Tough Situation

Several years agp, I met and married a Dutch Catholic… Due to immigration rules here in the US , we had to marry within a certain time period to stay together . Due to finances and distance it was either then or probably not seeing each other again. We were both divorced but had nothing annuled yet. We are a good match and adore each other . We used to attend mass at least once a week .and our daughter ( he has raised my youngest daughter singlehandedly) has always been in Catholic school or in CCD ,

The problem is that I am tired and sad that I have not been able to take communion since we married some years back , I hate this . I have turned in all my annulment papers but in Holland , many of the parishes have closed and there is somwhat of a national movement towards the idea that God is a fairly tale , so much so that the city hall says that the divorced status on his dutch birth certificate should be enough proof for the church , which in South Texas it isnt. I feel like I am in the twilight zone when i communicate with them ( the Dutch city hall concerned with this ) They will not send one ,they say straight out that there is no reason to, great customer service , we have waited 4 years. I also have a letter from his lawyer in Dutch saying that he is divorced effective a certain date , but that wont work either

I did find a kindly Monsignor who managed to find my husband baptismal certificate and issue a new one. My husbands parish had closed years back , …

anyway my priest says the diocese has put our case on the back burner because it has taken so long to try to get my husbands Divorce decree… Very discouraging… to tell the truth , I have sometimes gone to other parishes where they dont know me and taken communion . I know I will have to confess this … I couldnt stand to live without God or my husband … I guess I am just human … Am discouraged enough that I have cut down on going to mass, sometimes not going at all . I feel like I am just stuck… am I doing all that I can do?? have I missed something ?? I am afriad I cant resolve this …

Would it be possible for you to hire a Dutch lawyer to spend 15 minutes to drop in at city hall and pick up the divorce decree on your prospective husband’s behalf and mail it to him? The lawyer might need written permission. (I don’t know how Dutch law and bureaucracy works, but it might be worth a try.)

Nothing against your Priest, however, there is a good chance he has not had experience with an international validity investigation.

Call the Tribunal office at the Diocese and get an appointment to speak to them directly. They have done international investigations before, and have resources available to them (including translators if needed). They will work directly with the Diocese in Holland to get the information that is needed.

Prayers!

You could also go to an attorney who deals with immigration and nationality issues. Those guys are good at getting foreign documents like birth certificates and court records. They have to get them all the time. It might cost a little bit of money but you at least get things rolling.

There are several good ones in South Texas. Go to the State Bar of Texas webpage for assistance, www.texasbar.com or call the county bar association in the county seat of your home county.

Thank you guys so much for these suggestions … these are all good . I am going to start with the tribunal first…

That Monsignor in Holland was so shocked and happy that a Dutchman wanted to actually marry in the church he singly handedly found that 44 yr old baptismal certificate and sent it to the US himself , so you are right about resources and having ways of doing things that I may not have the power to do.

Plus alot of our priests in this region ( Corpus Christi ) are Irish and have been to Holland and like to talk to my husband about it and they seem to be well aware of the religious climate there . It would not be hard to convince one of the older priests of what I am going through in dealing with that particular country … so this may be a good thing, but you are right in that my home parish priest is a good old southern boy( at heart ) and may not have dealt with many international investigations … at least not of this magnitude in a language that not many speak around here .

I have been paddling on my own in this so long that I am wavering a bit . Ill try that first then the lawyers…

Thank you all for the encouragement and prayers , I need them and appreciate them … …

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