5.B.4 Christian Initiation of Persons in Invalid Marriages

1. Before a non-Catholic may be baptized or received into the Church, or an uncatechized adult Catholic may complete initiation by confirmation and Eucharist, the marital status of that person should conform to the teaching of the Church.

2. Pastors and directors of Christian Initiation have the duty to identify situations in which the marital status of an inquirer into the Catholic faith is not in conformity with the teaching of the Church. They have the duty to present the teaching of the Church on marriage clearly and candidly.

3. At the earliest possible stage, they are to counsel carefully inquirers who are in invalid marriages or who plan to enter a marriage which would be invalid, and to inform them that their marital status must be resolved before initiation or its completion can take place.

4. They should assist them with any process needed to accomplish this (e.g., nullity or dissolution, a proper canonical celebration of marriage, a convalidation in the proper sense, etc.). They are to advise them that no process can be guaranteed in length or outcome, and that neither initiation nor its timing can be guaranteed.

5. To avoid disappointment and wonderment, pastors are advised to be prudent in accepting such inquirers as catechumens or candidates until their marital status can be resolved in conformity with the teaching of the Church. Until then, they cannot be admitted in the Rite of Election or participate in the Rite of the Call for Continuing Conversion.

Date approved by Bishop

Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor