Marriage convalidation


#1

ok guys, i need some help and i will make a very long story as short as possible.

im married outside of the Church because I was under 18 at the time even though we tried to get married in the Church, they told us we could not . we tried to get the bishop’s dispensation however two priests from different diocese refused to even ask the bishop.

we have been trying to get our convalidation for a couple months now and have been living as brother and sister. it was about two weeks before our convalidation when i got a job in another city ( which means different diocese). our priest informs us that he cannot perform our ceremony because now we live in a city two hours away from our old Church. our convalidation was going to be three weeks ago.

we were told that the only reason that we were denied marriage was because i was under 18 (even though cannon law states 16) and the reason it is 18 is because of the risk if we got divorced while one party was still under 18 the other would be labeled a sex offender and we were denied convalidation because of a technicality.

so now my point, I want to follow what the Church teaches but I just cannot believe that God wouldn’t honor and bless our union because of the american government’s laws and because of a location technicality and especially the fact that we meet cannon law requirements.

we gave our vows to each other with all of our hearts before God and we want our union to be open to the possibility to life ( we want another child), however we also don’t want to sin.
it feels like we are running in circles with the catch 22’s and this is very spiritually and emotionally exhausting.

any help we would really appreciate


#2

We can’t help you – only your new pastor can. The Church has not refused to convalidate your marriage. But there are procedures to follow.

The Church also provides pastoral guidelines concerning marriage. To further your understanding, you might want to look up the marriage preparation norms for your diocese on its website (see if the norms are posted under “Marriage Tribunal Office”), because the bishop establishes norms concerning convalidations, which his pastors must follow.

There is also the Code of Canon Law (Canons 1055-1165): intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3U.HTM
and other guidelines from the Church, such as Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage:
vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_13051996_preparation-for-marriage_en.html

There are jurisdictional issues involved between parishes and (if you live in a new diocese) between dioceses. If your former pastor believes that the two of you are adequately prepared for convalidation, then state this to your new pastor, and give him your former pastor’s name and contact information. However, your new pastor will still ask questions and talk with you about marriage, because it is his responsibility to know that couples are “disposed to the holiness and the obligations of their new state” (canon 1063).

As for the “running in circles” lament, I can understand your frustration, but please be mindful that you started the circle by moving. It’s just a straight route for you now – meet with your new pastor.

Congratulations re: your new job! May you and your spouse always love our Lord and allow Him to be the most important partner (of 3 partners) in your marriage.


#3

Thanks for the advice.

this is just frustrating because we want our relationship to be open to the possibility of life, but we’re told doing that would be mortal sin even though we believe our marriage is valid and sacramental, yet again we don’t want to sin in the eyes of the Church.

sigh… this is a very hard time:(:confused:


#4

If one or both of you is Catholic, your marriage can only be valid if you are married in the Catholic Church. And it would only be sacramental if it’s valid and both of you are baptized.
The Church sets the rules, not our opinions.

I hope you phone your new pastor soon to make an appointment.


#5

If a priest refuses to even contact the bishop’s office, I recommend going to the bishop’s office in person to straighten out the situation.

we have been trying to get our convalidation for a couple months now and have been living as brother and sister. it was about two weeks before our convalidation when i got a job in another city ( which means different diocese). our priest informs us that he cannot perform our ceremony because now we live in a city two hours away from our old Church. our convalidation was going to be three weeks ago.

If your marriage prep was completed, you could have explained your situation to the priest and had him perform the marriage (convalidation) ceremony earlier. It only takes a few minutes. If he could not fit you in his schedule, the you might have been able to make arrangements at another parish in the diocese with little inconvenience.

we were told that the only reason that we were denied marriage was because i was under 18 (even though cannon law states 16) and the reason it is 18 is because of the risk if we got divorced while one party was still under 18 the other would be labeled a sex offender and we were denied convalidation because of a technicality.

You were given egregiously erroneous information. These laws do not apply to married couples. At 16, you would likely need the permission of your parent(s) or legal guardian to marry, or a court order in lieu of that. Parental and court approval is typically required for anyone 15 and under (Note: laws vary by state).

It feels like we are running in circles with the catch 22’s and this is very spiritually and emotionally exhausting.

Others have already mentioned what you need to do: Go speak to your new pastor, and the sooner you see him the sooner this situation will be solved.


#6

im not saying the Church sets cannot set rules but do you honestly believe that God wants us to just follow a bunch of rules? do you believe that God wouldn’t bless our union because we met cannon law requirement’s yet not the US government’s and because of a location technicality.

our faith is a personal one set upon the person of Christ and what he did for us, our faith is not just rules. while rules are a part of our faith, our faith ultimately rests on God.

these rules and technicalities cannot be traced back to any teaching/ commandment of God or any teaching of Christ (if I am wrong please post verses and/or reason).


#7

our old Priest refused to do it because we lived outside the boundaries of his parish.
also we had full parental consent, we had our marriage licence and everything was good legally.

the priest who told us about the whole sex offender thing said he knows is has happened and that’s why it is like that.


#8

Your marriage is currently neither valid nor sacramental. The Church does not have an opinion on this, it discerns what is sacramentally true.

You currently require a convalidation. Just talk to your priest. If you already are legally married, and have already completed pre-Cana, or a similar program, it should be a matter of just the ceremony. Since it’s a little out of the ordinary, the Tribunal may come into play, just to verify everything.

If the pastor refuses to ask the bishop, write the bishop yourself.


#9

the priest who told us about the whole sex offender thing said he knows is has happened and that’s why it is like that.

I’m not going to comment on what the priest said since I wasn’t there to hear it.

However, it is utterly false that a legally married spouse can be charged with a sex crime by having sex with the wife/husband. There have been well know situations where a spouse has been charged, but the reason they were charged is because the couple had sex before they were married.


#10

Marriages are supposed to be celebrated where either of the contracting parties reside, but can be celebrated elsewhere with permission (Canon 1115). This really isn’t any big deal. Just talk the pastor where you currently reside, tell him your situation, and that you wish to resolve the situation ASAP.


#11

The Church is the voice of Christ on earth.

Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)

That is the teaching of Christ. The Apostles and their successors have been granted the authority to govern in matters of faith and morals by Jesus Christ - God himself. Christ will always speak authoritatively through legitimate authority of the Church.

If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. (Matthew 18:17-19)

Matthew 18 is about the Church. That passage is God in the person of Jesus Christ speaking, telling us that the Church speaks for God and that anyone who refuses to listen to the Church is rejecting the voice of God.

My girlfriend’s previous marriage is being investigated by the Church, and until that takes place we wait, and wait, and wait… It’s killing us, just like you, but we wait for the voice of Christ to speak through the legitimate authority of the Church.

-Tim-


closed #12

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