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Nancy O'Hanson wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband and I are expecting our first child. We have both been practicing Catholics and were baptized Catholic as children, but we didn't get married in a Catholic Church due to his military status at the time.

  • Can we have our child baptized in the Catholic Church even though we didn't get married in the Church?


  { Can we get our child baptized though, due to his military status, we didn't marry in the Church? }

Paul replied:

Dear Nancy,

I first need to comment on the logic behind your dilemma.

If you are a baptized Catholic and you "married" outside the Church, the marriage is not considered valid. It would make little sense to bring your child up Catholic if both of you continued to witness to an invalid marriage.

I'm not saying you don't care, but desiring your child to enter the Church, through Baptism, while you remain objectively, unable to receive the Eucharist, seems a bit inconsistent.

As a fellow Catholic, I would suggest you talk to your priest about both situations and consider getting your marriage validated by the Church.

I would call the rectory and make an appointment.



Fr. Jonathan replied:

Nancy —

I would invite the both of you to get your Marriage validated and say "yes" to the Baptism as long as both of you were willing to raise the child as a Catholic.

Fr. Jonathan

Mike replied:

Dear Nancy,

Thanks for the question.

First, I applaud you and your husband for being practicing Catholics.

I don't know what specific military circumstances lead to your not being able to get married in the Catholic Church, but what my colleague Paul said about the validity of your marriage and your inability to receive the sacraments is correct.

Seeing that I'm sure you want what is best for your children, I would follow Paul and Father's advice and get your marriage validated by the Church. You can make an appointment with the pastor at a local Catholic parish. At the same, time you can talk to him about what would be required to have your children baptized in the Church.


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