Doomed to Limbo


#1

So,,,I'm a Catholic, but not married in the Church. I came back to the Church after I was married.
I understand that until this is rectified, I am not allowed the sacraments. Wthout the sacraments I am never in a state of grace.

There is no way this can be rectified unless I am widowed, or I divorce and annull. Which I will not do. ( I will never find anyone as wonderful as my hubby...) I also will not ruin my marriage by refusing sex. Convalidation is not an option given our circumstance.

So, I figure I am in trouble when I get to those pearly gates....so my only option is:

Live a good Catholic life in all ways except this, pray like mad that I don't die in a car crash with no priest available (cant do confession now, so I die unshriven.) and pray that I do die slowly in a hospital where I can have access to a priest.

If I get the car crash, I am in limbo (or elsewhere) for a "very long time". If I get the hospital, I'm good to go.

Is this pretty much my situation? Or am I missing something?

Seems like there is nothing I can do here. Haven't spoken to a priest yet, but I can't find any way out in all my research.


#2

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:1, topic:325690"]
There is no way this can be rectified unless I am widowed, or I divorce and annull. Which I will not do. ( I will never find anyone as wonderful as my hubby...) I also will not ruin my marriage by refusing sex. Convalidation is not an option given our circumstance.

[/quote]

I'm clearly missing something. If this is the first marriage for each of you it would be simple to bring your marriage into the Church. This is what a convalidation is. Have you talked with your priest about this? Perhaps there is a misunderstanding on your part and the simplest solution would work for you.

Another option is called a radical sanation. Again, a priest could help you determine whether this is an option for you.

Your priest is the best one to guide you through the steps and procedures.


#3

If Heaven were important to you, then you would be willing to change your life and follow Christ, even if it means giving up your husband and/or earthly pleasures. These things will pass away, but it is time to think of eternity and how you will spend it. Prepare yourself now by attending Mass and listening to the Gospel and see how Jesus' disciples gave up everything to follow Him. Then take their example.

P.S. "Limbo" is a particular theological term which applies to parts of the afterlife which you do not have to worry about.


#4

It's my second, and his... Well not his first shall we say.
I can easily get my first marriage annulled through lack of form.
His, however, his marriages are are not so easy, and he's not interested in doing anything about it anyway.

So as it stands, I am prevented from participating in the sacraments.
I'm researching as to whether I might obtain a dispensation for disparity of cult. Wondering if maybe this would allow me to take communion and reconciliation, et al.
I'll look into this radical sanation.

All I want to do is make a really good confession, and start again. Then also to keep it up with a full sacramental life in the Church.

So I have to divorce my loving husband in order to get to heaven? Even though divorce is a sin? There must be a way through the maze of Canon Law.


#5

You end your letter my sister in Christ by saying: "There must be a way through the maze of Canon Law."For how many years in the USA has the 6th Commandment been downsized to a Canon Law?
The Commandments are non negotiable I'm afraid. Thank your PP. for upholding to what the Church teaches for people in your situation and you are not going to Holy Communion when attending mass. My new PP has started to give the Blessed Sacrament to the Catholic partner of a divorced and remarried couple which is a Sacrilegious action.
Cardinal Ratzinger when Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith wrote to every Bishop in the world spelling out the fact that divorced and remarried Catholics are to be welcomed as members of the Church but are barred from receiving the Holy Eucharist.
Our local Bishop at the time published this letter.
However I am nearly sure the Church holds out an olive branch to the divorced and remarried couple if both parties make a solemn vow before witnesses that they live as brother and sister. If I am wrong on this matter I stand corrected.
May God bless you both.
Peter.
North of England.


#6

[quote="Elizium23, post:3, topic:325690"]
If Heaven were important to you, then you would be willing to change your life and follow Christ, even if it means giving up your husband and/or earthly pleasures. These things will pass away, but it is time to think of eternity and how you will spend it. Prepare yourself now by attending Mass and listening to the Gospel and see how Jesus' disciples gave up everything to follow Him. Then take their example.

P.S. "Limbo" is a particular theological term which applies to parts of the afterlife which you do not have to worry about.

