The following is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
- Can a Catholic who is not Irish or living in Ireland get married in the Catholic Church there ?
The normal or proper place for a Catholic to get married is their local parish church. However, if you find a catholic church in Ireland and a priest who is willing to celebrate your marriage there, you can with the permission of your own local parish priest get married there. The preparation and documentation are prepared by your local priest who sends them through your local bishop's office to the bishop's office in Ireland in whose diocese the marriage is being celebrated. They will then forward them to the parish church where you are to be married.
With regard to the civil requirements you should check these out with the General Registrar's Office.
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- I am a catholic and my fiancee is not baptised in any Christian Church, can we get married in the Catholic Church ?
In order for a Catholic to marry somebody who is not baptised in any of the Christian Churches he/she has to write to the local bishop seeking a dispensation. In order for the dispensation to be granted the Catholic party is asked to remain steadfast to their catholic faith and do their best within the unity of their partnership to have whatever children they may have baptised and brought up in the catholic faith. The Non-Catholic party is made aware of the promises the Catholic party makes. If you talk to your local priest he should be able to advise you.
- I am a Catholic and my fiancee is a baptised member of one of the other Christian Churches, can we get married in the catholic Church ?
Yes, a Catholic can marry marry a member of another Christian Church. He/she must write to the local bishop to request this permission. the Catholic party is asked to remain steadfast to their Catholic faith and do their best within the unity of their partnership to have whatever children they may have baptised and brought up in the Catholic faith. The Non-Catholic party is made aware of the promises the Catholic party makes. If you talk to your local priest he should be able to advise you.
There are also specific "embrace" pre-marriage courses offered in Dublin for couples who are entering into a mixed marriage. The ACCORD office in Dublin should be able to give you further details : contact 01 4784400 or email@example.com
- My husband and I were married sometime ago in a registry office ceremony. We would now like to get married in the eyes of the Church, is this possible ?
If you and your husband are free to marry in the eyes of the Church, it is possible to have your civil marriage convalidated in the Church. This takes the form of a normal Church ceremony. The preparation and documentation is the same as any other couple getting married in the Church. If you talk to your local priest he should be able to give you more specific direction.
- Is it possible for us to have our marriage on Sunday ?
The regulations with regard to Sunday Weddings varies from diocese to diocese. It is best to contact your local priest or the local bishop's office who will be able to inform you of the particular regulations in your diocese.
- Do I have to be Confirmed before I get married int he Catholic Church ?
It is envisaged that all Catholics would have received the Sacrament of Confirmation before being married int he Catholic Church. However, if this cannot be done without 'grave inconvenience' before you proposed marriage it should not stop you getting married. What is meant by 'grave inconvenience' is interpreted differently from diocese to diocese in various parts of the world. It is always best to check this out with the local priest where you are getting married as soon as possible, as some diocese can be quite insistent on confirmation before marriage.
- My fiancee is a Catholic and was previously married in a registry office. Is it possible for us to marry now in the Catholic Church ?
Your fiancee's previous civil marriage would have to be investigated for what is called a "lack of canonical form" i.e. when a baptised Catholic marries he/she must marry before a priest and two witnesses. When a Catholic marries in a registry office this "canonical form" is usually missing. However this has to be investigated by the local diocese either through the bishop's office or the local ecclesiastical tribunal. They must ensure that there was no dispensation given or that the marriage was not sanated or convalidated at a later stage i.e. that the bishop didn't heal or rectify what was lacking in the civil marriage. This process can vary from diocese to diocese. When the investigation is completed and if the diocese are satisfied that the marriage was in fact invalid from a catholic point of view it will usually issue a letter to that effect.
it is best to talk to your local priest who should be able to put you in touch with the person or office who deals with it in your particular diocese.
- I have lived in a number of different countries since I was 18 years of age, do I have to get a letter of freedom from each parish I lived in ?
While the standard way of establishing freedom has been letters of freedom i.e. a letter from any parish you have lived in since you were 18 years old stating that there is no record of you having contracted marriage in their marriage registrar, it is usually acceptable if you have lived in a number of parishes or in different parts of the world to get a signed letter by a parent(s) or brother or sister stating that, to the best of their knowledge you have never been married before in either a religious or civil ceremony in any jurisdiction. Another possibility is to swear an affidavit before a Commissioner of Oaths attesting that you have never been married religiously or civilly in any jurisdiction.
