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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:59 am 
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kage_ar wrote:
What is best is the both of sit down with your pastor. Maybe even separately. Have an open and honest discussion.

If you determine your vocation is marriage, work through the marriage prep with your pastor. If pastor determines you have good reason, he will request permission from the Bishop for you two to be excused (dispensed) from form (marriage in the Church building) AND permission to marry a non-Christian.

The big question, is this man going to help you and your child get to heaven? Will he support your faith even if he does not share it? Will he ridicule and persecute you in your home because of your faith? Will he attempt to dissuade your child from practicing the faith?

Only you (with pastoral help perhaps) can determine that.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Nobody really answered my questions. Perhaps I asked too many in a too confusing way. I'll risk being personal: I have a child who is almost ten months old. Her father dislikes all religions, especially all Christian religions, he won't agree to getting religiously married. He might be able to be persuaded to agree to getting married in a registry office, would that be better than if we we continued our relationship without any marriage, or would it be better to have no marriage and end our relationship?

I think your questions were answered, but for the sake of completion:

Denise Dee wrote:
If a couple are not married but living together, and at least one of them is Catholic, they are "living in sin" according to traditional Catholic teaching.

Yes

Quote:
If a non-Catholic couple were legally married in a Christian wedding, but not in a Catholic wedding, are they "living in sin" according to traditional Catholic teaching?

No

Quote:
If a couple were legally married in a Christian wedding, but not in a Catholic wedding, and one of the couple is a Catholic, are they both "living in sin", or is just the Catholic "living in sin" or are neither "living in sin"?

Neither is living in sin

Quote:
If a couple were legally married in a non-Christian religious wedding, and one of them is Catholic, are they both "living in sin", or is just the Catholic "living in sin" or are neither "living in sin"?

Neither is living in sin

Quote:
If a couple were legally married without any kind of religious ceremony, and one of them is Catholic, are they both "living in sin", or is just the Catholic "living in sin" or are neither "living in sin"?

They're not living in sin. The Catholic church recognizes civil marriages.

Quote:
If a couple were legally married without any kind of religious ceremony, and neither of them is Catholic, and then just one of them becomes a Catholic, is the Catholic required to make the marriage more acceptable to the Catholic Church, by trying to persuade his/her wife/husband to get married again in the Catholic way (although already legally married)?

They're not living in sin. The Catholic church recognizes civil marriages. It would be better for the civil marriage to be sacramentally validated if the other party is open to it.

Everything above has already been said in previous posts, so I'm not in any way claiming to say more or other than what has already been said. With respect to your current situation, as kage said, you should see a priest for yourself to discuss what all this means for you. Beyond that, the general advice would be to do the best you can with the most you can. If he is open to a civil marriage, then get married. As soon as possible. You owe it to your child. If you want a big ceremony, go get the civil marriage and do a ceremony later on. If religious--if you are taking your vows before God--then so much the better. If in the Church, then best of all. If none of that is possible, then at least you are married.

Christianity is not, contrary to the claims of some, an all or nothing case. If it were, then the whole idea of Christian growth would be meaningless. I have been a Christian for a little more than thirty years. I have studied my faith formally and earned three degrees doing so and have recently started doctoral work. I am ordained (in a non-Catholic denomination). For all that I have learned, I am completely sincere when I say I know that I have more to learn than I even realize. The more I grow, the more I see how much I have to grow. So I'm thankful that God meets me where I am. I don't have to know everything to be a Christian. And neither do you. You don't have to get your entire situation squared away before you start doing what God has called you to do. Respond to the truth that you know the best you can and pray for the grace and wisdom to be able to respond more and to more still. That's harder to do than it sounds, but at least in my estimation it really is the essence of the Christian life -- following Jesus where you are right now to where He wants you to be; as long as you do that "today," you'll always be on the road with Him.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:24 pm 
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Three wrong answers there, all dealing with defect of form. A Catholic who marries anyone (but usually a non-Catholic, whether Christian or not) in a non-Catholic ceremony without first obtaining permission is not validly married and is therefore living in a sinful relationship.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:35 pm 
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Denise, pay extra close attention to Obi!

