Post # 1
My fiance and I live together and I want to get married in my church, but from what the lady in the office said, first of all, I was supposed to be registered member of the church at least 6 months before I could even TALK to the priest about marriage prep (my mom, aunt, and grandmother have been giving money to this church since 1953) and then when I talked to the next lady, she then said that the priest doesn’t believe in cohabitating couples, I understand this since I am fully baptized, confirmed, and attend Catholic church, however, I know of plenty of people who never had any trouble at all, so I would like to know if anyone knows of a Catholic Church in the Dallas area that would be willing to let me get married in the Church. Thanks!
Post # 3
LOL– They don’t believe in cohabitating couples- like you don’t believe in Santa Claus? 😉
I can’t help you with the church question in Dallas, but I know that here (and from what I’ve seen here on the boards), if you are living with your future spouse, you have additional questions to answer on the FOCCUS quiz and there is, I believe, something extra you do for the Engaged Encounter weekend.
Re: the church– can you not have the Parish you attend just send them a letter so you can get married in your home church?
Post # 4
Just FYI, priests are not allowed to refuse marriage to you on the basis of your cohabitating. There was a decision by the Council of Bishops stating such.
Being a member of the church in question is pretty standard, though.
Edit: Wait, is that like your childhood church? That’s a weird response to me then.
Post # 5
if all your sacrements are done in that church and you’ve been attending, it should be no problem. My brother hadn’t been back to our home church since confirmation and they married him there. However he and his now wife, were co-habitating and had to sign a form saying they new in the eyes of god they were commiting a sin by living together.
Post # 6
Do you live within the parish’s territory? Little known fact (even among many devout Catholics): parishes are geographic divisions of a diocese, and technically wherever you live, you are a “member” of that parish (whether or not you ever went through the formality of registering) and you have a right to access the sacraments there. Now, depending on where you live, that may or may not be the church you’re trying to get in to, or a church that you like, but there is at least one Catholic church that has to acknowledge you as a member for however long you’ve lived at your current address. Of course, if you like another church better, there’s nothing preventing you from attending there and registering as a member of that parish, but you automatically have a default parish based on where you live, and most Catholics these days don’t know that.
Is this a church you attend regularly, but just have never signed up as a member? Does the priest know you? Try talking directly to him rather than going through the church secretary. They often try to “filter” who gets through to the priest (and with good reason – many people who have no intention of attending regularly or supporting the parish try to have a wedding in the church). If you have a genuine connection to this parish, approach the priest directly to explain the situation. If you’ve been attending there for a while but just never registered as a member, talk to him and maybe they can work it out so that you “count” as having been a member long enough to qualify.
Post # 7
They’re not allowed to refuse to marry you just because you are cohabitating. Call them back and tell them you found that out. Mention you will call the bishop if necessary.
Post # 8
They CAN, however, refuse to marry you if they “dont know” you, like if you’re not registered there and/or don’t regularly attend.
Post # 9
According to Canon Law, parishes must provide the sacraments to Catholics who live within their boundaries whether or not they have registered or ever attended there. They can make you attend classes, wait a while, jump through hoops, etc., but they have to marry you if you are a baptized Catholic and request it.
Post # 10
@zerlina: Yes, it’s my childhood church, it was very hurtful to hear that they didn’t care even though it’s the church I attend. I really didn’t realize that I had to register as a member, kind of stupid of me, but I didn’t think about it. I put a few bucks in the offering plate every once in awhile, but didn’t sign up for weekly envelopes…
Post # 11
The lady on the phone does not get to make the decisions, she is just the gatekeeper! You need to get around her. My suggestion – go to mass with your mom/aunt/grandma, someone who the pastor knows and recognizes. Wait til the end of mass. Go up to the priest with them and have them say “Oh father so-and-so! Have you ever been introduced to Stefande? She is recently engaged and so looking forward to getting married here!” Then you jump in and say “Yes, my fiance and I are very excited! Can we make an appointment with you to discuss the process of marriage preparation?” When he defers you to the lady in the office, you go back to her and say “Father ____ said I need to make an appointment with him.” Also, get your name on the list and get the envelopes, you’ll probably have 6 months under your belt before the wedding.