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Sophie Smith wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a twice-divorced Protestant in the process of converting to Catholicism. I have begun my RCIA classes. It was my understanding that divorce does not impede my conversion; only remarriage or being remarried at this time.

I am single with no plans to remarry any time soon. The RCIA where I am taking classes is requesting copies of my divorce decrees and marriage certificates and it's sounds like they want me to go through an annulment. This is in stark contrast to what I have found via research and what other RCIA's in the area are saying. I'm trying to determine what, in fact, the cannon law is on this matter. I believe the director, who is not a priest, may simply be misinformed.


  { Is it proper for an RCIA class to request copies of my divorce decrees and marriage certificates? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Sophie —

He may be misinformed, or he may be operating under the principle that you may eventually want the annulment (even if you don't want it now) and the sooner it's applied for, the easier the procedure is.

People often change their minds on these things. Clarify the issue with him and if he still insists you need an annulment to be received into the Church, ask him to produce the evidence, and perhaps speak to your pastor.


Fr. Jonathan replied:

Sophie —

It would be correct for the RCIA team to investigate your Marital history in order to discover possible impediments.

You are merely assuming that they are making you do an annulment ("it sounds like…").

I would say give the RCIA director the benefit of the doubt before leaping to that conclusion.

Fr. Jonathan

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