Confused about marraige status

I will try to make this as simple as possible.

Unbaptized Female (UF) marries Unbaptized Male #1 (UM1). They divorce.

UF marries Unbaptized Male #2 (UM2).

Marriage to UM1 is dissolved via Pauline Privilege. UF becomes Catholic.

Is the marriage to UM2 automatically presumed to be a valid, natural marriage?

If so, when UM2 becomes Catholic is the marriage automatically made sacramental?

Thanks for your help. Citing sources is always good! :smiley:

Hi Brigadoon,

I think the second marriage would require a Catholic convalidation since at the time UF became Catholic, the first marriage was not yet dissolved (according to your order of events). After the convalidation, then yes, the second marriage would become sacramental upon the baptism of UM#2.

God bless you,

OK, I wasn’t clear enough then, I will fixed in the OP.

According to what you have posted the dissolution of the first marriage via the Pauline Privilege allows the second marriage to be convalidated (blessed). Once that happens the marriage is a valid, natural bond marriage. Should UM2 become Catholic the marriage would automatically become sacramental with no additional steps required.

Deacon Ed

What is the Pauline Priveledge?:confused:

not enough info, and in any case when either the Petrine or Pauline privilege is applied, and it is pretty rare, the case must be judged individually, so a blanket statement is not possible. But if the marriage is declared invalid, both parties to it are free to marry. I think that is your question, post is not clear. It has a lot to do with timing, of both marriages, status of each party to both marriages, and timing of reception into the Church.

So if the second marriage was NOT convalidated, is the marriage invalid?

Should UF have been permitted to be baptized while in an invalid marriage situation?

In reality, UM2 has subsequently been baptized. Should it have been permitted without an immediately scheduled convalidation?

there is no way to state based on this info, there are too many variables, particular with the case of previously unbaptized persons. Each must be judged on its unique merits. as I say the timing is critical, and the average lay person “doing” RCIA is not competent to make these judgements, the pastor has to supervise this, and in any case must apply to the tribunal for Pauline privilege in the first place.

It is a close family member in this situation and she is telling me things that are not computing.

Both marriages happened several years prior to reception in the church, prior to inquiry.
UM1 had no prior marriages.
UM2 had no prior marriages.
The Pauline privilege was definitely used, UF has the paperwork. (UM1 is Muslim). That was taken care of prior to her baptism a few years ago.

My question was not whether Pauline Privilege could be used. It was. My question is what happens to the status of marriage #2 when the the Pauline Privilege was used?

See why I am confused?? :whacky:

I would not sweet it. I do not understand the concern. The facts are she has one marriage which has to be presumed valid. It is simple logic. There is no marriage 1, what existed is attempt 1. So on what base is attempt 2 invalid(?) since it occurred prior to any catholic sacrament there is no base to reject it. The catholic church is not a party to any marriage ever! The church acknowledges marriages which only occur between a male and female who properly answer god’s call. The Church prepares and acknowledges these callings. So my advice is let it be.

Sorry to ask again, but what is the Pauline Privledge? Thanks

When a couple is married, and BOTH are unbaptised. If one wishes to become Catholic, the marriage can be dissolved without an annulment.

that was my guess too, general rule, when we are talking about somebody else’s marriage, is we do not and cannot know all the facts, so all we can do is give a general principle, but we cannot apply the principal w/o the relevant facts. these particular situations are tricky and that is why the church has experts to figure it out.

No, the second marriage must be convalidated (i.e., done over) before it will be valid. Technically speaking, until this convalidation happens, the first marriage remains valid and undissolved.

It’s hard to imagine why the diocese would not follow through with the convalidation after going through all the rest of the Pauline Privilege process.

I’ll assume your concern is the Pauline Privilege would not be granted until one became baptized? (thus kicking in Canon Law). In such a case the sacrament of baptism would require celibacy until a new marriage was entered? The issue then is the Pauline Privilege was illicit? (Because the privilege did not untie her from a spouse refusing Christianity, that marriage attempt was already defunct) If so an annulment would have been proper. However illicit if it occurred is on the celebrant not the UF so again I would not sweet it.

Here’s what is happening (in part). The first marriage is a legal one (not a Sacrament) and that means that the spouses are still bound to each other; even if they get a civil divorce. At the time of the second marriage (again legal but not Sacramental) the famale was still bound by the first marriage, in the eyes of the Church but not civil law and therefore in the eyes of the Church that second marriage attempt could not have been valid. Pauline privilege dissolved the first marriage, but not until after the second marriage had occured. That means that something would have had to happen to correct the second marriage before the woman was baptised. It is possible that this might have been done by way of a radical sanation: that part is just speculation. The second husband would likewise not be able to be baptised until that situation (marriage 2) is dealt-with.


THAT makes sense to me. However, it seems that their priest/diocese messed up big time! A couple of years ago she was baptised without a radical sanation (AFAIK) or convalidation and this Easter her current husband was baptised.

Now the priest is making them do marriage prep but refuses to convalidate for at least a year b/c of personal marital issues they are having. They have been legally married for 5 years. The same priest who is doing the marriage prep & counseling is the one who baptized husband #2. It is a small parish in a small town, there is only one priest. If there had been a radical sanation before her baptism then a convalidation would not be needed now, correct?

This whole situation brought out the lawyer in me and I have been geeking out trying to make sense of it. The person involved is the only other Catholic in my (Mormon) family and she asks me for advice. I am trying to help her just figure out what to ask the priest.

ah as I suspected a lot more info
and to add to the confusion neither a radical sanation nor convalidation should be pushed if there is cause to believe the relationship is rocky. she needs to ask to priest to go over her history, and that of her husband, and that of all previous partners, and the actions he took and explain it to her, in order. She has to do it, no other person can help her. She has to ask him why the baptisms were allowed without dealing with the marriage issues. That is her right, as is the right to pursue remedies in canon law that bring her to the sacraments.

Thank you and I am in agreement with most of your comments. I list an exception for the current husband. Here is why: If the procedures were followed properly then she was free to marry and thus their marriage is presumed valid, this would be typical of an annulment not a Pauline privilege. Second if we assume an illicit action as a Pauline privilege and sacraments in a state of sin then the sacraments of baptized ( and typical reconciliation, confirmation & first Eucharist with adults) were illicitly conferred. If that occurred the desire of the recipient is the precedent to my understanding. So where does that leave them? Valid seems to be the answer.

Now trying not to dominate the soapbox to much; Is the current marriage real? The fact is we do not know nor does the Church. The typical status is presumed valid, as the marriage occurred prior to canon law requirements. The priest is typically doing the right thing today, by applying marriage training, and pushing the husband-wife to commit to married or not. However to take the stand that they are okay for sacraments but must marry because they live in sin is extremely weak at best.

In summary, it is not the OP’s issue nor ours, they are received into the church and should act in canonical form moving forward.

Thank you Annie. I have been trying to help her sort this out so that she can figure out what to ask the priest. I needed it sorted out in my mind before I could help her. I understand that I cannot do the asking for her, but I can help her figure out what to ask.

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