Why will my church not let me join RCIA?

I started trying to join RCIA at the church I’ve been attending about a month ago. Everything was fine until they found out I was married and divorced about 12 years ago. They won’t let me attend RCIA until the marriage is annulled. I understand that I can’t remarry in the Catholic Church until the annulment is complete, however they won’t let me complete RCIA until the annulment is valid, even if that means that I can’t go through the classes until next year. I have read up on this and feel as though this is incorrect. Everything I’ve found online points to me being able to complete RCIA and join the Catholic Church.

The deacon I’ve most recently spoken with told me that everyone online is wrong and I can’t go through their program. I am looking for facts to help me with this. Is there anything in canon law prohibiting me from completing the RCIA program? I am not remarried and have no immediate plans to remarry at this time. I am simply trying to complete the RCIA classes and become a member of the Church. I need something to show to the church I’ve been attending other than just this conversation or other online links as he is opposed to all of the information I’ve found on the Internet.

If you have not remarried and are not involved in a romantic relationship outside of marriage, then there is nothing impeding you from joining the Church. Assuming this is the situation as your deacon understands it, then he is simply wrong. I recommend making an appointment with your pastor to discuss the matter with him. If he will not overrule the deacon, then call your diocese and ask for the diocese’s assistance. If the diocese won’t help, then I recommend contacting the St. Joseph Foundation, a Catholic canon law apostolate that assists people in defending their rights within the Church.

I am so sorry you are going through this difficulty in joining the Church. Please do not allow the misconceptions of some of its clergy to dissuade you from your course. God bless.

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