Q: I am a priest in good standing in the Diocese of X. After years of constant friction and acrimony when dealing with my bishop, I discerned after much prayer that it is better to move to another diocese….
I found [another bishop] who fully understands the situation and wants to incardinate me into his own diocese, but my own bishop is refusing me excardination. He gives no reason and I assume that it is motivated by a sort of vengeance. Does he have the legal right to do this? I don’t dare ask the canonists of my diocese this question… –Father J. Continue reading
Q: Please help me with a matter weighing on my conscience. My husband and I married in our parish church 16 years ago, but I agreed to get married there only because that’s what my parents wanted. Unlike my husband, I wasn’t really practicing my faith, I just went through the motions… gradually I had a reawakening of faith, and now am fully committed to the Catholic Church. But I’m afraid our marriage isn’t valid because I didn’t embrace concepts like indissolubility at the time of our wedding, nor did I want children, although I later changed my mind…. What do we need to do, to make our marriage right? I asked our parish priest, and he told me not to worry about it, but I am worried! –Marilena Continue reading
Q: My family is doing genealogical research, and we’ve discovered discrepancies in the birth-dates of a couple of our great-grandparents…. They married very young, and depending on which birth-dates are correct, we’re thinking it’s possible they may really have been too young to marry validly in the Church. If a marriage is invalid due to the age of the spouses, does it automatically become valid when they’re old enough? Or do they need to have another wedding ceremony once they’ve reached the minimum age? –Frank Continue reading
Q: My daughter stopped practicing her faith and was married to a protestant in his church. Now she has come back, and her protestant husband is preparing to become a Catholic too, next Easter. They understand that their marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church, but the parish priest told them he can just “bless their marriage” and it will be all right. Can that possibly be true? –Eamon Continue reading
Q: A group of us parents have complained to the pastor about the parish’s Director of Religious Education (DRE) without results. The DRE is a laywoman with complete control over the textbooks and curriculum used in catechism classes, and she removed the textbooks that were used for years, replacing them with a different series which contains nothing but fluff. We parents don’t feel that our children are learning anything substantive about their faith… The pastor told us that the catechism program is the DRE’s responsibility, and he can’t interfere with the way she does her job. Is that true? It doesn’t sound right, since the pastor is the one who hired her… –Karen Continue reading