Want to join the Knights of Columbus, but not sure if this will be an issue?

I know that i am having marital issues, I am interested in joining the KoC, but I’m not sure if I would be allowed since my marriage is currently not recognized by the Catholic church.

I met my wife while I was away from the church for 25 years (I rebelled in my teens) and we were married by the local courthouse and two days later, a non-Denominational pastor. I have since returned to the church of my youth and am proud to call it home.

My wife is in support of me going back to the Catholic church, as well as joining the KoC, but she doesn’t believe that we need to have our marriage recognized by the Catholic church and sees it as pleasing man, as God is already pleased and blesses our marriage. So she is resistant to having the church recognize our marriage.

So, would I be able to join the KoC or am I out-of-luck till a miracle happens and she allows the church to recognize our marriage?

Ask them. I would also ask your priest.

I was really hoping that I could get an answer here so I didn’t have to waste anyone’s time.

Regarding the KCs, I don’t see why not.

As to your marriage situation, I urge you to talk to your pastor about radical sanation. This will validate your marriage in the Church without new exchange of consent. And if your wife has serious issues, this can be done without her participation or even her knowledge.

Yes

To being able to join or out of luck?

The Knights of Columbus requires members to be “practical Catholics in communion with the Holy See.” We do not take it upon ourselves to determine your status, but rather we leave it to the bishop with jurisdiction. If your bishop has not excommunicated you, if there was no tribunal to do so, then I doubt anyone else could stand in your way.

For the sake of your salvation, however, I urge you to seek a remedy to your situation right away. Speak to your priest and work something out. It may involve your living as brother and sister for a short time. 1ke is correct in recommending radical sanation - it appears to be indicated for your situation. Do not endanger yourself or your girlfriend by persisting in grave sin.

lonegreywolf20 said:

“My wife is in support of me going back to the Catholic church, as well as joining the KoC, but she doesn’t believe that we need to have our marriage recognized by the Catholic church and sees it as pleasing man, as God is already pleased and blesses our marriage. So she is resistant to having the church recognize our marriage.”

Based on your previous postings, I’d be tempted to tell your wife that your marriage needs all the help it can get.

That wouldn’t go over well, but that’s what I’d be thinking. Also, in your position, I’m not sure that attempting to enter into a valid marriage with her is even possible.

Best wishes, and I hope you will be able to join the KofC!

Elizium, she isn’t my girlfriend. She is my wife, and that is according to my priest at my church.

Living as brother and sister would make matters worse in my home, not better. She would see that as a clear abandonment of our marriage and would likely drive her further away from me and any hope I may have of getting her to become Catholic.

I had that thought as well Xantippe, that this might be a good thing, I know that she would like me to make friends and be of service to the community.

I had only thought this a good thing.

Thanks again for the encouragement and well wishes.

If you want to get married to your civil law wife, then for your situation, the radical sanation is probably the best approach. HOWEVER, marriage presupposes you accept the person as they are. If there are serious problems already, then one really has to step back and consider whether one should get married at all or if a valid marriage is even possible. A spouse should **never **pressure the other to change religion. Nor should marriage be entered into with the thought it is going to “fix” things. (It won’t).

As Elizium23 says a man must be a practicing Catholic (I think form 100 says Practical Catholic). When I joined I was told a “practical catholic” meant:

[LIST]
*] Attends Mass regularly
*] Receives the sacraments
*] Observes the marriage laws of the Catholic Church.
[/LIST]
It is the last one that might cause issues. The Knights take marriage and the defense of marriage fairly seriously. Also there is generally a corporate mass after the degree exemplifications are held. At least that is common in my area. Assuming you were baptized in the Catholic Church and you were civilly married without a dispensation then you are in an invalid marriage. There is really no two ways around that. As such receiving the Eucharist in that state is a bit problematic.

Contact the Grand Knight or membership director for your council and they will be better able to address your particular situation.

We are already married, there is no considering if we should get married at all or if a valid marriage is possible.

We would have to divorce if we split up, that means we’re married. We also have a daughter together. Who was conceived after we were married.

This is no common law marriage, but marriage with a marriage license.

It just puzzles me that the KoC are looking for volunteers and they would hold my marriage against me in the way that you describe.

Oh well, chalk up yet another disappointment of me returning to the Catholic church.

You are married in the eyes of the state, not in the eyes of God or the Church. A radical sanation (easily obtained) would be a retroactive dispensation which would make your civil law only marriage that is invalid in the eyes of the Church/God become valid in the Church before God. But, if there are serious problems that would lead to divorce anyway, then you might not want to get married before God but live as brother-sister until those problems resolve in one way or another. The KofCs can’t accept someone who is living in a public state of fornication (because civil law only marriages are not accepted as valid by the Church when a Catholic is involved without a dispensation) unless they have been granted permission to live as brother/sister by the Bishop. The Church takes marriage very seriously. For a valid marriage, Catholics must marry in front of Catholic clergy with two witnesses unless they receive a dispensation from their bishop. Otherwise, they cannot get validly married. Any marriages without the dispensation can be legal in the State but not in the Church. The opposite is true. What can be sinful and absolutely wrong can be perfectly legal in an imperfect State (look at legalized abortions). The State does not have complete authority over Catholic marriages and does not have the right to say that abortions are right and non-sinful.

You know what, it’s not worth it. I will have to seriously rethink my staying in the catholic church.

lonegreywolf20 said:

“It just puzzles me that the KoC are looking for volunteers and they would hold my marriage against me in the way that you describe. Oh well, chalk up yet another disappointment of me returning to the Catholic church.”

Being female, I’m not a Knight, but my husband was involved with them in a different town, and I kind of get why they would be picky about membership.

The KofC is a fraternal organization, rather than just a run-of-the-mill volunteer group, so it’s not just a matter of showing up and doing good deeds. There’s also supposed to be spiritual formation. Think of it as 50/50–half good deeds, half spiritual formation.

Talk to them. It is a very good organization. They have different degrees, so it may well be that you could become involved as you are, but would need to figure out your marriage situation before being accepted to higher degrees or holding office.

No matter what, you do need to figure out your situation with your wife, because it’s just not sustainable for you to go as you are, even just from a secular point of view.

I think the KofC could be really good for you, if you have a good chapter in your area.

Well, I’m sorry you feel that way. I personally would want to be married to my consort in the eyes of God, and be able to receive Holy Communion. Radical sanations are easy enough to obtain… not a big deal. I was only cautioning against getting it if the situation at home was so bad that a divorce was looming anyway.

Which is why I would really like to join, as I too think it would be really good for me, so does my wife and MIL.

I do not think that radical sanation is the way to go, number one if I did it behind her back, she would see that as betrayal, second, if I do it against her wishes because I told her, she would see it as betrayal.

Either way, it wouldn’t be good for my marriage.

Don’t be down hearted some of us do funny things in our youth, but it comes back in latter years to bite us.

Its all a guessing game , UNTIL you make an appointment to see a Catholic priest who is the best to ask advice of, other Protestant sects have rules and regulations all of there own, I will pray that you get your hearts desire, don’t despair ring a priest in your Local Catholic Church for an appointment.

God Bless and Good Luck.

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