Many Catholics converted to Islam to get married with muslims

I have seen, in Indonesia, many catholic women who converted to islam in order to get married with a muslim with islamic procedures in a mosque. Most of these catholic women get married with rich or much higher social status muslims in Indonesia. So they don’t mind abandoning their catholic faith in exchange for material gain. Just this week, the daughter-in-law of the current Indonesian muslim president, got married with the president’s muslim son. The daughter-in-law was a catholic and she traded her catholic faith wtih the world’s fame. The bad statistic is increasing and I meet a lot of them in my daily life here.

These questions are very difficult for me to answer, so I ask the seniors here to help me.

Later in life, she (who used to be a catholic then converted to muslim) gets divorced with her muslim husband and she comes back to the Catholic Church by going to confession. After the confession:

  1. Within the law of the Catholic Church, is she considered as a divorced woman OR still a single woman?

  2. If she is considered as a divorced woman, CAN she apply to get an annulment from her marriage with her muslim ex-husband which was done in a mosque?

  3. If she is considered as a single woman, CAN she freely get married in the Catholic Church later in her life?

  4. If her muslim husband who just got divorced with her wants to join the Catholic Church, CAN the Church lawfully baptize him after completing the RCIA?

  5. If her muslim husband can be baptized into the Catholic Church, CAN he legally get married in the Catholic Church later in life without any requirement for annulment from his divorce with a catholic woman who converted to Islam in order to get married with him?

  6. Based on the Lumen Gentium 14: “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”… What is the salvation prospect/status (by Default) of every catholic person who converted to other religion, on his/her free will and stay converted to that other religion until his/her last breath?

Thanks!

Hello, panorama,

Here are some thoughts regarding this situation.

“Divorced” is not really a status in the Catholic Church. The question is whether her marriage is valid (i.e., exists) or not.

Because she is a Catholic, she is bound by what is called canonical form (in essence, being married before a priest or other suitably delegated representative of the Church). Unless she is dispensed from that requirement, her marriage would presumably be invalid.

(So it is never a good idea to abandon one’s Catholic faith in order to marry someone else; the marriage is blocked from coming into existence.)

  1. If she is considered as a divorced woman, CAN she apply to get an annulment from her marriage with her muslim ex-husband which was done in a mosque?

Applying for a declaration of nullity (popularly called an “annulment,” although that is not the precise legal term) is required for any Catholic who has been in a putative marriage, if he wishes to be free to marry someone else.

So, yes, she would need to begin a process with the marriage tribunal. However, it would probably be a very quick process, because of the lack of canonical form, as I mentioned.

  1. If she is considered as a single woman, CAN she freely get married in the Catholic Church later in her life?

She would still need to go through the process of getting a declaration of nullity, as described above.

  1. If her muslim husband who just got divorced with her wants to join the Catholic Church, CAN the Church lawfully baptize him after completing the RCIA?

Yes, of course, provided he has first resolved any issues with the wife he has just divorced. The Church will baptize anyone who is sincerely repentant and wishes to abide by the commandments.

  1. If her muslim husband can be baptized into the Catholic Church, CAN he legally get married in the Catholic Church later in life without any requirement for annulment from his divorce with a catholic woman who converted to Islam in order to get married with him?

Presumably he would be in the same situation as his (former) wife. He would still have to have his putative marriage declared null, but it would probably be a short process, because of the unmet requirement of canonical form.

If it were possible instead (as is preferable) to return to his first wife, then they would need to have their marriage convalidated.

  1. Based on the Lumen Gentium 14: “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”… What is the salvation prospect/status (by Default) of every catholic person who converted to other religion, on his/her free will and stay converted to that other religion until his/her last breath?

Doctrine such as this presupposes that the decision to leave the Church or refrain from entering it is willful.

The individual culpability of a person depends a lot on his interior disposition. Clearly, an action such as you describe is objectively a grave sin (doubly so, because it entails an apostasy as well as entering into an invalid marriage). However, it is impossible for us to judge the interior motivations of a person. It is entirely possible for someone not to understand fully the implications of his actions, and he might even be saved despite the fact that his actions are objectively wrong. We can never tell.

Thanks!

I hope this helps!

I can’t speak to the state of this couple, however, she seems to have married up for political/social reason and he seems to have married to quiet doubts about his preference. I looked up the wedding photos after your mention and she’s smiling throughout, he seems upset. He also has vibe I’ve seen among other men that ‘are taking one for their parents’ while interiorly upset at having to conceal another lifestyle. Or maybe I’m making too much of it.:shrug:

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