Post # 1
I am Catholic and my Fiance is Christian but has been divorced…We have decided to have an outdoor ceremony and reception and later have our marriage blessed (after the long process of annullment). However, my Fiance was speaking to a Catholic priest and was told that since I was a Catholic having a non-catholic wedding, that I would henceforth be in “bad standing” with the Church and not technically allowed to participate (ie receive communion)…I really didn’t realize this and now have this enormous sense of guilt…
Is this really true?
Post # 4
Yeah, technically until you have it convalidated you’re in bad standing (assuming you’re, you know, consummating the marriage and treating yourselves as a married couple) because you’re not actually married in the eyes of the Church. My understanding is that it’s the same as being in “bad standing” b/c you’re having premarital sex and haven’t been to reconciliation.
Post # 5
Yes, but I’m not sure if it has anything to do with not getting married in the Church. My SIL married a divorced man, and although she is a strong Catholic (often plays piano for Mass and everything) she is not allowed to participate in communion. He chose not to get his first marriage annulled, and they were unable to be married in the Catholic Church. However, I do believe that if your soon to be husband gets his first marriage annulled this will change. Although, I am guessing it would need to be annulled before the wedding?? Hope this helps some.
Post # 6
@krissetto: Yes. First, Catholics are not free to give matrimonial consent outside of the Catholic Church. If your Fiance had been Catholic and gotten civilly married outside of the Catholic Church, the Church would automatically see the first marriage as invalid and he would be free to marry you. However since he is not Catholic, he is not bound by Canon Law and is thus free to give matrimonial consent outside of the Church. This means the only way you can marry him is by making a legal argument that his first marriage was invalid. Annullments do not dissolve marriages and in the Catholic Church marriages are indissoluble. You are not free to marry another person until your spouse dies.
By getting seeking to get an annullment, you are trying to proove that your Fiance is free to marry you because he was never validly married to his first wife.
The only way for you to marry anyone validly in the eyes of the Church (because you are a baptised Catholic) is to marry within the Catholic Church. As such any attempt to marry outside of the Church is automatically considered invalid. Thus to get in good standing with the Church you would need your marriage convalidated. But again, it can’t be convalidated if your spouse’s first marriage was valid to begin with. He cannot have two valid marriages while his first wife is still alive.
The Catholic Church’s laws regarding marriage are in the link below.