Important question


#1

How can my dad receive the sacraments again?

My dad grew up Catholic, but he doesn't attend Mass anymore. My mom had been married before she married my dad. She got a divorce for her first marriage. My mom is Protestant.


#2

Has he been Confirmed?


#3

[quote="sowinskija, post:2, topic:310066"]
Has he been Confirmed?

[/quote]

I think so.


#4

[quote="MyPseudonym, post:1, topic:310066"]
How can my dad receive the sacraments again?

My dad grew up Catholic, but he doesn't attend Mass anymore. My mom had been married before she married my dad. She got a divorce for her first marriage. My mom is Protestant.

[/quote]

Make an appointment with the parish priest in the nearest parish church where you live...ask the questiosns...or your dad can and make an appointment himself with the local parish priest.


#5

[quote="MyPseudonym, post:1, topic:310066"]
How can my dad receive the sacraments again?

My dad grew up Catholic, but he doesn't attend Mass anymore. My mom had been married before she married my dad. She got a divorce for her first marriage. My mom is Protestant.

[/quote]

Your father would have to consult a priest to see about having his marriage recognized (convalidated) in the Catholic Church.

Does your father want to return to the Catholic Church?


#6

[quote="Nita, post:5, topic:310066"]
Your father would have to consult a priest to see about having his marriage recognized (convalidated) in the Catholic Church.

[/quote]

Would him having married a woman who had been divorced cause any difficulty?

Does your father want to return to the Catholic Church?

I hope and think that once he finds out that I am converting, he will want to return to the Church.


#7

Not much probably. In fact virtually none at all if her first marriage was not a Catholic marriage.


#8

[quote="MyPseudonym, post:1, topic:310066"]
How can my dad receive the sacraments again?

My dad grew up Catholic, but he doesn't attend Mass anymore. My mom had been married before she married my dad. She got a divorce for her first marriage. My mom is Protestant.

[/quote]

If a Catholic marries without the approval of the Church then it is not valid. Then if he does get married it must only be with one that is free to marry. Since your mother is not Catholic, she is not held to the Catholic canonical form of marriage, so her prior marriage may be valid, and that would have to be determined first, by a tribunal, if your parents were to be married with the approval of the Catholic Church.


#9

[quote="Petergee, post:7, topic:310066"]
Not much probably. In fact virtually none at all if her first marriage was not a Catholic marriage.

[/quote]

That is not at all true, since she is Protestant. That her first marriage was not a Catholic marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with its validity, unless she married a Catholic man who had not received permission to marry in a non-Catholic ceremony.


#10

[quote="MyPseudonym, post:1, topic:310066"]
How can my dad receive the sacraments again?

My dad grew up Catholic, but he doesn't attend Mass anymore. My mom had been married before she married my dad. She got a divorce for her first marriage. My mom is Protestant.

[/quote]

If your parents are still together, then your mother's first marriage would need to be examined to determine its validity. The best person to talk to about this would be a priest, as he would know the right questions to ask to determine your father's particular situation.

I hoped my mother would return to the Church when I did, but it's been over a decade and she still hasn't :( So unless your father has shown some interest, he may not return. Pray for your parents and be very loving toward them, but don't bring it up much (invite them to join you at Mass, but don't argue with them if they don't join you!).

And welcome to the Church :)


#11

[quote="RyanBlack, post:9, topic:310066"]
That is not at all true, since she is Protestant. That her first marriage was not a Catholic marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with its validity, unless she married a Catholic man who had not received permission to marry in a non-Catholic ceremony.

[/quote]

My point is that it's a much simpler and faster process to examine the validity of a protestant marriage than a Catholic marriage, and is more likely to result in a declaration of nullity.


#12

Non-Catholic marriages are just as likely to be valid as Catholic marriages. If the words “until death ye do part” were used (or any words that mean something like that) then the marriage is valid - and in the case of two non-Catholics, it doesn’t matter where the wedding took place, or who presided over it.


#13

That may have been true of most of them at one time, but unfortunately it is not the case today especially with Protestant marriages. many if not most of them omit one or more essential aspects of marriage such as the necessity of each spouse to freely, fully and honestly commit to lifelong fidelity and openness to the conception and upbringing of children. Many protestant “marriages” today are nothing more than “a public recognition that two people love each other” and in some cases they actually explicitly say this. Of course that is not what marriage is about at all.


