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Catholics/2 Catholics married civilly where one wants to marry in the Church and the other does nit


I hope you can help me.

My husband and I were married civlly 10 years ago and have raised a wonderful family.

At that time my husband was a lapsed Catholic and I was undecided (having not been rsised in a religious family).

Seven years ago I undertook the course to become Catholic and was joyously received into the Church whilst my husband was also received back mto the Faith.  Following my Confirmation my husband and I were supposed to have our marriage recognised in the Church, however hours before this was due to take place he refused to go through with it.

He tells me he never wants to marry in the Church. Ever.

He recognises that this situation places us in conflict with our Faith however is immovable.

Is there any way this marriage can be recognised by the Church without his consent? He absolutely will NOT take part in any ceremony that would make us 'married' in the eyes of the Church.

What can I do???

It would be good to know why your husband refuses to go along with the Church's directives.  And the actual "marriage" in the church consists of stating your vows in front of a priest or deacon; I've done some of these and no one really has to know, other than the couple, if that's what they want.  There is a process called "radical sanation" which might apply in your situation.  This would be started by you going to the marriage tribunal, explaining the situation, and then if the canon lawyer agrees, he would recommend to the bishop that "radical sanation" be invoked.  This is the official recognition that a marriage has taken place, and now is recognized by the Church.  Radical sanation has usually been invoked when one of the couple is an atheist and/or Jew and refuses to have anything to do with the Church, but the marriage exists and the Catholic party wants to be reconciled to the Church.  This would not require the consent of your husband, I don't think; but the process may not apply if he is a Catholic.  I can't find any precedent in Canon law for this to be applied to two Catholics.  
The other thought is that if you are hitting the tenth anniversary, the recognition could be in the form of "renewal of vows".  That might be worth looking in to as well.  


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Donald Higby


Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.


Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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