Two Catholics being married with a JP


#1

Would you attend a wedding of two Catholics when the wedding is not in a Catholic Church? In this case, a family member is marrying another Catholic but the annulment of her prior marriage has not been finalized, so they cannot be married in the Catholic Church. They do not want to change the date of the wedding. Instead, they will be married by a Justice of the Peace on the same date and then have the marriage blessed in the Catholic Church at a later date after the annulment is completed. What would you do?


#2

I would attend and congratulate the couple on their “civil union” and perhaps comment on their ability to come to agreement on matters civil such as medical benefits and so on. I would definitely show my admiration with regard to their commitment to a celibate life until such time as they can be truly married. I would be sure to make this known to them in a firm but non judgmental manner of delivery. Peace in the family without compromising my Catholic belief and without turning from the truth in a public way would be my goal.


#3

I’m not sure, but they may be able to get a dispensation from the Bishop to let a JP perform the ceremony in certain circumstances. Then they wouldn’t need a convalidation later.


#4

[quote=Dr. Colossus]I’m not sure, but they may be able to get a dispensation from the Bishop to let a JP perform the ceremony in certain circumstances. Then they wouldn’t need a convalidation later.
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The reason they are using the JP is because the one was married and divorced and has not gotten an annulment.

[quote=Journeyman]Would you attend a wedding of two Catholics when the wedding is not in a Catholic Church? In this case, a family member is marrying another Catholic but the annulment of her prior marriage has not been finalized, so they cannot be married in the Catholic Church. They do not want to change the date of the wedding. Instead, they will be married by a Justice of the Peace on the same date and then have the marriage blessed in the Catholic Church at a later date after the annulment is completed. What would you do?
[/quote]

I don’t know what I would do, but I like PeterC’s approach.


#5

[quote=Journeyman]Would you attend a wedding of two Catholics when the wedding is not in a Catholic Church? In this case, a family member is marrying another Catholic but the annulment of her prior marriage has not been finalized, so they cannot be married in the Catholic Church. They do not want to change the date of the wedding. Instead, they will be married by a Justice of the Peace on the same date and then have the marriage blessed in the Catholic Church at a later date after the annulment is completed. What would you do?
[/quote]

No, I would not attend.


#6

[quote=jimmy]The reason they are using the JP is because the one was married and divorced and has not gotten an annulment.
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I should have read your post more carefully. The problem with PeterC’s approach, in fact with the approach of getting married at all at this point, is the possibility that an annulment may not be granted. Are they prepared to live celibately for the rest of their lives if that is the case?


#7

I don’t think I would attend this wedding before a JP. While they have the best intentions they are setting themselves up for a crisis should the anullment not materialize. I would think that realizing this risk, and still charging ahead they are basically saying they really aren’t too concerned with the possible fall out. Objectively either way, not marrying or doing the JP thing they will be living in sin if they continue to co-habit. If they were close to me, I would probably let them know very gently what is involved here and then butt out and let themtake responsibility for their decision.


#8

[quote=Dr. Colossus]I should have read your post more carefully. The problem with PeterC’s approach, in fact with the approach of getting married at all at this point, is the possibility that an annulment may not be granted. Are they prepared to live celibately for the rest of their lives if that is the case?
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Living in celibacy is not really the issue. They should not be getting married. Getting married is the adultery. Having sexual contact would be too, but it does not change the fact that it is wrong in itself to get married. In fact, it is generally part of the paperwork for filing for an annulment that the petitioner promises not to even set a wedding date until the annulment is granted.


#9

[quote=Aesq]Living in celibacy is not really the issue. They should not be getting married. Getting married is the adultery. Having sexual contact would be too, but it does not change the fact that it is wrong in itself to get married. In fact, it is generally part of the paperwork for filing for an annulment that the petitioner promises not to even set a wedding date until the annulment is granted.
[/quote]

You took the words right out of my mouth! Great post!


#10

[quote=Aesq]Living in celibacy is not really the issue. They should not be getting married. Getting married is the adultery. Having sexual contact would be too, but it does not change the fact that it is wrong in itself to get married. In fact, it is generally part of the paperwork for filing for an annulment that the petitioner promises not to even set a wedding date until the annulment is granted.
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I would not agree that getting married is adultery becuase they are really not getting married. The problem is that what it does is make a mockery out of the Churches definition of marriage. That is why getting married would be wrong. It would almost be better if they didn’t get married and lived together, abstaining except that’s not good either because of the occasion of sin and the scandal. Either way it is not good. I’ve heard priests say in this situation when it was a relative that if you let them know quite firmly that you disapprove of the way they are going about it that you could go. But I don’t recommend it. Especially if you do not let them know your feelings about it. My 2 cents.

Blessings


#11

Journeyman ……

I hope you won’t be tempted by my post advising what I would do regarding attending a family member’s civil proceeding. It’s now apparent to me, if my advice were followed, even though you would not be a party to the proceeding and you would not be giving permission and you declared your position in no uncertain way, it would still be wrong.

Although I didn’t earlier feel this way the volume of opinions against my original advice now convinces me otherwise. Do you suppose if you attended you would be encouraging others to sin or would it be your sin?

I am presently in a similar circumstance as your friends are. We have been civilly married for over twenty years and are presently roughing it out via celibacy until we can take our commitment to the next step. Our parish pastor advises us each step of the way. It is a long long way. I will indeed pray tonight and tomorrow for your family member and the intended spouse.

I apologize for poor advice and perhaps raising your hopes by giving you a false solution to a sticky problem. I truly felt I was on a safe path for you. However, I was wrong to reinterpret and pass a possible solution to you. Once again the benefits of browsing this forum on a frequent basis have paid off for me. I hope for you too.


#12

I had a nephew that got married by a JP. I was like a father to him since his dad died when my nephew was only 6 months old. I love him dearly but when he was going to get married I told him that I would NOT be attending his wedding because he was going against Church teachings. He understood. I prayed for him every day. Two years ago since his wife was non-catholic, she started attending RCIA. They had their marriage validated which I did attend, their young son was baptised and his wife was welcomed into the Church.

It is a sin for two Catholics to get married by a JP. It will be adultery.
Take an example… I know that shoplifting is sinful and a crime. If a dear friend of mine was going to a large department store and he told me he was going to go shop lift some items, would I go and stand next to him knowing full well that what he was doing was sinful? He would think that I was giving approval of what he was doing. In the same way when we attend a wedding of a Catholic in a non-catholic church or JP by being witnesses we are giving approval of the sinful life they will lead. Simply because one files for annulment there is no guarantee that it will be granted. Remember, the Vatican is coming down on US tribunals for granting easy annulments.


#13

[quote=Dr. Colossus]I should have read your post more carefully. The problem with PeterC’s approach, in fact with the approach of getting married at all at this point, is the possibility that an annulment may not be granted. Are they prepared to live celibately for the rest of their lives if that is the case?
[/quote]

I thought PeterC’s approach was pretty funny, even if that was not his intent. I saw sarcasm in it that was pretty funny.


#14

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