Why is the Church making it so difficult for me to be baptized?


This may be long and drawn out but I want you to fully understand me.
I was married in 1984 and divorced in 1986 to a non-catholic we had 1 child together.
I remarried in 1995 to a catholic man that had been divorced also and had custody of their child. We did not marry in a catholic church we both were working very long hours and could not find any free time to go to classes.
In 1986 we had a child together and he was baptized.
In Oct of 2003 I was told by my Grandmother that I had never been baptized must to my shock I called my Mom and was told that was the truth. I was raised catholic and had attend mass most of my life.
I went straight to our parish and explained my findings.
We started the paper work with the Archdiocese to begin the annulments of both of our marriages. My husbands was finished in 2 months.
But mine they say must be sent to Rome!
We were was asked by my sister in-law and brother in-law to be the godparents to their child ! I was told by our parish that neither one of us could be the child’s godparents 1 because I was never baptized and 2 because my husband was married to me a non- catholic !
I received some paper work in the mail this weekend from the Archdiocese asking Father XYZ to complete a priest instructing form, a letter of recommendation regarding my religious practice and freedom to marry of a intended catholic party, a promise to be signed by both myself and my husband, a copy of my first marriage cert., a copy of my marriage cert. to my now husband, a copy of our son’s baptismal cert. , and the first 100$ of a total of 400$ to be sent.

Why does my first marriage have to be sent to Rome?
Since in the church’s eyes my first marriage is not recognized ?
And since I was never baptized why do they have to send it to Rome?
Why would we not be able to be God parents?
I thought that being a God parent to to lead the child into life and so him his faith?
I don not have and extra 400$ laying around Plus Father XYZ from the Archdiocese told me that Rome may not even annul my first marriage!
Why does the catholic church make it so difficult for a person to be baptized?
All of this just makes me sick to my stomach. I have almost reached to point of saying just forget it God knows how I feel and knows that I belive.
I am to the point to where I am angry and I never wanted to be angry with my faith. I am so mad that if I went to go speak with Father XYZ I would regret it.
Please help me understand why the Archdiocese makes this so difficult on non-catholics?
I would have thought since I was not baptized that my annulment would have been the easy one!?

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Dear Kmom,

We’ll start with your last statement. It may sound like a slam-dunk since you were not baptized when you first married. Even though the marriage was not sacramental, the Church still considers such marriages to be valid.

Until your are free to marry in the Church, the Church does not want to baptize you into an invalid marriage. The reason your case has to go to Rome is that your first marriage is probably valid. However, the Church does give priority to a valid sacramental marriage over a valid non-sacramental marriage. I don’t know why they told you that you might not be granted the dispensation.

Everything you have been told is true. But it doesn’t sound like much was explained. I know that sometimes such information can be given in an officious, dehumanizing way. On the other hand, you may have felt so distraught that you didn’t hear the explanation. In any case, know that the Lord’s hand is on you. No one can desire baptism without having received grace from the Holy Spirit.

The timing regarding your being invited to be godparents wasn’t great. The Church rightly requires that godparents be practicing Catholics. The rule was made for the benefit of the children being baptized and is directed toward every situation. This does not mean that in every situation the people would necessarily make bad godparents. The rule is not singling you out—even though you may feel that it is.

As for the money, the Church makes no profit on this. The people who process each case have to be paid. It’s their livelihood. But no annulment is ever withheld due to the inability to pay.

It’s also important to know that should you die before being baptized (not that we expect that to happen) you would have what the Church calls “baptism of desire.”
But since you are still very much with us, you must wait until all is made ready for your big day. Just as Our Blessed Mother had to wait without fully understanding what was to happen next, so you are sharing a similar experience. Just know, as she knows, that the Lord loves you and will never let you down. Your trust in Him is an act of love and most pleasing to Him.

Know that we are holding you in prayer. Write again if you need to. Write again if you need to.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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