After watching my Mother become a Catholic last year and my Father now in RCIA , and having attended mass this past year I would like to become a Catholic. I am aware of the RCIA(a great program)program. Here is my question" I have been divorced twice(abusive hgusband the first time and Adultry the second) from non participating Catholics. The marriages were done outside the Catholic Church. The first one in a Methodist Church my religion at the time and the second in an Episcopal Church. What will I have to do to become a Catholic after completing RCIA next year.Is there any chance I need an annulement? Thanks to all
Welcome to the board and to the journey into the Church!
You will want to discuss your case with the priest. However, I believe your marriages would be considered sacramentally invalid because your Catholic husbands did not have a dispensation to marry outside of the Church nor did they have a priest/deacon present to witness your wedding vows. Yes? I don’t think you’d need an annulment in that case, but I’d talk to the priest to be sure of it.
Both marriages will need to be examined regarding validity.
Contact your priest and your RCIA coordinator.
Definitely talk to the RCIA director or a priest, or both about the specifics of your situation, and get the ball rolling for your RCIA classes. Your previous marriages would definitely have to be anulled before you could marry in the Catholic church. But I should think you’d still be able to do all the preparation work to be initiated.
talk to the priest and bring all the relevant info about your marriages. if everything is as described in your short OP, and both spouses were baptized Catholics yet married without the blessing of the Church, both marriages would be invalid due to lack of form. They circumstances of both do have to be investigated, but if your paperwork does show that, it is a much easier and shorter process than a full annulment investigation. The earliest marriage is investigated first, then each subsequent marriage.
If you are not now living with either of your ex’s, or of course with anyone else or remarried, you can proceed with the preparation for the sacraments while these issues are resolved, and you will not be barred from the sacraments. If you have remarried, you must obtain the annulments and regularize the current marriage before you can proceed with RCIA.
It does get complicated, and nothing said here about general cases will apply to any individual case, every situation is unique, and the place to start is with your priest.
I will also warn you against coming to the forums and second-guessing what the priest tells you (this happens quite a lot here) because he is the only one in possession of all the facts. The facts you need to reveal are not appropriate for discussion in this forum.
bottom line: the Catholic Church considers every marriage valid until proven otherwise.
Thank you all so much for your input. I have talked with the RCIA Director and he to the Priest. I will need to show proof of the 2 weddings, then obtain copies of my two exe’s Baptism’s.As neither marriage took place in the Catholic Church nor with permission from the Church, it now appears that the path to me becoming a Catholic will be a lot easier as opposed to being married to 2 practicing Catholic men. I am not living with either of them nor have I any plans to remarry anytime soon. I just want to raise my children and continue on the path to confirmation. Thanks again all for your input and I hope to come back to this forum in the future.
The problem with concise bottom lines is that their conciseness often makes them inaccurate, as in this case.
It might be better stated that “the Catholic Church considers every previous marriage valid until proven otherwise.”
each marriage has to be investigated, beginning with the earliest. the first marriage is considered valid until proven otherwise, then the next marriage is examined, etc. If the first marriage was valid, there are no other marriages, so the generalization actually still holds.
No, it doesn’t. When people come to the church in their second marriage, the church doesn’t assume that marriage valid until proven otherwise. It is presumed invalid. The generalization could lead to bad advice.