Faith/Spirituality Forum: Converting and Annulment
Converting and Annulment QUESTION from Donna K July 20, 2001 My husband is Catholic and I am Methodist (baptized Presbyterian). I married him 10 years ago in a civil ceremony. We have no children of our own due to surgical sterilization (mine). Here's our story.
I was previously married at 19 in the Presbyterian Church to a 25-year-old divorced man with a 4-year-old daughter. He was previously married in the Baptist Church and it lasted 2 years. Our marriage ended after 7 years and produced two children - now 20 and 18. My ex-husband is remarried to another woman (no children).
My current husband was previously married in a civil ceremony to a woman with 2 previous marriages and had 2 other children. My husband has a 12-year-old from his marriage to her. They divorced after 2 years and she has remarried and divorced (AGAIN!).
I am considering converting to Catholicism; however, many extenuating circumstances exist for which I need clarification and guidance. I understand that in order to convert, we must both have our previous marriages annulled and then be married in the church; however, I'm not sure how this all works. What do I need to do first?? Sorry this is so long and such a mess!
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 20, 2001 Dear Mrs. K:
The long and short of it, is that both you and your husband (regardless of whether you convert) need to file applications for a Decree of Nullity of the former marriages. Your husband, as a Catholic, is sinning by being re-married without having previous marriages judged null by the Church. As far as God is concerned he is still married to his first wife.
It would be great if you convert. It is also best for a family to be of one Church and one Faith.
What you need to do is to contact your local parish priest and ask him about getting an anulment because you would like to have your marriage blessed by the Church and you personally are interested in conversion.
The Priest can then get your started on the paperwork involved. The Anulment process can take a year or so to complete. It depends on the workload of the Marriage Tribunal in your diocese.
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