When Can the Parish Priest Postpone a Wedding?

Q: My 26-year-old daughter is pregnant.  She has been dating her boyfriend for over 4 years.  They now want to marry when she completes the first trimester.  All their documents are in place.  The parish priest will not grant them this request of marrying them by [a date less than two months from now].  They will most willingly attend the marriage preparation course.

The Church instead of bringing them together in the Lord Jesus Christ, is pushing them away from the Church.  How and what can we do to escalate this issue so they can marry in the Catholic Church on [the abovementioned date, less than two months from now]? –Anthea Continue reading

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Why Would I Need an Annulment, Since My Civil Marriage Was Obviously Invalid?

Q:  I am Catholic, and was married with civil ceremony to my ex-husband…and we divorced the following year.  Now older and hopefully wiser, I want to share the rest of my life with my current partner.  We want to get married, but can’t because my previous marriage (only civil, not in the church) is still not annulled.

A Catholic priest told me that I can marry anyone in the church, so we can be blessed.  It would be considered a Secret Marriage.

My question is, would that marriage be valid?  I want to know if doing that would not be against God’s law? –Ethel Continue reading

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Who’s in Charge of the Diocese When There’s No Bishop?

Q: We have a lot of confusion in our parish…. Complicating the equation, our diocesan bishop has retired and the Pope has yet to name his successor.  We have a diocesan administrator, but he is also currently the bishop of [the diocese right next to ours].  The bishop-administrator is taking very much a “hands-off” approach to running our diocese… laypeople have tried to contact him regarding other matters and he told them to wait for the new bishop to arrive.  So many of us have begun to despair of resolving our parish problems….  Do you think maybe we should contact Rome? —Marie Continue reading

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Can I Attend the Marriage of a Catholic Outside the Church?

Q: My brother and I have a disagreement. We are both Catholic and have a decent understanding of what is required for a Catholic to marry outside the Church, including canonical form (which is well explained in some of your responses on your website).

My brother posits that attending such a wedding, in which the Catholic spouse had not obtained permission from his bishop, would be considered “intrinsically evil.” Since the Church would not consider such a marriage valid due to a lack on canonical form, the attendee would be helping to celebrate and be offering at least tacit approval of a marriage that the Church does not consider valid.

For reasons I cannot fully articulate, I don’t think the attendance can be considered “intrinsically evil”….  Can a Catholic attend the marriage of another Catholic that takes place outside the Church, when that Catholic has not received permission from his bishop to do so?  –Sharon Continue reading

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Canon Law and the Marriage of the Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph

Q:  Out of academic curiosity I thought of asking this: how can we describe the marriage between Our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph in the light of present Canon Law?  I’m not certain, but I have heard that the Church regards their marriage as a true Marriage.  If that is so, is it only “Ratum”?  So as it is “Non-Consummatum” is it not indissoluble?

Some say that Mary took a vow of Virginity when she was small.  If that is so, is her consent defective, and consequently their marriage invalid? –Supun Continue reading

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