Opposition to Baptism


#1

Extreme disappointment as husband not received into church during Easter Vigil.

As a widowed mum of four, I met and married my husband in a civil ceremony. We thought that a better moral stance than living together, how wrong we were.

A non baptised divorcee previously married to a non baptised partner in a civil service, legally terminated approx. 12 years ago, parish has decreed that he now must have this marriage annulled before being baptised a catholic.

This has saddened us greatly as our unity was intended to strengthen our family of faith but instead has us wondering why put in the effort at all.

The God we both believe in is not bigoted or racist and yet in attempting to embrace catholism for him self, his love for me and our children he is denied entry because of a marriage our church does not recognise…we have supplied references from his and his original wife’s family stating that neither individual was ever baptised. Can anyone instruct me why a full annulment is being requested?


#2

Because it is the right thing to do, even if you have to take the extra step of making sure he was free to marry you in the first place. It is worth it.

The God we both believe in is not bigoted or racist and yet in attempting to embrace catholism for him self, his love for me and our children he is denied entry because of a marriage our church does not recognise…we have supplied references from his and his original wife’s family stating that neither individual was ever baptised. Can anyone instruct me why a full annulment is being requested?

This has nothing to do with bigotry or racism. Why even bring this up?:confused:

Speak to the pastor that you have been communicating with. He can explain, in detail, why an annulment is needed and he can answer any questions/objections you have.

Don’t give up, the effort is worth it!!!

Peace

Tim


#3

I’m afraid to say what you have been told is correct. The Catholic church holds that all marriages are valid and binding, even if they are civil and between unbaptised people.

I can totally understand why you might feel this is a bit harsh when you are in the midst of it.


#4

Thank you Tim…I just don’t understand the logic…on one hand as non baptised persons our church does not recognise the validity of my husbands first marriage.

If he is now divorced from a marriage that we don’t recognise why does this prevent him from being baptised.

Our current marriage is addressed as problematic, yet my children now live in a stable loving and faith filled environment. I question only the logic as we are taught to believe…

“In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: “For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband.” It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration” should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith.” 1637?

In Corthinians Chapter 7…from verse 2

but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband…Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire…For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy…Only, everyone should live as the Lord has assigned, just as God called each one. I give this order in all the churches. Was someone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. Was an uncircumcised person called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision means nothing, and uncircumcision means nothing; what matters is keeping God’s commandments.
Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called."

The teaching I have received in this respect I was taught that distinct human conditions are less significant than the whole new existence opened up by God’s call, we are taught that Paul urges individuals to be less concerned with changing their states of life than with answering God’s call where it finds them. To this end in compliance with our church we attempt to practice “Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer” in preparing my husband to accept the grace of conversion."

Why therefore with all the effort we have applied to the creation of a Catholic domestic faith to nurture the growth of our children are we being tried so fervently.

Reference to bigotry and racism…perhaps tongue in cheek, apologies but we attempt at all time to love others as Jesus loved us! this is the pinnacle of our families belief yet by embracing my husband as an intergral person in our home, we are asked to observe yet not receive sacraments.

I am to teach my children the forgiveness of God in a church that does not recognise the work we have put into the formation of a Catholic home, in practice but not name. It has left us very saddened.


#5

Thank you so much…limited knowledge of Canon law has left us very confused and saddened…so many in our church unwedded with children, or in mixed unblessed marriages receive the Eucharist and I cant knowing it’s forbidden…just seems like double standards :frowning:


#6

You have clearly acted always out of the best intentions, so I pray that you won’t find this stumbling block a barrier to persevering in all that you have started.

Canon law can be terrible to understand and I hope that you have a knowledgeable, patient and kind pastor who would be able to convince you that whilst the Church supports you and your family in everything you are trying to do, there are just some creases that need to be ironed out.

In the situation you are talking about, if the Church did not recognise a civil marriage between two unbaptised people, should one of them subsequently convert, (s)he would (from the perspective of the Sacrament) be free to marry a Catholic without first divorcing/annulling the first marriage.

My prayers are very much with you and your family. Persevere in the faith and all the good that you are doing for your family.


#7

In the situation you are talking about, if the Church did not recognise a civil marriage between two unbaptised people, should one of them subsequently convert, (s)he would (from the perspective of the Sacrament) be free to marry a Catholic without first divorcing/annulling the first marriage.

This is what we believed but is the very thing preventing his baptism…how can that be so.

I have high regard for our pastor but neither of us feel us educated enough to approach him. After Easter service he handed my husband annulment papers and the business card of the pastor in our diocese that deals with such matters. We feel so deflated and abandoned having been told before Easter that there was no reason for him not to be received into our faith.


#8

That is not necessarily the case. Again, I recommend you speak to your pastor as it seems that you have some misunderstandings of Church teaching.

If he is now divorced from a marriage that we don’t recognise why does this prevent him from being baptised.

YOUR recognition is not the question here. Again, and I know I sound like a broken record, you both need to sit down with your pastor and let him explain why you need the annulment. He can address the laws of the Church with you in the process.

Our current marriage is addressed as problematic, yet my children now live in a stable loving and faith filled environment. I question only the logic as we are taught to believe…

You need to speak with your pastor (have I mentioned that before?;)).

“In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: “For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband.” It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration” should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith.” 1637?

In Corthinians Chapter 7…from verse 2

but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband…Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire…For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy…Only, everyone should live as the Lord has assigned, just as God called each one. I give this order in all the churches. Was someone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. Was an uncircumcised person called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision means nothing, and uncircumcision means nothing; what matters is keeping God’s commandments.
Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called."

