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Kristi Tite wrote:

Good morning.

My name is Kristi. I would like to read more on converting from Lutheran to Catholicism but have a problem. I have never been previously married but am currently married to a Methodist who divorced a Protestant wife.

They were married in a Protestant church and an annulment has been petitioned for, however witnesses don't want to respond to this annulment.

The civil divorce occurred about 20 years ago. She committed infidelity. I find I am being rejected from joining the Church because my husband was previously married.

No, he is not asking to be accepted into the Catholic Church.

Help please!

Kristi

  { Why am I being rejected from joining the Church because my husband was previously married? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Kristi,

I am sorry for your difficulty trying to become Catholic. Sometimes it takes great patience.

Some questions:

  1. Was your husband's first wife married, previously to marrying him?
  2. Has your husband called the witnesses and asked them to help him?

    As a general rule, the Petitioner should warn the witness that it is coming and ask them to participate fully and quickly.

  3. Has your husband discussed with the Tribunal going to a Court expert as a witness?
  4. Can you both think of other witnesses?
  5. Has your husband concentrated only on her infidelity in his petition or did he contemplate his own issues?

Sometimes the most provable case is not the one petitioning.

Fr. Jonathan

Kristi replied:

Hi Fr. Jonathan,

  1. My husband's first wife was not previously married before him.
  2. Yes, he called witnesses and asked them to help before submitting their names however I guess they had a change of heart and declined . . . just slowing the process altogether.
    • Court expert as a witness?
    • What does this mean?

      So far, with all the uncomfortable problems this has caused I highly doubt anyone would go to court besides, he is legally divorced just not in the eyes of the Church.

  3. He was able to ask two other people as witnesses. One has complied. One works an off-shift and cannot get to a notary. Just one more hurdle I guess.
  4. Regarding her infidelity and his issues:

    I guess that would be a question for him. I cannot answer that for him. I learned only part of what he wrote in his petition . I can't imagine I would have tolerated any of the nonsense as long as he did. I will not ask him about how he allowed, enabled, played into or forced this in anyway.

In conclusion, he is going through a lot of bad:

  • conflicts
  • feelings
  • troubles with his kids from this marriage, and
  • people who he thought were his friends

all because I wanted to join the Catholic Church. He is doing this for me because he loves me.
He does not want to join the Church. Just me. I'm really beginning to think I am quite selfish to put him through this. It has created more problems and caused arguments between us.

Thanks for your time.

Kristi

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Kristi —

Figuring this out will take a conversation with the Tribunal.

  • Have you been assigned an advocate?

Set up an appointment and talk to his advocate together.

A Court Expert has nothing to do with civil court. It is an expert that the Tribunal uses.

Ask the advocate.

It sounds very frustrating. <Sorry about that.>

I am hoping Pope Francis helps change a few things to help you but for now this is the only system we have.

Fr. Jonathan

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