Convalidation Question


Hello all,

I will try to just lay out the facts quickly so we can get to the solution:

-Man and woman, neither one baptized at birth, married by Justice of the Peace.

-Several years after marrying, both are baptized in a Lutheran church.

-Several years after that, the wife is confirmed Catholic. Was under the impression nothing needed to be done to “make right” the marriage.

-Now the husband wants to also be confirmed Catholic. RCIA teacher is under the impression they must go through convalidation including premarital counseling of some sort.

-Confusion and upset ensues all around…

What is the verdict? Is the marriage already valid? If not, what must be done?

Thanks immensely for your help.


Talk to your priest.


When they got married while unbaptized, if there were no impediments, their marriage was considered valid and natural. When they both got baptized in the Lutheran Church, it became sacramental. A sacramental marriage doesn’t suddenly become invalid because both decided to convert to Catholicism.

Unless something was overlooked when the wife became Catholic, there is nothing that needs to be done now regardless of what the RCIA teacher thinks. As the poster above said, talk to your priest; he should be able to guide you in this.


This is my understanding as well. As long as neither had been previously married the marriage is valid and Sacramental. If one or both had been previously married then they would need to have any former marriages annulled and convalidate.


That is correct. The marriage is valid.

RCIA instructor is mistaken.

The marriage is valid.




Phemie and 1ke are 100% correct.

My wife and I went through something similar when we got married 19 years ago in a Presbyterian church. She wasn’t baptized and I was. She converted to Catholicism 10 years later (marriage became sacramental when she was baptized) and I followed her into the Church 2 years after that. When I came through RCIA the director insisted that we needed to get out marriage blessed (i.e. convalidated). I spoke with a priest who is also a canon lawyer and he assured me that our marriage was valid from the very first.

Unfortunately many RCIA instructors aren’t used to married converts where neither were Catholic at the time of marriage. Because of that they simply see that a person wasn’t married in the Church and assume a convalidation is required.


Thanks everyone. I am waiting for a call back about this from the parish where I was confirmed, if there’s still confusion after that I will make an appointment to talk to a priest. But I think we’ve got this figured out now.

I am pretty sure my husband’s RCIA teacher was just confused, thinking that since I was confirmed that I must be a cradle Catholic, when I’m not. We were both raised in pretty much secular homes which I think is a situation they aren’t used to dealing with.

closed #9

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