Catholics/Marriage Info

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Question
Hi My fiancÚ is in the marines and lives in North Carolina. We are going to get married by a magistrate in the next month for a number of time sensitive reasons but it is also very important to us and our families to get married in the catholic church back home in PA. While I know that we can not be married twice I want to know if it is possible to get married by the state and still have a regular wedding ceremony in the church at a later date.

Answer
Yes, it is possible.  You would have to make an appointment with your pastor to discuss this.  I do need to note however that while it is possible the Church would not encourage this kind of thing.

You would have your married "Convalidated" which is to say--the marriage would be recognized by the Church.

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Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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