Home › Forums › All Things Catholic › Catholics marrying non-Catholics › Reply To: Catholics marrying non-Catholics
First be assured of my own poor prayers that the situation be resolved.
As to where something is in the Bible, and if the Bishop or Jesus are superior to one another, the answer is a bit complex.
Jesus gave the authority that He as God has to the Church. He told the Apostles “He who hears you, hears me.” So it is not really an issue of who is “higher” but rather does the Church have the authority to make laws that safeguard the Sacraments.
As marriage between two Catholics or between a Catholic and a person who is validly baptized can be a Sacrament when it is administered properly, and thereby a source of grace, the Church is careful to assure that those who enter into a marriage do so in a manner that supports the Sacrament. For Catholics who marry non-Catholics, the permission of the local Bishop is required in order to assure that those who are going to marry understand the seriousness of the Sacrament, and that the non-catholic party has been instructed in what obligations the Catholic party has in their religious and moral life.
Attending Mass is complete if you do or do not receive communion. And until the situation is resolved you can make a spiritual communion. There are formal prayers, or you can make your own prayer that tells Jesus that as you cannot receive communion at that moment, you would like to receive Him spiritually.
Not having been part of the conversation between you and your priest, it is hard to know the entire circumstances. Some of the information that you will need to supply to the bishop may be of a personal nature, and do not need to be disclosed here. First, did the marriage take place in the Catholic Church. If it did, and the priest who married you did so knowing that your husband was not Catholic, then he probably already had contacted the bishop and had permission to marry the two of you. If you where married by a Civil ceremony, or at a Non-catholic church or Temple, then you can simply start by writing a letter to the bishop of your home diocese, and explain the situation, you may also wish to inform him of the place and date of your baptism, as the Church were you where baptized should have a record of the sacraments you received, (Baptism, first communion, confirmation, and if you had ever been married before, or taken solemn vows.) This may be all that you need to obtain permission to be married in the Church where you live now. The ceremony can be a private one in the Church or sacristy, if you where not married in the Church previously.
Just as we don’t know all the backround of your individual case, it is hard to say how long the process will take, but being able to receive the graces in your marriage, and in communion are important. What looks like a devistating setback may also be a blessing in disguse. To marry in the Church, your husband will have to learn a little about the Catholic Church, you never know, this may be the very thing he needs to help him consider what place Jesus should have in his heart, and may result in his conversion.