8 months, 2 weeks ago #22282
I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share if they have had their marriage convalidated in the CC, and how long that process took? Particularly looking for how long it may have taken if you had to have a previous marriage annulled and what the requirements was for convalidation?8 months, 2 weeks ago #22283
Convalidation is not like an annulment, which can take months or even years. Convalidation is like a wedding. You simply renew your vows of marriage. In minimal form, it takes about ten minutes. It may be done either privately or publicly, as the parties desire.
David8 months, 2 weeks ago #22291
It seems to be a long process. I am awaiting an annulment but when I am free to convalidate, we still have to go thru the entire pre-marriage process in order for the convalidation to take place. At least that was what I was told.8 months, 2 weeks ago #22292
Howard HampsonKeymaster@Howard the Pilgrim
I think the length of the convalidation process varies based the manner in which you got married to your present spouse. If you got married in such a way that you circumvented Christian marriage counseling altogether then they will often require you to go through it so you have a clear idea of what you are saying yes to in convalidation.
One of our children and spouse didn’t even have a marriage ceremony of any kind, religious or civil. They just obtained and signed a marriage license which makes them legally married according to the state they live in. The spouse wanted to become Catholic and there were no complicating previous marriages. But in the eyes of the Church they do not have a valid Christian marriage and they missed the counseling and so they said they would have to go through pre-marital counseling and then have a Catholic marriage and the counseling was a deal breaker for our child. I understand and support the Church’s position. It was not an unreasonable requirement. The requirement was fine with the spouse as far as I know (I’m being deliberately vague in not referring to their names and genders in case they ever visit the forum). Now the spouse seems to be cooling on becoming Catholic which grieves my heart.
I am praying that our child has a change of heart.8 months, 2 weeks ago #22293
Howard HampsonKeymaster@Howard the Pilgrim
One more thing, I will be praying for patience and movement in the annulment process for you and your husband as you go through this long waiting period.8 months, 2 weeks ago #22294
Virtually all dioceses and parishes have a policy of requiring such education for people who appear to be at risk for further marital issues. Like it or not, sometimes there is simply a blanket policy that everybody who wants to get married in the Church has to complete the course. Or, more reasonably, it may be that the facts that you were away from the Church for an extended period and that you are currently in an irregular marriage prompted this policy to be invoked in your case.
This does not mean that you can’t argue your way out of the situation. What you would have to show is that the education procedure that they are invoking is not necessary for you, that there would be no benefit from such a delay. You are a mature adult, you have been in a stable marriage for a good number of years, and you are not seeking to circumvent the Church’s doctrine or law.
Church authorities are human beings. They can make mistakes just as easily as anybody else. But they are also almost always reasonable and merciful wherever they can be.
My own experience demonstrates this. I was widowed a few years ago, and some time afterward encountered a congenial widow. After a suitable period of discernment, we decided that marriage would benefit both of us, and we applied to be married in our parish. The “normal” rules require a six month waiting period, during which the couple must attend a six-week pre-marital course, a Marriage Encounter course and a weekend retreat. Upon the second consultation with the priest, given that both of us were mature, practicing Catholics and veterans of long-term marriages, all these requirements were waived. We were married as soon as an open date appeared in the priest’s calendar.
Your situation is a bit different from mine, and the parish pastor may decide that you need to fulfill the requirements anyway. In that case, you submit to the ruling and take the course. If you still think it unjust, today’s Second Reading for the Mass (4th Sunday of Easter, Year A, 1 Peter 2:20b–25) provides excellent rationale and spiritual guidance for this path.
David3 months ago #24150
Usafwife, the difference is your transition to Catholic. Once you are Catholic, you become subject to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church. Under that law, you must be married within the Church. But your wedding was a civil one, and it happened before you were declared free to marry by the Church. Therefore, contrary to what you have assumed, your current marriage is not valid.
Let me explain it another way: You are going through an annulment process for a previous marriage. A Decree of Nullity merely declares that the previous marriage was not valid. This would leave you, as a Catholic, free to marry. But your marriage to your current husband does not magically and retroactively become valid. That is what the Catholic convalidation is for: to regularize your current marriage.
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