Post # 1
Here’s the situation. My husband and I got married at the courthouse last year and decided (from the begining) that we would get married by the Catholic Church in Mexico, my hometown and where we met. Just as a reference, in Mexico a religious ceremony is not valid, so we must marry in front of a judge and later in the church. Earlier this year I approached my priest and told him that we were married in the courthouse and wanted to get married in the Church. He said that therer was no problem and that the first step was for my husband to be baptized (I’m catholic, he’s not, but wants to be). So we both started going to classes in order for him to get baptized next Easter. Everything was going according to plan, we were happy about being closer to the Church now, learning, planning our wedding in Mexico. Until last week, when another priest told us that because I was catholic we had a serious problem, that I was in mortal sin, that my husband shouldn’t be baptized until we get our vows convalidated by the Church and that I couldn’t come near any sacrament.
The thing is that we cannot marry by the Church in Mexico until my husband is baptized and, according to this other priest he shouldn’t get baptized until we get married. Does that make any sense??
He said we could do a quick ceremony right in that Church and that should fix our problem, but I don’t want to get married there! I want my mom and my whole family by my side. The priest thinks that it’s because I want a big party, but it’s not that!! I just want to have my family by my side when I say I do in front of God.
He said he would talk to the pastor (or main priest) in our Church to ask him if my husband could get baptized before getting married and that he would do what his superior says.
I’ve been feeling really bad about this 🙁 This priest made me feel as if I was the scum of the Earth. I don’t even feel like going to Church anymore and I grew up in a very catholic family 🙁 I’m really trying not to cry, it’s just that this means so much to me. I just want to get married by the church in front of my family and not feeling soooo guilty 🙁 Any advice?
Post # 3
Ok, so here’s the problem. It is 100% allowed (and actually recommended in many countries) to get married in a court house then in the Church. However, if you do that, you are not to act as “husband and wife” until the Church ceremony (because the Catholic Church considers that the “official” wedding). So you should not call him your husband, have sex, change your name, etc. since you are not actually married in the eyes of God.
If you are willing and able to act as if you are unmarried, then you are fine to approach the sacraments and your fiance is fine to continue in his RCIA process. However, if you act like a married couple, then you should not approach the sacraments and he cannot complete RCIA because you are considered to be in an “irregular state” in the Church.
You shouldn’t feel like “scum” even if you are in an irregular state because you did not mean to do it, and God knows that. All you need to do to go back to good standing (and being able to receive Communion) is to stop acting like husband and wife (sleep in separate beds and no sex) and make a good confession to a priest. The priest should have explained that to you.
I hope that helps.
Post # 4
CatholicBee is exactly right – I just wanted to add a second voice to help you confirm what she’s saying it spot-on.
Priests can be really intellectual. They can also get burnt out. Others are jolly and warm. I think they have the same range of personalities that everyone else does! Please don’t get frustrated with the whole church and all of its people just because a priest was snippy with you. I am so sorry that happened, though! Things should have been explained much more kindly to you.
I love the Catholic Church, but I have no problem saying that I have been really disappointed once in a while by a priest or two. Such is life!
Post # 5
Thank you both for answering. Everything was much more clear once I had the complete information.
I talked to a priest from my own culture (hispanic) and we’re working on getting things on track. The main thing is that we want to do things right.
@Lapeaudesoie: Special thanks for being so kind! After what happened with that priest I’m a little scared of general rudeness and judgement in the Church, which I had never experienced before. You are right, priest have different personalities.
After this, I was dissapointed too, but I’m working on getting over it. My husband/fiance is very happy to start his life at the Catholic Church and we’re both learning a lot.
Thank you both!!
Post # 6
@aguilpul: I’m so glad you’re working it out and excited! I wish you all the best.