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Evansville, Indiana
November 13, 1987     The Message
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November 13, 1987

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November 13, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Question Corner 13 Q&A By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN NC News Service Columnist Marriage outside the Church and receiving Holy Communion Q. I am 71 years of age and have been married for 17 years to a Protestant woman. This is a good marriage. We were married in the Methodist Church and since that time we have been church- goers in our respective churches. We both were married previously, Although I always have attended the Catholic Church I have not i'eceived Communion in all these years. This I have always regretted: What must I do to make  possible? --Louisiana A. I wish I could help you more directly and personally. But the only practical advice I can give is that you go to your parish priest, or another priest you may know and have confidence in, ex- plain the situation and follow his instructions. I hope you will do that, even though it may be inconvenient and perhaps somewhat difficult. Through this column I am happy to shed whatever light I can on the church's laws and pro- cedures regarding matters like these. But at least two reasons make it impossible for me to go fur- ther than that.  First, almost always more details than can be included in a simple letter are required even for a preliminary judgment on what might be possible. Only personal discussion would uncover those facts. More practically, any marriage involving a Catholic, when a previous spouse of either partner is still living, almost always requires action of the diocesan marriage tribunal in which that Catholic lives. My advice is the same for you as for the hun- dreds of others who write with a similar question. Information I can give. For action you must talk with a priest in your community or diocese and ask his assistance. NEIDIG Q. I grew up in a family that really had no religion. I had never been baptized until I wanted to get married in a church wedding. You had to be a member of that church so I was baptized, but for the wrong reasons, My husband tortured me mentally and physically and was unfaithful several times. We had no children. I wanted to get counseling to see if we could stay married, but eventually we divorc- ed, Six years later I met a wonderful Catholic man and married him, We went to church together for the past seven years; only last year could I go without crying. I consider myself Catholic. We have two children who have been baptized and I want to be || u Jubilarians honored Ralph "Cotton" and Mary Catherine Stemle were honored with a buffet dinner and open house in celebration of their fortieth wedding anniversary. It was hosted by their children: Carol, David, Gary and Randy, all of Jasper. Mr. Stemle and the former Mary Catherine Scherle were married at St. Joseph Church, Jasper, on Nov. 11, 1947. a member of the Catholic Church too. This weighs heavily on my heart. I know religion is now in my heart and I want it in my life as well. Is it possible for me to join the Catholic Church and have our marriage blessed? Perhaps you should know also my first husband was mar- ried before our wedding. A. The final fact you mentioned certainly is significant. It suggests another of two or three possibilities which could open the Way for you. Judging even from the few details you give in your letter, it would seem an annulment procedure is certainly worth investigating. However, there may be simpler avenues than that. ] Please talk to the priest in your parish church | and ask his advice on the steps you and he might take. I A free brochure, "Infant Baptism: Catholic Practice Today," is available by send&g a stamped, self.addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen. Holy Trinity Parish, 704 IV. Main St., Bloomington, I11. 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. Copyright (c) 1987 by NC News Service DEWIG BROS. 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