Post # 1
I was brought up in a catholic family. I went to a catholic elemenary school, sung in the church choir and went to mass every sunday (in the same parish )untill I was 20 since then it has been less regular -I am 27 have travelled spent severall years out of the country worked over the weekends etc… anyways my appearances at this church have been patchy over the last few years.
My parents moved to a different parish about a year ago and the current preist doesn’t know me.
I want to get married in a different dioceses at the church we went to every summer growing up. the preist there said thats fine but I need my local preist to do the paper work first.
My Fi is not catholic and we live together (it wasn’t a decision I took lightly)
the preist and my local church is giving me a hard time he doesn’t want to do the paperwork because he is busy and doesn’t consider me a part of the parish (because I don’t attend every sunday or get involved) and he feels that the marriage is about becoming part of the community. Hedoesn’t see why I should want catholic wedding or deserve one.
my mum has also spoken to him and he was also rude to her.
I feel awful . I know I am not perfect but having a catholic marriage means a lot to me. The preist seems to be saying its all or nothing.
i have always considered this parish to be a kind of “home” I grew up there and I now feel like the ground has been ripped up from under my feet.
I was allways taught that forgiveness and compassion are foundations of Jesus’ message and the churchs.
there has been a lot of tears and I feel very unsettled and this has caused me to rethink my beleifs a bit.
If I have to settle for a civil ceramony do you think it still counts? does it mean anything?
I feel lost
Post # 3
Yes sweetie, it still counts. I’m so sorry that this is happening. I’ve experienced a priest like this as well, and I couldn’t believe it. It was so frustrating and heartbreaking. Go back to the church in the other diocese and talk to the priest again. Let him know what is happening. He can more than likely get a special dispensation from the bishop. He’d probably have to get one anyway since you’re a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic. In my case, the priest was being deliberately misleading to force us to do what he wanted us to, and that may be the case with you as well.
Try not to worry, hon. God loves you!
Post # 5
If there’s one thing that I learned from my experience, it’s that things vary from parish to parish, and there’s a work around for just about everything. I know it’s hard right now, but this is going to work out. Being married in a Catholic church is important to you, and you will find a way to make it happen.
ETA: It would be awesome if someone with more insider knowledge can chime in on this: my understanding is that marriage is one of the sacraments, and he can’t deny you that if you’re in good standing with the church….is it the definition of “good standing” that this priest is latching on to?
Post # 6
I know your probably don’t want to hear this, but this is why I no longer attend the Catholic church. I was also brought up Catholic. Raised my kids this way. Too many things about the church have rubbed me and my mom and kids the wrong way.
Post # 7
Ugh! Power tripping and judgement from priests is the worst, especially when you know there are plenty of kind, openminded ones out there!
This guy isn’t acting very Christian, IMO. He’s further alienating you when he should be encouraging you! It’s no wonder so many churches are in trouble.
I’m so sorry. 🙁
Post # 8
first of all, I am SO sorry you have to deal with this.
Second of all, yes it WILL count, even if you don’t get married in a church or by a priest. It is my personal opinion that God is everywhere, not just in church.
And if you really want to get married in a Catholic church, I’m sure if you start visiting some other churches you will find one that better suits you. I worked with a girl who went to a Catholic church and the priest was very modern and accepting — he didn’t even mind that she lived with her boyfriend and then fiance before they got married. I’m sure this is rare, but apparently it does exist.
I’m sure it will be hard to find a more “accepting” parish but I’m coming to realize that there are some out there.
Have you considered exploring other forms of Christianity? I’m not religious (just spiritual) so I won’t name any of them, but I know some forms of Christianity are less strict than others.
Good luck and please don’t let this upset you. You’ve done nothing wrong, and like I said, God is everywhere, no matter what religion you are/aren’t.
Post # 9
@fjane: I’m so sorry this is happening to you. This is one of the reasons Fiance and I are really thinking about whether or not we want to be married Catholic and raise our children Catholic. Try some other parishes and priests if you really want a Catholic wedding. Though I think marriage will be recognized by God regardless (if not officially in the eyes of the church). Try not to get so upset over it. FI’s parents were married in their home in a non-Catholic service, and they still practice their faith and Fiance and his siblings were still baptized Catholic. It sucks that everything is so strict right now, but hang in there, and I’m sure things will work out for you if you do a little research. Good luck!
