From a reader…
It’s been a while since Ive been on WDTPRS but I need help.
I am a convert, and converted after I married. We got some kind of dispensation to be “re” married in the Church, even though my husband is not Catholic. He was raised Mormon, doesn’t practice and occasionally attends Mass with me. Our marriage is sacramental and valid. [?]
He has left me for another woman.
I have been devastated. He told me to file, he will not. I assume it’s a game, but I cannot understand Church teaching.
I’ve prayed a million novenas, thrown myself before Jesus at Adoration and he isn’t coming back that I can see.. should I file for a civil divorce, can I file, should I seek an annulment. My priest said to wait until I had calmed down to make any decisions, it’s been almost 2 months and I’m not calm but my husband has gone, he was the breadwinner, I have no real money etc as he shut down bank accounts and so on.
I do not know what to do as a Catholic what do for Jesus sake and what to do so my son and I are ok. We literally have no way to live for the next few months until I can make money of my own. Not that that matters eternally I know.
Please pray for me and please help me understand better what the Church says. I don’t know what to do.
We have to get marriage right or society will spiral further away from sanity.
The recent Obergefell v. Hodges decision by the Supreme Court is heralded by those who claim that marriage is purely a private issue. Why should it bother us if two men want to get “married?” Why should anyone else’s marriage affect us? What two consenting adults want to do…yadda, yadda, yadda….
Well, here’s a good picture of why marriage matters, and why marriage is a public issue.
Marriage affects all of us. Marriage is the building block of society. When folks don’t take marriage seriously and do things that undermine the sanctity of marriage, their actions have a negative ripple effect throughout society.
Many people find themselves in the situation of this questioner: people betrayed by a spouse. Infidelity in marriage is a grave sin which destroys lives.
The Church teaches that spousal infidelity gives the betrayed spouse the right to seek a separation, although it urges the betrayed spouse to forgive if that is possible and reasonable (cann. 1151-1159).
Sadly, in our society those who are divorced are generally lumped into one category. This is not a new development. It has been the situation for decades. We don’t make the helpful distinctions between those who are the cause of divorce (the spouse who violated the wedding vows or separated for no good reason), and the spouse who is the victim of divorce. We need to more to help those who are victims.
We need good, Catholic lawyers (civil and canon) who can assist people who are the victims of spousal abuse and abandonment. We need Catholic lawyers who know the law well and who are motivated by a concern for the parties’ true well-being along with that of their children, and the defense of the good of matrimony.
If reconciliation is not possible, seek the assistance of the local tribunal to see if pursuing a canonical separation would be possible. Sadly, some dioceses simply refuse to utilize this canonical process for whatever reason… but present your case. Even if they don’t go in that direction, and considering the need to provide for your son, pursuing a civil divorce – given the background you’ve described – would not be sinful at this point.
Your husband has a natural obligation to provide for your care and that of the son whom he has abandoned. Using the civil courts to enforce that obligation, if no other remedy is possible, is permissible even if it is unpleasant.
Check with the parish or the diocese. The St. Vincent de Paul Society has done good work in this area. See what resources may be available for financial help, at least until a steady income becomes available.
Dear readers, pray for this poor woman and her son. Pray for all the victims of our divorce culture. Marriage has consequences. So does divorce!
Comment moderation is ON. I will probably let very few comments through.