Remarriage Options?


#1

I have been away from the Church since the late 70’s, and have considered myself a Christian all this time, but not any particular denomination. A number of things have happened to me this year, which are not important to go into here, but amount to (as one person said to me) God thumping me on the noggin and telling me that I need to get right with Him, that there is not as much time ahead of me as there is behind me and I need to make some changes.

All this has caused me to examine my life and beliefs. I have started reading my Bible, am working through Pastor Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life,” and listening to Christian talk radio, reading forums, etc. I have not figured out what church I am being steered to yet, but am open to most Christian faiths. Christ as Redeemer is the foremost thing, but the Devil is in the details (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Of course, because of familiarity if nothing else, I have to consider returning to the Catholic Church. While it sounds like I’m looking in most other places first, I am also looking there. I am reading Father Champlin’s “Catholic Perspective on The Purpose Driven Life,” will be getting a Catechism (which I can never recall being exposed to in Catholic grammer school), and am here.

Sorry for the long winded intro, but I thought where I am now might be illuminating. Now to my question:

I was married in the Catholic Church back in the 70’s, and divorced a few years later. There were no children, there was infidelity on both of our parts, although the divorce was not on those grounds. Not too long after that I remarried, to the wonderful woman I have been with for over 30 years now. We have two wonderful daughters, now adults and on the verge of finishing college and starting their own lives. My wife is not a Catholic, and does not presently attend any church.

Now I understand that the Church does not recognize this marriage, and that I can not partake of the Sacraments while essentially “living in sin.” While I am not sure that I am being led back to the Catholic Church, I am planning on going to Christmas Mass but not receiving Communion.

I think I have a fair idea of what steps I would normally have to take in this situation, but the possible “game changer” is that my 1st wife passed away about 2-1/2 years ago. In a few sites I have seen references to “if the first spouse is alive.” Does this change things? I think that the Church would still NOT recognize my present marriage, if for no other reason than we have not been married in the Church. Is that correct?

More importantly, does this mean that I am free to marry in the Church (presuming I return and follow the “rules” that anyone wanting to be married in the church must)? I assume I cannot partake in Communion until the Church considers this marriage valid, but would my first wife having died cleared the hurdle of my being considered still married to her in the eyes of the Church?

Thank you to anyone who manged to make it this far, and I patiently await your assistance.

Dennis


#2

I hope your Christmas Mass is only the beginning!

I think I have a fair idea of what steps I would normally have to take in this situation, but the possible “game changer” is that my 1st wife passed away about 2-1/2 years ago. In a few sites I have seen references to “if the first spouse is alive.” Does this change things? I think that the Church would still NOT recognize my present marriage, if for no other reason than we have not been married in the Church. Is that correct?

If your first spouse died then you are free to marry. Talk with your pastor about “convalidating” your marriage. That will bring it into the Church and you would be free to receive the sacraments.

You’ll be in my prayers. It sounds like you are running straight into God’s open arms. May you continue!


#3

Merry Christmas!! What a wonderful thing is happening to you - it’s your Homecoming :wink:

There is a website you might want to check out: catholicscomehome.org

I think you will be able to get great answers to your questions. If you haven’t already, check the EWTN website – incredible archives there, great Catholic TV and radio (which you can listen to online!) Its an amazing time to be Catholic.

God bless you on your journey!


#4

The bond of marriage ceases with death. Therefore, you are no longer bound by the impediment of a prior bond. You can convalidate your marriage to your present wife. This will take some paperwork with the priest and exchanging vows/giving consent in the Catholic form.

I wish you all the best and sincerly hope you will come home to the Church.


#5

Nina, thank you for the link! I will definitely look that site over. I knew of EWTN, having heard Raymond Arroyo on Laura Ingraham many times. His stories of Mother Angelica and the network she founded were incredible. I’ve gone through that site some, and have it bookmarked in my “Faith” folder. I’ve also caught a bit of it on dish.

The bond of marriage ceases with death. Therefore, you are no longer bound by the impediment of a prior bond.

1ke and SuscipeMeDomine: Thank you too! This was my take on what I read elsewhere, but at this stage I didn’t trust my own interpretation, and thought this would be the place to ask. At least until I decide to see a priest, if that is where God’s Will takes me.

God Bless you all, and thanks for the quick responses!

Merry Christmas!


#6

You’ve had excellent and accurate advice; welcome home and have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!


#7

The Holy Spirit is calling you back to the Catholic Church, Welcome Home!! Make an appointment, as soon as possible, to talk to a priest; he will avise you on the next step. Also, if I may suggest, you should steer your reading to Catholic books and authors. “Catholicism for Dummies” is a pretty good start for basic catechism.


#8

One other thing is you mentioned the Cathechism. This wasn’t available in the U.S until 1992, so that’s why you hadn’t heard of it when you were younger.:thumbsup:


#9

[quote="tx_spirit, post:8, topic:180684"]
One other thing is you mentioned the Cathechism. This wasn't available in the U.S until 1992, so that's why you hadn't heard of it when you were younger.:thumbsup:

[/quote]

I am still getting a handle on the Catechism myself, but I think that prior to the current one there was the Baltimore Catechism. I am also not sure of what preceded that, but it seems to me that the Didache might be considered one dating to the second century.

