Should I need to convalidate my marriage?

Yeah, he did say that:

Presuming that there were no previous marriages, which Baho has asserted time and again.

My Spidey-Sense is telling me that this has something to do with Baho’s wife’s membership / status in her Mennonite church and their view of the validity of the marriage, and that this is what is carrying the day in this case. That’s an esoteric enough consideration that we probably can’t speak reasonably on the subject.

Since @SerraSemper has participated in (at least part of) this thread, maybe we can start there: could there be a complication here that we haven’t considered, due to the Mennonite angle?

They didn’t state that it was invalid I just meant that it wasn’t physically in her church. As a prot her church doesn’t even have an official membership though.

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she was baptized in a Mennonite church but her parents left and then spent several months attending a new church each week. Eventually they settled into a Wesleyan (methodist basically) church which they have also since left because it got a new pastor.

You’re correct Julian that’s what I meant. Thanks brother.

Cool. That’s a common misunderstanding in the Catholic context, too. When folks talk about people being married “in the Catholic Church”, it’s often misinterpreted as “in a Catholic building.” (It doesn’t mean that – it’s possible to get a dispensation from form and be validly married “in the Catholic Church”, even when the ceremony isn’t “in a Catholic building.”)

Still, it makes even less sense that a canonist would say “since ya’ll weren’t married in a Protestant building, your marriage isn’t valid.” I’m guessing that – since you mentioned this in the context of what they told you, right? – therefore they mean that, for whatever reason, it wasn’t considered valid by her ecclesial community.

From the way you report it, you sounds like bridges have been burned, but it would be interesting to know, specifically, why it is considered invalid. If you feel that you are able to engage your deacon, that would be the question – “I understand that you’re saying that the wedding resulted in an invalid marriage, but I don’t understand why it’s invalid; everything I’ve read seems to suggest that it should have been considered valid. What am I missing, here?”

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SerraSemper is a canon lawyer and, based on my understanding of the facts, I agree fully with what she said about the utter lack of justification for demanding a “convalidation.” I am 1000 (yes, a full one thousand)% sure she is correct. Unfortunately, this is another occasion where being right makes little difference when “the powers that be” say otherwise.



Specifically they’re stating the catch is that my wife was baptized at the time but I wasn’t. Apparently if neither of us had been baptized, or both of us, it would be fine. Once he told me that I was willing to take his word for it since he’s a Canon law expert and Im not but I asked if I could know where I can find that in church doctrine just so that I could have the peace of mind, reading it for myself. He told me no and that I could find it myself. I’m feeling very down right now.

what should I do? Go back to my baptist church with my tail between my legs or be confirmed only to be denied communion because my marriage is invalid and Im cohabitating? I really don’t know.

Side question… if you guys are canon lawyers, is there any way that one of you can discuss this with my diocese for me?

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I suggest

also, @SerraSemper, any suggestions? This is so BIZARRE!!!


This is simply not true. IDK what this person is thinking!

I am SO SORRY this is happening to you. I hope you can forgive the person you spoke with, he’s human and SHOULD be understanding and helpful but priests are people too and some of them have issues that make them less than fun to deal with.

I’m so sad to hear that.

I hope you won’t let this keep you and your wife from the sacraments and the Church.


I called and left them a voice mail a few hours ago. Thank you for the feedback, and thank you to everyone else here as well. Its been really encouraging and helpful. My wife and I are really down but we’re still optimistic because of all of your comments. Thanks again.


I don’t have much to say but I’ve been following this thread and I’m praying things work out for you! Seems like a very difficult predicament, but I too think it’s worth fighting for.

I also pray that despite this difficult situation that you and your wife will be able to be confirmed in the Catholic Church!!

Please keep us updated!


I’m so sorry you are going through this. I asked my pastor, who is a canon lawyer and used to be the promoter of justice for our diocese and he said the same thing: that your marriage is valid.

He did say that many priests are confused about this, but he was shocked that a judicial vicar doesn’t understand it.


One way or the other, it looks like you will be a member of the other parish - the one where the RCIA class time conflicted. contact, and after that, and armed with the parts of Canon law they provide and are noted in this thread, go speak to the pastor at the other parish.

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He just received his degree in canon law so he’s brand new. Would your priest be willing to talk to mine? I asked to appeal to a promoter of justice and he said no because I “have no case.”

Did you tell him what SerraSemper told you to say?

Yeah, but this isn’t something that you only learn in the more advanced study of Canon Law. This is something you learn in your introductory class in it in the seminary. Every priest on the planet should know that you don’t need a convalidation.


yup. when I read dignitas connubii he got very frustrated like I was trying to use a gotcha.

Heck, this was something that was taught in our first “Advocate” training session.

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