[/quote]

Limbo no longer exists. It was a place were the souls of the just who died before Christ were temporally detained. Christ opened the gates of heaven to these holy souls.
The only parts on the afterlife which now exist are Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Only the former two are everlasting as you can read in the Catechism.
Let nothing you dismay.
Peter.


#7

[quote="Peter_Devine, post:6, topic:325690"]
Limbo no longer exists. It was a place were the souls of the just who died before Christ were temporally detained. Christ opened the gates of heaven to these holy souls.
The only parts on the afterlife which now exist are Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Only the former two are everlasting as you can read in the Catechism.
Let nothing you dismay.
Peter.

[/quote]

Though the Church doesn't require its belief, the general consensus throughout the ages is that Limbo does still exist. Most theologians posit that those who are unbaptized but have not committed any personal sins (babies, mentally handicapped, etc.) end up in Limbo. That's one of the fundamental reasons why baptism is so important.


#8

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
It's my second, and his... Well not his first shall we say.
I can easily get my first marriage annulled through lack of form.
His, however, his marriages are are not so easy, and he's not interested in doing anything about it anyway.

So as it stands, I am prevented from participating in the sacraments.
I'm researching as to whether I might obtain a dispensation for disparity of cult. Wondering if maybe this would allow me to take communion and reconciliation, et al.
I'll look into this radical sanation.

All I want to do is make a really good confession, and start again. Then also to keep it up with a full sacramental life in the Church.

So I have to divorce my loving husband in order to get to heaven? Even though divorce is a sin? There must be a way through the maze of Canon Law.

[/quote]

As it stands you are not in fact in a valid marriage with him, and he IS in a valid marriage with a other. Unless and until his previous marriage(s) are investigated and found to be invalid then

I cannot speak to your situation, but if I loved my spouse, and knew something of this kind was vitally important to them, and it cost me only some time and paperwork on my part, I would gladly make that effort for them.

It's easy to profess love when it doesn't cost any effort on your part, after all. Real love is doing things that cost a little bit in terms of time and energy purely to help your beloved.


#9

Sounds like you are (with full knowledge) living in an adulterous marriage. That means if you die in your current state you will be doomed to hell not limbo. The only fix to your situation is repentance, that is if you desire heaven.


#10

[quote="spencer2, post:9, topic:325690"]
Sounds like you are (with full knowledge) living in an adulterous marriage. That means if you die in your current state you will be doomed to hell not limbo. The only fix to your situation is repentance, that is if you desire heaven.

[/quote]

Correct, and I would be trying to find a priest ASAP to work out the details on how to rectify the situation. Like Lily said, if you truly love your husband, you should wish for both of your salvation over any earthly pleasures.


#11

Deltadelinquent,
As you can see by the variety of responses, most of us here are NOT qualified to answer your questions. Not necessarily because we don't know anything about the Church's marriage requirements -- we do -- but because there may be things we don't know about your situation, and don't even know to ask.

That's why you really must speak with a priest. Give him all the details. He will know what questions to ask; something you haven't even thought of at the moment, may be very important. And then he can guide you in what you need to do.

God loves you very much, and is leading you back into His Church. Trust Him.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:1, topic:325690"]
So,,,I'm a Catholic, but not married in the Church. I came back to the Church after I was married.
I understand that until this is rectified, I am not allowed the sacraments. Wthout the sacraments I am never in a state of grace.

There is no way this can be rectified unless I am widowed, or I divorce and annull. Which I will not do. ( I will never find anyone as wonderful as my hubby...) I also will not ruin my marriage by refusing sex. Convalidation is not an option given our circumstance.

So, I figure I am in trouble when I get to those pearly gates....so my only option is:

Live a good Catholic life in all ways except this, pray like mad that I don't die in a car crash with no priest available (cant do confession now, so I die unshriven.) and pray that I do die slowly in a hospital where I can have access to a priest.

If I get the car crash, I am in limbo (or elsewhere) for a "very long time". If I get the hospital, I'm good to go.

Is this pretty much my situation? Or am I missing something?

