I’ve been in RCIA for several months, and I’ve been reading and learning about Catholicism for several years. I’ve been a Christian my entire life, and my faith has always been important to me. At first when I started learning about Catholicism, I enjoyed it, but i NEVER thought I would want to convert, that happened slowly over time. But now I’m here to this point, and I believe what the Catholic Church teaches to be true. There is only one problem, I am not allowed to become Catholic unless I convalidate my marriage, because my husband is a cradle Catholic.
We got married two years ago in my home church, a Methodist Church. At the time, I had no interest in ever converting, and my husband agreed to be married in the Methodist Church. At the time, neither of us knew what a dispensation was, or that he needed one. So now in RCIA, a letter was sent by the priest requesting our marriage be radically sanated. I love the idea of being healed in the root and keeping our same marriage and our same wedding date. I understand he should have communicated with the Church when we got married, but it was an honest mistake. Our request was rejected by the Bishop who says we have to have a convalidation ceremony. I can’t understand why it was rejected! We meet the requirements I’ve read in the Catechism! I feel like this was a personal decision based on what he thinks about us on paper. As if our marriage was done at the court house, and not a Christian Church that has been so important to me for my entire life.
I feel like asking me to convalidate my marriage is insulting and unnecessary. It would be saying that my current marriage doesn’t mean anything at all. It would erase my marriage, which is unacceptable to me. I believe that we said our vows to each other and God, and that they are permanent, I know that I am married in the eyes of God. I feel like all of that would imply that the Methodist Church, the faith I’ve held my entire life, is all worthless and will be erased when I convert along with my current marriage. I feel like i’m adding to my faith and expanding, but I would never want to erase the very real relationship with God I’ve always had. The priest shocked me when I met with him to try to talk about it. He opened the meeting with, “If this isn’t important to you, maybe you shouldn’t be Catholic.” I left the meeting crying and thinking that he was right.
Is there any reason you can think of that our request would be rejected? Is there a way to petition it to be changed? And can you see why it is so important to me to have a radical sanation instead of convalidation ceremony? I feel like I have been judged unfairly and that there is nothing I can do about it.