Can I become a Catholic


#1

I have a quick question. I am wondering if I can become a Catholic. Unfortunately I am divorced. However, I am a Methodist who was married to another Methodist. And neither my ex nor myself have any relatives who are Catholic. And if I can or can’t become Catholic, can someone point me towards the scripture/documents supporting that rule?

I am very interested in Catholisim because I am dating a wonderful man who is Catholic. I am currently going to RCIA class to learn as much as I can about being a Catholic. To tell you the truth, when I started these classes I wasn’t interested in becoming Catholic I just wanted to go to learn about it. However, the more I learn, the more I find out how misinformed I have been about the Catholic religion all my life. And now that I am in the class I am really feeling moved towards the faith. I want to ask my catacist (please excuse my spelling) the divorce question but I’m not ready to ask her just yet. I feel more annonymous on this forum.

Thanks for all yoru help in this matter.


#2

If you choose to become a Catholic as a divorced person, there are at least two options available for you.

First, you can seek out a Declaration of Nullity for the prior marriage. What God has joined together no human being can wrest asunder, not even a divorce court judge (Mark 10:2-12) but what the Marriage Tribunal will determine is whether God in fact had united you in your original marriage, and if not (that is, if there was any misrepresentation or any lack of maturity, or any form of mild insanity, including temporary insanity), they will declare it Null, and you will be allowed to get married in the Catholic Church as it were for the very first time. :slight_smile:

Second, you can remain single for the rest of your life. (People have done this with no ill effects; in the past, before there was such a thing as the Marriage Tribunal, they did it all the time.) :slight_smile:

As long as you remain single and not dating, you can certainly become a Catholic, but if you think that at some time in the future you might like to start dating, then it would be prudent to get going with proceedings for a Declaration of Nullity at your soonest opportunity, so that the evidence in your favour will still be reasonably fresh, and you can have your Declaration of Nullity in hand to be free to behave as if you were single. :slight_smile:

Welcome to the journey! :thumbsup:


#3

Thanks for the lickity split reply! Seriously. I figured that might be the answer. I was hoping that I could avoid anymore contact with my ex; even for the purposes of anulling. There was abusive issues and thus the reason I am no longer there. I fear having to ask him to do that. But if I have to then I have to. I will seek guidance at the church with this if I choose to go that direction.

Again, thanks!! And thanks to you all for such a wonderful informative forum!:slight_smile:


#4

In some situations where there was abuse, often not always depends on the priest that is helping you, the priest will go and talk to your ex. That is what was going to happen in my case, before I decided to just remain single:) Our local preist offered to do this for me. It never hurts to ask, especially if you’re really scared to face him. Check into it!!

Good Luck and God Bless:thumbsup:


#5

Usually the Tribunal will handle all contact with your ex.


#6

That is what a good snubbie in the pocket is for… it keeps things civil!


#7

I’m not trying to be unkind, but truthful — the two of you really should not be dating under the circumstances. The Catholic Church does not recognize divorce, and assumes you are married until you receive a declaration of nullity (which may or may not be granted). So the wonderful man you are dating is dating a married woman.

Get started right away on the annulment process. You should not have to contact your ex directly. If they ask you to do so, ask those handling the case to do it for you.

Be patient, and seek first the will of God!

God bless you on your journey.


#8

I sort of understand what you are saying I really do but I am not Catholic. He is but he is not prejudice against the fact that I am not Catholic. He and I are going to get married whether I become Catholic or not. My exploring Catholisism is completely my idea, he’s never said a word about it to me. And I may or may not want to even become Catholic. I am still in the learning and discovering phase. I have been a very active and devout Christian and active in my church all of my life. So I have the “will of God”, just not in the same way you do. And, yes, I am divorced, legally and spiritually according to my religion. And it’s “rules” or opinions like the one you stated that make me wary of Caholisism and keep me in my church.


#9

Since you are Christian, you must realize that divorce does not really exist in the eyes of God. These are Jesus’ words, not " ‘rules’ or opinions":

So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together no human being must separate. (Mark 10:8-9)

Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. (Luke 16:18)

The man you are dating, as a Catholic, must be married according to the laws of the Catholic Church, or his marriage will not be valid (i.e., you will not really be married). Thus you will have to receive a declaration of nullity for your first marriage from the Catholic Church before you get married. This is a determination, following proper investigation, that your first marriage never existed (for example, due to lack of proper intent on the part of your first husband, which is a good possibility from what you have written).

You don’t have to become Catholic in order to marry. Many Catholics (including myself) are married to non-Catholics. It can present some challenges, but it can still be a good, holy marriage.

For the sake of the man you love, take your time and work patiently through the process provided by the Church for situations like yours.

God loves both of you, and He will lead you in the right direction if you allow Him to. May He bless both of you abundantly.


#10

Define the differance between an anullment and divorce. I understand that anullment means that you were never married so to speak but it seems like getting an anullment after 10 years of marriage (how long I was married) is sort of sneaking in through the back door. I’ve never understood why one is OK and one isn’t even though all the other circumstances remain the same.


#11

Divorce is a civil (legal) action, attempting to break a bond that actually existed. Annulment is the determination by the Church that the bond never really existed. The determination of nullity has nothing to do with what happened over those ten years of “marriage.” It has to do with what existed at the time the couple made their marriage vows. The bond may not have existed for one of the following reasons (and there may be others):
[LIST]
*]One (or both) of the parties was not free to enter into marriage (often due to an existing marriage bond).
*]One (or both) of the parties did not have the proper intentions regarding marriage: that it would be loving, permanent, exclusive, and open to bearing children.
*]One (or both) of the parties was not capable of freely making the commitment (due to mental illness, addictions, intoxication, immaturity, undue pressure from someone else, etc.).
*]There was a defect in form. This means that the marriage was performed in a manner not recognized by the Church. For a Catholic, it means that the marriage must be witnessed by a priest or deacon and other witnesses, or that permission is given by the Church to have the marriage celebrated in another way (for example, in the church of the non-Catholic spouse). For two non-Catholics, the Church obviously cannot require that they be married in the Catholic Church, so the Church assumes that any civil or religious marriage of two non-Catholics (one man and one woman) is valid.
[/LIST]
What happened in the ten years after the wedding does not change whether the marriage bond existed (although it might provide evidence that something was lacking at the start).

The annulment process can be a source of healing for many people. Give it a chance.

God bless you.


#12

Not if you don’t receive a Declaration of Nullity - and that’s whether you become Catholic or not, since under Catholic law, he is not allowed to attempt marriage with a married woman - even if she isn’t Catholic. :wink:


#13

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