How to Return?


#1

Hi,

I would like to get some readers input on what options I might have in returning to the sacraments after leaving the Church.

Years ago, I converted to Islam for a variety of reasons. In the years that followed I met a wonderful Muslim woman. We married in an Islamic ceremony.

Since then I have rediscovered my Catholic faith and have put behind me a lot of the negative feelings that drove me from it so long ago. My wife has been nothing but supportive.

After going to Mass for about a year now and not receiving the Eucharist, I decided this week to go speak to my parish priest about making things right so I could return fully to the Church.

This is where I would appreciate your input.

The priest told me he would have to do a little research on my situation. He was unsure how to treat my marriage. Obviously it is not a sacramental marriage. But since I was not a practicing Christian at the time, was unsure if it needed to be convalidated. He assured me I would be welcomed back to the sacraments. It was only trying to determine if I needed to do a confession or a confession and a convalidation.

All of this is a little confusing to me. In the meantime I'll be awaiting my next meeting with my priest in 2 weeks, but would welcome any thoughts on what to expect.

Thank you.


#2

At a guess and it is a guess, having converted to Islam you may well be required to be Baptised to be re-admitted to the Church.

I know that you were baptised when you were younger, but if in converting to Islam you were required to formally reject Catholicism you might be required to undergo Baptism again.
(I'm not Muslim so I don't know if you have to formally reject Christianity/Catholicism when you became Muslim).

I can't see any other barrier to you coming back to the Faith.

Welcome home!:thumbsup:


#3

Lots of people marry outside of the church, for many different reasons. By 'outside the church', this means that the marriage was not done in proper form as prescribed by the rules; there was no priest or deacon presiding; or some other defect of form. The marriage may be valid for civil purposes, such a marriage is not valid within the church.

Presumably, you are baptised and have received the faith formation sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation since you said that your priest assured you that you would be welcomed back to the sacraments. Certainly, you would need to make a confession before you receive the Eucharist again. The priest might suggest the idea of a general confession, which is sort of a deep cleaning-- where you confess the sins of your whole life or a significant chunk of it. This helps you to really get a clean slate and return to a state of grace. Your priest will work with you. Here's a thread that talks a bit about general confessions...

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=112610

Once you are back in good standing with the Church, you can then move forward with the convalidation, provided that you are free to be married (no previous unannuled marriages, etc) and meet all the other requirements, which your priest will discuss with you.

Is your wife converting to the Catholic faith? Marriages where only one partner is Catholic can be convalidated, but the convalidation rite in that case would normally take place outside of Mass. Again, your priest and/or deacon will discuss the details and requirements with you (and probably your wife as well).

Hope that helps!

~Spoken4


#4

[quote="Limerickman, post:2, topic:318634"]
At a guess and it is a guess, having converted to Islam you may well be required to be Baptised to be re-admitted to the Church.

I know that you were baptised when you were younger, but if in converting to Islam you were required to formally reject Catholicism you might be required to undergo Baptism again.
(I'm not Muslim so I don't know if you have to formally reject Christianity/Catholicism when you became Muslim).

I can't see any other barrier to you coming back to the Faith.

Welcome home!:thumbsup:

[/quote]

Totally incorrect.

Baptism can be performed only once. It imparts an indelible ontological mark on the soul. Once you are baptized, the proper sacrament of healing sins is Penance or Confession. Making a good Confession will be the OP's first step in returning to the Church. However, there is more.

Since the OP was Catholic when he married the Muslim woman, but did not receive permission to marry a non-Christian and marry outside the Church, his marriage is invalid. That means he is currently cohabitating with a woman without the benefit of matrimony. That complicates the issue of just making a Confession, because he will go home to sin again and cannot receive absolution, unless he separates from this woman or they choose to live chastely, as brother and sister. The best thing to do in this case is to seek and heed the advice of a good confessor who will be able to tell you what to do.

Another matter is the question of apostasy and whether you have actually incurred an automatic excommunication. Again, something to mention to the confessor who is equipped to deal with this. There are many mitigating factors that may make this a non-issue.

So yes, you will need a convalidation to regularize your marriage before you can return to the sacraments. Once you do this and make a good Confession, then you will be welcomed back to the Church and able to receive the Eucharist again. I wish you well on your journey and you will be in my prayers.


#5

[quote="Elizium23, post:4, topic:318634"]
Totally incorrect..

[/quote]

Which bit is totally incorrect?

The bit where I said that I was guessing?
The bit about converts to Islam rejecting the Catholicism/Christianity?


#6

[quote="Limerickman, post:5, topic:318634"]
Which bit is totally incorrect?

The bit where I said that I was guessing?
The bit about converts to Islam rejecting the Catholicism/Christianity?

[/quote]

The Catholic Church does not re-baptize. If a baptism was uncertain, there can be a conditional baptism.


#7
  1. Go to confession
  2. Live chastely with your wife
  3. Seek permission to Marry in mixed marriage ( this means if you have/had kids and still growing up you promise to raise them CATHOLIC)
  4. Get married in a Church after making the preperations Ps you also can get married during a normal liturgy if the Pastor approves of it.

#8

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