Post # 1
Background: I am baptised Catholic and have not been practicing since elementary school. I consider myself a non-denominational Christian. Boyfriend is Fully confirmed and practicing Catholic.
We have been discussing it, and I am totally fine with marrying in a Catholic church,which he would prefer, but feel uneasy about the promise about the kids.(which to me is one of the only things setting apart the catholic from other christian weddings) There are certain things I don’t agree with in the Catholic teaching, and can’t see myself teaching my kids this) I know only he makes that promise, but since we both want to be on the same page about the kids, this is where the promise thing gets tricky. He seems potentially ok with just raising them Christian, not necesarily Catholic(but also doesnt want to make that promise and then no actually do everything he can to raise them Catholic). I would also be ok with taking them to two different churches, and letting them choose Catholocism if they want to, but I don’t want to have to baptize them Catholic right away..
Questions: Will the fact that I am baptized Catholic but not “actually Catholic” by practice cause any issues? Will the church not like this?
If we get permission from the catholic church to marry in a non catholic church, does my boyfriend still have to make the promise to raise the kids catholic? Does a catholic priest still have to be present at the protestant ceremony, or not necessarily? Will we have to go through pre-canna or can we go through the pre wedding counseling of the protestant church we would marry in?
Also, we are long distance and I have no home church where he and both our families live, so even the possibility of getting dispensation to marry in my church would be tricky, since I don’t have one. Am I right to think they wouldnt just give dispensation willy nilly, just because I want to marry in a non-catholic church?
In the end, I want our marriage to be valid and considered a sacrament in the eyes of the Catholic Church, because I know it’s important to him and his faith…
Any other advice for us?
Post # 3
@artist18: In the end, I want our marriage to be valid and considered a sacrament in the eyes of the Catholic Church, because I know it’s important to him and his faith…
It’s really admirable that you are being so thoughtful about this and wanting to only make promises that you can sincerely uphold.
A couple of good things for you to know: the Catholic church will not grant permission to hold the wedding in a church of another denomination. They won’t stop you from getting married in another church, but if you do, the marriage won’t be recognized by the Catholic church as sacramental and valid until you get it convalidated. Also, you do have a parish, even if you’ve never set foot in it. There are two ways to determine membership in a parish: you can pick one and actively sign up/register for it (a fairly recent innovation), but you also automatically belong to a parish based on where you live. Parishes are geographic divisions of dioceses, similar to how states are divided up into counties, and any Catholic resident of a parish’s territory is automatically a de facto member of that parish. According to Canon law, you have a right to access the sacraments in that parish – so, even though you no longer consider yourself Catholic, you are baptized (and probably received First Communion, if you attended through elementary school?) so you would be able to qualify as a member of the parish in whose territory you live.
Since it sounds like it’s really important to your Fiance, I would encourage you to think about doing marriage preparation for a Catholic wedding and really looking in depth at the Church’s teachings about marriage, what you are asked to promise re. raising children, etc. It will make things much easier on your Fiance as far as the bureaucracy of having a valid sacramental marriage, and it will give you a chance to consider, challenge, and strengthen your own beliefs. Even if you still disagree with the Catholic church on certain points, you will have a clearer understanding of how and why. It is possible that someone might give you a hard time about being a fallen-away Catholic – it all depends on who you end up with as your priest – but I would hope that they would be welcoming toward you and respect the integrity that you are bringing to your decisions.
Best of luck to you!
Post # 4
If you get dispensation of canonical form by the bishop before the wedding, I thought that gettin gmarried in another location still made it valid/scaramental in the eyes of the Catholic church though? Isn’t it better to do that ahead of time than to try to “fix it” after?
If we get permission from the catholic church ahead of time, I wonder if my boyfriend will still have to make that promise about the children and if we can do a different pre marital counseling if we choose.
Also, since I’m baptized catholic, thats the concern, about having the ceremony in a non catholic church- even though I dont have a home non catholic church in the area where we will be getting married ( I currently live three hours away from there) Will they give dispensation to marry elsewhere even though I’m a baptized catholic?
Post # 5
@artist18: If you are officially no longer Catholic then they will give you the dispensation of form to get married elswhere. You are correct, it is definitely better to get the dispensation before the wedding than to get it convalidated (fixed) later.
Yes, your Fiance will have to promise to do his best to raise any children as Catholics.
You yourself do not have to promise anything –
but you WILL have to sign a form, stating that you are aware that your future husband has given his word before God in this matter.