My wife was granted an Anullment of Marriage by Greek Orthodox Church to her first marriage? When I tried to get married in Catholic Church I was told this was impossible and would be Excommunicated if married in Greek Orthodox.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
My wife was granted an Anullment of Marriage by Greek Orthodox Church to her first marriage? When I tried to get married in Catholic Church I was told this was impossible and would be Excommunicated if married in Greek Orthodox.
1) I married 26 years ago in Greek Orthodox Church and have assumed I was excommunicated, is that correct?
2) Since the first marriage was preformed in Greek Orthodox Church and legally annulled under their religion, I never understood why Catholic Church didn't accept this annualment.
3) At this point her first husband has died.
4) I was raised in Catholic family, attended catholic school and went to mass everyday until the day I married my true love, and per the local priest was excommunicated.
Is there any way to get an official church ruling.
-- Michael Dahl (Mdahl5@aol.com), March 25, 2002
I have good news for you.
I will respond to your numbered points.
(1) It appears that you became involved in what your Catholic bishop had to assume was an invalid union in 1976. I am not certain, but it could be true that, under the 1917 Code of Canon Law (in effect at that time), your attempted marriage resulted in automatic excommunication. (Under the new Code of 1983, it would not result in excommunication.)
(2) It is true that the Catholic Church recognizes the Greek Orthodox Church to be part of the ancient family of churches founded by Jesus, that the Orthodox possess a true priesthood and thus all seven sacraments, and that we are not terribly far from unity. Unfortunately, Orthodoxy has fallen into doctrinal error in accepting multiple divorce and invalid "re-marriage" among its adherents, contrary to God's will. It thus sanctions people's living in adultery. If the Catholic Church did not accept an Orthodox decree of nullity in 1976, it must have been because there was something lacking in that decree or in the procedures used to come to the decision. For example, if there was a civil decree of divorce and an Orthodox official then issued a perfunctory decree of nullity, that would not be acceptable to Catholicism. The real question, Michael, is not, "Why didn't my Catholic Church accept the Orthodox 'annulment,'" but rather, "Why did I, as a Catholic, not follow the laws of my Church and ask the woman I loved to seek a Catholic Decree of Nullity?"
(3) With the death of her husband, the woman you love is now free to marry you.
(4) You should call the rectory of the Catholic parish nearest you to make an appointment to speak to a priest. He will hear your confession, restore you to unity with the Church (if you really were excommunicated), and help you to validate your marital union. Then you will be free to partake of the Sacraments and resume your Catholic life, attending Mass each Sunday and holy day. I hope that, one day, your wife will choose to enter the Church too, though I would advise you not to pressure her to do so. Remember that, if she has continued to be a faithful Orthodox parishioner, she does have the benefit of valid sacraments.
God bless you.
-- (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
Since Catholic Church never recognized my marriage in Greek Orthodox Church what is the status of my marriage? What is the status of my 3 grown children?
My wife is Greek Orthodox and proudly plans to keep her religion.
-- Michael Dahl (Mdahl5@aol.com), March 27, 2002.
Michael, please read my reply (above) -- at least item #4. You need to visit a Catholic priest, because you are not yet really married, in the eyes of the Church. The priest will help you to set this right.
There is nothing unusual about the status of your children. They are God's blessings to you and their mother (and, I hope, to the world). The Catholic Church does NOT call them "illegitimate."
God bless you.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2002.