I feel so stupid

I went thru RCIA back in 2002 and was baptized and confirmed at the Easter vigil. We had talked to Father about getting our marriage blessed because that was supposed to be done beforehand. It never happened because Father had passed away and it slipped through. No one ever said anything. I had been receiving communion and now found out I was not supposed to and cannot until our marriage is convalidated. The thing is my husband has been going thru RCIA this year and is due to be confirmed next week and our Deacon at our church is struggling to find a way to get this done before. We were I think kinda of forgotten to cause 2 other couples’ marriage’s were blessed. We are out of town on Saturday due to a commitment with our daughter and school. When Deacon told me that last night I just wanted to cry. I feel so stupid because I usually get his line for communion.

Could you ask your pastor to convalidate your marriage either sometime this week or immediately after the Easter Vigil Mass? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just an exchange of vows and two witnesses. (Make sure to make a complete confession before you receive any other sacraments.)

Was your husbad a baptized Catholic at the time of your marriage?

Yes he was baptized Catholic.

Things happen. Don’t kick yourself. Just talk to the right people, like it sounds like you are doing & it will all work out.

Well I was told today that Deacon is looking at doing this this Sunday. It just bothers me that something was missed and basically I have been doing something I shouldn’t have. I just don’t understand why Father let me get baptized and confirmed when he knew otherwise. I think I might need therapy after this. Again, I feel so stupid and I know it’s not my fault. There should have been follow through with Religion Education and I’m suprised the Diocese didn’t say something sooner.

:hmmm: If your husband goes to confession and confesses not following the church’s teachings on marriage, and any other sins would he not be in a state of grace until he has relations or commits a different sin? Ask your deacon? It would seem if you do that the responsiblity would be to remain celibate until the marriage is blessed.

One, don’t feel stupid or embarrassed. You’ve done nothing wrong by your knowledge - as a good Catholic, you sought Communion and to live your life in accord with the Church’s teaching as you best understood and had been instructed by your priest. All of the times you’ve received Communion, your knowledge has been that you’ve not commited a mortal sin - without knowledge, there is no culpability, and without culpability, there is no sin. No one here condemns you, sister.

Second, I think that whoever told you that you cannot receive Communion until your marriage is convalidated is misreading Gaudium et Spes and other relevant portions of Canon Law.

For a sin to occur requires both an option to not sin and a remedy to that sin. Receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin requires that you have actually, knowingly and willfully committed a mortal sin and not confessed it, given the opportunity. If it is a mortal sin to be in a non-convalidated (but otherwise legal) marriage, did you know that it was? If you knew that it was a mortal sin, did you confess it? If you confessed it, what remedy was given? If you were told at the time that you were given conditional absolution and needed a convalidation, then for so long as convalidation was available and you did not seek it, you sinned. If you were not told that convalidation was necessary, you did not sin.

What would be the other option - divorce? Annulment and abjuration of cohabitation until convalidation occurs? The first is a mortal sin in its own right, the second does grave indignity to your marriage and to you and your husband as spouses. It’s not like you were living in sin - you were married and your marriage is recognized. For all the language in Canon Law on validity and invalidity, no one is going to say that you or your husband can legitimately forsake your marital vows because they weren’t Catholic vows.

While a practicing Catholic who marries outside the Church needs a dispensation for the marriage to be valid, that you were only recently confirmed tells me that you were not confirmed at the time of your marriage. If you were not yet confirmed, you could not have been married in the Catholic church in the first place - indeed if you were not Catholic at the time of your marriage, we cannot expect you to have taken Catholic vows.

So therefore, because you were not told that this was a sin, because you were not instructed to pursue an other remedy, and because you could not have avoided being married without causing another grave sin, you were not in a state of sin when you received Communion all these times.

I really don’t see the basis on which someone would approach you - if it was a Deacon, I’d contest his response through a Canon Lawyer. If it was a Canon Lawyer, I’d get a second opinion. This judgment on you seem to be a really narrow rendering of Gaudium et Spes, which allows for case-by-case evaluation rather than a blanket approach, and yours is certainly unique. You and your husband are practicing Catholics, so there is no disparity of cult, and your marriage, while outside the Church, remains legal.

If you pray on it and still feel uncertain, you may deny yourself the Host until convalidation occurs so as to alleviate any concern of scandal; but in your case, what scandal could you incur by adhering to your marital vows? You may also seek Confession and since you are committing to convalidate at the next available opportunity, ask for dispensation to receive Communion during this conditional absolution - I cannot think of a reason for a priest to refuse you on these grounds.

Why is is so hard to just meet with the parish priest and get it all fighted in one evening. Surely this should not be drawn out to make someone feel as you do. God does not want this. He is not about converting you to the righteous path, just to make you miserable. This is human error and could be rectfied in one hour. I don’t get it. I will pray for you and your family that God may move the Catholic Church to fix this situation.

God Bless!! Swimming in His Mercy and don’t care if I drown!

Confirmation is not a requirement for a valid or sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church. One, of course should be Confirmed to complete their initiation into the Church, but it is not required for one to be married in the Church.

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