Catholic Marriage question


#1

In the case of two persons who were baptized in the Catholic Church, I believe both confirmed in the Catholic Church and then were basically not raised Catholic and or your traditional cradle catholic. But later in life got married "outside" of the Catholic Church by a Baptist preacher...

Today the husband and wife who now have a child under 2, who was either baptized "Catholic" or "Anglican" to satisfy his Catholic family are considering coming home to the Catholic Church but have been told they must have a small "new catholic wedding" so that they can be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Husband / Father is a cradle catholic - and its not like he has a passion or understanding of receiving the Eucharist...

The Wife / Mother is just not quite their yet because she does not know why the Catholic Church believes in such things and of course likes the baptist church and minister where she currently attends church and of course is being advised differently by a very good protestant minister and outlook.

For some reason she is looking for the truth, and this past weekend surround by a few Catholics like myself, she asked lots of questions.

I told her to take her time to understand the teachings of the Catholic Church and I saw no urgency in her rushing through RCIA or getting married inside the Catholic Church...

But it really boils down first to - if two persons were baptized, perhaps confirmed, fell away from the Church and are now looking to perhaps come home, could they not just go to confession and then partake in Catholic Communion?


#2

They'd have to refrain from marital relations though, until their marriage is considered valid by the Catholic Church. Otherwise, they are no different than two catholics co-habitating and having premarital sex before a Catholic wedding ceremony.


#3

I understand your reply - but I believe they are okay...

This is why

If two non catholics got married in lets say a Baptist Church - and then one of them converted to Catholicism, went through RCIA, got confirmed into the church...

I believe the Catholic Church would recognize their marriage just as they would have before one of them converted.

In this situation, both were baptized, at least one confirmed, both at the time of marriage they were not practicing catholic's -- in this case - I believe the sacrament of confession would be needed and perhaps some spiritual direction.

I am looking for a concrete answer if their is one - or is this up to the local bishop?


#4

They left the unity of the Catholic Church, so Confession would usually be required.

Otherwise, the Church accepts their marriage (according to your description), just as it would accept the marriage of two protestants.

They may have their marriage blessed, but this is not required. A blessing is like a very simple wedding.

They would not need to live apart unless there was reasonable grounds to doubt the validity of their marriage. The fact that it was done in a protestant church does not, in itself, constitute such grounds, provided they had actually joined this protestant faith (two Catholics can't run off to a Baptist preacher to get married).


#5

[quote="The_John, post:3, topic:289315"]
I understand your reply - but I believe they are okay...

This is why

If two non catholics got married in lets say a Baptist Church - and then one of them converted to Catholicism, went through RCIA, got confirmed into the church...

I believe the Catholic Church would recognize their marriage just as they would have before one of them converted.

In this situation, both were baptized, at least one confirmed, both at the time of marriage they were not practicing catholic's -- in this case - I believe the sacrament of confession would be needed and perhaps some spiritual direction.

I am looking for a concrete answer if their is one - or is this up to the local bishop?

[/quote]

This link might help: catholicdoors.com/faq/qu390.htm

It doesn't matter what YOU believe, that's not what the Catholic Church believes. The couple you are discussing are Catholic by baptism and are bound by Church teachings and their marriage is not valid since they married outside the Catholic Church no matter how much you would like to think they are ok. Does not matter if they were practicing or not at the time they got married. They are NOT the same as two non-Catholics converting to the Catholic faith.

Yes, confession and spiritual direction should be sought, but until their marriage is convalidated in the Catholic Church, they are not to receive the Eucharist if they continue to live as a married couple (marital relations) in the meantime.


#6

[quote="The_John, post:3, topic:289315"]
I understand your reply - but I believe they are okay...

This is why

If two non catholics got married in lets say a Baptist Church - and then one of them converted to Catholicism, went through RCIA, got confirmed into the church...

I believe the Catholic Church would recognize their marriage just as they would have before one of them converted.

In this situation, both were baptized, at least one confirmed, both at the time of marriage they were not practicing catholic's -- in this case - I believe the sacrament of confession would be needed and perhaps some spiritual direction.

I am looking for a concrete answer if their is one - or is this up to the local bishop?

[/quote]

Marriage is a Sacrament, one of the seven Holy Sacraments. In this scenario, the marriage is recognised but ONLY the one converting is considered Catholic, not the marriage. The marriage, as a whole, remain outside the church, until both agree and enter their marriage officially into the church.

