Is it good to pray for divorce
#1
Maybe I have mentioned this before here, but my mother and my father are both on their third "marriages".  They were on their second ones when I was born (technically I was there before, I was born a month later).  None of them were Catholic, and I don't believe many of them were baptized ( my father and stepdad were later, after being married to my mother.)  Needless to say I am confused.  My mother has been showing interest in the Church, but I really don't think she would like the idea of quitting her current husband.  My father's marriage is less complicated, he is married to a fallen away Catholic by way of civil court, so that is obviously invalid.

The point is, could I, and should I, pray for these marriages to end?
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#2
Why pray for them to end? Why not pray for the to be normalized/validated instead?
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#3
My thoughts are generally with what PM said.  If they weren't Catholic, got married in a non-Catholic church, or even in front of an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, but then became Catholic, would the marriage be valid or not?

Where's MagisterMusicae?  This is a question for him.
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#4
Because, I have no clue how to proceed with this?  If she converted, she could go through the annulment process, yes, and would almost certainly get her annulments.  But I have serious, serious doubts and suspicions about that.  When 100% of the people are getting annulments 100% of the time, there is a problem, and very serious problem.  Now, I won't go presuming that everyone who has had an annulment was lied to, but I think that that really opens the door to doubt.  And then there is the whole prior marriage arraignment.  Are they still married to their first spouses?  Not to mention the fact that my mother's current husband has had two former wives himself? I have a hard time believing that only one of the seven marriages that went on was valid, and it just happens to be the one that they find themselves in. 

In general, I am confused.  But all this is depends on whether she wants to convert.
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#5
(04-25-2017, 01:22 PM)Justin Alphonsus Wrote: If she converted, she could go through the annulment process, yes, and would almost certainly get her annulments. 

I guess that's the crux of the matter, if I'm reading it right.  Why would she need an annulment?  Wouldn't she be able to get the marriage normalized within the Church?
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#6
(04-25-2017, 01:42 PM)Jeeter Wrote:
(04-25-2017, 01:22 PM)Justin Alphonsus Wrote: If she converted, she could go through the annulment process, yes, and would almost certainly get her annulments. 

I guess that's the crux of the matter, if I'm reading it right.  Why would she need an annulment?  Wouldn't she be able to get the marriage normalized within the Church?

This. ^^

Plus, don't worry about what everyone else is doing. All that matters is whether or not *her* marriages are invalid.
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#7
(04-25-2017, 11:31 AM)Justin Alphonsus Wrote: Maybe I have mentioned this before here, but my mother and my father are both on their third "marriages".  They were on their second ones when I was born (technically I was there before, I was born a month later).  None of them were Catholic, and I don't believe many of them were baptized ( my father and stepdad were later, after being married to my mother.)  Needless to say I am confused.  My mother has been showing interest in the Church, but I really don't think she would like the idea of quitting her current husband.  My father's marriage is less complicated, he is married to a fallen away Catholic by way of civil court, so that is obviously invalid.

The point is, could I, and should I, pray for these marriages to end?

It's complicated ...

Firstly, your best course of action is to work on getting the various people to want to convert or return to practicing the Catholic Faith. Then to get them to speak to a priest, who can deal with their exact situation and what has to be done. For now, it's best to leave them in good faith an pray that God disposes them toward whatever is right.

Secondly, it's not really for us to go around deciding what marriages are valid or not. It's one thing to avoid attending a "second" marriage of a Catholic who has only civilly divorced. It's quite another to try to to adjudicate the state of a marriage.

One can only be married to one person. That's clear, but exactly which "spouse" it is is not always so much. In the case of multiple marriages, what if the first was invalid? Then it's possible the second is valid. What if both have several marriages ... as you say in this case, there are possibly seven marriages and only one or two are possibly valid, but which ones? That's a complex question and one that will take a great deal of work to tease out.

For instance, there's always the question of children or indissolubility. If a "spouse" entered a marriage thinking it a temporary union until they decided to end it, it's possible they never consented to true marriage. If they excluded children, also there's a case for invalidity.

But there are also possible solutions other than several annulments, especially if there are merely natural (and not sacramental) marriages involved, like the Pauline and Petrine privileges.

It's complicated ...
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#8
No

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#9
(04-25-2017, 01:17 PM)Jeeter Wrote: My thoughts are generally with what PM said.  If they weren't Catholic, got married in a non-Catholic church, or even in front of an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, but then became Catholic, would the marriage be valid or not?