#14

[quote="Petergee, post:11, topic:310066"]
My point is that it's a much simpler and faster process to examine the validity of a protestant marriage than a Catholic marriage, and is more likely to result in a declaration of nullity.

[/quote]

This is simply untrue.

The formal tribunal case is the same whether it involves Catholcs or non-Catholics. It is neither "simpler" nor "faster" nor more likely to be declared invalid than a formal case between two Catholics.


#15

[quote="Petergee, post:13, topic:310066"]
That may have been true of most of them at one time, but unfortunately it is not the case today especially with Protestant marriages. many if not most of them omit one or more essential aspects of marriage such as the necessity of each spouse to freely, fully and honestly commit to lifelong fidelity and openness to the conception and upbringing of children. Many protestant "marriages" today are nothing more than "a public recognition that two people love each other" and in some cases they actually explicitly say this. Of course that is not what marriage is about at all.

[/quote]

Like I said, if the words "until death ye do part," or words that mean the same thing, were used, then the marriage is valid.

If not, then there can still be a case made that the assumption was there, so it is up to the Tribunal to test the case. You cannot simply assume that because the marriage didn't take place in a Catholic Church, it is automatically going to be considered "not valid."

Also, getting witnesses to testify might be even trickier in the case of a Protestant marriage, because the witnesses might balk at having to appear in a Catholic court of law to testify.


#16

[quote="jmcrae, post:15, topic:310066"]
Like I said, if the words "until death ye do part," or words that mean the same thing, were used, then the marriage is valid.

[/quote]

Be careful in this statement. The Church does not have any particular formula of vows required by law.

The threefold essential properties of marriage are perpetuity, fidelity, and fecundy. The couple cannot intend to exclude any of these essential properties, but the properties themselves do not have to be included in the vows themselves.

[quote="jmcrae, post:15, topic:310066"]
If not, then there can still be a case made that the assumption was there, so it is up to the Tribunal to test the case. You cannot simply assume that because the marriage didn't take place in a Catholic Church, it is automatically going to be considered "not valid."

[/quote]

The vows not including the words "til death do us part" is not grounds for nullity. The couple must exclude one of the essential properties by a positive act of their will. If the vows themselves do not exclude an essential property of marriage then consent is presumed to meet Canon 1096 and 1099 and 1101.

A couple could certainly do or say things that would bring their consent and intent into question, but it is not nearly as simple as you seem to be making it out here. It is certainly not dependent upon certain words being in the vows.

[quote="jmcrae, post:15, topic:310066"]
Also, getting witnesses to testify might be even trickier in the case of a Protestant marriage, because the witnesses might balk at having to appear in a Catholic court of law to testify.

[/quote]

They do not have to "appear" in a Catholic court of law. They give their testimony in a written form.


#17

[quote="1ke, post:16, topic:310066"]
Be careful in this statement. The Church does not have any particular formula of vows required by law.

The threefold essential properties of marriage are perpetuity, fidelity, and fecundy. The couple cannot intend to exclude any of these essential properties, but the properties themselves do not have to be included in the vows themselves.

The vows not including the words "til death do us part" is not grounds for nullity. The couple must exclude one of the essential properties by a positive act of their will. If the vows themselves do not exclude an essential property of marriage then consent is presumed to meet Canon 1096 and 1099 and 1101.

A couple could certainly do or say things that would bring their consent and intent into question, but it is not nearly as simple as you seem to be making it out here. It is certainly not dependent upon certain words being in the vows.

They do not have to "appear" in a Catholic court of law. They give their testimony in a written form.

[/quote]

I think we both agree that it is far more complex than, "Oh, she was Protestant, she was not capable of contracting a valid marriage, therefore."

:)


#18

Getting back to the original question - in order to return to the Church, it will be necessary to take the steps to ensure that the marriage issues have been resolved, as well as making a good Confession and taking up the active practice of one's Catholic faith in daily life.


#19

Thanks for all the replies.

How hard do you think it would be to get everything sorted out so that he can return and receive the Sacraments?


#20

[quote="MyPseudonym, post:19, topic:310066"]
Thanks for all the replies.

How hard do you think it would be to get everything sorted out so that he can return and receive the Sacraments?

[/quote]

This is a question he needs to ask his pastor. He needs to share all the details of the situation with his pastor. We really cannot say whether it will be 'hard' or not, or how long it will take, or what the outcome will be.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.