Marriage and Quasi-Domiciles

Q: For four years our son was away at college, over 500 miles from home. He just graduated and is now engaged to a girl he met at school, and they want to get married in our parish here.

Our son attended Mass regularly the entire time he was at school.

In his last year of school, we got a new pastor at our parish here at home. He’s now refusing to marry our son because he says he doesn’t know who he is! Father insists that if you’re a parishioner, you should be coming to Mass regularly at the parish, and if you’re not a parishioner, you can’t be married in the parish.

We’re at a loss. Kids go away to school all the time, and during that time they obviously don’t go to Sunday Mass at their home parish every week. We’ve never heard of a college-graduate having this problem… what can we do? –Roger Continue reading

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Do Catholics Have to be Confirmed Before Getting Married?

Q: In our parish RCIA program, I have a couple that were married civilly, but plan to marry next year in the Catholic Church back in her hometown. Both are baptized Catholic and have received Holy Communion, but neither has been confirmed.

They were told by the priest that will marry them that they need to get confirmed or he cannot do their wedding.  I’m telling them that they first need to get married in the Church or they cannot get confirmed.  How can we resolve this? –Mike Continue reading

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Canon Law and Getting What You Want

Q1: My fiancé and I wish to be married in a chapel [instead of the parish church]. This chapel… has been the most pivotal part of our faith life and relationship with one another.

However, we were informed that we would need permission from the Archdiocese to be married in a private Catholic Chapel, which they did not grant us.  We honestly didn’t even foresee this issue coming about….  Our main frustration comes from the fact that this law is interpreted differently depending on the bishop and diocese.

How common is it for bishops to grant exceptions to the rule in a scenario like this?  Do you know which diocese are more likely to do so? Or is there any way to get a different diocese or bishop to overrule?  Is there any way to look up records regarding the exceptions they made in the past during other bishops’ terms?  Do we have any case here regarding the fact that canon law is interpreted differently from bishop to bishop?  —Sara Continue reading

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How Does the Presence of a Priest at My Non-Catholic Wedding Make it Okay?

Q: I am Catholic and my fiancée is unbaptized. I want to have the wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church, but [there are problems]… I know that as a Catholic I should not marry in a ceremony in my fiancée’s religion.

I came across this statement from my parish, about a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic: “The Church recognizes these marriages provided the ceremonies take place in a Catholic church, or in the place of worship of the party who is not Catholic, and provided a Catholic priest or deacon is present as the Church’s witness.”  If my priest attends our wedding in a non-Catholic ceremony, does it mean it will be valid in the Catholic Church? –Henry Continue reading

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Catholic Funerals and Physician-Assisted Suicide

Q: There was a funeral at our parish recently for someone who had committed suicide. My mother was surprised, and told me that suicides didn’t used to get Catholic funerals, because killing oneself is a mortal sin. I assume the law has been changed… but suicide is still considered a mortal sin, right? I don’t want to seem heartless about this, but could you please explain the rationale behind permitting a suicide to have a Catholic funeral? –Amy Continue reading

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