Where's MagisterMusicae?  This is a question for him.

Marriage is both a natural and supernatural reality.

On a natural level it is a contract between two of the opposite sex by which each perpetually and completely surrenders and receives the rights over their bodies for acts proper to generation. It is also accompanied by some degree of sharing in a common life and common goods, but this second part has varies by place and time. What is essential is that there is some degree of common life and support.

Christ, however, raised this human contract and naturally sacred reality to a supernatural level for the Baptized, making it a sacrament — that is, an act which, by its very nature, gives grace. As a sacrament it is also a mystic symbol of the union between Christ and the Church.

That's a preface to understand that marriage is thus governed by two different, but related degrees of custom and law.

Second important point, a marriage is an essentially and substantially equal union. While each spouse has his proper role, no spouse suffers is any less or more married or gets less or more benefits from the marriage. A wife has the right to demand the marital act as much as the husband. The husband has the right to mutual support as much as the wife does. And, most importantly, the marriage is either a sacrament for both or neither.

For those who are not baptized, or where one of the spouses is not baptized, the marriage is merely natural. While that does not mean that it is less of a marriage, it does mean that, for a higher purpose, the true marriage can be dissolved under very specific cases for the good of the Faith. This is why these are called "favor of the Faith" cases.

The first is called the Pauline Privilege (from 1 Cor 7.12–15). St. Paul explains that in the case of a marriage between two unbaptized, if one converts (and is baptized) and the other spouse leaves or refuses to live in peace in this new situation, the marriage can be dissolved to favor the Faith of the new Christian. In this case the marriage is dissolved when the baptized spouse marries another Christian (he can't marry a pagan, because that wouldn't favor the Faith).

The second is sometimes called the "Petrine Privilege", because it is an extension of the Pauline logic to the case where one of the parties is baptized, but is only adjudicated by the Pope acting as successor of St. Peter in judging the case. In this case it applies to the non-baptized spouse converting. Usually it would apply to cases where the baptized spouse was a heretic and wouldn't let the newly baptized spouse live in peace as a Catholic. It could also apply to the case where the baptized spouse was an apostate Catholic, and wouldn't tolerate the newly baptized living as a faithful Catholic.

In the case of two baptized persons, the marriage once properly ratified (i.e. vows exchanged according to the proper norms) and consummated cannot be dissolved by anyone, even the Pope.

So, applying that to your question : If two unbaptized exchange consent properly and really intend marriage (or put no impediment in the way), they are truly married. It is a "valid" a natural contract, which by the Divine Law (Cf. Mt 19.8) They cannot legitimately divorce, but if one converts and the other refuses to live in peace, or leave as a result, the new convert could marry a Christian and this would dissolve the former marriage. In the Catholic Church, this situation goes through a lengthy process to determine if the convert has grounds to remarry. In a Protestant sect, this would not happen, so for us we'd need to investigate the whole case.

That's precisely why we have to say the OP's parents situation is complicated. There's the question of the original marriage of each, then the baptisms and remarriage (did the Pauline case apply dissolving the original marriage?), then the question of what they intended (e.g. their frequent remarriage is evidence they didn't think marriage was indissoluble, but did it actually affect their consent) ...

It's complicated ...
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#10
(04-25-2017, 01:22 PM)Justin Alphonsus Wrote: Because, I have no clue how to proceed with this?  If she converted, she could go through the annulment process, yes, and would almost certainly get her annulments.  But I have serious, serious doubts and suspicions about that.  When 100% of the people are getting annulments 100% of the time, there is a problem, and very serious problem.  Now, I won't go presuming that everyone who has had an annulment was lied to, but I think that that really opens the door to doubt.  And then there is the whole prior marriage arraignment.  Are they still married to their first spouses?  Not to mention the fact that my mother's current husband has had two former wives himself? I have a hard time believing that only one of the seven marriages that went on was valid, and it just happens to be the one that they find themselves in. 

In general, I am confused.  But all this is depends on whether she wants to convert.

A couple of points about annulments: 1. a plan to use abc can be a cause for nullity, and many people were told in the 1960s that using abc was ok (:()

2. The general path of an annulment is that the person goes to the parish first. If the first marriage does not meet any of the criteria for an annulment, the person is discouraged from pursuing one. Hence it seems like the vast majority of those who apply for an annulment get one, but that is because those with no apparent reason have already been weeded out.
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