Convalidating marriage..

Let’s say two non Catholics who are married civilly, become Catholic. Should they have their marriage convalidated by the Church?

I realize if two Catholics got (invalidly) married outside the Church and then turned back to the practice of their faith, need to get married in the Church. But what about converts? thank you

If they wish to live in the realization of the great beauty and grace of the matrimonial covenant; a sacrament as recognized by the RCC as instituted by Jesus Himself, I would hope they would want to. I don’t think convalidation is a statement that the church does not recognize the validity of their marriage as to its civil nature.


Nope, no need for convalidation, if they are already validly married.

If they were both baptized prior to becoming Catholic, their marriage was already sacramental. If one or both were unbaptized, their marriage automatically becomes sacramental when they are baptized.

They may want to but it wouldn’t be allowed. If the marriage is already valid you can’t somehow make it more valid.

They could ask their priest for a blessing but the blessing wouldn’t change the status of the marriage.

This is incorrect. First, assuming they were free to marry, the Church does recognize their marriage as valid. Moreover, if they were baptized in another denomination, the Church recognizes their marriage as a sacrament.

They CANNOT have their marriage convalidated. Convalidation makes an invalid marriage into a valid marriage. Two non-Catholics married civilly are already validly married. There is nothing to convalidate.

Yes, because as Catholics they are under canon law that requires them to be married in a specific form or be dispensed from it.


The Catholic Church recognizes the marriage of two people who don’t believe in the concept of sacrament, married in a church/denomination that refuses to recognize the concept of sacrament, as a sacrament??? When did Rodney King become pope??

This isn’t new. Two baptized Christians who marry validly (as in, neither is divorced), are in a sacramental marriage. It does not matter where they marry–it can be at the registry office.

Two unbaptized people who marry are in a 'good and natural ’ marriage, also recognized by the Church. If they subsequently are baptized, their marriage automatically becomes sacramental.

If they are already validly married. That’s a mighty big if!!

It’s no bigger an ‘if’ than if it’s two Catholics. Marriage enjoys the presumption of validity. When we say someone had married validly, it means they were free to marry–not divorced without annulment, not married to someone else, etc.

This is hardly a new development. After all, in the very early church, one can hardly imagine that only single people converted. The establishment of Pauline privilege points to this - a converted spouse may leave if the other will not live peaceably, but they are permitted to stay. This points of course to the idea that the marriage is still valid. The addition of baptism to a valid natural marriage makes it a sacrament.

You’ll also note that Christian baptism is always regarded as a sacrament. My baptism in a Baptist church, which regards it as a mere symbol, is still regarded by the Catholic church as a valid sacramental baptism.

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