Seems like there is nothing I can do here. Haven't spoken to a priest yet, but I can't find any way out in all my research.

[/quote]


#12

Maybe you've already spoken with a priest. In that case, call the rectory again and get the paperwork for starting the annulment process. Make as many copies as your husband has had prior civil marriages.

In a decent marriage, if something is really important to one of the parties, the other party is usually willing to go along to get along. It's called compromise. Your husband really ought to be willing to do this. Not being willing to compromise on other issues might have been among the reasons for the failure of his previous marriages, sorry to say, and after all annulments are ruled on, you might wish to take a long, hard look at that if unwillingness to compromise or discuss something is an issue. Only you and he know the answer to that, we don't, and we don't need to know. We're not marriage counselors. But I can tell you this: The last thing you want to do is to go through all that paperwork and waiting, get your marriage convalidated, and end up divorcing over another issue in which he will not be collaborative. That would truly be hell on earth, and the very idea makes me want to run to the medicine cabinet and take a couple of aspirin!

If you haven't taken your husband to see the priest, consider doing so. Again, he should be willing to go. One thing you can do is challenge him to keep an open mind (most people are willing to demonstrate their open-mindedness and at least listen to what someone else has to say.)

Your husband, not being Catholic, might not really understand the issue, since other Christian churches consider civil marriage as being married. If he has children from a prior marriage, he might be working under the presumption that getting a prior marriage annulled would make those children illegitimate. That's a common misconception. The priest is in a better position than you to explain the ramifications of getting annulments versus not getting annulments to him than you are. First, the priest has all the information. Second, the priest isn't emotionally involved and can present the issues objectively and completely.

I wouldn't carry on as you are and count on a deathbed repentance: That's cutting it a little close to presumption.

It may be that your husband's first marriage needs to be examined and ruled on by the tribunal, and his subsequent ones would be considered invalid because he was not in a position to contract a new marriage, being already married. The heavy-duty paperwork, in other words, might just be limited to the first one, in other words. But I don't know for sure: I'm not a canon lawyer.

The fate of your immortal soul (and his, for that matter,) is far too important to leave this question dangling, or rely on information from the Internet. You really need to take care of this expeditiously, definitively and properly.


#13

Ok your situation may be resolvable, first as you are Catholic any previous attempts at marriage you have made would be invalid due to lack of form if not performed in a Catholic Church, thus they can easily be annulled. On his part if he is unbaptised then he does not have a sacramental marriage only a natural marriage, this means that it may be possible for the Church to dissolve those marriages.

As a previous poster said the threat is not of Limbo it is Hell. You are what is commonly called "living in sin" and that leaves you in a very dangerous situation. It does not just put you in danger it puts him in danger and surely if you love one another than you would do all in your power to pull each other away from such grave danger?

So this is a 5 Step plan for resolving this

  1. Stop all sexual relations and live as brother and sister while the situation is being resolved. (Don’t worry it wont be forever, and if he really loves you then he will understand how much this means to you and it wont destroy anything.)
  2. Go to confession with a good sound priest
  3. Consult your Parish Priest or the local Marriage Tribunal about getting this sorted.
  4. Go through the suggested process.
  5. Have a wedding ceremony and celebrate your love and your restored good standing in the Church.

Remember nothing worth having is easy, so this may be hard but it will be worth it in the end and your relationship will be stronger for it. If you want any more clarification or advice feel free to pm me. I will pray for you.


#14

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
It's my second, and his... Well not his first shall we say.
I can easily get my first marriage annulled through lack of form.

[/quote]

Then process the paperwork and get that one taken care of.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
His, however, his marriages are are not so easy, and he's not interested in doing anything about it anyway.

[/quote]

Not even for the sake of your soul?

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
So as it stands, I am prevented from participating in the sacraments.

[/quote]

so, as it stands you are preventing yourself from participating in the sacraments by choosing what you describe above: refusal to pursue a decree of nullity, refusal to abstain from sexual relations with a man not your husband, refusal to repent.

