Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Favor of the faith case involving an apostatized Catholic, 2006, Private.
Two Favor of the Faith cases were submitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. One involved a Catholic woman who married a Jewish man with dispensations from disparity of cult and canonical form. She subsequently left the Catholic Church, began practicing Judaism and raised her children in the Jewish faith. She later divorced her husband. The other case involved a Catholic man who married an unbaptized woman after obtaining a dispensation from disparity of cult. This marriage was celebrated in accord with canonical form. He, too, divorced his wife. He now seeks to marry the woman who apostatized from the Catholic Church and embraced the Jewish faith. This woman also wants to return to the Church. What follows is the letter from the judicial vicar explaining the matter to the Congregation and its response in English:
His Eminence William Cardinal Levada
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
"John," a practicing Roman Catholic, would like to marry in the Catholic Church. I am in need of advice as to how to proceed in seeking his freedom to marry in the Church. "John" married "Paula," a non-baptized person, with a dispensation from disparity of cult in a Catholic Church. Two children were born from their union. The children were baptized in the Catholic faith. "John" and "Paula" later divorced.
"John" would now like to marry a baptized Roman Catholic, "Ann." She was married to "Glen," who is Jewish, according to canonical form with a dispensation from disparity of cult. During the marriage, "Ann" apostatized and began practicing the Jewish faith. She and her husband divorced. She was not involved with "John" prior to his divorce.
"Ann" and "John" would now like to marry in the Catholic Church. "Ann" is interested in returning to the practice of the Catholic faith. Is it possible for both "Ann" and "John" to submit petitions for a pontifical dispensation of their previous non-sacramental marriages so that they may marry one another in the Catholic Church? Are there specific conditions, other than those noted in Potestas Ecclesiae?
Sincerely yours in Christ,
/s/ Judicial Vicar
CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FlDEIDear Father:
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received your facsimile enquiry of _____ concerning "John," a baptized Catholic, who entered a canonical marriage with "Paula," a non-baptized person, and who now wishes to contract a new marriage with "Ann," a Catholic who apostatized after her marriage to "Glen," a non-baptized man.
Having examined the details presented, this Dicastery suggests that two processes be instructed and, should the favor of the dissolutions be granted, "John" could then proceed to contract a new marriage with "Ann," on condition that she re-enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. There are no further specific conditions required other than those outlined in the 2001 Norms.
With every good wish, I remain
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Favor of the faith case involving an apostatized Catholic, 2006, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2006, 33-34.