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Convalidating a catholic marriage

Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York.

Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.

Man must feel himself called to rediscover, or even better, to realize, the spousal meaning of the body and to express in this way the interior freedom of the gift, that is, the freedom of that spiritual state and power that derive from mastery over the concupiscence of the flesh.

Like other couples in your parish or family, you may be wondering if your marriage is fully recognized by the Catholic Church.

Catholic Church law ordinarily requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a priest or deacon.

Convalidation is not simply a “blessing” of an existing union.

It requires that a new, free act of consent be made.

Good Shepherd’s first convalidation ceremony occurred in 2002 and continued every two years until 2016.

The event was such a success that the parish decided to have another this year.

Consequently, a tribunal process is required to establish that an essential ingredient in the relationship was missing from the start of the previous marriage.

For Catholics with a prior marriage outside the Church, the declaration of nullity is based on what is called a “lack of canonical form.” For Catholics with a prior “valid” marriage, the tribunal process is termed a “formal case.” Catholics should consult with their pastor if a declaration of nullity is needed.

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