Don't mistake my above comments for not having compassion-- I get that you love your current husband. I get that this is a difficult decision. And I know that many will tell you that it really isn't that bad, or that you are not sinning. But that is false compassion because it is not the truth.

It is your SOUL at stake here. God has given you a great gift in that he has allowed you to see the situation for what it is, and he offers through the Church a process to correct it. You and your spouse will have to do the work to correct it.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
I'm researching as to whether I might obtain a dispensation for disparity of cult.

[/quote]

If your current spouse is unbaptized, you would have to have this as a part of the preparation to marry him in the Church, but that comes after he is found free to marry via either a tribunal decree of nullity or a dissolution of his prior bond if that is an option. If he is unbaptized, then Pauline or Petrine Privilege become an option depending on circumstances.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
Wondering if maybe this would allow me to take communion and reconciliation, et al.

[/quote]

No, it only has to do with entering a valid marriage with an unbaptized person. It would not apply to your current irregular marriage.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
I'll look into this radical sanation.

[/quote]

RS is a form of convalidation. But your husband has to be declared free to marry-- which requires his prior marriage(s) to be investigated.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
All I want to do is make a really good confession, and start again. Then also to keep it up with a full sacramental life in the Church.

[/quote]

You can do so. But you have to be willing to give up the sin in your life. That includes the sexual relationship unless and until you are validly married.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]
So I have to divorce my loving husband in order to get to heaven?

[/quote]

No. Separation is the normal course if the marriage is invalid and has no way to become valid, but the Church recognizes this is not always possible, especially when children are involved.

What I really encourage you to do is impress upon your current husband how important this is to you and ask him to sit down with your pastor to discuss nullity.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]

Even though divorce is a sin?

[/quote]

The breaking up of a valid marriage is a sin. You are not in a valid marriage.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:4, topic:325690"]

There must be a way through the maze of Canon Law.

[/quote]

You and your husband are going to have to meet the Church half way. What you want-- sacraments while in an adulterous situation-- is not possible. There are remedies, but from what you have written you are currently unwilling to undertake any of them.

So, yes, Hell is a real possibility if you are not willing to repent and make changes. None of us here knows your heart, your situation, and the interior troubles that are holding you back from taking action. So, none of us here can judge your situation. PLEASE GO TALK TO YOUR PASTOR.

Limbo is not purgatory. It is a theological speculation about a place that unbaptized babies go. As a baptized person, our destiny is either heaven or hell. We may go through purgatory on our way to heaven, but if we die in unrepentent mortal sin we go to hell.


#15

Please Deltadelinquent, go and talk to your pastor as soon as possible. 1ke has given you the facts, but even she cannot advise you as to the particulars of your situation. I will pray that your husband will go with you. I think it would help him understand just what is at stake, and the pastor can explain the process for the tribunal. Just make an appointment. It is better to know than to continue to speculate.

You'll be in my prayers. Have courage.


#16

I think the suggestion for the two of you to meet with the priest and ask all your questions is the best one.

If Catholics have misconceptions about the nullity process, non-Catholics have even more. It would be good for him to hear things directly so he can start to think them through.

I hope that despite his initial reluctance to take part that he will come around out of seeing how important this is and wanting to act on his love for you.


#17

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:1, topic:325690"]
So,,,I'm a Catholic, but not married in the Church. I came back to the Church after I was married. I understand that until this is rectified, I am not allowed the sacraments. Wthout the sacraments I am never in a state of grace. Correct.

There is no way this can be rectified unless I am widowed, (actually, your ex-husband and all of your current husband's ex-wives would have to die) or I divorce and annull. Which I will not do. (I will never find anyone as wonderful as my hubby...) Wow, he's more wonderful than Our Lord? I also will not ruin my marriage by refusing sex. In reality, you mean you won't ruin your adulterous affair by ceasing to commit adultery. Convalidation is not an option given our circumstance. Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know?

So, I figure I am in trouble when I get to those pearly gates....so my only option is:

Live a good Catholic life in all ways except this, pray like mad that I don't die in a car crash with no priest available (cant do confession now, so I die unshriven) and pray that I do die slowly in a hospital where I can have access to a priest. I hope that you and every other Catholic is graced with such a death.

