My husband was denied Baptism


#1

Ok, I understand this is a complicated issue and it would take too long to go into all the details right now so, I will try to summarize for now. My husband has a desire to be baptized, wishes to enter and be in full communion with the Church, as do I. (I was baptized as a child and received first communion, had to leave Catholic school before I was able to be confirmed, now re-entering the church). We both completed the RCAI program but, due to an annulment issue, he was refused baptism and we both must wait to receive the Eucharist until the annulment is complete and we are married in the Church. This was difficult to understand but, we have come to terms with it and have accepted it and are happy to wait. The problem is, I was speaking with another lady today who attended RCAI with us. She asked why we cannot receive the Eucharist. I explained to her our situation. She seemed puzzled. She too had not been baptized, was and is still in the process of an annulment and is not married to the man she is living with and is pregnant by. They allowed her to get baptized and receive all her sacraments this past Easter vigil and they are both receiving the Eucharist each Sunday. Yet, my husband cannot get baptized and we are both made to sit out during communion.

Before I go confront our pastor, is there something I may be missing here, or has there been a grave mistake?


#2

The normal procedure is that your marriage would be regularlized before baptism or other sacraments. I don’t know what is happening with the other woman, but I would trust that your pastor knows about her situation and why there is an exception in her case.


#3

:hmmm: Baptism cleans us of every sin when done to an adult, you did not specify who’s previous marriage needs to be annulled that could have been the reason. We catholics when marrying outside the Church need to seek a dispensation from the bishop, you said that you were baptized and took first communion so you were catholic.
That could be the impediment. I would ask your pastor for clarification and hope that you understand that you are not being singled out but rather being protected.


#4

[quote="kellerk, post:1, topic:324827"]
She too had not been baptized, was and is still in the process of an annulment and is not married to the man she is living with and is pregnant by. They allowed her to get baptized and receive all her sacraments this past Easter vigil and they are both receiving the Eucharist each Sunday.

[/quote]

Perhaps she and her "husband" [in name only] have agreed to live as brother and sister until the annulment comes through or till the death of their earlier spouses.


#5

[quote="kellerk, post:1, topic:324827"]
Ok, I understand this is a complicated issue and it would take too long to go into all the details right now so, I will try to summarize for now. My husband has a desire to be baptized, wishes to enter and be in full communion with the Church, as do I. (I was baptized as a child and received first communion, had to leave Catholic school before I was able to be confirmed, now re-entering the church). We both completed the RCAI program but, due to an annulment issue, he was refused baptism and we both must wait to receive the Eucharist until the annulment is complete and we are married in the Church. This was difficult to understand but, we have come to terms with it and have accepted it and are happy to wait. The problem is, I was speaking with another lady today who attended RCAI with us. She asked why we cannot receive the Eucharist. I explained to her our situation. She seemed puzzled. She too had not been baptized, was and is still in the process of an annulment and is not married to the man she is living with and is pregnant by. They allowed her to get baptized and receive all her sacraments this past Easter vigil and they are both receiving the Eucharist each Sunday. Yet, my husband cannot get baptized and we are both made to sit out during communion.

Before I go confront our pastor, is there something I may be missing here, or has there been a grave mistake?

[/quote]

I understand that having to wait can be frustrating, especially when it appears that someone else doesn't have to - but even so, I would not focus overly much on the other woman's situation. Either there is something going on that you are not aware of in her case, or they messed up. In neither case does it affect how things should proceed in your situation.


#6

Ironically, in her case, the fact that she is NOT married, even civilly, to her gentleman lover may be what allowed her to be baptized. She is not living in a marriage that is not recognized by the Church; she therefore committed only individual sins, which were washed away in Baptism. Only he and she know whether they are continuing to fornicate, but even then, each act of fornication is an individual sin that can be confessed and absolved, unlike an invalid marriage that cannot be regularized without an annulment.


#7

[quote="aemcpa, post:6, topic:324827"]
Ironically, in her case, the fact that she is NOT married, even civilly, to her gentleman lover may be what allowed her to be baptized. She is not living in a marriage that is not recognized by the Church; she therefore committed only individual sins

[/quote]

Hmm... this doesn't ring true to me. If it were true, then the notion of "living as brother and sister" wouldn't be possible -- after all, in most cases, we're talking about a couple who is (only) civilly married. If it were a case of "individual sin only" as opposed to your implied notion of irregular marriage as an ongoing sin, then there'd be no recourse to the notion of continence.

even then, each act of fornication is an individual sin that can be confessed and absolved, unlike an invalid marriage that cannot be regularized without an annulment.

