Civil marriage then Religious marriage

That is very mysterious!!!

I have come to know that there is a non-zero number of couples who join the Church through RCIA and are wrongly told to convalidate their already-valid marrages which have no actual impediments. It seems that some RCIA leaders are not aware that non-Catholic marriages are presumptively valid.

I think we just had one cause célèbre here on the forums, recently, didn’t we?


Did either of you have a prior marriage?

Yes, and it caused such a ruckus to have stirred up angst for that person that I winced when this question was asked here…

I had my marriage convalidated in the Church. We had been married for twelve years, and then I converted and my husband “reverted”. I was in RCIA at the time.
It was pretty small and easily taken care of, and we had the same friends / witnesses there who had been there for our original courthouse ceremony.
The most notable part of our little after-party was that I had made a “crazy cake” (no egg recipe) which I had absent-mindedly treated as a “dump cake”, and I hadn’t mixed the ingredients. So there were dry parts that were literally sections of flour and dry ingredients that hadn’t mixed with the wet ingredients. Very embarrassing to serve to the priest!

My husband and I did this. We were first married by a Baptist minister who did non-denominational weddings, then later renewed our vows in the Church before a priest. It was easy, since this was the first marriage for both of us. We did it at the beautiful Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA.

My friends did this. They had prepared for a wedding in the Church but the tribunal of second instance didn’t return its verdict on his previous marriage in time for the wedding date. They married civilly and convalidated their marriage one morning after Sunday Mass in the parish office with her dad and sister as witnesses.

Why? :man_facepalming:

Basically because nobody told her she shouldn’t.

The priest prepared them for marriage before the decree of nullity was granted, something he wasn’t supposed to do. Then her fiancé was notified that his marriage had been found invalid but it had to go to the national tribunal so they set a date. Priest allowed them to do that.

At the last minute, when the second instance notification didn’t arrive they just went ahead with a judge. To top it off, the priest who had done the interview for the marriage tribunal offered his blessing at the invalid marriage. :astonished:

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