Archiver > LANCSGEN > 2000-03 > 0952899414

From: "paul harrison" <>
Subject: [LAN] re changing religion
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 22:16:54 -0000

DEar all

seeing that a request has been made for some clarification on this matter I
shall give it a try! The folowing only applies to the Roman Catholic church.
I will also try and limit my comments to matters that refer to family
history not theology and church practice they belong to other lists.

Obviously a distinction has to be made between those who wanted to join the
Catholic church and those who had to because of marriage.

First marriage rules.

The key date here is 1908. In that year the Vatican issued a decree ( Ne
Temere for the anoraks amongst you) this obliged ALL baptised Catholic to be
married before a priest and two witnesses. Moreover the decree was not
retrospecive. BNefore 1908 Catholics often got married in protestant
churches. After 1908 it became almost unheard of.

Baptismal practice.

This is more complicated. Basically up to c1970 it was common practice to
regards non - Catholics as "not validly baptised" in the eyes of the
Catholic Church. As I said the reasons for this are beyond the scope of the
list. The consequence of this meant that if someone did join the church they
were baptised conditionally and a record should have been kept in the
baptism register usually indicating their date of birth and if you are very
lucky the original place of baptism.

I think it also worth reminding you all of this.

The decree of 1908 also obliged priests to record the wedding in the baptism
regisster of the person being married.

To give a practical example:

my brother was baptised in 1958, below the baptism entry is his date of
confirmation and below that the date of wedding, which catholic church it
was in who he married and the witnesses.

If the list would any more clarification i will try my best to oblige. But
I am not prepared to enter into discussions of church theology or practice,
they are for other lists.

hope the above was of some help

regards to all

father paul harrison

in a wet and mild whitehaven cumbria



all within a 20 mile radius of Preston

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