Again, I think not -- it would seem that the two situations are equivalent: an (invalidly) married couple and an unmarried, cohabitating couple, both of which couples intend to continue fornicating following baptism... :shrug:


#8

[quote="Gorgias, post:7, topic:324827"]
Hmm... this doesn't ring true to me. If it were true, then the notion of "living as brother and sister" wouldn't be possible -- after all, in most cases, we're talking about a couple who is (only) civilly married. If it were a case of "individual sin only" as opposed to your implied notion of irregular marriage as an ongoing sin, then there'd be no recourse to the notion of continence.

Again, I think not -- it would seem that the two situations are equivalent: an (invalidly) married couple and an unmarried, cohabitating couple, both of which couples intend to continue fornicating following baptism... :shrug:

[/quote]

There is no need to demand continence of a couple who is not married; it is assumed. A couple in an invalid marriage has publicly and juridically assumed the married state against the law of the Church.


#9

[quote="Evan, post:4, topic:324827"]
Perhaps she and her "husband" [in name only] have agreed to live as brother and sister until the annulment comes through or till the death of their earlier spouses.

[/quote]

Actually, she just found out she was pregnant (that only the RCAI director and a few others in the church knew) and she told me that she had missed her pill. Its very concerning. I really don't know what to do. From my point of view, they should not be receiving the Eucharist.


#10

Oy.


#11

https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/2758684160/h8529A104/

Taking what you’ve been told at face value, you’re probably right. I am not sure what, if anything, you can or should do about it though.


#12

[quote="aemcpa, post:8, topic:324827"]
There is no need to demand continence of a couple who is not married; it is assumed.

[/quote]

If it were assumed, then there'd be no scandal in cohabitation. ;)

A couple in an invalid marriage has publicly and juridically assumed the married state against the law of the Church.

But, there's not an on-going sin in that action. At best, it's a one-time action (and I think I would argue that this particular action is not matter for confession); rather, the sin comes in the every-day living out one's life as "husband and wife", when that is contrary to fact.


#13

OK… so, to sum up:

your friend was unbaptized but married. At best, it was a natural (not sacramental) marriage; perhaps, her first husband was Catholic (which would imply that perhaps, this is a simple ‘lack of form’ case, and is resolved through a documentary process (which is much simpler and shorter than a full-blown annulment proceeding)).

She is co-habiting and continues to do so.
She was contracepting, but (presumably) is no longer doing so.
She was fornicating, but (presumably) is no longer doing so.

Being charitable toward your pastor, let’s assume that they promised him that they’ll get married after she gives birth.

What reason, then, would there be for denying baptism (which you’re implying your pastor should have done)? (At best, the scandal of cohabitation, right?)


#14

[quote="Gorgias, post:12, topic:324827"]
If it were assumed, then there'd be no scandal in cohabitation. ;)

But, there's not an on-going sin in that action. At best, it's a one-time action (and I think I would argue that this particular action is not matter for confession); rather, the sin comes in the every-day living out one's life as "husband and wife", when that is contrary to fact.

[/quote]

Well, I guess I mean that legally or canonically or in whatever way used to determine whether one can be actually barred from receiving baptism. Certainly there is a scandal in cohabitation.


#15

But your pastor may know more than you do. And it’s his decision.

You mentioned “before I go confront our pastor . . .” May I suggest that wouldn’t be a good idea? Better to make an appointment and ask for clarification. But don’t expect him to give you details of this other couple’s situation – it won’t happen.

Frankly, I’m appalled that this woman would ask why you can’t receive communion. That was extremely rude. I would have given her the “Miss Manners look.”


#16

My husband and I lived "as brother and sister" for the two years it took for the Tribunal to investigate my first marriage and declare it null. But we were confirmed with the rest of our RCIA class. He was a baptized Catholic, and fell away. He has "reverted." I am a convert. So our situation is similar to yours.

So my question is, are you willing to give up all the affectionate actions of marriage, and just be roommates? No flirting, kissing, or making love, because in the Church's eyes you are still married to your first husband (until the marriage is declared null), so being romantic with anyone else is adultery. If you refuse to do that, then you are in grave and possibly mortal sin, and probably unfit to receive the Eucharist.

It's tough - I know! What helped me the most was putting my husband's salvation over my desire to love him fully. I want to see him in Heaven!

There are other marital issues that can make a marriage invalid, such as contraception, refusing to be open to children, IVF, "open" marriages, etc.

