EWTN.com - Renewal of Baptismal Vows...: "Renewal of Baptismal Vows...
I did something very stupid. About a year ago I was dating a Ukranian Pentecostal man who I sincerely thought was the one sent for me by God. The only way I felt I would gain approval from his parents and be able to marry him was if I renewed my baptismal vows in his church, though I did not want to abandon my Catholic faith. I thought if I simply say the 'renewal of baptismal vows' prayer when they do the ceremony I won't be denying my Catholic baptism only renewing my vow to God that was made at my original one. I almost walked out the night of the ceremony but didn't and went through with the ceremony. Though I made it clear to those at the Church my Catholic faith and my intentions.
Now, I have deep, deep regrets for doing this. Now, I am with the man who truly is sent for me by God and though he is Protestant has agreed to raise our children Catholic and would never under any circumstances ask me to sacrifice my beliefs for him or for anyone in his family for that matter. Even his family wouldn't and they all love me.
I need to know if I am still considered Catholic according to Church law even after doing this. I know I was wrong, I didn't mean any harm. I was only trying to find some peace in my soul in a very painful situation. Plus, I never allowed them to consider me converted over to Pentecostal because I denied membership in the church.
What can I do or what do I have to do to make this right again? If I am not mistaken the Pentecostal Church kept no record of the ceremony because I denied membership. His sister was baptized months after we were broken up and she received a certificant honoring the event and I did not.
Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 10/14/2008:
Your prior marrige is invalid due to defect of form.
You are still a Catholic, although you may need to go to confession.
God does not send partners for marriage. This sounds like a bit of magical thinking. People freely chose partners for marrige for themselves. God gives us free will."