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Yvonne Cattoni wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am Catholic and have been all my life. I have a young friend who is not Catholic but is raising his children Catholic and would like to be baptized and confirmed.

He is attending classes and was just informed that he had to write a 5-page letter about his previous marriage and pay a $25.00 fee before he can be baptized.

This is almost like filling out annulment papers and I feel it's wrong.

  • Why would his bishop ask him to do this?

Yvonne

  { Why would his bishop ask him to do this before he can be baptized? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Yvonne,

Since he is not Catholic but is raising his children as Catholic, it is safe to presume that his first wife was a Catholic.

If they were married in the Catholic Church then it is a valid marriage and, should this man want to get married again, he will have to have an annulment or some process done on the first marriage.

If they were not married in the Catholic Church then it might be that they are officially proving that.

If he is already married then his current marriage could be invalid and the marriage would have to be validated by the Church.

Figuring all of this out, prior to his entering the Church would be the prudent thing to do.

Now as to the fee and the paperwork, I do not have enough clues as to which procedure is being done. It is quite possible that other procedures, beside an annulment, could be the reason such as a Lack of Form case or a Pauline Privilege or a Favor of the Faith case or something else is the reason.

He should ask his priest to explain what is going on but, from what you have written, there is not enough information for me to pinpoint the issue so I can elaborate on my answer.

Fr. Jonathan

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