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Full Version: Can someone please help with a marriage validity question? Filled with anxiety! :(
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OK, so I was baptized Catholic, and was "raised" in the Catholic Church.  We didn't attend overly regularly as a family, however.

In June of 2007, I fell away from the Church, and began attending a Baptist Church off and on.  I also sometimes attending a conservative, non-demoninational Church, which was basically just a very fundamentalist, Sola Scriptura Church with a handful of members.  I was "re-baptized" in a Baptist Church in April 2011 in a formal ceremony. 

Anyways, we were set to marry in June 2014 in a Baptist Church by a Baptist pastor.  It was around this time that I started to see through the whole "born again" thing, and started seeing the whole "by Scripture alone!" facade as the fallacy that it is.  It was around this time that I started coming back around to the Catholic Church (oh, how I wish it had been sooner.  Actually I wish that whole Calvinist misadventure had NEVER happened).  It was around that time that I also came to discover that Catholics are bound by canonical form. 

Anyways, around June of 2014 I went to a priest after he had celebrated Mass, and he advised that he could sit down with my fiancé and I to fill out some paper work, and then send that off to the local diocese (the Vicar and the Bishop), to allow such a marriage to be permitted. 

So we met with this particular priest, went over some paper work, answered a series of questions, and then he just advised that this would all be good to go.  Also around this time I went to another priest for confession, and to be permitted back to the Sacraments. 

Anyways, I hadn't heard back from the first priest or anyone for a bit of time, so I went to see him again after a Sunday Mass.  He told me that everything was good, and chuckled for me to "go for it" (meaning my marriage).

Anyways, I still wasn't satisfied with this, being the semi-neurotic that I am, so I then actually called the Local Ordinary myself.  He had simply filed it away as completed or whatever, and wanted to know whether there was a problem.  I told him my whole story again, that I was baptized Catholic, and then left the Church, and then had just come back.  He sort of sounded confused, and told me that it was unusual.  He told me he would "look into it" and then get back to me.  If I recall correctly, the anxiety I felt during that period of waiting (which I think was only like 15 mins) was just unbearable.  Anyways, he came back and said "That's fine", and that the marriage was OK.  I was delighted, to say the least.

Then, without sounding completely insane, I still had my doubts about the marriage, so I called him again and just requested something in writing.  To which he kindly replied with a written statement to me by e-mail that the marriage would have the same standing as a marriage performed in the Catholic Church. 

I then more or less left it at that.  Although, I did still bring it up to some other priests and trusted Catholics, all of which told me it was fine. 

Then, on Saturday past, I saw some video of an SSPV priest, which seemed to indicate that someone in our situation was in sin.

My question is, is this true?   Haven't I fulfilled my obligation to see that the marriage was valid?  Is is possible that this dispensation was given in error or something?  If this is the case, who would be at fault?  The marrying couple? 

OR, should I just listen to what the Local Ordinary has told me and just obey the local diocese in telling me that my marriage is valid?

Thanks very much!!
To my knowledge there are no trained Canon lawyers on Fisheaters, tho' many of us are 'armchair' Canonists. I assume that the Judicial Vicar, if not the Ordinary, of your Diocese is a trained Canonist, since that is a requirement of the office. I say, lay your fears to rest and enjoy married life.
(09-25-2017, 02:04 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]To my knowledge there are no trained Canon lawyers on Fisheaters, tho' many of us are 'armchair' Canonists. I assume that the Judicial Vicar, if not the Ordinary, of your Diocese is a trained Canonist, since that is a requirement of the office. I say, lay your fears to rest and enjoy married life.

God bless you.  Thanks!!
The Local Ordinary has the power to grant a dispensation from the canonical form of matrimony. Based on your description, it seems like he did just that.
I sympathize with your anxiety.

I am not married but this question makes me very uneasy.  The whole issue with canonical form can get really complicated.

There is no way I could be in peace in a marriage if I had any doubt about whether it was really valid or not due some defect in canonical form.

The situation with SSPX/independent TLM marriages has bothered me for a long time.  

You can get different answers from different canonists and priests leaving you with a lack of certainty. 

With the annulment rubber stamping since Vatican II it compounds doubt and anxiety.  I hear apologists on EWTN essentially saying that a sizeable majority of couples who thought they were married , really were not in the eyes of God because they were not mature enough at the time of the wedding.

And then you have Francis suggesting most marriages today are invalid.  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/m...sts-51752/  but cohabiting couples have "true" marriages.

Frankly, living today as a Catholic with confidence in one's spiritual state is nearly impossible, in my opinion.

It is a constant nightmare any which way you turn: morally, liturgically, doctrinally, everything.
Thanks for everyone's input. I really appreciate it!

Anyone else want to chime in?
This is just my two cents, but you have done all you can to make sure that everything is correct.  At this point, I would trust (a) the higher authorities you have consulted and (b) God's infinite mercy.  If there is anything irregular, it is through no fault or desire of your own.  You have done what you can.
(09-26-2017, 08:52 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: [ -> ]This is just my two cents, but you have done all you can to make sure that everything is correct.  At this point, I would trust (a) the higher authorities you have consulted and (b) God's infinite mercy.  If there is anything irregular, it is through no fault or desire of your own.  You have done what you can.

God bless you, and thank you.

I think I accept that the marriage is at least valid.  But I think it's probably best described as "'valid', but subject to significant scandal", as one priest (an independent, TLM-only) told me on the phone.  He said that while it's valid, it's probably best to renew the vows in front of a priest just to make sure everything is just right.  I'm not in any way opposed to this, and perhaps we'll have a vow renewal in the (hopefully near) future. 

I could understand someone being under the pain of mortal sin if they DELIBERATELY went against the will of the Church and married without the proper form.  But we went to a priest and more or less said "please help us make this right", and, thank God, we were assisted.  However, it's still something that bothers me..

Our wedding day was truly beautiful, but I do really wish I'd come to my senses sooner and just married according to Catholic norm.
Who among us doesn't have regrets for some of the things in our lives?  Take comfort in the fact that you have done everything you can to make it right.  I am sure a renewal of your vows would be a beautiful gesture.  Perhaps for an anniversary?