In the for what it's worth column, Obi, I was thinking about a couple in which one converts after marriage, and that because my understanding is that Denise is exploring converting but is not Catholic yet. In fact, I was under the stronger impression than your own words imply that a Catholic has to have permission to marry a non-Catholic, period. Or is it simply that marrying a non-Catholic is generally inadvisable? In any case, I may simply be incorrect, but with respect to the OP's questions, I don't think that conversion to Catholicism somehow renders you in a worse state than before with respect to your civil (or just non-Catholic) marriage. Or perhaps I've mischaracterized what happens in the case of a couple civilly married and one converts to Catholicism. But I think that's closer to the OP's situation, and so while your own words are definitely more accurate with respect to the wording of the OP (a point not to be downplayed), perhaps there might be a point of clarification necessary on the force of "one is Catholic."

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:40 pm 
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I took your post to refer to the religious position of the parties at the time of the marriage. Nothing after the marriage invalidates it.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:17 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Heck, in Austin, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a car bearing the unofficial logo of the fictional “church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” :roll:


Pastafarians.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
GKC wrote:
Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Heck, in Austin, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a car bearing the unofficial logo of the fictional “church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” :roll:


Pastafarians.

:laughhard :laughhard :laughhard :laughhard :laughhard


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:36 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Three wrong answers there, all dealing with defect of form. A Catholic who marries anyone (but usually a non-Catholic, whether Christian or not) in a non-Catholic ceremony without first obtaining permission is not validly married and is therefore living in a sinful relationship.

I found TheJack's reply very helpful but Obi you have made it a bit more confusing, I don't mean that as a criticism, I want you to give me the most accurate information but it's all now a bit less clear.

There has been a development in my personal circumstances, in the last week, and I can be more specific now. First of all, I will repeat that I was baptised and raised as a Catholic, but when I got to be a teenager, I didn't believe in it and I stopped participating. Recently after the birth of my daughter ten months ago, I became interested in starting again, and some of it makes more sense to me. But there are other parts of the Catholic faith which I have difficulty with.

In the last few weeks my relationship with the father of my daughter has become romantic in a way which seems like a miracle to me. We do not live under the same roof and we never have. He lives about four miles from me. Neither of us can drive, we either walk to each other's place or take taxi, or sometimes by bus but its not a direct route. Both of us are on a very low income but we both own the property in which we live, a small terraced house and an apartment. We are thinking of selling our separate properties and buying a nice house to live in together with our young daughter. However, that is likely to be quite a while into the future. He is now open to getting married in a Christian Church but definitely not a Catholic church. If we did that, got married in a Christian church (possibly Pentecostal) how would I, as a semi-practicing baptised Catholic, stand in regard to the Catholic Church?

If I wish to remain open to the possibility of remaining in the Catholic faith, do I need to ask permission from someone in the Catholic Church to get married in a nonCatholic Christian church. If so, from whom?


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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:59 am 
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Anyone who has ever been a Catholic has to have permission from their local bishop to get married in a non-Catholic ceremony. To get that permission, you'll have to ask the pastor (or his representative) at your local parish.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:21 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Anyone who has ever been a Catholic has to have permission from their local bishop to get married in a non-Catholic ceremony. To get that permission, you'll have to ask the pastor (or his representative) at your local parish.

I live in England, I don't think Catholics here refer to their priests as pastors, I presume you mean priest. What would happen if I asked and was refused? Is that likely?


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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:07 am 
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"Pastor" in this context is a canon law term for the priest in charge of a parish.

A refusal would mean that you couldn't enter into a valid marriage except in a Catholic ceremony. I have no idea how likely you would be to get permission.

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:11 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
I'm confused about the Catholic Church's position in regard to marriages that are not the Catholic sacrament of marriage.


There are so many misleading and incorrect answers here—likely through no fault of the other posters—that as a student of canon law, I am obliged to respond. Please bear with me if this post becomes rather long.

Denise Dee wrote:
If a couple are not married but living together, and at least one of them is Catholic, they are "living in sin" according to traditional Catholic teaching.


By saying that a couple is cohabitating and living in sin, one would be assuming that the couple is in a romantic and sexual relationship, and habitually engaging in actions which are proper to only married couples. Because using the sexual faculty outside of marriage is contrary to both natural law and divine positive law, everyone is morally obligated to refrain from this morally illicit behaviour, regardless of religious beliefs (or lack thereof). Now, they may not actually be committing sexual sin if they merely live together, but do not engage in relations; however, there still is the risk of scandal, and through public cohabitation one may be guilty of the grave sin of scandal.

