(Closed) FI parents want marriage recognized by Catholic Church…is that possible?

posted 4 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
Member
7897 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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alee88:  With my limited experience as a non-religious wife to a Catholic husband, I did read up on this a bit although even then the process probably has some variation depending on who you go to.

The process is a bit different depending on whether you (the non-Catholic) is baptized or not. Your husband would have to tell the church that he will do his best to be Catholic and to raise your future kids Catholic. For a non-Christian, it’s called a dispensation from disparity of cult, but I think it’s worded slightly differently if you are Christian.

As for the marriage outside of the church walls, you’d have to apply for special approval for that too. I don’t think there’s a priest who will marry you outside of church walls though. 

We actually ended up forgoing all that and being married by a Protestant pastor in a non-church venue. Neither of us or our families really needed the Catholic church’s approval, and it stressed me out as the “non-believer.” I hope this helps. Otherwise, there’s probably a bee out there who’s actually gone through it.

Post # 3
Member
660 posts
Busy bee

I know a couple that had a Catholic ceremony privately before a non-religious ceremony. Both were Catholic though. My fi isn’t catholic so were not having a full mass but are still marrying in my catholic church. Maybe your fiances mom can call her parish and ask what the options are?

Post # 4
Member
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Beach

My parents raised my siblings and I Catholic and we ALL don’t share the same views as our parents. We are more on the spiritual side than religious (which they are fine with). They brought up having our marriages recognized by the church and I told them that I would not because it isn’t apart of my life and who I am so that is a definite no-go. I think you have to be married by a priest within the Catholic church for it to be recognized. Also there is counseling sessions that you and your Fiance must attend BEFORE being married in a Catholic church.

Post # 5
Member
7519 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

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alee88:  You do not have to be married in a Catholic church or by a Catholic priest for your marriage to be recognized, we did neither and received recognition. 

The answer to your question is going to depend on if you are a baptized Christian and how lenient your local diocese is.

I am the non-Catholic in our relationship and it was very important to DH’s mom that we receive recognition. We spoke with her priest and we were told that we needed to complete marriage counseling and Darling Husband had to promise to try his best to raise potential kids Catholic.

I am a baptized Christian and we planned on using my church so we were receiving counseling from my pastor. Due to this, our counseling was waived but we had to go to one 6 hour class about various marriage topics. I’m guessing this is the same across the board so you will likely need to participate in this.

As far as I can tell, the non religious venue thing really depends on the diocese. Your Fiance will need to speak to his priest to nail this down for sure.

Post # 6
Member
1199 posts
Bumble bee

Usually, the Catholic Church requires baptized Catholics to marry before a priest or deacon (in a church). Unless you have received a “dispensation from canonical form,” you will not be considered validly married in the eyes of the church if you are married through a civil ceremony or by a priest of another religion. If you wanted to have this union offiially recognized by the Church, you’d need to get a “convalidation”.

Here are the steps for a convalidation:

 
1) Meet with the local parish and priest to talk through your situation

2) Get a new copy of FI’s baptismal certificate (that shows that he hasn’t been married previously)

3) Paperwork

5) Pick an appropriate time and type of service for the convalidation. Note that both of you will need to go to Confession before this ceremony.

Post # 7
Member
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

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alee88:  From what I understand, if you want a catholic priest to marry you, you have to be in a church. I guess it would all depend on how strict the priest is but I’m pretty sure it would have to be the priest that belongs to your fiancee’s church who would have to marry you(I could be wrong but that is how it is at my church). If you want a priest from a different church to marry you, you would need to get your fiancee’s priests permission (again that is how it works for my church). The priest would also suggest that you get confirmed but I’m not sure if that would be a necessity. Your fiancee will need an updated copy of his baptismal certificate within 6 months of the wedding. The reason it has to be updated is because it will have the information of his confirmation as well, my fiancee needs to get his sent from Poland since that is where he had his baptism. In Ontario, I’m not sure about other places, you need to get a civil marriage license, do marriage preparation courses (or the priest definitely won’t marry you) and the ceremony is extremely personalized with picking your own readings, music, psalms, etc. You also may be told that you need to go to confession a certain amount of time before the wedding.

