but it all and was looking for some insight. I just got a phone call about it today about it and we will discuss Sunday when I see them. I guess I'm just looking to see if anyone has ever experienced this or heard of a similar situation.

[/quote]

OK, this makes more sense.
Your husband, being Catholic, is bound by Canon Law to obey the laws of the Chruch concerning marriage. Sounds like he did not do this.

So, in the eyes of the Church, you are not married at all, and for all intents & purposes should not be living as husband & wife.

You really need to talk to get your information from your priest/RCIA team.


#8

[quote="Oneofthewomen, post:5, topic:311717"]
Not true.
She stated she is a non-Baptised Catholic, who is in RCIA. In fact, the Church would consider her marriage by a JOP valid & licit- so long as it was her & her husbands first marriage, and he is not Catholic either.

[/quote]

BOTH first and only marriage, and he IS Catholic.....


#9

[quote="Densie, post:4, topic:311717"]
This is my only marriage. I have never been divorced and my husband is Catholic.

The only reason I posted here is because I am confused but it all and was looking for some insight. I just got a phone call about it today about it and we will discuss Sunday when I see them. I guess I'm just looking to see if anyone has ever experienced this or heard of a similar situation.

[/quote]

Hello, Densie!

What is probably the issue is that your husband is a Baptized Catholic, but he was not married in the church, which means the church does not automatically recognize the marriage as valid. This would need to be resolved before the Church will Baptize you or offer the other Sacraments.

I can't speak for other parishes or dioceses, but in mine, usually the process to have a such a marriage convalidated (recognized) by the Church is pretty straightforward and quick in cases where there are no previous marriages. We have one gentleman in a similar situation to yours in our RCIA class this year, but we expect it will be resolved in time for the Easter Vigil.

So it's not a super-common situation, but it does happen now and then. The Church recognizes marriages between non-Catholics as valid (whether it be in a religious ceremony or at a justice of the peace), but Baptized Catholics need to be married in the Church (or receive a dispensation to marry elsewhere). So that's what makes this situation a bit different -- that your husband is Catholic.

I hope this clears things up a bit for you. Your RCIA team should be able to give you all the details. God bless, and best wishes on your RCIA journey!


#10

So, if it is not recognized, then why would it be an issue for ME to be baptised?

I do plan to discuss at my next meeting.


#11

[quote="Densie, post:10, topic:311717"]
So, if it is not recognized, then why would it be an issue for ME to be baptised?

I do plan to discuss at my next meeting.

[/quote]

Are you living as husband & wife, with all the benefits of a married couple?

If yes, that is the problem- you are not married in the eyes of the Church, and until that is rectified, you should not be living as "husband & wife", but as "brother & sister".


#12

[quote="achmafooma, post:9, topic:311717"]
Hello, Densie!

What is probably the issue is that your husband is a Baptized Catholic, but he was not married in the church, which means the church does not automatically recognize the marriage as valid. This would need to be resolved before the Church will Baptize you or offer the other Sacraments.

I can't speak for other parishes or dioceses, but in mine, usually the process to have a such a marriage convalidated (recognized) by the Church is pretty straightforward and quick in cases where there are no previous marriages. We have one gentleman in a similar situation to yours in our RCIA class this year, but we expect it will be resolved in time for the Easter Vigil.

So it's not a super-common situation, but it does happen now and then. The Church recognizes marriages between non-Catholics as valid (whether it be in a religious ceremony or at a justice of the peace), but Baptized Catholics need to be married in the Church (or receive a dispensation to marry elsewhere). So that's what makes this situation a bit different -- that your husband is Catholic.

I hope this clears things up a bit for you. Your RCIA team should be able to give you all the details. God bless, and best wishes on your RCIA journey!

[/quote]

Thank you!


#13

Because baptism washes away all original and personal sin, incorporates you as a member of the Body of Christ and His Church, and prepares you with an infusion of grace for living a Christian life, the Church is unwilling to do it for someone who is currently living in manifest sin and unlikely to follow the precepts of the Church after being initiated. The baptism would place you in a state of grace and dispose you to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, but only once. You would not be eligible later for the sacraments if you remained in a marital relationship with this man without the benefit of a sacramental marriage.