A note on publications - the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" (white book) is the "gold standard", but the "United States Catholic Catechism for Adults" (red book) is an official (and compatible) US version of the same. Also while not a formal catechism, the "Catholicism for Dummies" book it is highly praised (unlike the "Idiots Guide to Catholicism").


#10

I just wanted to let everyone who helped here know that everything has gone according to God's plan. Christmas Mass WAS only the beginning. I found a "home church" and am attending Mass regularly.

I have made contact with my 1st wife's sister, who has provided me with a death certificate to prove my freedom to remarry.

Most importantly, my wife has agreed to remarry me in the Church, and we are now scheduled to convalidate our marriage on April 10th, the Saturday after our 31st wedding anniversary. I will also be able to confess then, and return to the Sacrament of Communion.

Best of all, she had me order her a copy of "Catholicism for Dummies," and is considering conversion. It also so happens that my youngest has been thinking about that for a long time (she is the one that used to take my mother to Church), and may be starting RCIA classes this year.

Thank you to all for your advice, your support, your love, and your prayers. They worked...

How Great is our God!


#11

Reading your message has me close to tears. God is so good!


#12

Praise Jesus!!


#13

[quote="BlackBeard54, post:10, topic:180684"]
I just wanted to let everyone who helped here know that everything has gone according to God's plan. Christmas Mass WAS only the beginning. I found a "home church" and am attending Mass regularly.

I have made contact with my 1st wife's sister, who has provided me with a death certificate to prove my freedom to remarry.

Most importantly, my wife has agreed to remarry me in the Church, and we are now scheduled to convalidate our marriage on April 10th, the Saturday after our 31st wedding anniversary. I will also be able to confess then, and return to the Sacrament of Communion.

Best of all, she had me order her a copy of "Catholicism for Dummies," and is considering conversion. It also so happens that my youngest has been thinking about that for a long time (she is the one that used to take my mother to Church), and may be starting RCIA classes this year.

Thank you to all for your advice, your support, your love, and your prayers. They worked...

How Great is our God!

[/quote]

Wow. What a nice story. Congratulations and welcome back! I know what you mean. No matter how far your roam, you always long for home. There is no greater comfort than our Church. I wish you the best. God bless you and your family.


#14

Praise God for this wonderful gift. Not to harp on a more sour note but make sure you also pray for your departed wifes soul as by leaving this world and going to God our Father she has made all of this possible for you and your family.


#15

[quote="BlackBeard54, post:10, topic:180684"]
I just wanted to let everyone who helped here know that everything has gone according to God's plan. Christmas Mass WAS only the beginning. I found a "home church" and am attending Mass regularly.

I have made contact with my 1st wife's sister, who has provided me with a death certificate to prove my freedom to remarry.

Most importantly, my wife has agreed to remarry me in the Church, and we are now scheduled to convalidate our marriage on April 10th, the Saturday after our 31st wedding anniversary. I will also be able to confess then, and return to the Sacrament of Communion.

Best of all, she had me order her a copy of "Catholicism for Dummies," and is considering conversion. It also so happens that my youngest has been thinking about that for a long time (she is the one that used to take my mother to Church), and may be starting RCIA classes this year.

Thank you to all for your advice, your support, your love, and your prayers. They worked...

How Great is our God!

[/quote]

AMEN! And Welcome back home!

The Catholicism for Dummies is a great book, we purchased a copy when doing or research as well (Convert in 08 after years of studying).

If your wife had some previous protestant convections or worries about the Church feel free to give me a shout and I might can recommend a book or two. You guys might check out www.catholicbridge.com as well, it's got a lot of good info about the Church in a very simple format but otherwise CA here (forums and site) probably has all the other information you might need!

Joe


#16

[quote="BlackBeard54, post:10, topic:180684"]
I just wanted to let everyone who helped here know that everything has gone according to God's plan. Christmas Mass WAS only the beginning. I found a "home church" and am attending Mass regularly.

I have made contact with my 1st wife's sister, who has provided me with a death certificate to prove my freedom to remarry.

Most importantly, my wife has agreed to remarry me in the Church, and we are now scheduled to convalidate our marriage on April 10th, the Saturday after our 31st wedding anniversary. I will also be able to confess then, and return to the Sacrament of Communion.

Best of all, she had me order her a copy of "Catholicism for Dummies," and is considering conversion. It also so happens that my youngest has been thinking about that for a long time (she is the one that used to take my mother to Church), and may be starting RCIA classes this year.

Thank you to all for your advice, your support, your love, and your prayers. They worked...

How Great is our God!

[/quote]

*This is such a cool thread...congratulations...and welcome home. :) God bless and continued prayers for you and your family. *


#17

[quote="joandarc2008, post:14, topic:180684"]
Praise God for this wonderful gift. Not to harp on a more sour note but make sure you also pray for your departed wifes soul as by leaving this world and going to God our Father she has made all of this possible for you and your family.

[/quote]

Thank you for thinking of that. Yes, I have and do pray for her soul. She was a good friend (we should have stayed friends and never married) and I will always love her as such. I hope to see her someday.

Everything serves His Plan.


#18

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