Non Sacramental Catholic


#1

Is there any such thing? I am attending RCIA class and have an annulment process to go through; that may take a while. I am rather fearful of the time between RCIA completion and the annulment process. It seems like the wilderness. Will I be a member of the Church? Not being able to take part of any of the Sacraments will be difficult and I feel shunned enough already. I am particularly fearful for my wife who’s not quite as committed to entering Christ’s true church as I am. Have others experienced this that can provide some guidance through the desert. Peace, Mike


#2

I don’t know how fully I can answer your question because some details are missing. You are going through RCIA but you also say that you are going through an annulment.

From these two facts, I conclude that you are already a baptized Christian (otherwise you would not need an annulment) and that, while you are going through RCIA, you are really a “candidate” and not a “catechumen.” (These terms should have been explained as part of the RCIA program.) If this is the case, then you can, indeed, come into full communion with the Church even though you cannot receive the sacraments. You are, in fact, already a member by virtue of your baptism. Your adherence to the laws of the Church by not receiving the sacraments until you can licitly do so is actually a demonstration of your communion with her.

I hope that this helps.


#3

[quote=Mike316]Is there any such thing? I am attending RCIA class and have an annulment process to go through; that may take a while. I am rather fearful of the time between RCIA completion and the annulment process. It seems like the wilderness. Will I be a member of the Church? Not being able to take part of any of the Sacraments will be difficult and I feel shunned enough already. I am particularly fearful for my wife who’s not quite as committed to entering Christ’s true church as I am. Have others experienced this that can provide some guidance through the desert. Peace, Mike
[/quote]

Once you’ve made your profession of faith and received the sacrament of Reconcilliation, you are free to receive the Eucharist, as long as you are living chastely. I went through the annulment process and as long as I was chaste, I was free to receive communion.


#4

My RCIA instructor said that if a candidate died during the RCIA process they would be buried Catholic.

I remember what it was like to not be able to receive the sacraments. It is quite a thing to see other Catholics who probably know infinitely less about Catholicism than you receiving the sacraments. It is tempting to see them (as many of our detractors do) as elitist snobs. It hurts, but that is the price of division.

Scott


#5

[quote=Mike316] It seems like the wilderness.
[/quote]

It is the wilderness. During the seemingly endless period before Confirmation, when I was not yet permitted to receive the Sacraments, I spent a lot of time meditating on the Israelites’ journey through Sinai. Keep focused on the pillars of fire and cloud. They had to wait 40 years.


#6

[quote=theMutant]I don’t know how fully I can answer your question because some details are missing. You are going through RCIA but you also say that you are going through an annulment.

From these two facts, I conclude that you are already a baptized Christian (otherwise you would not need an annulment) and that, while you are going through RCIA, you are really a “candidate” and not a “catechumen.”
[/quote]

Dear Mutant:

A small correction. Whether or not one is baptized does not affect the need for an annulment to address a remarriage issue. The type of annulment process is, indeed, dependent upon the baptismal status. The Church recognizes both sacramental marriages (both parties are baptized) and “natural bond” marriages where one or both parties are unbaptized. But second marriages still require the annulment process.

Deacon Ed


#7

[quote=Mike316]Is there any such thing? I am attending RCIA class and have an annulment process to go through; that may take a while. I am rather fearful of the time between RCIA completion and the annulment process. It seems like the wilderness. Will I be a member of the Church? Not being able to take part of any of the Sacraments will be difficult and I feel shunned enough already. I am particularly fearful for my wife who’s not quite as committed to entering Christ’s true church as I am. Have others experienced this that can provide some guidance through the desert. Peace, Mike
[/quote]

The RCIA process is an individual process. If your wife is not sure then she should not go through the Rite of Welcome or Acceptance. she should remain in Inquiry until she is sure. You did not say if you were already Baptized? If so then you are already is a way imperfectly united to Christ’s Church. If something were to happen to you and you faced possible death or serious illness. You would be Baptized or Received whichever applies to you, after you go through the Rite of Welcome or Acceptance, without delay.


#8

[quote=Mike316]Is there any such thing? I am attending RCIA class and have an annulment process to go through; that may take a while. I am rather fearful of the time between RCIA completion and the annulment process. It seems like the wilderness. Will I be a member of the Church? Not being able to take part of any of the Sacraments will be difficult and I feel shunned enough already. I am particularly fearful for my wife who’s not quite as committed to entering Christ’s true church as I am. Have others experienced this that can provide some guidance through the desert. Peace, Mike
[/quote]

Mike,

I need more information to provide a definitive answer, but I’ll give some general guidelines here.

  1. If you are unbaptized, then you become Catholic at the Rite of Election. At this point you still cannot receive the sacraments, but are entitled to all other benefits of being Catholic.
  2. If you are already baptized then you become Catholic at the time of your profession of faith. Again, the sacraments may or may not be accessible to you.
  3. Depending on the circumstances of your marriage the annulment process may be long or short – I don’t know enough to answer. In my diocese in Southern California a formal case can take three years while a documentary case can take three to six months.

Yes, it is a desert experience.

If you wish to discuss this further, feel free to PM me.

Deacon Ed


#9

All prior marriages must be investigated by the Church, Baptized or not Baptized. It is possible that an un-Baptized person entered into a prior valid marriage with a Baptized Christian.

One cannot be received into full union with the Catholic Church which requires the Sacrament of Confirmation and Holy Communion when one is in an irregular marriage situation. Except in an emergency situation.


closed #10

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