Question about marriage


#1

Looks like my thread was closed. Pretty strict rules, I guess. Anyway, I had a quick question. My gf has been telling me that marriage in a catholic church might be difficult due to the fact that I am not baptized. It seems like we cannot have a sacramental marriage, and that we need a dispensation from the bishop to marry in the church. If granted, we will have a (natural?) marriage. We don’t need to be married in the church as far as I am concerned, but my gf wants it. Two questions:

  1. Is it generally difficult to get this dispensation?

  2. A “Christian” friend of mine said I could get baptized in the church (protestant), and that would solve it. I would only do it as a technicality, but she said it could be done anyway.

I was also told you can marry in a protestant church if one of the parties is baptized, so perhaps we could do that instead. :shrug:


#2

How religious would you say your future bride is?

Have you talked about if your children (should you be blessed with any) will be raised Catholic?

Sorry, I know you came here for answers and I am asking questions :smiley:


#3

I would encourage you to take your time and be properly married in the church. In 1980 we did not and right now I know that was the beginning of the end. I have had a lot of time to think about it, and if I had a chance to do it all over again, we would have done it the right way. When I was 22 I didn’t care about those types of things. After 30 years and a whole bunch of experience I realize just how important those “things” really are. Be a visionary and do it right the first time. Your bride to be will love you forever for helping her have a great blessed wedding. Good Luck to you both.


#4

[quote="Persuader, post:1, topic:182256"]
Looks like my thread was closed. Pretty strict rules, I guess. Anyway, I had a quick question. My gf has been telling me that marriage in a catholic church might be difficult due to the fact that I am not baptized. It seems like we cannot have a sacramental marriage, and that we need a dispensation from the bishop to marry in the church. If granted, we will have a (natural?) marriage.

[/quote]

Yes, and there is nothing wrong with a natural marriage -- Millions of couples around the world contract them.

[quote="Persuader, post:1, topic:182256"]
Is it generally difficult to get this dispensation?

[/quote]

I've no direct experience with the matter, but I cannot imagine that it is -- Make an appointment with your girlfriend's priest.

tee


#5
  1. It is not particularly difficult to get the dispensation. Any special issues would be covered in your pre-marriage counseling.

  2. If your fiance is Catholic, she still needs a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic but the marriage would then be Sacrmental.

If your fiance is Catholic and you get married in a Protestant Church (or any location other than a Catholic Church) you will again need a dispensation so this doesn't make anything easier.


#6

[quote="Corki, post:5, topic:182256"]
1. It is not particularly difficult to get the dispensation. Any special issues would be covered in your pre-marriage counseling.

That's true. I've never seen one denied because usually when the pastor applies for the dispensation he assures the bishop that marrying this non-baptized person will not be a cause of the Catholic abandoning his/her religion.

  1. If your fiance is Catholic, she still needs a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic but the marriage would then be Sacrmental.

Not in the OP's case since he's not baptized and therefore cannot receive a sacrament.

If your fiance is Catholic and you get married in a Protestant Church (or any location other than a Catholic Church) you will again need a dispensation so this doesn't make anything easier.
True, the Catholic would need a dispensation from canonical form. But again, in my experienced that is usually granted since the pastor asks for it and gives the reasons why he thinks it should be granted. This avoids having the Catholic going against the Church and contracting an invalid marriage.

[/quote]


#7

In the US and Western Europe, probably not. It is fairly routine, provided the Catholic can assure the priest (who recommends to the Bishop) that they will not be in danger of falling away from the faith and that they will raise their children Catholic.

In other countries-- for example in a Muslim country-- it is a different matter. A woman marrying a Muslim man has no rights to raise her children Catholic under Islamic law and might be forbidden from the practice of her religion. This is a real problem in some areas of the world, not just marrying a Muslim but some other faiths.

Well, no, it wouldn’t. A Catholic still needs permission to marry a baptized non-Catholic.

Not exactly. A Catholic, after applying for and receiving permission to marry the non-Catholic, must also ask for a dispensation from the Bishop to marry outside Catholic form in order to do what you propose.

In all cases when a Catholic marries a non-Catholic (baptized or not) both parties are going to have to:

[LIST]
*]attend Catholic marriage preparation classes and meet with the priest
*]provide verification of their freedom to marry (no prior marriages, etc)
[/LIST]

And the Catholic will have to:

[LIST]
*]Get permission for a mixed marriage (if the other party is baptized)
*]Get a dispensation from disparity of cult (if the other party is not baptized)
*]Get a dispensation from the Catholic form of marriage (if the couple wants to marry somewhere other than a Catholic Church)
*]Give evidence they will not be in danger of stopping the practice of their faith
*]Promise to raise their children Catholic
[/LIST]

There are no shortcuts. The first step is to talk to her priest.


