Hi there. I have been listening to the Catholic Answers Live radio show daily for a few months now and I am a little confused about an issue related to baptism and marriage. It is my understanding that if two Protestants get married (and neither was ever baptized Catholic) that they can be viewed as having a valid marriage. However, if a Protestant marries someone who was baptized Catholic, but never received any of the other sacraments nor identifies as Catholic and has actually converted to a Protestant denomination, that the marriage would not be considered valid, because technically the one party is still Catholic (because of their baptism) and therefore the marriage would only be valid if they got permission from the Catholic Church. Assuming I am correct in my understanding up until this point, what makes Catholic baptism so special? Especially considering that Protestants who have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit do not need to get rebaptized when they convert to Catholicism? I understand we are only supposed to have one baptism. However, I then don’t understand why a marriage between a Protestant and someone who is Catholic in baptism only wouldn’t have a valid marriage.
The crux of why I am concerned about this is because I am contemplating converting, and was baptized Lutheran and feel if I don’t get re-baptized in the Catholic Church, it would seem my baptism is somehow inferior. Or at least that there is something about being baptized in the Catholic Church that is more valid or makes you more Catholic.
Thank you very much for your time!