Denise Dee wrote:
If a non-Catholic couple were legally married in a Christian wedding, but not in a Catholic wedding, are they "living in sin" according to traditional Catholic teaching?


The word "legal" is broad and can have slightly different meanings in different contexts. Here, we consider the validity and liceity of a marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church, rather than in the eyes of the state, which often has different requirements for "legality". Provided that there are no impediments or other factors which would invalidate a marriage by divine or natural law, the Church recognises as valid the marriages of non-Catholics, regardless of whether it's a civil ceremony or a non-Catholic religious ceremony. This is because only those who were baptised Catholic or received into the Catholic Church are actually bound by ecclesiastical law (1983 CIC, c. 11), and non-Catholics are not under the jurisdiction of the Church. Thus, non-Catholics do not have to follow merely canonical laws on marriage, such as the requirement of canonical form for validity.

If neither partner is a Catholic, and consent was exchanged in the external forum in any kind of marriage ceremony (as such, it at least possesses the semblance of validity), the Church presumes such a marriage to be valid, since marriage enjoys the favor of the law (c. 1060). Thus, according to traditional Catholic teaching, because they are in a valid marriage, they are not living in sin by engaging in sexual relations.

There are many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who are for some reason under the impression that the Church teaches that non-Catholics cannot marry validly. Why this is so will remain a mystery to me, since the Church teaches that marriage is a natural right, which was raised to the dignity of a sacrament by Christ the Lord. A marriage between two upbaptised persons or between one baptised and one unbaptised person is called a natural marriage, while a marriage between two baptised persons, Catholic or not, is always sacramental if valid (c. 1055.2).

Denise Dee wrote:
If a couple were legally married in a Christian wedding, but not in a Catholic wedding, and one of the couple is a Catholic, are they both "living in sin", or is just the Catholic "living in sin" or are neither "living in sin"?


While such a marriage may be "legal" in the eyes of the state, it may not necessarily be valid and licit in the eyes of the Church. By "Christian", I'm assuming you're referring to baptised non-Catholics, such as the Protestant and the Orthodox. A Catholic who marries in a Protestant ceremony without obtaining a dispensation from canonical form attempts marriage invalidly, while for Catholic-Orthodox marriages, canonical form must be observed for liceity only (c. 1127).

If a Catholic were "married" in an invalid ceremony, then it would be a sin to engage in sexual relations with someone to whom one is not technically wedded to, in the eyes of God. However, if that person had received a dispensation prior to the ceremony, and thus married validly, there would be no sin in living with and engaging in intercourse with the spouse. If the marriage is invalid, both partners would be living in sin, because as I stated above, using the sexual faculty outside of marriage is contrary to both divine positive law and natural law, and this moral precept applies to everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

Denise Dee wrote:
If a couple were legally married in a non-Christian religious wedding, and one of them is Catholic, are they both "living in sin", or is just the Catholic "living in sin" or are neither "living in sin"?


Same as above concerning canonical form, and the possibility of obtaining a dispensation from canonical form.

Denise Dee wrote:
If a couple were legally married without any kind of religious ceremony, and one of them is Catholic, are they both "living in sin", or is just the Catholic "living in sin" or are neither "living in sin"?


Same as above concerning canonical form, and the possibility of obtaining a dispensation from canonical form.

Denise Dee wrote:
If a couple were legally married without any kind of religious ceremony, and neither of them is Catholic, and then just one of them becomes a Catholic, is the Catholic required to make the marriage more acceptable to the Catholic Church, by trying to persuade his/her wife/husband to get married again in the Catholic way (although already legally married)?


If the couple was validly married, regardless of whether the consent was exchanged in a religious or non-religious context, and one partner decides to convert to Catholicism, nothing needs to be done. If the marriage was valid, it remains valid; it cannot be retroactively invalidated by the conversion of one of the spouses!

