Living as Brother and Sister - No Annulment


#1

My wife (a cradle Catholic) was divorced when she was young (No annulment). We were married 40 years ago outside the Catholic Church. We have taken a vow of abstinence and live as brother and sister. This allowed me to be confirmed as a Catholic and for us to receive the Eucharist (access to the sacraments). We strictly adhere to this vow.

I have just recently started serving as an alter server. I haven’t yet received the Rite of Commission to be a EM. I am concerned as to the Church’s official policy for those in my circumstances. Strictly speaking, due to the vow and our status, would this be allowed or is it against Canon Law? Our previous priest instructed me that due to the vow, we were in a state of grace and our status was no ones business and that I need not bring it up in the future.

Have any of you experienced a situation like mine and if so, could you give me any advice. I would greatly appreciate it.

In case you are wondering, she has not requested an annulment because, since she immigrated to the United States 40 years ago, she has no idea where in the world her ex husband is…

YiSan


#2

“We have taken a vow of abstinence and live as brother and sister. This allowed me to be confirmed as a Catholic and for us to receive the Eucharist (access to the sacraments). We strictly adhere to this vow.”

Well God Bless y’all!

I would think the Church could work with this some kind of way and get you both settled with the Church to be married in the Church and get her back in good standing with the Church.


#3

They are in good standing with the Church if they are living as brother and sister.


#4

If you are in good standing in the Catholic Church I don’t know why not.


#5

Does she know whether he’s still alive? If he’s passed away, then her marriage has ended naturally…

So, here’s the thing: this pastoral arrangement can be permitted by your pastor at his discretion. One of the things that he must consider, when allowing it, is whether the sin of ‘scandal’ will ensue. (That is, he has to determine whether others will be led into confusion and/or sin when they witness that you two aren’t married, but are living together, and are admitted to the Eucharist.)

Talk to your current pastor. I’m assuming he knows about this arrangement of yours? Ask him if he sees a problem. If not, then you’re good to go!


#6

She does not need to know where he is to pursue a case. She sbould not assume she is unable to pursue a decree of nullity. She should talk to someone at the tribunal.


#7

This - there are avenues that can be pursued - possibly something called radical sanation.

I’m surprised your priest hasn’t discussed this with you.


#8

Radical sanction is a convalidation, not part of a decree of nullity case.


#9

Of course you’re right - my apologies.


#10

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


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.