Married to a Lutheran


I’m getting conflicting information within the Church on my marriage. My wife and I were married in the Lutheran church while I was lapse. When I returned to the church I went to confession and was told by the priest that I was living in sin. While the church recognizes that I’m married, it at the same time does not. I have been told that I cannot recieve communion until my marriage is blessed by the church. In order to do that, my wife must agree to raise our children Catholic. Seeing as she is Lutheran, that’s not something she’s inclined to do. How much of this is true canon? I have been told by another priest that there is nothing wrong with it, another priest said there was no requirement for her to raise our children Catholic, only to agree not to impede me raising them Catholic. The vid on catholic answers implies that none of this is necessary. At some point my children are going to ask me why I don’t recieve communion and I’m going to have to tell them that our church does not recognize our marriage as valid. This seems so backward and arbitrary. Any clarification on this would be greatly appreciated.


If you married outside Catholic form without a dispensation, your marriage is not valid. You need a convalidation for it to become valid. That can be either via a radical sanation or a simple convalidation. With radical sanation, the consent you exchanged with your wife is made valid back to the beginning. In convalidation, you exchange new consent in Catholic form.

When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic, the Catholic promises to do all they can to raise their children Catholic. The non-Catholic party is made aware of the promise. The non-Catholic does not make any promises regarding raising children Catholic.

Make an appointment with your pastor and ask him about radical sanation of the marriage. If he isn’t familiar with radical sanation, talk to someone at the diocesan office about it.



Thank you. I called my diocese and asked them about our situation. She said convalidation covers it. She even showed me the web address for the form and pointed out for me what you said. Irritated at my local priest, but I guess we all fail. Now to start the process. Hopefully after 15 years of marriage and 2 kids they don’t make us go through the whole year program.


Years ago (hmm, 22, given the recent birthdays), when we were going to have my twins baptized in my parent’s parish across the country so more family could make it, a clever deacon solved the lack of upcoming classes before that date by making my wife and I instructors. (particularly clever, as we agreed to help teach. Not so clever, in that he forgot to tell us when the class was . . .). He kind of rolled his eyes at the notion of that class for our 3d and 4th children , , ,

I’ve heard of marriage prep programs as long as six months at most (in the USA). However, and I can’t speak for what will actually be approved, I’ve seen that waived or shortened to a meeting or two with the priest/deacon for people in “irregular” situations like you. And in my experience parish offices tend to be a bit stricter with what they say about the rules. The priest has the final say in granting exceptions.

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