If I can help with advice and/or suggestions about living "as brother and sister," please PM me!

In the meantime, you could contact a canon lawyer to find out why our confirmations were allowed and yours was denied. (And if you find out that your pastor is right - please tell me!!)

With heartfelt prayers,


#17

[quote="kellerk, post:9, topic:324827"]
Actually, she just found out she was pregnant (that only the RCAI director and a few others in the church knew) and she told me that she had missed her pill. Its very concerning. I really don't know what to do. From my point of view, they should not be receiving the Eucharist.

[/quote]

It does you no good to continue to compare situations; it is just cutting up your peace and causing you to assume or think badly of the RCIA director, priest, etc.

Certainly you can ask your pastor to clarify your situation and be sure that there is nothing you can do to move up your husband's baptism and reception into the church.

What the situation is with anyone else, their specific sins or ommisions are between them and God (and the priest). Leave it that way. We all have enough of our own issues to worry about!

I will say a prayer for you and your husband.


#18

=kellerk;10687005]Ok, I understand this is a complicated issue and it would take too long to go into all the details right now so, I will try to summarize for now. My husband has a desire to be baptized, wishes to enter and be in full communion with the Church, as do I. (I was baptized as a child and received first communion, had to leave Catholic school before I was able to be confirmed, now re-entering the church). We both completed the RCAI program but, due to an annulment issue, he was refused baptism and we both must wait to receive the Eucharist until the annulment is complete and we are married in the Church. This was difficult to understand but, we have come to terms with it and have accepted it and are happy to wait. The problem is, I was speaking with another lady today who attended RCAI with us. She asked why we cannot receive the Eucharist. I explained to her our situation. She seemed puzzled. She too had not been baptized, was and is still in the process of an annulment and is not married to the man she is living with and is pregnant by. They allowed her to get baptized and receive all her sacraments this past Easter vigil and they are both receiving the Eucharist each Sunday. Yet, my husband cannot get baptized and we are both made to sit out during communion.

Before I go confront our pastor, is there something I may be missing here, or has there been a grave mistake?

FIRST: we have insufficient information to be of specific help:o

Second: SPEAK WITH [but PLEASE], do not "confront" your pastor. He represents God.
It sounds like your angry; when you too lack sufficient information. Don't rush to judge the Pastor as wrong. EVERY case must stand on its onw conditions and merits.:)

Tell your concerns and then LISTEN to what he tells you. ASK questions!

Third after that point your still in disagreement; contact the "Bishops Office" and seek a consultion there.

Do no do this in anger; do not do this without much prayer.

The CC and priest are NOT adversaries. They are MINISTERS with a "job to do" for which they are WELL trained. Mistakes can happen; but that is the far-exception; not the norm.

God Bless you BOTH!

I'll pray for you too.

Pat/PJM


#19

[quote="kellerk, post:1, topic:324827"]
We both completed the RCAI program but, due to an annulment issue, he was refused baptism and we both must wait to receive the Eucharist until the annulment is complete and we are married in the Church.

[/quote]

From the wording above, I assume that your husband was previously married. If that is the case, it is highly advisable that he not be baptized. That is because as long as he is not baptized, the option of a marital dissolution via the Pauline or Petrine Privilege (depending on the baptismal status of the prior spouse) is an option.

What that means is that the prior marriage can be deemed valid (i.e., an annulment cannot be granted) and the marriage can be dissolved. If he is baptized, it becomes more far more complicated, and certain, or all, marriage dissolution options may no longer be available.


#20

I knew this issue was too complicated to try to talk about on here. First, I want to say, I know how it may sound as if I'm angry or something but, that is not the case. I'm really just trying to understand and get advice on what I should do. Certainly I'm not going to just walk up and start a confrontation with my pastor. That's not what I meant. I would like to ask someone though. It's hard to explain without it sounding petty but, I have an honest inquiry here.

My husband was married and divorced. His ex was not catholic. He was never baptized.
She was married and divorced. Her ex was not catholic. She was never baptized.

She's cohabitatng. We're in a civil marriage.

She's currently seeking an annulment. He's currently seeking an annulment.

She received baptism. He did not.

I'm not sure if I can just ignore these facts and just go on waiting for years wondering if there has just been a mistake and that he could've been baptized all along.

Perhaps I'll speak with the director, and perhaps even ask my friend to be a part of the conversation. It's not as if I'm upset with her, she's a very nice lady and she did confide in me, I didn't seek her out. Its not as if I'm conspiring anything. I just have honest questions.


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