Question about marital validity, etc


#1

My mother is a wonderful woman. However, she has been divorced and subsequently remarried. At the age of 18, or so, she married-in protestant tradition that she, herself, had been baptized in-an unbaptized man who I can almost be sure she did not fully know the character of. Throughout their marriage she was subjected to a range of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse. They had two children together. Meanwhile, however; her husband fell into a long (and probably preexisting) addiction to drugs, which still continues today. This relationship was characterized by him ridiculing and attempting to hinder her from going to church; and disallowing their children to be brought up in a spiritually active home. Eventually, my mother-although it hurt her deeply-decided that she must divorce her husband for her own safety, and the safety of her children. Several years later, she met my father. He was an unbaptized protestant who she subsequently fell in love with and married. They had two children together, and have lived a life fraught with blessings from the Lord. My brothers and I have lived in a spiritually awake, safe, and prosperous home. A home which provided me with the religious education that led me to the Roman Catholic Church. Today, my mother is spiritually sound and deeply devoted to Christ, as she has proved to be throughout the majority of her life. Simply enough, my question seems to be: Does the situation I described cause my mother to be guilty of a grave sin? Was her first marriage valid, in the first place? And, how could my loving Christ find the woman whom I love more than anyone else in the world guilty of sin for protection herself, and her children; and subsequently moving on to the blessed life which He meant for her? (And which lead to my existence)


#2

My mother is a wonderful woman. However, she has been divorced and subsequently remarried. At the age of 18, or so, she married-in protestant tradition that she, herself, had been baptized in-an unbaptized man who I can almost be sure she did not fully know the character of. Throughout their marriage she was subjected to a range of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse. They had two children together. Meanwhile, however; her husband fell into a long (and probably preexisting) addiction to drugs, which still continues today. This relationship was characterized by him ridiculing and attempting to hinder her from going to church; and disallowing their children to be brought up in a spiritually active home. Eventually, my mother-although it hurt her deeply-decided that she must divorce her husband for her own safety, and the safety of her children. Several years later, she met my father. He was an unbaptized protestant who she subsequently fell in love with and married. They had two children together, and have lived a life fraught with blessings from the Lord. My brothers and I have lived in a spiritually awake, safe, and prosperous home. A home which provided me with the religious education that led me to the Roman Catholic Church. Today, my mother is spiritually sound and deeply devoted to Christ, as she has proved to be throughout the majority of her life. Simply enough, my question seems to be: Does the situation I described cause my mother to be guilty of a grave sin? Was her first marriage valid, in the first place? And, how could my loving Christ find the woman whom I love more than anyone else in the world guilty of sin for protection herself, and her children; and subsequently moving on to the blessed life which He meant for her? (And which lead to my existence)


#3

I understand this question doesn't belong here.. That's why I reposted it somewhere else! My apologies!


#4

Jordan, We simply cannot answer these questions.

No one on this board can take a few paragraphs you have written and make a determination regarding the validity of your mother's first marriage. That would be something only a tribunal could undertake, with MUCH more information that what you give here.

No one on this board can say whether or not your mother is in a state of "grave sin" either. Such requires full knowledge and free will. We simply don't have all the facts.

May God bless you with his peace over this situation-- I would suggest it is spiritually unhealthy for you to speculate and second guess your mother's situation. If she desires to enter into the Catholic Church, everything will be sorted out in due course.


#5

I replied on the Apologetics thread you posted.


#6

I found the other thread and say that 1ke's response there is the best we can give you.

About the best I can offer to you is this. God can make wonderful things out of seemingly horrible mistakes and even sin...I know this for a fact in my own life...
You are blessed to have good parents and they are blessed to have you. Live the best life you can. Love your mom and dad and appreciate them. Then turn them over to God and his mercy.

If there are more specific questions you feel that you need addressed on this matter, I would suggest talking to your pastor....you can get into more detail - and privately - with him...

Peace
James


#7

I would agree with both 1ke and JRKH and also add that we certainly have enough to look at in our Sacramental lives without reaching out to the lives of others.


#8

[quote="Jordan_Hoppes, post:1, topic:295499"]
... Does the situation I described cause my mother to be guilty of a grave sin? Was her first marriage valid, in the first place? And, how could my loving Christ find the woman whom I love more than anyone else in the world guilty of sin for protection herself, and her children; and subsequently moving on to the blessed life which He meant for her? (And which lead to my existence)

[/quote]

I agree with the other posters that we cannot know for certain. Yet ...

Both marriages were natural marriages not sacramental marriages by Catholic reckoning, because both husbands are unbaptized. These should be preserved, but can sometimes be dissolved, according to Saint Paul. In the Catholic canons there is the Petrine Privlege, but only applies if the baptized party intends to marry a baptised Christian, which is not the case here.

If she were Catholic then there would be no guilt for protecting herself by separation (divorce), the canons allow even for that. That does not imply that the marriage consent was invalid though.

If she were Catholic then the second marriage could not have validly occurred without an annulment (which might not have been granted). An annulment could be based upon impediment or lack of consent (Protestants are not held to Catholic canonical form), etc.


#9

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