The rites of Holy Matrimony are also 'incomplete' for two Catholics who marry civily, or outside The Church. It is exactly like Holy Communion, in that you cannot 'receive' it from elsewhere! In the same way, you cannot 'receive' Holy Matrimony from elsewhere! You can believe it all you want and revere it as being the Body and soul of our Lord, but it isn't the valid Eucharist without the mandated rites of passage He has revealed.

The 'problem' is that The Sacraments are NOT for the Church to change and modify like she can with discipline doctrines; the sacraments are divine dogmas.

Have a look at the catechism under Holy Matrimony.
:cool:


#7

[quote="DavidFilmer, post:4, topic:289315"]
They left the unity of the Catholic Church, so Confession would usually be required.

Otherwise, the Church accepts their marriage (according to your description), just as it would accept the marriage of two protestants.

They may have their marriage blessed, but this is not required. A blessing is like a very simple wedding.

They would not need to live apart unless there was reasonable grounds to doubt the validity of their marriage. The fact that it was done in a protestant church does not, in itself, constitute such grounds, provided they had actually joined this protestant faith (two Catholics can't run off to a Baptist preacher to get married).

[/quote]

That response was written quite a while ago when there was still a process of formal defection for purposes of marriage. Canon law might not make the allowance you suggest anymore.

The persons affected should speak with their priest to truly understand their situation.


#8

They need to make an appointment with a priest, who will be in the best position to advise them on their martial status. Since neither party has been a practicing Catholic for many years, it might be a good idea for them to sign up for the next RCIA class and learn more about the faith.


#9

I think they should go to confession and do whatever the priest tells them. I think it is a serious problem that they were both baptised but got married outside of the Church. I think it's best to let a priest hash that out. It might be as simple as going to confession and a blessing of their marriage after Mass.


#10

[quote="The_John, post:3, topic:289315"]
I understand your reply - but I believe they are okay...

This is why

If two non catholics got married in lets say a Baptist Church - and then one of them converted to Catholicism, went through RCIA, got confirmed into the church...

I believe the Catholic Church would recognize their marriage just as they would have before one of them converted.

In this situation, both were baptized,[in the Catholic Church...correct?] at least one confirmed, both at the time of marriage they were not practicing catholic's -- in this case - I believe the sacrament of confession would be needed and perhaps some spiritual direction.

I am looking for a concrete answer if their is one - or is this up to the local bishop?

[/quote]

By Canon law they are not married...if one was a baptized Catholic...and married outside the Catholic Church without their Bishop's dispensation/permission...practicing or not...they are not married. If I understand this scenario correctly. If I do...they need Sacramental Confession and Con validation of their civil marriage.

DavidFilmer

Re: Catholic Marriage question
They left the unity of the Catholic Church, so Confession would usually be required.

Otherwise,** the Church accepts their marriage** (according to your description), just as it would accept the marriage of two protestants.

They may have their marriage blessed, but this is not required. A blessing is like a very simple wedding.

They would not need to live apart unless there was reasonable grounds to doubt the validity of their marriage. The fact that it was done in a protestant church does not, in itself, constitute such grounds.

This canonical right/law was changed (26 Oct 2009) by Pope B-XVI...specifically, the Catholic Church does not recognize or grant a canonical right or confirmation that someone can be/or is removed from their Catholic Church/Faith...and be considered no longer Catholic...i.e.,...once Catholic always Catholic...so Dave's link to Father Serpa's answer...is OBE..."overcome by events"...i.e. Pope B-XVI's change in Canon Law.

Pax Christi

Here is link to
**[INDENT]

BENEDICT XVI
AN APOSTOLIC LETTER GIVEN MOTU PROPRIO
OMNIUM IN MENTEM

BY WHICH CHANGES ARE MADE IN THE CODE OF CANON LAW

communio.stblogs.org/Omnium%20in%20mentem%20trans%20Haverstock.pdf

Currently the *Code of Canon Law provides that those believers, who “by a formal act” [actu formali] have defected from the Church, are not bound by the ecclesiastical laws
concerning the canonical form of Marriage (confer Canon 1117), concerning dispensation
from the impediment of disparity of cult (confer c. 1086), or concerning the permission
Trequired to enter into a mixed marriage (confer c. 1124). *
The reason for this exception to the general norm of canon 11 was to avoid the nullity of marriages contracted by those faithful due to defective canonical form or the disparity of cult impendiment.