#8
  1. If your fiance is Catholic, she still needs a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic but the marriage would then be Sacrmental.

Not in the OP’s case since he’s not baptized and therefore cannot receive a sacrament.

Phemie,

I was responding to the OPs Question #2 hypothetical where he would get baptized as a Protestant first. :slight_smile:


#9

Thanks for all the answers, guys :thumbsup: This is how I understand it:

  1. Ok, so the dispensation is fairly easily obtained. But it isn’t just a formality, right? You see, my gfs mother has been badmouthing me to the family priest, and I would rather not deal with him if he could easily jam the wheels.

  2. Yes, so if I got baptized she could have her sacramental marriage.

My gf made an appointment with the priest she is seeing at campus because she is worried that her family priest is displeased with this entire situation (almost certainly true thanks to her hysterical mother). Sad thing that she has to see this fairly unknown priest instead of the guy she has known since she was a child, but what can you do. :shrug:

If I propose and we go through with this, we will have several meetings with the priest where we need to provide documentation and make preparations for the ceremony. I guess that includes some counseling, but it doesn’t sound like we have to take classes. We will just talk with the priest. This is what my gf says, but maybe she is downplaying it to ease my worries. The relevant website only mention the documentation and preparations for the ceremony. Maybe it is a cultural difference. :shrug:


#10

[quote="Persuader, post:1, topic:182256"]
Looks like my thread was closed. Pretty strict rules, I guess. Anyway, I had a quick question. My gf has been telling me that marriage in a catholic church might be difficult due to the fact that I am not baptized. It seems like we cannot have a sacramental marriage, and that we need a dispensation from the bishop to marry in the church. If granted, we will have a (natural?) marriage. We don’t need to be married in the church as far as I am concerned, but my gf wants it. Two questions:

  1. Is it generally difficult to get this dispensation?

  2. A “Christian” friend of mine said I could get baptized in the church (protestant), and that would solve it. I would only do it as a technicality, but she said it could be done anyway.

I was also told you can marry in a protestant church if one of the parties is baptized, so perhaps we could do that instead. :shrug:

[/quote]

you don't need anything, you are not bound by the laws of the Catholic Church. If you want to marry a Catholic, she is. She needs to obtain from the bishop a dispensation to marry a non-Christian, or a baptized non-Catholic (two different things). To obtain it she must go through the marriage preparation requirements of her diocese and ask her pastor to obtain the needed permissions. He will first ascertain that there will be no danger to her faith marrying a non-Catholic and that she fully intends to raise any children of the marriage Catholic, and of course that the other conditions for valid marriage exist: neither party has a prior bond, they are open to children etc.

No the Catholic party may not marry outside the Church--that is, in a non-Catholic setting without an ordained Catholic witness--priest or deacon. Even those can be dispensed but it would have to be for a grave reason. If she goes on her own intiative to get married in a protestant church or in a civil ceremony, without complying with Church laws on marriage, she wilfully and deliberately separates herself from the Church, from the Mystical Body of Christ on earth. and from His grace in the sacraments. that is the worst thing that can happen to a Catholic, and if she dies in this condition of separation she risks eternal damnation.

It sounds as if she, not you, needs education in what her Catholic Faith teaches, so I urge you both to get to her pastor and discuss your plans.


#11

I wouldn’t call her mother hysterical just because she doesn’t approve of you sleeping with her daughter and filling her head with unhealthy ideas. I would encourage her to see her family priest who has intimate knowledge of the entire situation, that is the best chance for her to get helpful suggestions…


#12

[quote="Persuader, post:9, topic:182256"]
1. Ok, so the dispensation is fairly easily obtained. But it isn’t just a formality, right? You see, my gfs mother has been badmouthing me to the family priest, and I would rather not deal with him if he could easily jam the wheels.

[/quote]

It isn't optional to meet with the priest. It is a required piece of the marriage counseling. Again, you are looking for short cuts or a way to bypass the Catholic marriage requirements and that is not possible.

The priest will counsel you two confidentially and objectively. No, the paperwork isn't a formality. But, it will likely be granted except in the gravist circumstances. "Her parents don't like him" isn't a valid reason to deny the request.

If her parents are badmouthing you, why is that? How involved are they in her life? How will you deal with this once married? You have some serious issues unrelated to Church paperwork.

[quote="Persuader, post:9, topic:182256"]
2. Yes, so if I got baptized she could have her sacramental marriage.

