I’m heartbroken. A little background for clarity: I’ve attended my local parrish for two years as well as RCIA both years. I’ve been married 30 years, however was previously married and divorced 37 years ago; so an annulment is required.
Oct 2007 Literally had to chase down the parrish marriage Advocate regarding annulment paperwork. I was hopeful that an annulment would be granted and I could be part of the church. It was not to be. The Advocate scared me right out of applying. One reason being that this marriage occured 37 years ago and I couldn’t come up with witnesses. I’m almost 60 so it has been awhile and many witnesses have passed on. Both sets of parents from that marriage are deceased as well as aunts, uncles and other little known relatives whereabouts are unknown. Only my ex’s brother is still alive, I have no siblings. I moved and didn’t keep in touch with or know the whereabout of friends and co-workers from that time in my life. My Advocate assured me that I would not receive an annulment without those witnesses. So I continued going to RCIA and attending Mass. But I knew that I wanted to fully participate in the Mass and become a Catholic.
So in Nov 2008 after a lot of searching I found a friend from that period of my life who knew a lot about my marriage. So I submitted the annulment paperwork to the parrish Advocate. He asked that I mail it to his home and so I did. Well… In Jan 2009 my check to the Diocese hadn’t cleared the bank; so I called my Advocate. Nope didn’t receive it. So I quickly regrouped and resubmitted everything to the Advocate. Handed it to him this time.
Fast forward to February almost March 2009 and I’ve heard nothing from my Advocate. I call to see if everything was submitted to the diocese. Well…No, he said my baptismal certificate needed certification ??? No one had heard of a baptismal certificate that states I was baptised in the trinitarian manner needing certification. Also my legal documents needed to be issued within the last 30 days. So I secured those again and resubmitted.
The Advocate still wasn’t satisfied with the baptismal record and kept asking “what do you want me to do?” The diocese would never grant an annulment with insufficient documentation. Of course the fact that I only had two witnesses wasn’t good either. I literally wept with despair.
Last night at the cathecumate ceremony I find out that two others have had the same problems (baptismal certificates/ no witnesses from long ago marriages), Both people submitted their annulment paperwork around eight months ago and have had a very difficult time dealing with the Advocate. Going to my priest is not an option as this is his first church and would likely not know the answer to this problem. He didn’t know we had an Advocate in the beginning so I know he’d be lost regarding this matter.
I feel as if I’m in a battle trying to become a part of the CC. Does anyone know what I (we) could do regarding these problems. BTW I finally told my Advocate that I would be re-baptised to just ignore my baptismal certificate which breaks my heart but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to move this along.
Still…I can’t get an answer whether he has even submitted my petition yet.
Any help would be appreciated.