Open to Life?


#1

I am married to a Catholic man. We did not have a church wedding, but plan on doing so in the future.

I have a few questions

  1. Will we have to go to Marriage Encounter?

  2. We have one child. I think I’m done. Could we still get married in the church?


#2

Welcoms to CA Forums!

A few questions…is there a reason your Catholic husband married you in a civil ceremony and not in the Church? Do you know if you are eligible to be married in the Church? Are you interested in becoming Catholic yourself? Do you intend to raise your child/children in the faith?

If your goal is to be united not only in marriage, but in faith, your efforts would be best focused on learning about the Catholic faith. It is a serious and important commitment. Once you understand the Church teachings on marital preparation and family planning and how they integrate with central values of our faith, you may be able to accepts them as a gift from the Church that will bless and enhance your marriage instead of meaningless rules & regulations that are being imposed upon you.


#3
  1. The length and type of marriage preparation before convalidation is specific to your diocese. So, you need to ask your local parish about it.

  2. Yes. Although, I encourage you to read up on church teaching and be open to changing your mind in the future. www.omsoul.com for good info. If you decide to postpone pregnancy, you are aware that the Church teaches contraception is immoral, right?

That said… here are some rhetorical questions: Are you a Catholic? Are you planning to raise your child Catholic? Does he practice his faith? Are there any prior marriages?

There are many unanswered questions here-- and what I suggest you do is go talk to the parish priest together and lay out the whole situation.


#4

I was baptized as a child, so we are eligible.

I’m not interested in becoming Catholic

Our child will be raised Catholic


#5

The Catholic party is obliged to marry with the priest or deacon as witness. the Catholic party must get a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic who is baptized, or to marry a non-Christian. The Catholic party must agree to raise the children Catholic. If a Catholic marries civilly, or without the proper witness, the marriage is not valid. To return to the sacraments and the state of grace, the marriage must be convalidated, that is, a new marriage license is obtained, and after suitable preparation and counselling, with needed dispensations, the vows are exchanged in front of the priest or deacon. In this diocese there is a convalidation conference, which is similar to but not the same as Engaged Encounter, and they are geared to the individual situations–how long the couple has been together, whether there are children, whether both parties are Catholic etc.

The marriage must be open to life to be valid. If either party states or mentally decide not to accept God’s will in the matter of children, there cannot be valid marriage.


#6

there cannot be a valid marriage in the the sense that the priest won’t conduct a ceremony?


#7

Since you “think you’re done” having children and clearly not open to life, you would have to lie and fool the priest to get your convalidation, but you would still have an invalid marriage. You can’t fool God.

At this point, all you have is a civil marriage. Your Catholic husband has attempted marriage outside the Church and is technically quite free to marry, since he’s not really married now. The hard truth is that as a Catholic, he’s just “shackin’-up”. On the face of it, he’s probably in a state of mortal sin, and shouldn’t be receiving the Holy Eucharist, but like so many, probably is.

You’ve got much to learn about your “marriage”, your “husband”, the Catholic Church and yourself. Happily, everything you discuss and the many concerns you don’t yet know you have, can all be ironed out. It will take time and some serious discernment on the part of both of you. You’ve taken first steps toward a valid marriage.

You don’t have to convert to enjoy a valid, sacramental marriage to a Catholic, but I would encourage you to at least consider it. You just don’t have any idea what you’re missin’.

Well over 20 years ago, I was a lot like you. I wasn’t Catholic and certainly not open to life. But I met this wonderful Catholic girl who, for some unknown reason, took a shine to me, a no-good, wild party-animal and certified bad-boy. I’d managed to avoid any kind of commitment for years and was quite happy to lead the life of a worldly and perpetually single aviator.

Then SHE came along and changed everything. She wouldn’t move in with me, she wouldn’t even get married at the courthouse. Oh no, she made me do everything the hard way. We had to marry in the Church, which meant all kinds of classes, meetings with Father, the whole ball of wax. Now keep in mind, I had no intention of converting to ANYTHING, especially to a Catholic and no one ever said I had to, but I had to at least gain a working knowledge of the Church before Father would marry us. That was the beginning of my discovery of the truth held by the one true Church. I would have never discovered how great and permanent a true, sacramental marriage really is. I owe her my eternal life, because my eternal life in Christ was her gift to me.


#8

Go talk to the priest.

Clearly you did not have a permanent intent against children at the outset of your marriage, since you already have a child.

There is a canon law impediment to valid marriage if one or both spouses have a permanent intention against children at the time the marry.

I think that your decision you are “done” is rather hasty, and I hope you take it one day at a time rather than setting your mind against ever having more children, but I don’t believe your current situation in any way invalidates your marriage if at the time you married you both intended to have children.

Talk to the priest, he is a better guide than a bunch of people on the internet.


#9

if either party enters marriage with a state or mental reservation against being open to life, ie plans not to have children or takes steps to avoid pregnancy through surgery or other artificial means, then the marriage is not valid because it is impossible to contract a valid marriage in that instance. Full consent to the rights, duties and goods of marriage is lacking. Who witnesses the marriage or the baptized status of the parties is irrelevant. In the same manner, if either party entered the marriage with a reservation against fidelity, or concealing an impediment to marriage (prior bond etc.) the marriage would be invalid. That is universal, not limited to Catholics or to Catholic ceremonies.

