I Blew It.

I need advice. I went through the RCIA process at my parish and was received into the church at the Easter vigil.

However, I came from a drug addiction past with two failed marriages. I have been clean and sober for almost 5 years and went back to school to become a substance abuse counselor. I will be done with that in June.

I remarried two and a half years ago.

I didn’t tell RCIA about my two failed marriages because I am not that person anymore. I thought that I could sweep them under the rug, so to speak.

And then I started feeling very guilty at my deception.

So I made an appointment with a priest in another dioces and he told me to fill out “lack of form” papers and come back with my baptism certificate, etc.

How can this be “lack of form???” I wasn’t a Catholic when I married my first two husbands.

I know that I sound like the woman at the well (from scripture). I kind of feel like her, too.

Help.

Were either marriages to Catholic, in a Catholic church?

Just tell your priest about it. First, you’ll have to have the two previous marriages annuled (I’m not sure of the process involving that, BTW. A priest would know more). I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding your past two marriages. Also, if you received Holy Communion (which you most likely did during the Easter Vigil), that will have to be confessed as well. Take it one step at a time. There’ve been people who’ve done a lot worse.

no way to tell until you sit down with the priest, give him the whole story, all details, including all relative details about baptismal status etc. of previous spouses, and circumstances that pertained at the time of those marriages. If one of them was Catholic it could very well be lack of form, but can’t comment. no need to go over facts here, but you do need to open up to the priest so he can give guidance that helps you accomplish the reason you started RCIA in the first place: entering the Church, living in the fullness of God’s grace. That is exactly what the woman at the well needed to hear, and Jesus told her bluntly what she had to do, and she did it. (so glad you and I share a favorite story from the Gospel).

What is relevant is circumstance that pertained at the time of each marriage that affect capacity and consent. The first marriage will be looked at first, then the second, and then, presuming neither is valid, due to lack of form or for any other reason, if there are steps that need to be taken for your current marriage, that will be done. Just take things one step at a time, but you do yourself no service by holding back. What a beautiful story, though, to hear of real conversion and what real joy to know you have experienced that. Welcome Home!

Thank you, everyone. I feel really bad for what I did. I love the Catholic church and I guess I tried to speed up the conversion process. No excuse.

I am going to continue with the priest from the other dioces so as not to cause a big scandal in my own parish. I suspect, though, that he misunderstood my situation. I am calling him on Monday for clarification. If I need to get a full-blown annulment, I will get it. Neither of my previous husbands were baptized Catholic – if that means anything.

I do feel better to be doing the right thing. I guess I had a real conversion because I have never felt the weight of my own sin before and it feels terrible!

Thank you again.

Carmella

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