Celibacy in 2nd Marriage while awaiting Tribunal


#1

So, as I have mentioned, I was previously married. I went over some basics of this with the RCIA director this week and his comment was basically "Oh, this will be easy," but of course that is not the word of the Tribunal. My first spouse was not a baptized Catholic and the marriage was a civil, not a church marriage. It was also a marriage never open to the possibility of life (from his side).

However, I DO NOT WANT to anticipate the results of the Tribunal and whether a decree of nullity will be granted. When I got remarried, I was not aware that this was considered adultery by the Church. However, I now am aware of that, and I do not wish to continue in a state of grave sin.

My husband now, who is not Catholic (yet! God willing, someday), is understanding and as we only see each other rarely (different states for job reasons) we have essentially had a celibate marriage for a couple of months now. I feel that this should continue until the decree is granted... and if it is not granted, then I will have a major dilemma.

Is remaining celibate in my current marriage the right thing to do for the time being? I will also discuss this with the priest of course, but I am interested if there are any teachings on this issue. Without trying to overshare, it is a great burden to my husband as he is inclined in that area, and I feel I am denying him the marriage debt -- except that our marriage may not be valid.

It is also difficult from my perspective, as I desperately wish to be a mother and we struggled with infertility for almost 3 years before taking a break, as it were. I will be 32 soon and the possibility that I may never have children of my own breaks my heart.

But I think I know what the right thing to do is here, and that is not to continue in a state of grave (mortal?) sin. Does anyone have advice or words of support? I pray about this daily.


#2

It's great that you are trying to remain celibate during this period. I know you will feel right about it when all is said and done. I went through the tribunal process myself and didn't get married until I was 32 years old. Since then I have had 7 pregnancies and 5 live births. I am now forty years old. Wait it out through the tribunal process and then if all goes well, when it comes time to have a child, seek fertility help through a clinic like the Pope Paul VI Institute that will help for those with fertility issues by working WITH the normal cycles of a woman's body. They have an extremely high success rate and their methods are in union with the Church's teachings on human sexuality. You are in my prayers.


#3

Yes, it is a difficult time for both spouses. We fortunately did not have to wait very long for my DH's annulment to go through, although it seemed an eternity. But it was definitely worth the effort to know that we were attempting as best we could to live with purity and holiness.
You can do it!


#4

[quote="fieldsparrow, post:1, topic:229706"]
So, as I have mentioned, I was previously married. I went over some basics of this with the RCIA director this week and his comment was basically "Oh, this will be easy," but of course that is not the word of the Tribunal. My first spouse was not a baptized Catholic and the marriage was a civil, not a church marriage. It was also a marriage never open to the possibility of life (from his side).

[/quote]

I am not sure on what criteria your RCIA director felt compelled to utter such an imprudent statement. You and your first spouse, both non-Catholics, married validly when you married civilly. That your wedding did not take place in a church is completely irrelevant to validity. Again, a civil marriage of two non-Catholics is valid.

Therefore, you would have to have grounds for nullity and prove this to the tribunal. A permanent intention against children, if it can be proven, could certainly be grounds for nullity. You need to submit your case to the Tribunal, and talk to someone knowlegeable in that office. Both your and your former spouse's baptismal status are also relevant as to whether the best course of action is a decree of nullity or a dissolution of the bond via the Pauline or Petrine privilege. Talk to someone who specializes in canon law at your diocese. Your RCIA director is out of line with such statements.

[quote="fieldsparrow, post:1, topic:229706"]
My husband now, who is not Catholic (yet! God willing, someday), is understanding and as we only see each other rarely (different states for job reasons) we have essentially had a celibate marriage for a couple of months now. I feel that this should continue until the decree is granted... and if it is not granted, then I will have a major dilemma.

Is remaining celibate in my current marriage the right thing to do for the time being? I will also discuss this with the priest of course, but I am interested if there are any teachings on this issue.

[/quote]

Yes, this is the correct course. Speak to your priest.

[quote="fieldsparrow, post:1, topic:229706"]
It is also difficult from my perspective, as I desperately wish to be a mother and we struggled with infertility for almost 3 years before taking a break, as it were. I will be 32 soon and the possibility that I may never have children of my own breaks my heart.

But I think I know what the right thing to do is here, and that is not to continue in a state of grave (mortal?) sin. Does anyone have advice or words of support? I pray about this daily.

[/quote]

Take things one step at a time, talk to your priest and get your paperwork going.


#5

ke, maybe I just should not have included that part in my post. I thought I tried to say that of course I would not just assume things will go peachy-keen and easy, or that I even know what the outcome will be.

I know talking with the priest is the best thing, but as I wait to do that (we have a Parish Mission this week and Father is quite busy) I just wanted to talk with other Catholics to see if anyone had been in a similar situation and have advice or thoughts.

I do appreciate your input though, and your reassurance that talking to the priest is necessary and good.


#6

[quote="fieldsparrow, post:1, topic:229706"]

Is remaining celibate in my current marriage the right thing to do for the time being? I will also discuss this with the priest of course, but I am interested if there are any teachings on this issue. Without trying to overshare, it is a great burden to my husband as he is inclined in that area, and I feel I am denying him the marriage debt -- except that our marriage may not be valid.

.

[/quote]

this is a matter for you and the priest to discuss. your instinct to do so is correct.


#7

[quote="fieldsparrow, post:5, topic:229706"]
I thought I tried to say that of course I would not just assume things will go peachy-keen and easy, or that I even know what the outcome will be.

[/quote]

Yes, you did get that across, and that is very wise of you. I was saying tsk-tsk to the coordinator who gave you some inaccurate information, and encouraging you to verify all information through the diocese. I'm sure your coordinator means well, and likely didn't give this misleading info on purpose. A lot of parish level people aren't well trained in the complexities of nullity processes, if they are trained at all.


#8

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