[/quote]

That is not a reason to get baptized. Baptism is a serious step in becoming a Christian. It comes with obligations. It is a statement of faith. Do you believe in the triune God? Will you practice the Christian faith?

If not, do not step forward for baptism.

[quote="Persuader, post:9, topic:182256"]
My gf made an appointment with the priest she is seeing at campus because she is worried that her family priest is displeased with this entire situation (almost certainly true thanks to her hysterical mother). Sad thing that she has to see this fairly unknown priest instead of the guy she has known since she was a child, but what can you do. :shrug:

[/quote]

Well, it is hard to tell from your description whether or not her mother has valid concerns. If your girlfriend isn't mature enough to face her childhood priest, and instead is employing avoiding behaviors and cannot stand up to her family-- buddy, you've got problems that have nothing to do with religion.

It isn't going to go away. It is best for her to deal with it.

[quote="Persuader, post:9, topic:182256"]
If I propose and we go through with this, we will have several meetings with the priest where we need to provide documentation and make preparations for the ceremony. I guess that includes some counseling, but it doesn’t sound like we have to take classes. We will just talk with the priest. This is what my gf says, but maybe she is downplaying it to ease my worries. The relevant website only mention the documentation and preparations for the ceremony. Maybe it is a cultural difference. :shrug:

[/quote]

There will be premarital preparation of some time. Each diocese has it's own methods and programs. It may be a series of meetings with a priest. It may be a few meetings with the priest plus a formal class done by parish staff, or it may be a retreat such as "Engaged Encounter" which is a weekend program. It may be meetings with a a sponsor couple. It varies from diocese to diocese as to how the implement the premarital preparation.

There are many, many perils involved in a mixed marriage. I hope you two have both discussed how you will raise your family, how you will handle adhering to Church requirements such as the obligation to attend Mass and to Church moral teaching such as the immorality of contraception. Also how you will incorporate Catholic traditions into the family-- such as Advent wreaths, fasting/abstinence from meat during Lent, and other things like Rosary devotion, etc.


#13

Oh my gosh, Annie, I just realized this is the atheist who is sleeping with the girlfriend and whose ideas and atheism have begun to influence the girl to reject the Church and her Faith and lean towards atheism.

No wonder her parents object!!!

Persuader, I see you have NOT taken anyone’s advice to leave this poor girl alone. I hope counseling with the priest knocks some sense into this girl.


#14

Looks like my thread was closed.

So does that mean its time for a new troll thread? I still don't believe the last one was genuine...


#15

Yeah, her "getting her sacramental marriage" isn't going to fix jack my friend. You already have grave concerns that "exposing her to secular thought" has "ruined her." Getting the dispensations for marriage and marrying her validly isn't going to change any of that.

As for her mother, I'm sure my wife would be doing the same thing... though not badmouthing you to the priest but more ripping you to your face. And as for me, well, hey there's nothing I can do to force my daughter to marry the "right guy" when that time comes... which hopefully is at least 22 years away... but I can guarantee you that if you were flaunting the fact that you were engaging in illicit sexual activity and pulling her away from the Church, you'd be considering pressing battery charges against me when I got through with you.

Oh, and my daughter would be thrown out of my house. Period.

I know all about mixed marriages; my father was Jewish, though not very practicing, until I was about 20. I know they can be difficult, but they can also work out beautifully, even if the one spouse never converts (praise God my dad did though). So it's not like I'm coming from the perspective of "If my daughter tries to marry outside the faith, I'm done with her." Not so. But if she wants to shack up with an atheist and then, when the relationship goes sour, the guy has the gall to try and fix things by getting a token baptism and basically lying through his teeth about his commitment to raising the kids Catholic, you're darn right I'm going to light him up. And do so physically.

My very serious advice to you is to end the relationship. Not because you "need to leave the poor girl alone" as some other posters said. But because this is not going to end well no matter what. You have a horrible relationship with her family and I'm sure she doesn't have a great one with yours. Her dalliances with atheism have been a source of discord in your personal relationship, and while I actually do agree with you that it is mostly on HER for listening to that nonsense and falling away from her faith, if you loved her you wouldn't be doing that. But instead of backing off and letting her find herself (whether it be religiously or otherwise) you're trying quick fixes that involve falsely obtaining sacraments and lying to priests, her family, her and yourself. That's a recipe for total disaster.


#16

[quote="jjtc, post:11, topic:182256"]
I wouldn't call her mother hysterical just because she doesn't approve of you sleeping with her daughter and filling her head with unhealthy ideas. I would encourage her to see her family priest who has intimate knowledge of the entire situation, that is the best chance for her to get helpful suggestions...

