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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband and I were married by the courts after I became pregnant. I do not believe in abortion or birth control, however I sinned and had sex before marriage. I am Catholic; he is not. We have now been married for two years.

Our marriage is not recognized in the Church because the local priest does not think we are fit for one another, thus he will not perform the service. I haven't been receiving Holy Communion for years since I know it would be a sin, not to mention, I continue to have sex with him in an effort to keep our marriage intact. I know this is a continual sin since our marriage is not recognized by God.

I now see why my priest wouldn't marry us but I am working hard to keep my marriage together in spite of several problems. My husband used to be a very faithful man until his life was turned upside down by a series of extremely traumatic events. His mother was a Sunday school teacher his whole life before she passed away. I've tried to lead him back to God, but my attempts have failed.

I desperately want to receive Holy Communion again and be a part of the Church like I used to be. I've made a mistake and I need to know how to be forgiven.

  • What happens if I get a divorce but was never really married in the Church to begin with?
  • Finally, my son needs to be baptized.
  • Will my predicament get in the way of his Baptism?

My son is 19-months-old.

  • Have I waited too long?

I am sure my husband will not participate in the Baptism ceremony.

  • Is there any help I can get from the Church even if he refuses to participate?

Thank you for this website and your willingness to answer our questions.


  { Can a priest decide not to marry us in the Church because we are not fit for each other? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Anonymous —

Your marriage is not recognized in the Church because you didn't get married! You married outside of the Church form, with no dispensation.

Maybe the priest doesn't want to witness the convalidation of your marriage because he doesn't think you are fit for each other. You also have a cause of nullity, in that you married under the pressure of pregnancy. You should ask your priest to give you a marriage preparation course, and then decide.

Not being fit for each other is not a grounds upon which he can refuse to witness your marriage. You may marry in another parish, once you take their preparation program.

In any case, none of the above things interferes with the Baptism of your son at all.

Mary Ann

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