How come I am not Catholic?

I was told by the marriage tribunal that I must seek an annulment from my first marriage because I was a baptized Protestant married to a baptized Protestant. I am now married to a Roman Catholic. I was baptized Roman Catholic as an infant, but then re-baptized in a fundamentalist evangelical church when I was in eighth grade.

This bothers me, not because I don’t want to seek an annulment. I will do what I have to do. This bothers me because I feel that I was deceived when I was re-baptized. I was a child and in no position to discern that what the adults were teaching me about Catholicism was a lie. I wanted to be “scripturally” baptized, but I had no idea of the gift of the sacrament of infant baptism in the Catholic Church. I was told it was meaningless. I am sad for the years I lost, sad for what I believed and sad because I feel that I was robbed of something beautiful.

Is this true that I lost my status as a Roman Catholic by virtue of a deceptive baptism? Thank you for your answer.

You did not “lose your status” as a Roman Catholic because of your re-baptism, although it does demonstrate a formal change of religion. If you were below the age of reason, or otherwise not fully knowledgeable of the ramifications of your attempted re-baptism, you are not personally culpable for having left the Church. The attempted second baptism does not affect the status of your first and true baptism. Your sacramental record, which is maintained at the parish of your baptism, will always have record of your baptism as an infant.

Likely, you were told that you need an annulment because, by your account, you were a baptized Christian married to another baptized Christian. Marriage between baptized Christians is presumed by the Catholic Church to be a sacrament. The marriage tribunal will have to determine that the marriage was not sacramental before the Church can recognize and bless your current marriage.

**Recommended reading:

Annulments and the Catholic Church** by Edward Peters

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