Marriage questions

I was told by one of my fellow CRGP team members that my marriage is not recognized by the Catholic church.

My husband was a baptized and confirmed Lutheran when we married and I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church after our civil marriage and after having our marriage blessed in the sanctuary at our Lutheran church 40 years ago.

We went through RCIA and were confirmed and accepted into the Catholic church (along with our 18 year old son) in 1995. When I asked our deacon and he said it was valid.

I don’t intend to repeat my vows, 40 years, 3 children and 4 grandchildren later.

Her attitude really bothers me. She was reared, baptized and confirmed Catholic and has had 2 marriages outside of the church; neither of which were recognized, although she had children in both marriages. This seems convenient for her, as she doesn’t have to go through the Catholic divorce system and could still get married in the Church? (I’m unsure about the last statement, too).

Please tell me whether our marriage is recognized by the Catholic Church, or are we living in sin?

Many thanks, gramcrackers4:shrug:

I am in RCIA still, but my RCIA director told me that they now recognize all marriages outside the church as long as neither person was married before. Her explanation was that if they didn’t, then basically they are saying that for 40 years you have lived in sin and that your children are the product of sin. But since you were legally married just not in the church, then your marriage was valid. That’s how it was explained to me, so excuse me i I am wrong. On the urging of our RCIA director, my husband and I will have our marriage blessed in the church after we are all baptized.

Thank you for your reply!
Cudos to you for going through this journey together!
We wanted to partake in the 40 year blessings that our Bishop does each year, but I didn’t request it because I was bummed out about my team mates remarks. Marriage is a lifetime of commitment, which isn’t always easy.

As long as there were no impediments to marriage such as one of you were married before it looks to me like the marriage is valid. Looks like you discussed this with a Deacon during RCIA. Why are you questioning it? Non Catholics are not bound by Canon Laws on marriage the way Catholics are. BTW there is no “Catholic divorce system”. Which pretty much highlights her unreliability as a person to go to for advice on whether marriages are valid or not.

Thank you for your answer!!!

never mind what your so-called friend or colleague told you, if she is not a canon lawyer or have other relevant training she does not know what she is talking about. What did the priest tell you at the time you were received into the Church? only he knows ALL the relevant background (assuming you were totally honest and up front with him). don’t even go by what is said here, which is only general info, and cannot be applied to specific cases without knowing all the key points.

Missing from OP is a critical piece of info: was either party married before

why don’t you gently suggest to your friend that she not pronounce on other people’s marriages unless she has been commissioned and trained by her bishop to do so.

If all facts in OP are correct and complete, yes you are validly married (and since you are both baptized, are also sacramentally married) and nothing needs to be done. obviously we cannot make any definitive pronouncement since we don’t know–and there is no need for you to share–all the background. You were counselled when you were prepared for reception into the church, the issue is resolved.

If that’s the case with her she has no business telling anyone anything about the Catholic Church. If she bothered to learn the Church’s teachings she would never have made that statement, not to mention would never have married outside the Church, twice. (I don’t know the specific circumstances, but she’s likely not permitted to marry in the Church at this point).

Don’t worry, you’re not living in sin unless you and/or your husband were previously married, validly, and the other spouse is still alive. Welcome Home.:slight_smile:

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