The teaching I have received in this respect I was taught that distinct human conditions are less significant than the whole new existence opened up by God’s call, we are taught that Paul urges individuals to be less concerned with changing their states of life than with answering God’s call where it finds them. To this end in compliance with our church we attempt to practice “Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer” in preparing my husband to accept the grace of conversion."

Those are good things, no doubt. If your husband wasn’t free to marry you, all of those things go out the window.

Just in case I haven’t mentioned it, please speak to your pastor about this.

Why therefore with all the effort we have applied to the creation of a Catholic domestic faith to nurture the growth of our children are we being tried so fervently.

Hmm. Perhaps you should speak to your pastor.:smiley:

I am to teach my children the forgiveness of God in a church that does not recognise the work we have put into the formation of a Catholic home, in practice but not name. It has left us very saddened.

You should speak with your pastor.

Peace

Tim


#9

The Church recognizes marriages between the unbaptized as valid natural marriages, although not Christian marriages. I am not a marriage expert but I would guess that there will be a way that you can have your marriage blessed by the Church. Don’t give up hope.


#10

How do you know that the Church does not recognize his first marriage? Only the Church can make that determination and you have yet to complete the process needed for that kind of finding.

I have high regard for our pastor but neither of us feel us educated enough to approach him. After Easter service he handed my husband annulment papers and the business card of the pastor in our diocese that deals with such matters. We feel so deflated and abandoned having been told before Easter that there was no reason for him not to be received into our faith.

He is trying to help you. Why do you feel deflated and abandoned?

Peace

Tim


#11

The barrier to the sacrament of baptism comes because your husband re-married. That puts him in bad standing with the Church, which is why he cannot be received at this time. (It is for this same reason that you quite rightly abstain from receiving communion). The sorry fact is, both the first and second marriages are valid in the Church’s eyes.


#12

As a Catholic, why would you not have approached the Church for marriage in the first place? The prior marriages would have been dealt with at that time. As a Catholic you were required to marry in the Catholic Church, not in a civil ceremony.

I’m just confused as to why you did not approach the Church for marriage in the beginning, which would have brought out these issues long before his desire to become Catholic.

I am also puzzled by your statement about just “living together” being the other option, as I would think that would never be an option for a practicing Catholic.

Were you away from the Church at the time?

Or he could also possibly use the Pauline Privilege. This should be discussed with a knowledgeable person at your diocese.

I know you are hurt and disappointed, but name calling really isn’t going to get you anywhere. He is not denied entry. His baptism is being *delayed *until such time as your marriage can be regularlized so that he can be received into the Church.

Well, it is possible that he qualifies for the Pauline Privilege. I recommend he talk to someone at the diocesan level, at the tribunal office.

The two of you would then need to convalidate your marriage.


#13

Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. I said “IF the church didn’t recognise the first marriage…” and then drew the logical conclusions, which would be an impossible impossible.


#14

Again thank you. If
I could speak to my pastor I would, today I want to leave the church, not because I’m not getting my own way, but because in a society were it’s the norm to come from a broken home, those of us who genuinely want to remain together in a faith are denied this luxury because we’re not worthy.
I wish my pastor was approachable…there is only so often you can ask to speak with him before it becomes an embarrassment. I am truly sorry for asking such an oblivious question here, I wouldn’t had I had the support at parish level.


#15

You are mistaken. The Church absolutely recognizes the marriages of non-Catholic Christians and non-Christians as valid.

Because you are under a mistaken assumption that the Church does not recognize his marriage. They DO recognize this marriage as valid unless proven otherwise.

Sounds like maybe you were taught some things that were not accurate.

Seems like you might be trying to cherry pick-- quoting the parts of church teaching you like and disregarding those you don’t. As a Catholic, you were obligated to approach the Church for marriage, which you chose not to do. All of this would have been resolved at that time, up front, before you got married. You chose marriage outside the Church.

But you haven’t actually formed a Catholic home-- you started this marriage by going to a civil ceremony instead of the Church.

I know you are saddened right now, but all of this can be rectified. I suggest he apply for the Pauline Privilege if he and his first spouse were both unbaptized. You will also have to convalidate your marriage during this process.


#16

First NO ONE has said you are “not worthy”. I know it is difficult to not have emotions around this, but all of this is a story you are telling yourself, NOT what the Church teaches.

I would recommend going to the diocesan judicial vicar. He can help you sort it out. Your spouse has two options: decree of nullity or Pauline Privilege.


#17

He would not be able to apply the Pauline Privilege or any other clause in canon law, as the marriage was not a Catholic marriage and neither is he Catholic. What they Church requires is a civil annulment.


#18

You are mistaken.

This is not accurate at all. Civil annulment has NO status in the Catholic Church and no bearing on the validity of marriage.


#19

My husband does not meet the requirements requested of him even in the “Preliminary Information For Nullity Applications,” by not ever being baptised, thus unable to provide either his or his ex wife’s baptismal certificate. The form requests that all information should be recent copies within the last 6months…his decree absolute is 10 yrs + and the oringnal and we have applied for a copy of his marriage certificate.


#20

Take a day or two and pray about this. You are not being denied a “luxury”. The Church cannot validate a marriage when one of the two people are not eligible for marriage. Is you husband free to marry you? Not if his first marriage was valid. Was it? I don’t know, but the Church is offering to help you with that question.

I wish my pastor was approachable…there is only so often you can ask to speak with him before it becomes an embarrassment. I am truly sorry for asking such an oblivious question here, I wouldn’t had I had the support at parish level.

Then you need to look to another parish if you can’t discuss this with your pastor. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. They are there to help you, not shame you.

There is no problem asking questions here, but understand the nothing you are told here has any bearing on your case. ONLY the Church can answer the question of the validity of your husband’s previous marriage. We can give you moral support and some information, but that is about all we can do.

Peace

Tim


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