Marrying a non catholic

I would like to marry my boyfriend in a Catholic church but he is unable to locate his Certificate of Baptism, he is Christian, but not Catholic and he doesn’t know the details of the Baptism as he grew up in the Seychelles and many records were lost there. Do you think this will be a problem?

As an alternative we thought about getting married in the Seychelles and then having a Catholic blessing after - would this be acceptable?

I don’t know what to do - we have been in love for 27 years, we both married (in a registry office) and divorced someone else which doesn’t count in the eyes of the Church and I so desperately want to do it properly this time as he is the love of my life. I am 45, not a silly teenager.

Please, does anyone have any advice.

I don’t think it should be a problem. Are his parents still alive, and could they provide a written letter attesting to the fact that he was baptized?

The reason I say this is that I used to be involved in assisting with RCIA, and the candidates who claimed to have been baptized were required to provide a copy or some proof that they were baptized. No one was refused the Sacraments, etc., if they could not provide proof. They could have what’s called a conditional baptism, i.e., they went through the baptismal rite, and if they really weren’t baptized, it counted, and if not, it didn’t.

If nothing else, he could request a conditional baptism by the priest. Is he considering becoming Catholic?

Both his parents are deceased which is why he has no details and there are no family members around still. He has said that he would be baptized CofE if absolutely necessary, but would no become Catholic and I wouldn’t ask him to as that is a huge step, but he believes that he is CofE and ha always thought of himself as such.

Many Thanks for your reply.:thumbsup:

So he does not have a problem with raising Children in the Catholic faith, which you would have to agree to if married?

He would not have a problem, nor with me continuing my faith - except I am unable to have children.

That would be a problem unless you had an dispensation, since you would not be considered married in the eyes of the Church until you get your marriage blessed. There is also not guarantee that your marriage will be blessed, it is not automatic.

Whereas it may be true for you that you were never in a valid marriage, it is not necessarily the case for your non-catholic boyfriend (hence the warning about the marriage blessing).

My advice is that you lay this all out to your priest. He will help you eliminate all the guess work and advice on what steps are needed in your situation to get married validly.

My other piece of advice is that if you love this man, you should encourage him to look into entering the Church. If he loves you, he should at least be open to doing a little research and investigation. I say this because it is difficult to be married to someone who doesn’t share your faith, even if you don’t have the extra complexity of raising children in a split household. Perhaps this has happened to no avail. Does he at least attend Mass with you? Its one thing if is is open but just not there yet and quite different if he is completely closed to the concept.

So another issue to consider is that since he is not Catholic, he is not bound to the Catholic form of marriage in his previous Register Office marriage that ended in divorce. The Catholic Church would need to verify that his marriage was indeed invalid (non-Catholics are not bound to the Catholic form of marriage, but it may be valid for another church, and sacramental if both were validly baptised), and document your baptism, civil marriage, and divorce, proving the lack of form for it.

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