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Cher Love wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am currently in my second marriage and we are raising our children Catholic. The problem is my first marriage was also with a man who was raised Catholic.

I have recently signed up for RCIA classes but I am not sure I will be able to convert since I have been married before and had children.

We were forced to marry by my grandparents due to the upcoming birth of my first son.

I was 19 and very young. We later dissolved the marriage because we both did not want to be married in the first place.

  • Is it possible for me to convert?

I don't want to attend the upcoming RCIA classes if I will be embarrassed by being told that I can not become Catholic.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

Cher Love

  { If I have been married before and had children, can I still become a Catholic? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi Cher,

Assuming your first marriage was in the Catholic Church, due to his faith (or maybe his parent's faith), then your first marriage is a presumably valid one.

Since you are now married again, a process would need to happen prior to your coming into the Church. I would think however, in your case, it will be a straightforward process. There are two options and you should talk to your priest about both of them. He will help you get an Annulment of that first marriage.

  1. From what you have said it sounds like you have ample grounds to claim that your marriage is invalid — probably due to what the Church calls simulation. Essentially, you would provide evidence to the Church that you did not intend to enter into a marital covenant as the Church views it, when you got married the first time; rather, you essentially stood up there to relieve the pressure of his parents and the baby.

  2. If you were never baptized and you hope to be baptized in the Catholic Church then you should ask your priest to explore something called the Pauline Privilege with your local Tribunal.

That would be faster than an annulment.

Go speak with your priest and I am sure he will be delighted that you want to enter the Catholic Church. You can begin RCIA while the process is happening.

Fr. Jonathan

Cher replied:

Hello Father,

I think I may have not expressed myself correctly.

My first marriage was not to a Catholic man. My husband that I am married to now is Catholic.

  • My first marriage was a civil ceremony in front of a judge.
  • My second marriage was also in front of a judge.
  • Would your answer still apply?


Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Cher,

I did misunderstand your situation however my answer also applies to your modified circumstance.

Since neither of you were Catholic in your first marriage, neither of you were bound to be married in the Catholic Church. In our law this means your first marriage is presumed valid.

Same two options applied in your instance. Go see a priest. Show him this e-mail if it would be helpful to him.

Good luck,

Fr. Jonathan

Cher replied:

Thank you so much!

The classes start tomorrow night and that is when I meet with Father Cullen.

Again, thanks so much for your help.

God Bless.


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