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Cynthia Thomason wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband and I are practicing Catholics. We were both divorced (me, a non-Catholic marriage ceremony, him, a Catholic marriage ceremony). We were married by a Justice of the Peace as he did not obtain an annulment before our wedding.

We are going to a Catholic tribunal to obtain an annulment for my husband from his first marriage. We would like the Church to bless our current marriage however I am having trouble obtaining my baptismal certificate.

My parents are both deceased along with my aunts, uncles and grandparents who would know where I was baptized. I have no information and can't remember for sure where I went to church. It was in the Columbus, Ohio area. I do remember being confirmed and going to CCD classes. My childhood was rather chaotic as we moved quite a bit.

My parents were divorced and I was sent to live with my father, who was Catholic and also lived in the Columbus area. I have been in contact with the Columbus diocese and they have no record of my father as a member of any church. My sisters are not Catholic as they lived with my mother and she was a Methodist.

If the diocese is unable to obtain my baptismal certificate:

  • What recourse do I have to prove that I am Catholic and so I can go before the tribunal to ask that our marriage be blessed?

Thank you.

Cindi T.

  { If the diocese can't find a baptismal record, how do I prove I'm Catholic for the marriage tribunal? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

Thanks for the question.

My guess is that if there is no way to procure any records regarding you or your family, a priest could perform a provisional baptism and create a new record.

Normally all you would need is any legitimate witness to the event to sign an affidavit, but not even that seems possible in your case (as all of them are deceased).

I would talk to your local priest and find out if he has any other avenues, but that seems like the best option.


Bob Kirby

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