For instance, two non-CAtholics marry in front of the judge, fully intending to avoid having children, and practice artificial contraception from the outset. They later divorce, and one seeks to marry a Catholic, so must get an annulment to do so. The annulment investigation will disclose that intent which invalidated the marriage from the outset, so the person will get that decree of nullity and be free to marry. However, the decree will also state this person must give evidence that the impediment no longer exists before he is free to marry a Catholic, that is, give evidence that he is now open to life and will do nothing irregular to impede conception during the marriage.


#10

I’m not going to lie. To do so would suggest I fel like I was doing something wrong.

At this point, all you have is a civil marriage. Your Catholic husband has attempted marriage outside the Church and is technically quite free to marry, since he’s not really married now. The hard truth is that as a Catholic, he’s just “shackin’-up”. On the face of it, he’s probably in a state of mortal sin, and shouldn’t be receiving the Holy Eucharist, but like so many, probably is.

I think if he marries another woman he’s be arrested. Anyhoo to say it is a civil marriage is a bit of a misnomer. we were married by a reverend in a small chapel in Vegas.

You’ve got much to learn about your “marriage”, your “husband”, the Catholic Church and yourself. Happily, everything you discuss and the many concerns you don’t yet know you have, can all be ironed out. It will take time and some serious discernment on the part of both of you. You’ve taken first steps toward a valid marriage.

I know you have your beliefs. But don’t you dare do that. Do not put marriage and husband in quotes. Accoring to the State of Nevada, my HUSBAND, myself and God, we are married. Besides, I’m not even Catholic, so the rules do not apply.

You don’t have to convert to enjoy a valid, sacramental marriage to a Catholic, but I would encourage you to at least consider it. You just don’t have any idea what you’re missin’

I mean no disrespect. But I just don’t want to be Catholic. There are a lot of things I do not agree with, so conversion would be wrong. It is my personal belief that there are many paths to God. Just as He created many different types of people, He created many paths to him. Catholicism is not my path.


#11

But your husband IS Catholic, so the rules are supposed to apply. He’s chosen to ignore them…

Jennifer


#12

I go back and forth. I’m in my 30’s. soonest I would have another would in at least 4 years, putting me at 37-38.

Does “we’ll see” fall under open to life ? :slight_smile:


#13

Look at it this way, let’s say your husband had dual citizenship - he is a citizen of the USA and also of another country. That other coutry has laws regarding the way marriage takes place. Your husband marries you under the laws of the USA, and they decides he wants to move to this other country. Before you two can be recognized as married there in the other country, he will have to “regularize” his marriage under their law. Sure, you are not a citizen of that country, but, if you want that country to recognize your marriage, you have some formatlities to go through.

Your husband has a kind of dual citizenship. As a Catholic, he is bound not only under the civil law of the USA, but also under the Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

You do not have to become a Catholic to have your marriage recognized, you just need to go talk to your husband’s priest.

As a loving wife, I’m sure you would not want a formality to keep your husband from the practice of his Faith?

Does that make sense?


#14

I TOTALLY understand why, in terms of church law. Its just the notion that I’m not married AT ALL is a bit insulting.

I hope it’s not coming off as though I’m standing in the way of having a Catholic wedding. My Husband is not of the mindset we have a false marriage. He goes to Mass, he is helping in the preparations of the Men’s Retreat. he is even a teacher at Boys Town. He believes that at the end of the day, love (all kinds of love) is the most important thing. He’s a good guy. :slight_smile:


#15

I’m sure he is:D But…the only marriage that ‘count’ as a ‘real marriage’ for a Catholic is a Catholic marriage, performed by a priest in a Catholic church (or, with dispensation elsewhere). Those are the ‘rules’…So, at the moment he is in an ‘invalid marriage’, whether you agree with it or not, but those are the ‘rules’…If he had asked for dispensation to marry elsewhere BEFORE the big day, it would have been a ‘valid marriage’ even if it hadn’t been in a Catholic church.

Anna x


#16

And yes…maybe baby = open to life;)

Anna x


#17

Really! *stomps off * “Hey you! Husband! Why didn’t you know this?” :stuck_out_tongue:


#18

A lot of Catholic don’t realise this…but when my mom and dad got married (back in 1968) she needed (and got) dispensation from the Bishop , and a friend of mine who’s Presbyterian married a Catholic in a local Presbyterian church with officialk dispensation from the local Bishop:cool:

Anna x


#19

Not correct. I think we all know that there is no true marriage. To suggest that a marriage exists is to ignore the basic facts of this situation as described to us.

The intent at time of true marriage must be to have children. Otherwise this particular marriage is not ‘ordered to the procreation of children’.

ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=501578

Dear DG,

An openness to childrenis an essential part of marriage. The intention to never have children makes a marriage invalid.

Canon 1055: The matrimonial covenant,by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ tthe Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

Canon 1101 #2: But if either or both parties through a positive act of the will should exclude marriage itself, some essential element or an essential property of marriage, it is invalidly contracted.

Recall that God has a plan for marriage. It is for us to discover that plan, and then live by it.

Cordially yours,

Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

Dan


#20

Dan

Not correct. It may not be a true marriage in the eyes of the Catholic church. But it is a marriage nontheless


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