Hi, guys —
My fiancé and I want to convert to
the Catholic faith. We are both divorced and
have children by our other ex's. We want to
raise the children in the Catholic Church.
He was raised Baptist and
I was raised in
many different churches, none which I stayed
in for more then a few weeks.
- Could my fiancé and I get married in the
Church after we join?
my husband and I get married in the Catholic
Church after we convert? }
Hi, Stephanie —
Thank you for your question.
Before either of you could marry
in the Catholic Church, you would
have to see if your previous marriages
could be annulled. For that to happen,
the Church would have to determine
if these marriages were valid or
if there was some previously existing
impediment. While annulments are
fairly easy to obtain, they are not
a sure thing.
I'd suggest you look into starting
an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation
for Adults) program this fall.
RCIA is a time of discerning your
call to Catholicism as well as learning
the Teachings of the Church. You
can also start the annulment process;
the process can take a year or so.
RCIA can take anywhere from few
months to two years depending on
how ready you are to commit to being
Catholic. Typically, baptized Christians
go through the program between September
and April and enter the Church at
Welcome home and God Bless!
Hi, Stephanie —
If you are interested, here is a
page that talks about the process:
I use to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.
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While John is correct that your marriages
may need to be "annulled",
that is not necessarily the case.
There is a Scripture-based provision
in Catholicism which allows those
who convert to be freed from their
first union if the first spouse is
unwilling to convert or to be at
peace with the conversion. It would
depend on some circumstances with
your first union, which will be looked
at, if you wish. Just talk to the
Of course, even before you seek an
annulment, you may become
Catholic and you may remain together,
especially because of the children.
The question is whether you may live
"as husband and wife".
That would depend on whether
both of you were validly married
in the first unions, and on other
things, so don't worry. One of the
main reasons for invalid marriages
is that people marry with the belief
that divorce and remarriage are an
option; that marriage is not until
death, in any real sense, independent
of the personal choice of the couple.
That is not the Catholic concept
of marriage, and therefore one who
marries with that concept lacks valid
God bless you both.