So this is fairly serious to me and I am trying to gain some information before we go to talk to our pastor.
Here is the situation.
My husband has been married before. He is not Catholic, he is native american. Since we have been together and have started a family he has shown more and more comfort in my religion and spirituality and has found comfort with going to mass, even though he is not catholic. We are going to talk to talk to my pastor in a few week about a whole gaggle of things regarding him converting and other matters. But we have a problem.
Ok like I said, my husband was married before, neither he or she was catholic and the ceremony was not religious in any way, a justice of the peace performed the ceremony. To be perfectly honest they were both 18 and found them selves in a very awkward position regarding an unplanned pregnancy, so they were married and 7 days later he left for the Navy. They were divorced within 13 months because when he came home from a deployment (he had been gone for 6 months) she was three months pregnant with her second child, obviously he was not the father. He later found out that she was a habitual drug user (cocain and heroin) and had been since she was 16.
He has done a lot of soul searching since then and had a lot of ups and downs and since we have been together he knows that our family is where he truly wants to be. He’s a wonderful man.
When we were engaged we started going through the classes to be married in the church because I was raised catholic and it was important to me, and in turn important to him. We soon discovered that we could not be married in the church with out him obtaining an annulment. I was under the impression (years of catholic school) that an annulment was for those who are catholic and had been married before. I now am to understand I am wrong.
So we were told that he needed the annulment, the deacon we were working with explained to him that this was to say that his first marriage was null and void, and explained that it made his child illegitimate. We ended up being married in a different church.
The deacon told us that our marriage would not be recognized by the Catholic church and that I would be excommunicated. It was a mess. Now that we have started our family, and we have decided that we want to raise them in the church it has become increasingly important to us to be in good graces with the church. This is why we are going to talk to my childhood priest (he is a Mnsgr. and at a different parish.)
My question is this, how is that the church recognizes a marriage that was for surely not Catholic, and not even bound to any other denomination, it was merely civil, recognizes it enough to require an annulment, BUT will not recognize my marriage at all. I guess I am just confused. It’s probably really simple and in front of me. But I am hoping to gain some insight before we go and have our talk to see what our options are.
Thank you so much!