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Jay, (a gal) wrote:

Hi, guys —

My brother-in-law is getting married in May to a nice girl (I don't know her faith background but she attends a non-denominational church when she can.) They are having an outdoor wedding in a historical setting. He is a baptized Catholic but never received any other sacraments and grew up with a dad that was very anti-Catholic. He only attends church sparingly and from what I know, has no interest in joining the Catholic Church. When he visits us, he will sometimes attend Mass with us, was best man at our wedding and has attended all the children's baptisms. I always joked that I wanted him to marry a Catholic girl and suggested he convert one day. I pray for the conversion of my husband's family daily.

I am confused because I read for a baptized Catholic to have a valid marriage it has to take place in the Church.

  • Does this count for him since he was baptized as an infant but not raised in the Church?

I am asking because it is hard to be joyful when I really wish their wedding celebration would be in a church setting (any Christian church really) instead of a civil ceremony setting. Obviously, this is not going to happen since he has no desire to convert and, even if he did, they are not going to go through RCIA and prepare for a Catholic marriage in five months.

I know that this does not affect my immediate family and shouldn't bother me but I guess, being a woman, I have known my husband's family since I was fifteen, (I'm now thirty), and I can't shake how I feel, from the pit of my stomach, about their nuptials. I am happy for them but continue to pray they will come into the faith.


  { Would this be a valid marriage since he was baptized in the Church but not raised in the Church? }

Mary Ann replied:

Jay —

Don't worry. He never completed the sacraments of initiation and never personally chose to be Catholic.

He has personally chosen not to be, so he is considered a non-Catholic by the Church yet his marriage is valid.

Mary Ann

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