Post # 1
I understand that Catholic marriages can only take place in a Catholic church celebrated by a Catholic Priest. I’m currently planning a secular wedding because most of my family and my fiance’s family are not Catholic. We plan to have a private service at church around the same time.
However, I’ve found this group called the “New Catholic Church” that claims their marriages are able to be convalidated in a Catholic diocese after the fact…. does anyone know anything about this first hand? I imagine it’s bogus (a nice idea, but WAY too difficult to make work), but I’d love it if I was wrong! These “New Catholic” priests offer weddings anywhere and everywhere and claim a certain legitimacy- even quoting Vatican documents on their website: http://www.saintfranciscatholicmission.com/history.html
Post # 3
It sounds like a group that is sort of “Catholic-lite,” maintaining aspects of Catholicism that appeal to them but ignoring others and not in communion with Rome.
I can understand how it would be attractive to be able to do a wedding that is both “Catholic” and “whatever I/we want,” but the basic fact is that a huge part of Catholicism, especially for ordained priests, is obedience to the Church. Jesus made such an enormous sacrifice for us and demonstrated obedience to God (“Not my will but Yours”), we owe it to Him to do the same, and priests make a vow of obedience to the Church when they are ordained. It sounds like this group might be made up of ex-priests who have left the organized Church and are doing their own quasi-Catholic thing. If these guys are not in Communion with Rome, then you have to get the marriage convalidated afterward – but that’s exactly the same thing you do with any outside-the-church marriage, so there’s nothing special about them. And in fact, it’s arguably a bit worse, because they kind-of-sort-of-without-really-saying-it-explicitly pass themselves off as Catholic (i.e. Roman Catholic), and that’s deceptive.
Quoting Vatican documents doesn’t give them legitimacy. If you want to check in to it and verify, call the diocese (the bishop’s office). If they are working under their local bishop, then they are in communion with Rome and things are good. If they are not, I’m sure the diocese will be able to tell you, and then you’ll need to make your own decision. Yes, they’ll be able to give you a wedding that looks and feels like Catholic ritual, but it will be hollow. If there’s one thing I care about our wedding being, it’s *authentic*. Be what you are and don’t be what you’re not. Is the Catholic/convalidation thing for your FI? Best to check in with him, too, and see how he’d prefer to go about it.
Post # 4
This group. among others, is a group that has broken away from Rome and while they follow many teachings from Rome still and call themselves Catholic. Their sacraments are not valid and this would not be the same thing as convalidating.
Post # 5
Unfortunately there are a lot of these groups around. Rent A Priest and so forth. They are scam artists. If you ever are questioning a group or a priest you can always call your local diocese and ask if they are aware of the group operating in the area.
Usually, the local diocese knows about these people, whether they are transients or if they have set up a more permanent shop. My diocese actually puts out a warning bulletin to parishes to be on the lookout when they hear that Group X is coming into the area or “Priest” Y is believed to be around town. That’s because sometimes these “rent a priests” will show up at a real parish and claim to be a real priest who just happens to be in town! And if the parish isn’t suspicious they might let him hang out there, helping with stuff. These guys were often former priests who were defrocked for various issues, often sexual problems, NOT someone you want hanging around a parish for obvious reasons!!! Or a wedding either.
Post # 6
@kcardonl: You cannot receive the marriage sacrament from these “priests” we just learned this in our confirmation class last week? Check with your Diocesese.
Post # 7
I’ve found this group called the “New Catholic Church” that claims their marriages are able to be convalidated in a Catholic diocese after the fact
This is kind of a funny statement, because MOST marriages would be able to be Convalidated by the Catholic Church after the fact. Convalidation is the ceremony done in a Catholic Church by a Catholic Priest and is what makes your marriage “valid” in the eyes of the Church.
So, basically you can get married ANYWHERE and then have your marriage “convalidated” if the Priest / Bishop agrees (JOP / Resort / Other Christain church etc). WHERE you get married will have no basis….. they will look at WHY you didn’t choose to get married in the Catholic Church in the first place.
I guess my question is if your family and your FI’s family aren’t Catholic….. why do you care if your marriage is convalidated? Do you both want to be Catholic? Do you want to raise your children in the Catholic Church?
Post # 8
Convalidation is right. Check with your actual Parish. The Vatican will allow you to have your marriage validated by Catholic Church if you have not been married by church before, have not denounced your faith, have been baptized and petition for approval.
I have my documents from the Archdiocese approved by the Vatican to proceed with a convalidation ceremony. My husband is not catholic however agrees that all children of our union will be catholic and my faith will still be practiced.
Sounds a little right wing however it’s valid. Check with your church if you are indeed an active parishioner. It is not unheard of and truly someone of a Catholic faith would want their marriage accepted in the eyes of God. If that is what’s in your heart.
As for the other churches, be careful. I did a LOT of investigating before I went directly to my parish or you can call the Archdiocese directly. Their office provides information.