Marraige outside of the Church


#1

Hello,

I was asked some questions the other day about marriage. It was a series of much more complicated questions, that I admit I could not answer exactly, and I suggested they might want to talk to a priest if they really want to resolve their issue, But the more I thought about it, I became curious about, what I think, is the basis of the issue. "Can one whose marriage is not blessed by the church (ever) go to communion? I don't think so. So, I wondered why? I presume it must be sinful? "What" makes it a sin?

Thanks


#2

Were either of them Catholic at the time they were married? If not, then their marriage does not need to be validated. If so, then yes, from my understanding, the marriage would need to be validated before receiving the Eucharist.


#3

Such a marriage would be invalid. If you are living as husband and wife with someone you’re not really married to, you are living in mortal sin. People in mortal sin shouldn’t receive the Eucharist, both because of the offense it gives to God, and also to avoid “eating judgment to themselves,” which may have serious repercussions (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27-29).


#4

Are you suggesting only the Catholic Church can perform valid marriages? What about the marriages before the church existed?


#5

The Church does recognize marriages between non-Catholics as valid. It's just Catholics who are supposed to marry in the Church. :thumbsup:

Marriages between non-Catholics can be convalidated/blessed when they enter the Church, provided their marriage is valid (e.g. no remarriage without annulment). And Catholics who left the Church and came back should also see about getting their marriages convalidated/blessed in order to return to Communion.


#6

[quote="Vincent_stevens, post:4, topic:321112"]
Are you suggesting only the Catholic Church can perform valid marriages? What about the marriages before the church existed?

[/quote]

No, but if you are a baptized catholic, you are required to marry in the church. Marriage in the catholic church is a sacrament and must occur in the church. If not, the marriage is not recognized by the church to be valid. If it is not valid you are in a state of mortal sin and may not receive communion. If you get the marriage convalidated and confess the sin you are able to receive communion again.

No one is alive still from before the church existed, 2000 years ago, so that's not an issue. However, the church does not claim to have invented marriage. But Jesus made marriage sacramental and gave rules, reiterating what God put down back in Genesis about a man and woman marrying and it being permanent.


#7

[quote="stephe1987, post:5, topic:321112"]
The Church does recognize marriages between non-Catholics as valid. It's just Catholics who are supposed to marry in the Church. :thumbsup:

Marriages between non-Catholics can be convalidated/blessed when they enter the Church, provided their marriage is valid (e.g. no remarriage without annulment). And Catholics who left the Church and came back should also see about getting their marriages convalidated/blessed in order to return to Communion.

[/quote]

You seem to misunderstand what a convalidation is. A convalidation makes an unvalid marriage, valid. If their marriage is already valid, then obviously a convalidation is unnecessary/impossible. They could ask for a Nuptial Blessing, which is a totally different ritual.

Your statement about Catholics returning to the Church only applies if they were invalidly married either while away from the Church or before they left.


#8

[quote="thomasf, post:6, topic:321112"]
No, but if you are a baptized catholic, you are required to marry in the church. Marriage in the catholic church is a sacrament and must occur in the church. If not, the marriage is not recognized by the church to be valid. If it is not valid you are in a state of mortal sin and may not receive communion. If you get the marriage convalidated and confess the sin you are able to receive communion again.

No one is alive still from before the church existed, 2000 years ago, so that's not an issue. However, the church does not claim to have invented marriage. But Jesus made marriage sacramental and gave rules, reiterating what God put down back in Genesis about a man and woman marrying and it being permanent.

[/quote]

Where in the bible doe Jesus make marriage sacramental?

And exactly what is a Sacrament and why is it so important? What other sacraments are there?


#9

scripturecatholic.com/divorce_remarriage.html

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android


#10

Thank you all for your responses. I pretty much understand the whole idea of convalidation and or annulment, but I’m searching, I think, for something a little different. I may have put the emphasis on the wrong question. I’m pretty sure that the state of the marriage as indicated (I did not state it, but both individuals are catholic, and they were not married in the church) is sinful, but I want to know why? What makes it a sin? Claiming you are married? Actually living together? Or is it the engaging in marital relations?

What if they are not “living” as husband and wife? They were married outside the church, but they don’t actually live together, and, I presume what may be more important, they are not engaging in marital relations?


#11

[quote="Vincent_stevens, post:8, topic:321112"]
Where in the bible doe Jesus make marriage sacramental?

And exactly what is a Sacrament and why is it so important? What other sacraments are there?

[/quote]

Matrimony is a sacrament between the baptised, and it is important to sanctify the spouses and strengthen the union. Sacraments are that we receive the grace that we may live a Christlike live, live as an image of Christ.

Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation (Chrismation), Eucharist (Communion) , Confession (Penance), Matrimony, Orders, Anointing of the Sick.


#12

catholic.com/tracts/the-permanence-of-matrimony

Sacraments are part of the life in the church. Baptism, confirmation, communion, confession, marriage, holy orders, anointing of the sick. They are mysteries by which God grants us graces to be holy and maintain friendship with Him, strengthening our faith.

As the link explains, Jesus made it clear that marriage is meant to be permanent, and between a man and a woman. God had allowed divorce for the Jews, but as Jesus points out in Genesis it is declared that a man and woman should join together under God, permanently.

For catholics, that means a marriage in the church, sacramentally, before God and with God with the bestowal of graces from God.

Two things make it sinful.

  1. An invalid marriage means the church doesn’t recognize you are married, and thus having sex outside of marriage. Which is sinful.

  2. Being married outside of the church also implies a willing disobedience to the church, which is sinful.

In your scenario, if the couple isn’t engaging in marital relations, and is seeking to, or has sought to regularize their marriage in the church, it is possible that they would be able to receive communion. Your scenario actually describes how the church views civilly divorced couples who have not had a decree of nullity for their marriage. However, if they are still married civilly under the condtions you mentioned, that would be a decision for their priest to make. It’s not an automatic situation. I would assume that a priest would want to see that the couple is making an effort to have their marriage convalidated if possible. But like I said it’s not automatic.

And btw, I am not passing judgement. I have gone through this situation myself and had to abstain from receiving communion until my wife and I had our marriage convalidated under direction of my pastor.


#13

[quote="thomasf, post:12, topic:321112"]
catholic.com/tracts/the-permanence-of-matrimony

Two things make it sinful.

  1. An invalid marriage means the church doesn't recognize you are married, and thus having sex outside of marriage. Which is sinful.

  2. Being married outside of the church also implies a willing disobedience to the church, which is sinful.

In your scenario, if the couple isn't engaging in marital relations, and is seeking to, or has sought to regularize their marriage in the church, it is possible that they would be able to receive communion. Your scenario actually describes how the church views civilly divorced couples who have not had a decree of nullity for their marriage. However, if they are still married civilly under the conditions you mentioned, that would be a decision for their priest to make. It's not an automatic situation. I would assume that a priest would want to see that the couple is making an effort to have their marriage convalidated if possible. But like I said it's not automatic.

And btw, I am not passing judgement. I have gone through this situation myself and had to abstain from receiving communion until my wife and I had our marriage convalidated under direction of my pastor.

[/quote]

I pretty much figured #1 was going to be a problem, at least for those that are engaging in that activity. I never really thought of #2, from that prospective. Should make everyone reflect on everything they do.

I am researching 2 similar cases where the party's were not married in the church. The first involves the 2 Catholics that were married civilly and probably never thought of having the marriage blessed. They kind of fell away from one another, and the church, but haven't divorced yet. I don't think they are going to for some reason. One of the individuals would really like to return to the church and partake of the sacraments. It could be taken care of easily if the other individual would allow the marriage to be blessed, but the other individual will not cooperate. So far I haven't found a possibility for the first individual to return without divorcing/annulment. But again, I don't know why they don't want to get divorced, and so an annulment out of the mix too. It seems improbable that person who has committed a sin and is trying to reconcile it, but doesn't appear to have a path. :(

The other case involves one catholic and one non-catholic who were married civilly. They are living together and intend to continue to do so, but again, the non-catholic is not cooperating in getting the marriage blessed. I did run across a possible solution called Radical Sanation. They seem to meet everything I read about, but since even if they "qualify", it may not be granted, we're still praying that they eventually get the marriage blessed.

Thanks for your correspondence. I hope everything is going well for you now. I think we all need to pray for all the priest too. In addition to all their own problems, they have so much of this other stuff to deal with!


#14

The person that would have the best advice for those 2 cases is 1KE.


#15

You need to encourage this individual to go to confession and talk with his/her local pastor. If the couple is currently living apart, I see no impediment to a return to the sacraments.

Again, the Catholic needs to go talk to their pastor. A radical sanation may indeed be a solution for this situation.


#16

Thank you again thomasf and 1ke for taking the time to read and comment on my questions. After quite a bit of seearching, and sifting, through forum after forum, I think these comments are pretty much what I expected. I know neither case is unique, so there had to be a way for each of them to "return" to the sacraments. Hoepfully the individual in each case will be moved to go visit a priest and get these situations resloved.


#17

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