It is always best to check with your local priest with regard to methods of establishing freedom for marriage as practices vary from place to place.
- We are thinking of getting married in a civil ceremony and thought about having a Church blessing immediately afterwards, is this possible ?
Unfortunately, if somebody chooses to get married in a civil ceremony it is not then possible to have a blessing and readings carried out by a priest afterwards as this could lead to the mistaken impression that the priest or Church was in someway being part of one of its members being married in a purely civil ceremony. This is to be distinguished from the practice in certain countries where a couple must marry civilly before their Church marriage to fulfil civil requirements.
For a Catholic the place of marriage is the church so if you wish to have your marriage in the Catholic Church you should talk to your local priest.
Marital Sex Therapy
- What is marital sex therapy?
Sex therapy is counselling to help an individual or couple solve or improve a sexual concern. You will be assigned a series of step-by-step exercises to practice during the week to build knowledge, comfort and ability in the physical and emotional and relational aspects of sex.
- What is a sexual problem?
A sex problem can be a problem with how the mechanics of sex work for you at the present time like lack of orgasm or problems with erection or ejaculation, a past problem like a history of sexual abuse or negative messages about sex from childhood, a couple problem like fighting over how often you have sex or loss of interest on one partner's part. I have listed a brief problem list below:
· Lack of interest in sex
· Inability to have intercourse
· Painful sex or difficult entry
· Problems with orgasm
· Erection difficulty
· Premature ejaculation
· Issues related to rape or childhood sexual abuse
· Sexual performance issues related to the stress of infertility or menopause
· Coping with a chronic sexually transmitted disease or medical condition
· Relationship conflict and lack of emotional intimacy that affect sex
· The impact of anxiety & depression on sexual functioning
· Lack of time and energy for sex
· Problems with sex on the Internet
- What if I don't know what my problem is?
Sometimes people come to counselling to try and define their problems. Often anxiety or depression and loss of self esteem accompany sexual concerns and it is difficult to figure out what's wrong.
- How many visits will it take to solve my problem?
The number of visits required to solve or improve a person's sexual concern is unique to the concerns they present in counselling. Our therapist will ask you questions to develop a thorough understanding of the problem that brought you to treatment.
Based on these findings, we will suggest a personalised treatment plan and discuss it with you.
The therapist's initial intention is to try to do brief sex therapy. Brief sex therapy usually lasts 10-20 visits. Some people require only a visit or two to get what they need out of therapy and some require longer due to the complexity of their concern.
- How long is a counselling session?
A session lasts 50 minutes.
- How often do I come for counselling sessions?
Counselling sessions are usually scheduled once a week or every two weeks.
- Are services confidential?
Your session is totally confidential and will be discussed with someone only with your prior written consent. Confidentiality is only ever broken if a person is a danger to himself/herself or others, or when child, elder, or dependent adult abuse is involved.
- I've never been to a counsellor or talked to anyone about my problem before. How do I start?
Fear and embarrassment often keep people from discussing sexual dysfunction. ACCORD works with individuals and couples in a way that will allow you to comfortably discuss these subjects so we can work on finding solutions. Ask yourself what you have to lose if you give it a try. Find a way to make the first contact.
- Do I come alone or with my partner to the first visit?
This can be discussed at the time you schedule an appointment. It is best that your partner know if you are starting counselling if you hope to include him or her in sessions in the future. Clarify what would be best for you and discuss that with your partner. If your partner won't come to counselling, benefit can also be gained by coming alone and working on the problem from your side.
Marriage and Relationship Counselling
- How Much will Counselling Cost You?
ACCORD is a non-profit organisation, but we do incur overheads in providing our service. To cover some of these costs there is a sliding scale of fees based on income. The cost of each session will be agreed upon at the Initial Clients Needs Assessment. No one is turned away from ACCORD due to lack of money.
- How Often do We/I Attend?
Initial sessions tend to be weekly and last no longer than one hour. Longer breaks occur between sessions as counselling progresses.
- Is the Service Confidential?
ACCORD maintains the highest standards of privacy & confidentiality at all times. Should confidentiality need to be broken this will only happen following a discussion with the client (s). Confidentiality will only be broken to protect a person, including the client, from abuse & danger.
- Does it Matter that We're not Married?
You don't need to be married. Counselling is provided regardless of marital status.