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 Post subject: Re: Marriages that are not Catholic marriages
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:42 am 
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faithfulservant wrote:
i'm pretty sure the answer to your last question is yes, the marriage would need to be convalidated in the Church in order for it to be a sacramental marriage


No; if the person who plans to convert was already in a valid natural marriage, there would be no need for a convalidation; valid natural marriages remain valid marriages unless the bond is dissolved. A Catholic can be in a marriage which is not sacramental, if he married an unbaptised person. However, generally the Church discourages interfaith marriages, and this would constitute a diriment impediment needing a dispensation before marriage can be contracted validly (c. 1086.1).

Denise Dee wrote:
So what happens if the non-Catholic spouse doesn't want a religious marriage, is the Catholic then "living in sin" according to the Church?


They would not be living in sin, if they were in a valid natural marriage prior to the conversion of one of the spouses. Convalidation is not necessary here.

faithfulservant wrote:
a civil marriage is recognized by the Church ... it just lacks canonical form


This is not completely true. If consent was exchanged in the external forum and there were no obvious invalidating factors, a marriage between two non-Catholics, baptised or not, contracted before a merely civil authority would be presumed valid, because marriage enjoys the favor of the law (c. 1060). However, Catholics are subject to canon law (c. 11), and any marriage involving at least one Catholic party is subject to canon law, and this includes the requirement to follow the form of marriage. If no dispensation from canonical form was obtained, and form was not followed, the marriage would not be "valid but not sacramental"; it would in fact be an invalid marriage.

theJack wrote:
The Catholic church recognizes civil marriages. It would be better for the civil marriage to be sacramentally validated if the other party is open to it.


See above.

Denise Dee wrote:
I'll risk being personal: I have a child who is almost ten months old. Her father dislikes all religions, especially all Christian religions, he won't agree to getting religiously married. He might be able to be persuaded to agree to getting married in a registry office, would that be better than if we we continued our relationship without any marriage, or would it be better to have no marriage and end our relationship?


Thank you for your candor here; it is much easier to assess particular case if it is non-hypothetical and based in concrete facts. I do not know all the details of your situation, so take my words with a grain of salt, but I'll offer my two cents. Whether you get married is your decision; keep in mind, however, that the Church generally tries to discourage interfaith marriages, and there are permissions and dispensations which need to be obtained for interfaith marriages, depending on the circumstances. (Is he baptised or not?) In addition, it is important not to rush into marriage simply because you have a child, without thinking through all the ramifications, because there exists the possibility of a defect in consent. As for the ceremony itself, if your child's father isn't willing to marry in a Catholic ceremony, you'll have to seek dispensation from canonical form in order to marry validly before a civil official.

Denise Dee wrote:
There has been a development in my personal circumstances, in the last week, and I can be more specific now. First of all, I will repeat that I was baptised and raised as a Catholic, but when I got to be a teenager, I didn't believe in it and I stopped participating. Recently after the birth of my daughter ten months ago, I became interested in starting again, and some of it makes more sense to me. But there are other parts of the Catholic faith which I have difficulty with.


Regardless of how active you are in practising your faith, if you were baptised Catholic, you are obliged to follow canonical form for the validity of your marriage.

Denise Dee wrote:
He is now open to getting married in a Christian Church but definitely not a Catholic church. If we did that, got married in a Christian church (possibly Pentecostal) how would I, as a semi-practicing baptised Catholic, stand in regard to the Catholic Church?


Again, regardless of whether you practise the Catholic faith regularly, you are obliged to follow canonical form; if you do not follow canonical form and marry in a non-Catholic ceremony, civil or religious, and without the necessary dispensation, then your marriage would not be valid in the eyes of the Church.

Obi=Wan Kenobi wrote:
Anyone who has ever been a Catholic has to have permission from their local bishop to get married in a non-Catholic ceremony.


This was very close to the correct answer. A Catholic must obtain not simply permission, but a dispensation from canonical form, to marry in a non-Catholic ceremony. On the other hand, if he were to marry in a Catholic ceremony, but certain lesser aspects of canonical form cannot be followed (e.g. marrying at a parish which is not one's own), then permission would be needed. The dispensation or permission, depending on the situation, would need to be granted by the local ordinary.

Whether Denise Dee's partner is baptised or not is also a crucial consideration. If he is baptised, but non-Catholic or even simply non-religious, permission must be obtained in order for the marriage to occur. If he is unbaptised, then there diriment impediment of disparity of cult must be dispensed. In both cases, there are several conditions which must be met.

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