If I get the car crash (and you don't make an act of perfect contrition with your dying breath), I am in limbo (or elsewhere) (Hell) for a "very long time" (for all eternity). If I get the hospital, I'm good to go.

Is this pretty much my situation? Or am I missing something?

Seems like there is nothing I can do here. As noted above, there are several things you can do here. Haven't spoken to a priest yet, (then you need to do that today) but I can't find any way out in all my research. You did find at least two; you just refuse to do them.

[/quote]

There is also the option that you will at some point in the near future become the latest in what is apparently a long line of ex-wives, and this will become some other Catholic girl's problem.

If you want to play Russian roulette with your soul, as you seem to be perfectly aware you are doing, then no advice will help you. You have to choose between Christ and earthly pleasure. If you choose the latter, then you have your reward.

"Those who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it, cannot be saved."


#18

I'm calling the church this morning to make an appointment.
Thank you for all the answers, you can really go round and round if you are a non lawyer and reading Canon Law. I need an expert!

I am an adult convert who went through RCIA in a small parish in the hinterland of Wales. It was a while ago, but I can't say much of this was explained to me. Perhaps I just forgot it.

I was lapsed for a few years after my daughter died, and my life blew up. i thought I was not welcome in the Church after my divorce and drifted away.

My second husband is not baptised, and has no interest in religion at all.
His first marriage was C of E. they divorced. He has had two subsequent marriages, one Methodist, and one the registry office. Then I came along, marriage at the registry office.
Last year he got a call from his first wife's brother to tell him that she had died.

I will speak to a priest this morning. Perhaps if his two marriages before me can be declared null, he is now a widower. I can get my first marriage annulled for lack of form. If all that goes through perhaps we can get convalidated with a dispensation. If I can get one...

My first husband was very anti church of any kind. We had an appointment to start marriage classes but the first day he backed out. I found out later that he hated religion of any sort with a passion. Although my present husband is not religious he is respectful of others including mine. So maybe I'm just assuming he will be as hard to convince as my first husband was. I should give him more credit....


#19

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:18, topic:325690"]
I'm calling the church this morning to make an appointment.
Thank you for all the answers, you can really go round and round if you are a non lawyer and reading Canon Law. I need an expert!

I am an adult convert who went through RCIA in a small parish in the hinterland of Wales. It was a while ago, but I can't say much of this was explained to me. Perhaps I just forgot it.

I was lapsed for a few years after my daughter died, and my life blew up. i thought I was not welcome in the Church after my divorce and drifted away.

My second husband is not baptised, and has no interest in religion at all.
His first marriage was C of E. they divorced. He has had two subsequent marriages, one Methodist, and one the registry office. Then I came along, marriage at the registry office.
Last year he got a call from his first wife's brother to tell him that she had died.

I will speak to a priest this morning. Perhaps if his two marriages before me can be declared null, he is now a widower. I can get my first marriage annulled for lack of form. If all that goes through perhaps we can get convalidated with a dispensation. If I can get one...

My first husband was very anti church of any kind. We had an appointment to start marriage classes but the first day he backed out. I found out later that he hated religion of any sort with a passion. Although my present husband is not religious he is respectful of others including mine. So maybe I'm just assuming he will be as hard to convince as my first husband was. I should give him more credit....

[/quote]

That is a huge deal that his first wife died. That gives things a much better chance. Just be sure to tell your pastor EVERYTHING so he can guide you as accurately as possible. The more info the tribunal has, the easier their job is.


#20

The death of the 1st wife is a huge thing! It means that if it was a valid marrige (as is assumed) then the marriges after that were invalid. That means if you can prove the first marrige valid then he is most likely now free to marry you :thumbsup:

Youre situation has become straightforward and simple, so as long as you are patiant and dont make things more complicated by having a sexual relationship, this is one of the simplist and quickest cases you could have, thanks be to God. The easiest thing to do would be convalidation but radical sanation (the making of youre current marrige valid) may be a possibility. Youre priest will know more. Let us know how things are going.


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