My daughter, who was raised Catholic, is engaged to a man who describes himself as Pentecostal. He usually attends services at an Assembly of God church. He was married before, and his wedding was held in a Pentecostal Church. However, he did not get baptized until about 5 years after he was married, and his wife was not baptized til about 10 years after. They were married about 14 years. They had no children. He is not sure if there was a baptism certificate made out at the time. They casually mentioned this story to a priest who told them that he didn’t think it would be a valid marriage because the couple wasn’t baptized at the time they got married. He said he wasn’t positive, but he believed it was probably “lack of form.” My daughter never checked into this further, I think because she is afraid she will find out she won’t be able to marry him. They have a baby together now and are considering a JP wedding. Any ideas?
The priest in this case is incorrect. Lack of Form means that a baptized Catholic was married outside the Church without dispensation. If this gentleman was not baptized he obviously could not have been Catholic. The same goes for his wife from that marriage. Therefore the marriage that they entered into is presumed to be a valid marriage until proven otherwise.
He will need either an annulment for that first marriage or a Pauline Privilege (if circumstances permit it).