Post # 1
Hello… I’m looking for some guidence on marriage convalidation. My husband and I were married last year outside the church. He is a non-believer, and we decided to be married by a judge (and not in a chruch) because he/we wanted the wedding ceremony to be meaningful to him/us and express what marraige means to him/us as a couple. Being catholic, I know that I am “living in sin” at this point, and I have not been to mass since before our wedding. I would like to return to the church, but I don’t really feel comfortable doing so until we have our marraige convalidated. One of my concerns is also that my husband is not baptized. Will that be a roadblock? I guess I am just looking for any suggestions from someone who is more knowlegable than I am about this process. My husband is OK with me agreeing to raise our future children in the Catholic faith (and I would like to do so), but he would not be OK with converting himself. Thanks so much!
Post # 3
I am happy to say that no, your husband’s not being baptized will NOT be a roadblock.
You will have to get something called an “express dispensation” from your local bishop. You and your husband have what is called a “disparity of cult,” cult being the technical term for religion. You have your religion, and he has his none. It is not difficult to get permission 🙂 It just requires paperwork. The requirements are generally:
1. YOU will stay Catholic (he doesn’t have to convert)
2. YOU will promise to do your best to raise your kids Catholic (he just has to be aware that you gave your word)
3. BOTH of you understand and believe that marriage means forever, it’s not okay to have sex with other people, blah blah.
I have never heard of anyone being denied permission when they follow the steps to ask.
The first step is to call your local parish and tell them you are interested in getting your marriage convalidated. Try not to let them intimidate you or put you off; most parishes are very understaffed and overworked. If they don’t call you back, call again. It is not a big ordeal to get it done. I think in some dioceses there are more convalidations than there are weddings! 🙂
Post # 4
@Magdalena: Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful and just what I was looking for. My husband agreed to go through with the convalidation, so now all we need to do is contact the parish and get the ball rolling. I really appreciate your help!