Convalidation vs Radical Senation

Why does the Church recognize the civil marriage date of a Catholic that left the Church and not from a convalidation? I received an email correcting something I said, understandably because I keep hearing contradictions on the matter. It really just doesn’t make sense yet.

Does the Church date a valid marriage at the time of marriage for radical sanations?

I could write several questions but I’m hoping someon will step up that actually knows and explain it in lay language to me.

I’m not sure what you’re really asking in your first statement.

A convalidation is a Church wedding pure and simple The marriage takes place then and there when the vows are spoken. The ‘legal’ marriage then becomes a ‘valid’ marriage.

A radical sanation is usually used when the non-Catholic party will not repeat the vows. The legal marriage is ‘healed at the root’ and makes the ‘legal’ marriage ‘valid’ from the beginning. These are 2 different processes.

I just used this same language to make a post on another board. I was corrected and the post removed to prevent confusion, which I understand. I was only trying to encourage. It seems that people get caught up in legalities. If my wife discovers that out “convalidation” is not healed at the root similar to a radical senation she will most likely not be happy and go into the same major depression she keeps dipping into. She came from a fundamentalist faith that rejects divorce except for “biblical reasons” commonly understood to be an unfaithful spouse. Then the unfaithful spouse must remain single the rest of his or her life and the spouse that was cheated on could get remairried, though discouraged in hopes of the marriage being able to be healed for the sake of both spouses. Death goes without saying. I’m worried now that I’ve heard this again.

I don’t know what to say. I’m really sorry that the priest didn’t do a great job of explaining how a convalidation works to you both.

It would depend on the reason the original attempt at Marriage was invalid or the reason for the Irregularity. This would determine is the original exchange of vows is recognized as valid or if a new exchange of vows is needed.

I understand the need for form. But the ironic thing is that the Christian faith we were part of were much more convicted to making marriage work. My wife is the baby of 8 and all eight are still on their long term first time marriage. I wish that I could say that about Catholics. It’s one of the things that attracted me to their faith. Catholics seem to think that if things don’t go right they can just put in for an annulment and move on to the next.

Sometimes people think that because that is what society says, The Catholic Church has always been in the Marriage preparation business. It has always required Marriage preparation and serious reflection before the Marriage. It has been said there are so many Annulments because thaer are so many invalid Marriages. Many simply ignore the teachings and requirements of the Catholic Church on Marriage and do things their way which creates an invalid Marriage many times.

Always is a big word for one man. This is factually not true. In the beginning of my conversion I did research on the matter to decide if the Church had the authority to make such decisions. What I uncovered was that historically there were no marriage preparation. The laity was historically known for going in and out of marriages like changing linens. Gradually to avoid the massive confusion, etc. the Church authority saw the wisdom in making strict rules to control whether or not people could be married, and more specifics. I’m just skimming the surface to what I read. It’s a similar story to the celibacy requirement issue I’ve read about as well. I’m specifically referring to the American situation where Eastern Catholic Priests were prohibited from being married and were directed at one point to send their families back to their home lands. From that time forward no Eastern Catholic priest was allow to be a married man. But this is supposedly being changed back to the tradition of allowing married men to the priesthood.

The Church leaders are almost effective at governing people. I wonder, like many faithful Catholic priests I’ve heard say openly about other issues, if this is another abuse that should be changed because the main reason we have so many Catholic confused and getting married outside the Church is because of the poor quality of leaders that failed to teach the laity properly. This is the sign of the times and can only be dealt with through evaluating individual situations, like baptisms have recently been reevaluated for validity…[you know what I mean, if not avoid life situations that require instictive abilities to figure it out;)].

One of the things I fight is fleeing to the Orthodox Church for stability, rational level headed choices. But I’ve found in my life that not everyone that claims to be rational is actually rational or even charitable about how they deliver the message. I’m digressing. Apologies. No. the Church hasn’t always done this, it developed over time after experiencing the horrible conditions people fell into from a lack of direction. I commend the Church for her wisdom to see the need for guidance, But the Church leaders often have failed at accepting blame for for the problems it causes, …I hate to say it…but a good more recent one is the clergy scandals. It reeks of hypocrisy to me. more digression…sorry about that. another post another time.

Now I’m more confused than ever. Did you and your wife marry while you were both non-Catholic?

I was baptized on June 11, 1989 in her faith. Of course we know as Catholics that there is only one baptism. I thought that my baptism was not valid and had to do it right…according to how the Church of Christ interprets it. I believed that they were the true Church that Christ had founded on Pentecost. It’s a long heart ache story that really doesn’t matter anymore. But when I “defected” I thought that if for some reason I discovered I was wrong I would have a valid marriage and would not need to convalidate. I refused to write a letter to an authority that I presumed to have no authority. That would have been acting like I didn’t think they really did have authority. I figured that they do not have the right and that all of their bad evils of the past were evidence that they could not be God’s leaders of the Church. I was isolated in the Army and struggling with lots of emotional baggage at the time brought on by bad priests, bishops and deacons along with the lay heresies of the day supported by the priests. It was a bad time in the Church as a whole. I wanted to go back to the seminary, get ordained and “change” things to be more orthodox to protect children from perverts. I supported a married priesthood to give a better example of marriage and provid clergy with direct experience what its like to raise a family, deal with a spouse, in-laws, etc. It was twisted I admit. But it was my sincere belief at the time.

Church of Christ Christians are known for their intense strategies of procelityzing other Christians even if they were similar in belief. They belief that they are members of the one true church. Their elders are considered bishops. My FIL was an elder. Thus when they heard I was planning on going to the seminary they saw it as a chance to save me and hit me really hard. When I approached my military chaplain he got angry at me because just a few months prior to this conversation of what it would take to get married he blew me off angry and then elaborated that I would/could never understand any of it and then told me that the military diocese bishop would never approve or give a dispensation for me to marry this woman who is now my wife. I asked naively for permission to marry a non-Catholic, to marry in her church, and to raise my children in both faiths if possible so that they did not feel the way I grew up - constantly divided. The reason is that her family would have never agreed and she might have just dropped it. There is more but it’s more about logistics and timing. If I were to ever get married to someone that would stick by my side I knew this was it. The fact that I heard a voice tell me it’s okay to marry her three times motivated me, made me believe I was supposed to marry her. To this day I believe my perception was correct.

I believe my pastor allowed me to slip back under the wire by not treating me as a formal defector because I never wrote a letter. And even if I wrote a letter the bishop could have denied it. So in order to be gentle with us, knowing my wife’s background, it was best to bring us in quietly to avoid the attacks from anti-Catholic family bent of making us come back to the truth, Church of Christ view.


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