Post # 10
sorry you are having to deal with this. try to find a work around. you would think that with falling numbers the church would get wise to the fact that they are driving their own people away with this type of behavior, but it seems to happen frequently enough to be a problem.
Post # 11
I’m sorry you encountered this priest that is not treating your wedding with priority. I don’t know where you live, but even “hard core” Catholics encounter problems finding a priest that is a good fit for them. I highly recommend that you find another local parish if there is another one available. If another church is not available, press this priest for what you need. It is your right as a Catholic to get married in the Catholic church.
As for your question about “if it counts”, as a Catholic it is your duty to get married in a church building in front of the altar and tabernacle (presence of Our Lord). Since your Fiance is not Catholic, there will not be Liturgy if the Eucharist (Communion) at the wedding. If you are so frustrated at the church that you want to marry in another place, it is your duty to obtain a Dispensation of Canonical Form before the marriage takes place. With this, the church will recognize the marriage, wherever it takes place. You need this to have a Valid Marriage.
From your post, I get the impression that your faith tradition is important to you, I hope that you will not be discouraged by this one unkind priest!
Post # 12
@Garnety: From your post, I get the impression that your faith tradition is important to you, I hope that you will not be discouraged by this one unkind priest!
Yes, this exactly. Just remember, that priests are human, too, and can have bad days and give bad advice etc. just like everyone else.
Post # 13
I am so bummed to hear about what this priest is telling you. If anythign, he should be delighted that you are “coming back” to the church and that you value a Catholic wedding so much.
My advice would be to find another priest who will do the ceremony for you. I’m sure there are plenty out there who would be happy to do this.
And if you don’t want to go that route, yes, a civil ceremoy still “counts.” It’s all about what’s in your heart. You can incorporate prayers and such in the service, too.
Post # 14
I just want to address your worry of whether the marriage “counts”– in terms of Catholic beliefs, you need to get married in a Catholic church.
I do believe that God is present everywhere and that people have beautiful weddings all over the place, but if you’re committed to the Catholic faith and consider yourself Catholic, you’re going to need to find a church (or go through the process for a dispensation).
Post # 15
How aweful! Dont’ give up though! you do deserve a church wedding. You are not perfect and neither is your priest or anyone else who attends church every sunday.
I got a similar reaction when me and Fiance went to see our priest. My appearances have been patchy but our church is quite large so I wasn’t really under the microscope in that respect. My Fiance is not catholic but is baptized christian…but the kicker was that he and his HS sweetheard were pressured into marriage right after highschool. So, yes…he’s technically divorced and we had to get it annulled. After hearing this and knowing that we live together (a decision that was very hard for me, and thus the reason I am not fully practicing)….the priest just said the requirements will be hard and that I cannot do marriage prep or even set a date. I was so sad. Finally after almost a year we get his annulment and they finally let us talk to the marriage minister about precana, etc. We go to talk to her and she’s telling us about other couples who were allowed to do precana and set their dates long before their annulement was final. I was really hurt by that, since I was told something totally different a year earlier. =(
Anyways, although my priest may not think fondly of me or my marriage I know God does, and there isnt’ nothing anyone can do to stop us from getting married in the church. Had they not wished to help me, I would have gone to another parish as a new parishoner requesting matrimony.
Post # 16
No offense but your church just wants your $$$. Thats how my church is. my preist is cool. the ones before him were not. We attend every Sunday and we volunteer ALL the time and thats the only reason they are cool. If we didnt they would do the same thing they are doing to you. The catholic church will not recognize your marraige unless you get married in a church. You could still get married afterward in the church, its called something else though. I have my ish with the catholic church but it was really imoportant to me too to get married in a church. I say keep looking for that good hearted preist. they are out there. but chances are they are gonna tell you you gotta be an “active” parishoner if you want to get married there. Some are different though. Dont give up please!r