My Random Questions


#1

I hope this is the right forum for this. I had a look through several of them and couldn’t tell which might be best.

I have a few questions that I hope y’all might help me with:

  1. For reasons I don’t want to go into here, it won’t (ever) be possible to convalidate or sanate my marriage. I’ve heard of agreeing to live as brother and sister as a temporary measure to be able to receive communion until the marriage is convalidated, but can that also be a permanent measure? Or is this something that will forever keep me from full participation in Catholic life?

  2. I know that parents are obligated to baptise their infant(s) as soon as possible after birth. What are the consequences of not doing so? I had a read through canon law but didn’t find anything.

  3. In general, is it possible to get wrong information on a baptismal record corrected? Mine has the wrong name and parents listed, and it’s a very big source of distress for me that this might be my only and permanent record of baptism, since the Church doesn’t baptise twice, so much so that it’s a major consideration in whether or not I go through with converting to Catholicism.

Those are my questions for now. Thank you. :slight_smile:


#2
  1. One can not receive communion when in a state of Mortal sin. If your first marriage is considered valid in the eyes of the Church and has not been annulled, and if you are living with your new spouse as a spouse and are unwilling to correct the offense, then you will be perpetually unable to receive as you will be perpetually in a state of adultery. Speak with a priest about this, because we do not have sufficient information to understand whether your marriage is valid or invalid, whether your first marriage was valid or invalid, requires annulment, what have you.

  2. There are “no consequences” for not baptizing your child–meaning you will not be publicly ostracized or kicked out of the Church. However, the spiritual consequences are great. Failure to have your children baptized and raised in the Church is failure to open the door for your child’s salvation. Their eternal spirit is at risk–a risk that the parent put into place. We as parents don’t bat an eye and providing for our children’s earthly needs—we feed them, clothe them, teach them, because it is our responsibility and our joy to do these things. The same applies to their spiritual being. We are alive on this earth for this teeny spance of time, but our spirit is alive for eternity. The Church will conduct baptism at any age. If it doesn’t happen in infancy and the parent recognizes their mistake, it can be arranged with their parish to complete the baptism as soon as possible.

  3. If there is an error on your Baptismal record, contact the parish office where you were baptized to have it corrected. They may require proof of your parents, such as your birth certificate, because it is likely the priest who conducted your baptism is no longer there. However, the parish will have the baptismal record on file to reference that you have indeed been baptized. My record needed to be corrected because it had the incorrect God parents listed. Easy fix.

Based on your questions, it is very clear that you have a great deal of learning to do about your Catholic identity. And you do have a Catholic identity if you have already been baptized. There is no such thing as an ex-Catholic. The mark on your soul is insoluble, irremovable, eternal. I hope I have been able to help in some way. Know that you are in my heart and prayers as you explore and learn! God be with you!


#3

Thank you.

As for my marriage, it’s a first marriage for both of us, but the marriage wouldn’t be considered valid by Catholic standards. I’m not quite sure how the annulment and other processes work, particularly as we have no plans to ever get divorced. (And if we did legally separate I’d have to leave the country, so…) I suppose I’m confused on Catholic procedure vs legal procedure, and if there is a complete separation between the two, which I think there is, it seems rather dishonest to have it be considered Catholically annulled but legally still married.

As for the baptism issue, thank you. That is very reassuring. I’m actually currently waiting to hear back from the parish secretary, so I can ask about that when I get a reply to my first e-mail.

And, yes, I was baptised Catholic as a baby and later chose to be baptised into the Baptist church we defected to when I was young.


#4

If this is your first marriage then there wouldn’t be any reason why it couldn’t be validated in the Catholic Church unless the priest thinks you are married for the wrong reasons (as you indicated you are only allowed to live in this country because of your marriage).
My husband and I got married outside of the church in a courthouse and later on came back to the faith and got our marriage blessed in the Catholic Church.


#5

I believe antecedent and perpetual impotence makes a marriage invalid/nullifies it.

Is it still something I should talk to the priest about? In terms of possible convalidation, which I really don’t think is possible, I know I’ll need to talk to him about it in terms of how it would impact joining the church.


#6

Yes, I do not know about that one, maybe someone else here will. I would still go and talk to your priest. There may be something he could suggest so you may come into communion with the Church. That would be an awful reason to not join the Catholic Church since it is something that is beyond your control.


#7

Speak with your priest. I don’t believe this would prevent your marriage from being convalidated.


#8

You should speak to a priest, but I believe you are correct, your marriage cannot be consummated and therefore cannot be valid. However, you would be able to “live as brother and sister” and still receive communion. Living as brother and sister would require you to abstain from sexual relations, which won’t be a problem for you. You should discuss this with a priest.

Ultimately, though you ought to become Catholic or not simply by answering one question - is Catholicism true? If it is, let no obstacle stand in your way, join the Church. If it isn’t, don’t join for any other reason.

God bless.


#9

As far as living as sister and brother “forever” I think that can be done, but it is not generally successful.

In terms of incorrect information on a baptismal record I can’t see why that could not be corrected. You may need to speak to someone at your Archdiocese for advise on this. If there is a problem concerning your potential baptism there is such a thing as the Priest Baptizing you “conditionally.” Our Pastor had to do this with many or our Vietnamese and Hmong members due to lost records in refugee camps. They could not prove one way or the other if they had been Baptized, so their Baptism here was “conditional” which means if there was no original Baptism this was their official one, and if there had been one it is kept valid but there is now a record of a Baptism.

There are always ways to work these things out. Please discuss with your Priest or an official at the Archdiocese.


#10

It’s funny you put it that way, because if the Church had not put false information down on my records, I wouldn’t be having this one fairly major (for me) problem that involves me needing to chase them down and beg them to put the truth back into their records.


#11

The failings of one administrative employee should not give you a negative view of the whole Catholic Church.


#12

I don’t have a negative view of the Church, though the Church and I do have a history of things they have done to massively impact my life and not for the better. This is just one of those things. And I do happen to know this wasn’t a mistake but is the way the Church does things in situations like mine. I will feel better if it’s possible for it to be fixed, though I’m not sure it is. I haven’t written off the whole Church for it.


#13

I actually just got some information that provides a tiny sliver of hope that this can be sorted out, so I will pray for that. :slight_smile:


#14

Good news! Looks like the Church might be willing to work with me. I’m going to do what they ask and see if it turns out like I hope.

The tribunal wants me to send some documents, and they’ll see what they can do about me getting a corrected, truthful baptismal certificate.

Only a tiny part of me is annoyed by the fact that they’d already have this info if the complementary norms had been in place when I was born. So, overall, I’d consider it a win right now. :smiley:


#15

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