Post # 8
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

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alee88:  I am going through the EXACT same situation (wedding is in December) and I would be more than happy to help you out (especially since I had to figure all of this out on my own for the most part). Fiance is Catholic and I am not (he’s not very religious). FI’s mother wants our wedding to be “blessed” by the catholic church but doesn’t mind that we are getting married in a non-denominational church and having a family minister perform the ceremony.

Every church is different but your best bet is to have Fiance email his parish church or whatever Catholic church is in your area and ask for a “dispensation from canonical form” so that you can have your marriage recognized by the Catholic church. We literally emailed the closest church to us and so far we have had to:

1) Give a copy of our baptismal certificates over to the church (FI’s had to be an original copy) along with FI’s “First Holy Communion” certificate.

2) Hand over signed affidavits from our parents saying we have never been married

3) Take one full day marriage class (ours was called “Unveiled”). It actually wasn’t too bad.

4) Take an online personality match test (called FOCCUS). 150 questions..sounds like a lot but they have super obvious answers.

5) Meet with the priest (only thing we have left and we are doing that this sunday).

 

We do not want the priest present because we have heard from others and members of this particular church that they will basically force us to recite the Catholic vows and we will have to have the Catholic priest receive them. We are writing our own vows and basically emohasizing that this minister is a very close, family type friend and we couldn’t imagine anyone else receiving our vows. The dispensation form allows our minister to perform the ceremony with the Catholic church’s blessing.

I do know that additional paperwork is required if you are getting married in a non-church. As far as I can tell, it’s only paperwork so definitely doable.

We live in a area where the Catholic Dioces is apparently pretty strict so there may be more lenient churches depending on the area you live in.

 

Feel free to message me if you need more help/have questions! Good luck!!

Post # 9
Member
1301 posts
Bumble bee

I’m Catholic, and my Fiance is not. We got married in the church. Question…why are you considering having your marriage blessed in the Church if you are not Catholic and your husband isn’t practicing? Not trying to be snarky, I’m genuinely curious. Because a Catholic marriage means that you vow to welcome children and raise them Catholic, among other things. And I’m pretty sure you have to use the Catholic vows.

I understand that it would make your Mother-In-Law happy, but if you don’t believe in those things and your Fiance isn’t practicing, why go through with it? It seems disingenous. 

You can always have your marriage convalidated after the fact, but I guess I don’t really get why you would want to have a Catholic marriage if you aren’t Catholic.

Post # 12
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

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alee88:  Yes! The only time Fiance goes to mass now is when he visits his family/on holidays. We literally did GPS to find the nearest church and went online to get the contact info.

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beebee1983:  I know this wan’t directed towards me but just from my perspective we are definitely doing this to satisfy Future Mother-In-Law. We are not particularly religious in this stage of our lives and the only time we really go to church is on holidays with family. Having our marriage recognized by the church probably one of the only things Future Mother-In-Law has ever asked of us. However, having gone through the marriage class and personality tests I will say we have taken a lot from the experience and I do think our marriage will be for the better because of it. Also, it leaves us the option to committ more fully to Catholicism in the future should we choose to go that route!

Post # 13
Member
2626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull

My mum is Church of England and my Dad was Catholic so this was a HUGE issue for them.

My mum had to write to the Pope (I kid you not! She still has the letter somewhere) and ask for his blessing (which she received, obviously).

One of the conditions was that we all be brought up Catholic, which we were, but none of us ever got confirmed and I go to a Methodist Church now on the rare occassion that I go at all.

I don’t know if it would still be the case as this was in the 70s, but just thought I’d put that out there.

Post # 14
Member
5153 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I understand this is important to his mom but…. what’s the point of even going through all of this? Personally,  I feel that you should never give someone control over your relationship and this is what you’re giving to his mom. Neither of you want a Catholic ceremony – so why have one? Mom will have to get over it.

Bottom line is, you arent catholic and your Fiance isn’t practicing….isn’t that pretty much lying when you have the ceremony and promise to raise babies in the Catholic faith? What’s going to happen when your Mother-In-Law insists the babies be baptized…go to CCD… etc. etc. I would set the tone now. 

Post # 15
Member
1301 posts
Bumble bee

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weatherbug:  Totally agree. This isn’t like inviting your Great Aunt Bertha to appease your Mother-In-Law. It’s basically starting off your marriage saying things you don’t believe in.

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