Married to an atheist-does anyone know?


#1

I hope someone can give some input.

I entered the Church two years ago, and have been married for 9 years. My husband is an atheist, and refuses to participate in my faith in any way. I have recently been informed that I ‘can’t’ receive communion as our marriage has not been convalidated. Does anyone have any input about this? Any responses will be greatly appreciated.


#2

I think that since you converted your marriage would be valid and you can receive Communion.

Since you were married when you were not Catholic, Church laws did not apply to you and therefore the marriage was valid.

However, if you were baptized Catholic and you married outside of the Church then it would not be valid.


#3

[quote="smilesformiles, post:1, topic:310999"]
I hope someone can give some input.

I entered the Church two years ago, and have been married for 9 years. My husband is an atheist, and refuses to participate in my faith in any way. I have recently been informed that I 'can't' receive communion as our marriage has not been convalidated. Does anyone have any input about this? Any responses will be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

Who "informed" you about your marriage? Is it someone who is actually in a position to know?

The short answer is that if you were in a valid marriage prior to becoming Catholic, it is still a valid marriage and you don't have to do anything. If the marriage wasn't valid prior to becoming Catholic, then it is still not valid and you need to take steps to set things right.

What might lead to an invalid marriage? The most common thing would be that one or both of you were married before and thus not free to marry each other. Another common thing would be if one or both of you were baptized Catholic and did not get married according to Catholic form.

If neither of you was baptized Catholic and neither of you were married before, you are most likely fine. Talk with your pastor so that you will be reassured.

If you think your marriage might be invalid, then talk with your pastor about how to rectify things.

In other words, talk with your pastor. :-)


#4

Thank you!
It was a parish administrator who informed me and, no neither of us were previously married nor Catholic at the time of our marriage. The pastor at my current parish requested a meeting with me because there are ‘issues’ since we were married outside the Church. I do have an appointment with a priest who has studied Canon Law so I hope that will help as well.


#5

I am surprised that this was not taken care of when you were recived into the Church--maybe you should contact that pastor so you understand why you were allowed in without anything's being done about it.

I don't know very much about this particular problem, but perhaps because you had never been baptized or something like that.


#6

[quote="smilesformiles, post:4, topic:310999"]
The pastor at my current parish requested a meeting with me because there are 'issues' since we were married outside the Church.

[/quote]

Well of course you were married outside the Church...neither of you was Catholic! Non-Catholics are not obliged to follow Catholic marriage laws.

And St. Francis is right -- this should have been dealt with before you were received into the Church. The pastor or RCIA director should have talked with you about your marriage early in the process so that if there were any problems they could be remedied.

I'm not a canon lawyer, but I don't think you have any problems to worry about. I'm glad you have a canon lawyer you can talk with to help keep everything moving right along.


#7

You know, this is starting to become my pet peeve. Unqualified people who do not know what they are talking about telling people inaccurate things that cause trouble.

Then you are validly married and convalidation does not apply to you.

Your pastor likely only has part of the story. As neither of you was Catholic you had no requirement to be married in the Catholic Church-- since neither of you was Catholic it wasn’t even possible for you to marry in the Catholic Church.

Well good. Sounds like just a misunderstanding.


#8

Thank you, All!
I am feeling a bit more at ease after reading the replies. I suspect that parishes in our area, which is very rural, do not often get new parishoners with situations such as ours(mine and my children’s). Most have come from Catholic families. I definitely did not : ) I discerend the call to the Church for 16 years and don’t have family support…so I guess it is particularly hard when problems arise within the parish.
Thanks again.


#9

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