I am an RCIA candidate for conversion to Catholicism. I previously was baptised in the Lutheran Church. I was married in 1990 to a Greek Orthodox woman in the Greek Orthodox Church.
In 1998, she decided “she simply did not want to be married any more” and filed a uncontestable “no-fault” civil divorce in Pennsylvania. I attempted to reconcile, and was threatened with a civil “Protection from Abuse” order if I persisted, because my repeated attempts to reconcile “made her feel bad about herself”.
We have a child who was not quite 3 years of age at the time of her departure. I was apparently not a monster, since I was granted fully shared (50-50) physical custody of my son. I had been his primary caretaker early in his life. She has never applied for an Orthodox Ecclesiastical Divorce, and I am told that as the non-Orthodox partner in that union, I am ineligible to even apply for one.
I have three primary questions:
Does the Roman Catholic Church still view me as married if and when my ex-wife does file for and receive the Ecclesiastical Divorce? i.e. Does the Ecclesiastical Divorce have the equivalence in the eyes of the RCC of an annulment?
If not, under what possible justification does that woman get to be heard from by a Catholic Marriage Tribunal, when she has done nothing for 9 years but prove through every action and word that she has nothing but disdain for this union?
Does the RCC expect me to remain as a eunuch for life in order to remain a Catholic in good standing, while wife beaters and practicing homosexual pedophiles (and I am NOT referring to any clergy here, just local Catholic politicians) continue to unrepentently receive the Eucharist on a weekly basis?
Can someone here justify this hypocrisy, and save my desire to convert to Catholicism, which is in severe crisis at the moment?
I believe that divorce is a sin. If I were king, I would abolish it. But we do not live in such a world. Divorce is a metter of absolute right today. Do we punish the crime victim for the crimes committed against him?
And if I am right in receiving the answers I believe I will, where is God’s mercy?
And please, please, do not try to convince me that being called to the single life is a valid vocation, because for me, it certainly is not.
Please help me with answers. Perhaps Catholicism is not right for me.