Having taken all those things into account, and having carefully considered the opinions
of the fathers of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of the Pontifical
Council for Legal Texts, as well as the opinions of the Episcopal Conferences that were
consulted as to the pastoral utility of keeping or abrogating this exception from the
general norm of canon 11, it seems** necessary to abolish this rule that was introduced into the body of canonical laws currently in force**.

Thus we declare that the following words in the same Code of Canon Law must be
removed: “and has not by a formal act defected from it” [neque actu formali ab ea
defecerit] from c. 1117; “and has not by a formal act defected from it” [nec actu formali
ab ea defecerit] from c. 1086 § 1; and “and [who] has not defected from it by a formal
act” [quæque nec ab ea actu formali defecerit] from c. 1124

[/INDENT]**


#11

[quote="The_John, post:3, topic:289315"]
I understand your reply - but I believe they are okay...

This is why

If two non catholics got married in lets say a Baptist Church - and then one of them converted to Catholicism, went through RCIA, got confirmed into the church...

I believe the Catholic Church would recognize their marriage just as they would have before one of them converted.

[/quote]

you are correct. two non-catholic marry validly when they mary civilly. they are not bound by Catholic law on marriage.

[quote="The_John, post:3, topic:289315"]
In this situation, both were baptized, at least one confirmed, both at the time of marriage they were not practicing catholic's -- in this case - I believe the sacrament of confession would be needed and perhaps some spiritual direction.

I am looking for a concrete answer if their is one - or is this up to the local bishop?

[/quote]

This is not correct.

In addition to confession the couple must convalidate their marriage to resume receiving the sacraments. As Catholics they are bound by Catholic law on marriage. Their civil marriage is invalid and they must exchange consent in the Catholic form. This is called convalidation. Radical sanationi may also be an option to validate the marriage.


#12

[quote="DavidFilmer, post:4, topic:289315"]
They left the unity of the Catholic Church, so Confession would usually be required.

Otherwise, the Church accepts their marriage (according to your description), just as it would accept the marriage of two protestants.

They may have their marriage blessed, but this is not required. A blessing is like a very simple wedding.

[/quote]

This is not correct.

Please have the couple in question go talk to the priest in their local parish.


#13

[quote="The_John, post:3, topic:289315"]
If two non catholics got married in lets say a Baptist Church - and then one of them converted to Catholicism, went through RCIA, got confirmed into the church...

I believe the Catholic Church would recognize their marriage just as they would have before one of them converted.

In this situation, both were baptized, at least one confirmed, both at the time of marriage they were not practicing catholic's

[/quote]

It doesn't matter that they weren't practising. They were still Catholic and were bound by Catholic canon law. Because they had been Catholic in their youth, they are different from the couple who were always Baptist.


#14

[quote="PatriceA, post:5, topic:289315"]
This link might help: catholicdoors.com/faq/qu390.htm

It doesn't matter what YOU believe, that's not what the Catholic Church believes. The couple you are discussing are Catholic by baptism and are bound by Church teachings and their marriage is not valid since they married outside the Catholic Church no matter how much you would like to think they are ok. Does not matter if they were practicing or not at the time they got married. They are NOT the same as two non-Catholics converting to the Catholic faith.

Yes, confession and spiritual direction should be sought, but until their marriage is convalidated in the Catholic Church, they are not to receive the Eucharist if they continue to live as a married couple (marital relations) in the meantime.

[/quote]

I believe you are mistaken


#15

[quote="Deconi, post:6, topic:289315"]
Marriage is a Sacrament, one of the seven Holy Sacraments. In this scenario, the marriage is recognised but ONLY the one converting is considered Catholic, not the marriage. The marriage, as a whole, remain outside the church, until both agree and enter their marriage officially into the church.

The rites of Holy Matrimony are also 'incomplete' for two Catholics who marry civily, or outside The Church. It is exactly like Holy Communion, in that you cannot 'receive' it from elsewhere! In the same way, you cannot 'receive' Holy Matrimony from elsewhere! You can believe it all you want and revere it as being the Body and soul of our Lord, but it isn't the valid Eucharist without the mandated rites of passage He has revealed.