[/quote]

I second that. From your previous post, it appears the Priest's concerns and her mothers 'hysteria' are not out of line. Seeking ways to circumvent those who are telling you what you don't want to hear is a shallow way to proceed with this.

If you feel the opposition by her Pastor who knows her and her parents is out of place than you need to make that case, otherwise you need to begin to live out that masculinity built into you nature and face both her parents and her priest, not skirt the issue. I'm not going to offer advice when it appears (at least from your previous post) that the outcome is illicit and ill conceived. However, I'll stand corrected if you have legitimate reasons to oppose both her parents wishes and her pastors wishes and IF your intentions are purely ordered for you future brides well being (physical, emotional, and spiritual).


#17

[quote="Persuader, post:9, topic:182256"]
Thanks for all the answers, guys :thumbsup: This is how I understand it:

  1. Ok, so the dispensation is fairly easily obtained. But it isn’t just a formality, right? You see, my gfs mother has been badmouthing me to the family priest, and I would rather not deal with him if he could easily jam the wheels.

  2. Yes, so if I got baptized she could have her sacramental marriage.

My gf made an appointment with the priest she is seeing at campus because she is worried that her family priest is displeased with this entire situation (almost certainly true thanks to her hysterical mother). Sad thing that she has to see this fairly unknown priest instead of the guy she has known since she was a child, but what can you do. :shrug:

If I propose and we go through with this, we will have several meetings with the priest where we need to provide documentation and make preparations for the ceremony. I guess that includes some counseling, but it doesn’t sound like we have to take classes. We will just talk with the priest. This is what my gf says, but maybe she is downplaying it to ease my worries. The relevant website only mention the documentation and preparations for the ceremony. Maybe it is a cultural difference. :shrug:

[/quote]

Are you already engaged? Are you planning to marry soon?


#18

[quote="Persuader, post:9, topic:182256"]
Thanks for all the answers, guys :thumbsup: This is how I understand it:

  1. Ok, so the dispensation is fairly easily obtained. But it isn’t just a formality, right? You see, my gfs mother has been badmouthing me to the family priest, and I would rather not deal with him if he could easily jam the wheels.

  2. Yes, so if I got baptized she could have her sacramental marriage.

My gf made an appointment with the priest she is seeing at campus because she is worried that her family priest is displeased with this entire situation (almost certainly true thanks to her hysterical mother). Sad thing that she has to see this fairly unknown priest instead of the guy she has known since she was a child, but what can you do. :shrug:

If I propose and we go through with this, we will have several meetings with the priest where we need to provide documentation and make preparations for the ceremony. I guess that includes some counseling, but it doesn’t sound like we have to take classes. We will just talk with the priest. This is what my gf says, but maybe she is downplaying it to ease my worries. The relevant website only mention the documentation and preparations for the ceremony. Maybe it is a cultural difference. :shrug:

[/quote]

The counseling or classes are a prerequisite to getting the dispensation. The dispensation is based on the fact that you are prepared as a couple to deal with the challenges of a mixed marriage and that the fact that you aren't Catholic won't be a danger to your future wife's Catholic faith. It isn't just a formality. As a general rule there is somewhat more counseling when a mixed marriage is involved. If you are serious about this, and want a successful marriage, you should see this as a good thing. Mixed marriages are hard and the more preparation you receive, the better.


#19

Thanks again for answers and clarifications. :thumbsup:

If you have read some of the previous thread, I can say there has been development since I brought this situation to your attention. Her relationship with her family is not so bad. Her mother is still coming to terms with our relationship, but the rest of the family is more or less on board. I have an understanding with the father as to my intentions with his daughter. He is not as religious as her mother, and understand more about where I am coming from.

At this point, we are exploring our options. I will do my best to comply with her wishes as it pertains to the nature of our relationship. She wants to marry, so we are investigating how we can do that. Part of it is figuring out how we can arrange a ceremony, and how we can make that experience as good as possible. Because of her history with the family priest, it might be best to do this with a different priest.

Nothing is decided yet. We are exploring now, and that was the reason for my questions. We are simultaneously discussing what kind of marriage we can have, but I don’t reallly need any more religious advice on that (except if someone has some practical experience with this kind of marriage). She has read about and knows her religious obligations.

I have not proposed yet, but it is looking very likely that I will do this soon. The plan was to wait for our one year anniversary, but because of how well the relationship is going, it will probably happen before that.


#20

It may be going well from your perspective but not from that of the people who REALLY love this young lady.


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