In some cases it is possible for you to live as brother and sister until the marriage situation is rectified, but in your case, with it being your only marriage - correct? - you are merely looking at a simple convalidation to repair the marriage. So get convalidated and then you (and your husband) can receive the sacraments. Sorry if it is a “rush” but it will be extremely easy for you.

Also, I want to note a correction:

Actually, any subsequent marriage is invalid, not just illicit.


#14

[quote="Oneofthewomen, post:11, topic:311717"]
Are you living as husband & wife, with all the benefits of a married couple?

If yes, that is the problem- you are not married in the eyes of the Church, and until that is rectified, you should not be living as "husband & wife", but as "brother & sister".

[/quote]

So, probably, we will have to be married in the Church before Easter is what I am understanding.

Our original plan was to do that this summer (on our current wedding anniversary) but it seems as though that might need to be moved up.

Definately will need to be ironed out with my group at our next meeting....

Thank you for your insight!! :)


#15

[quote="Elizium23, post:13, topic:311717"]
Because baptism washes away all original and personal sin, incorporates you as a member of the Body of Christ and His Church, and prepares you with an infusion of grace for living a Christian life, the Church is unwilling to do it for someone who is currently living in manifest sin and unlikely to follow the precepts of the Church after being initiated. The baptism would place you in a state of grace and dispose you to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, but only once. You would not be eligible later for the sacraments if you remained in a marital relationship with this man without the benefit of a sacramental marriage.

In some cases it is possible for you to live as brother and sister until the marriage situation is rectified, but in your case, with it being your only marriage - correct? - you are merely looking at a simple convalidation to repair the marriage. So get convalidated and then you (and your husband) can receive the sacraments. Sorry if it is a "rush" but it will be extremely easy for you.

Also, I want to note a correction:

Actually, any subsequent marriage is invalid, not just illicit.

[/quote]

This makes perfect sense to me! Thank you!!


#16

Also, I didn’t like sounding so pedantic and dry when I explained the facts in that last post. I am overjoyed that you and your husband are doing the right thing and coming to Christ in this way. I hope you will be very happy as a member of Holy Church. Welcome home!


#17

Welcome home! Trust in God and don’t fret. The RCIA director and the Priest should know exactly what needs to be done and give you and your husband the guidance you need.

Just concentrate on letting your heart be set on fire with the love of God. The most important thing is that God has chosen you for this journey and you said yes.


#18

Hello, I am aslo in this class with Denise and was told the same information. Thank you for all the replies. I would like to add to this question. I was married by JP as well. My husband is Catholic and was baptised, just like Denises husband. Heres were it gets tricky. He was married befor but it was also by a JP. So I have herd that if the marriage wasn’t valid because he wasnt married in the eye of God, so his divorce doesnt count ? Can anyone confirm this information or help me straighten this out ?


#19

[quote="JodiP, post:18, topic:311717"]
Hello, I am aslo in this class with Denise and was told the same information. Thank you for all the replies. I would like to add to this question. I was married by JP as well. My husband is Catholic and was baptised, just like Denises husband. Heres were it gets tricky. He was married befor but it was also by a JP. So I have herd that if the marriage wasn't valid because he wasnt married in the eye of God, so his divorce doesnt count ? Can anyone confirm this information or help me straighten this out ?

[/quote]

As long as he was Catholic before the first marriage, he appears to have been in two consecutive invalid marriages. An investigation into the first marriage is required. A determination of nullity due to lack of form is a much simpler investigation than a full-blown tribunal. He will need both that determination and a convalidation in order to be in good standing with the Church.


#20

[quote="Densie, post:1, topic:311717"]
I am currently in a RCIA group at my church, expecting to be baptised & receive sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

Today I was told that the paperwork from the diocese says I cannot be baptised because I was married (still am) by a Justice of the Peace.

Does this sound right??

My husband and I planned to get married in the church this summer, so it's not as if I don't want to do it. I just don't want to have to rush a ceremony before Easter if I don't have to.

[/quote]

**
Is your husband Catholic?**

If so, then he was obligated to be married in the church, and thus you would not be technically married right now.

The church doesn't want to baptize you, only for you to immediate fall into sin due to an irregular marriage. This is an act of love, as baptism will wipe away all previous sins, and allow you direct access to heaven! A proper marriage would increase these graces, and it would be a shame to squander them on an improper marriage.

I hope you can work out a new wedding to your satisfaction!


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