The 'problem' is that The Sacraments are NOT for the Church to change and modify like she can with discipline doctrines; the sacraments are divine dogmas.

Have a look at the catechism under Holy Matrimony.
:cool:

[/quote]

in regards to Holy Communion i.e Eucharist -- one outside the Catholic Church (Orthodox) church cannot receive it because it simply does not exist outside of the Catholic (Orthodox) churches even if the one taking it thinks so..


#16

[quote="Catholic1954, post:8, topic:289315"]
They need to make an appointment with a priest, who will be in the best position to advise them on their martial status. Since neither party has been a practicing Catholic for many years, it might be a good idea for them to sign up for the next RCIA class and learn more about the faith.

[/quote]

The point is they are not there yet - I believe they were given bad information...

All I am doing is explaining it to them

I hope our church at some point learns from these kind of things


#17

[quote="Spirithound, post:13, topic:289315"]
It doesn't matter that they weren't practising. They were still Catholic and were bound by Catholic canon law. Because they had been Catholic in their youth, they are different from the couple who were always Baptist.

[/quote]

The wife / mother -- was baptized catholic --- not sure about confirmed -- I bet not

The husband / father -- was baptized and confirmed catholic but is a craddle catholic who doesnt know anything...

All I am doing is educating them why the Catholic Church does xyz and what this really means

At the end of the day - they will never come home because they were never taught our faith

And from the comments I have read - who would sit down with a priest?

I would not have

I am too upset to continue


#18

Any one who is baptized into the Catholic faith, even as a child, with no unbringing in the faith, is still a Catholic and bound by the rules of Canon law regarding marriage.

That means, unless they have a dispensation from their Bishop, any marriage that is not performed by the Church (or with the proper dispensation) is not valid- in the eyes of the Church.

If the marriage is not valid, and the couple continues to live as "man & wife", they are in violation of Canon Law, as well as committing the sin of "fornication", so therefore not in "full-Communion". It's just that simple.

I know all of this first hand, as both hubby & I were baptized, confirmed Catholics, although neither one of us were practicing our faith when we married. We were married by a JP, in an outdoor ceremony. When I returned to the Church, I had to either do something about my invalid marriage, live as "brother & sister" with my husband, or not receive Eucharist. In the end, our marriage was "radically sanated" and everything is all good, but it was a very trying & emotional experience, and one that has made me a better Catholic.


#19

[quote="The_John, post:17, topic:289315"]
All I am doing is educating them why the Catholic Church does xyz and what this really means

At the end of the day - they will never come home because they were never taught our faith

And from the comments I have read - who would sit down with a priest?

[/quote]

That is not how you represented the situation to begin with. You are not "just" educating them. For a brief weekend, YOU were the face and voice of the Catholic Church for them. How do you know they will never come home? Did you give them the correct answers? And what do you mean for referring to the comments you have read? As a fellow Catholic, we are giving you straight-up truth. It is up to you to put it into presentable language for them.

[quote="The_John, post:1, topic:289315"]
But it really boils down first to - if two persons were baptized, perhaps confirmed, fell away from the Church and are now looking to perhaps come home, could they not just go to confession and then partake in Catholic Communion?

[/quote]


#20

Convalidation would be necessary if they were married by a Baptist clergyman and they wish to return to the sacraments. My wife and I just had our civil marriage Convalidated a couple of weeks ago, as we are both Catholic but were not practicing when we had our civil wedding which was performed by a non-denominational minister. Actually he's also a chiropractor...sounds peculiar in hindsight LOL. It's a common situation with Catholics who marry in civil ceremonies then wish to come back to the sacraments. If they explain their situation to the parish priest he will know exactly what is required.

We needed to provide Baptism/Confirmation certificates from the parishes where we received those sacraments. We both had to receive the Sacrament of Penance prior to our ceremony. The ceremony itself was quite brief but very beautiful. It's basically a Liturgy of the Word with an exchange of regular Catholic wedding vows. We just invited a couple of close friends and my wife's parents and siblings.

The Sacrament of Matrimony, as our priest explained to us, is the only sacrament that is 'confected' by the recipients themselves by their exchange of consent. The priest is there to witness and bless the exchange of consent on the part of the Church. He whispered to us after we re-exchanged our rings, 'You are SO married now!' :cool:

It's great being able to receive Holy Communion again!


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