Fired for marrying outside the Church

Fired for marrying outside the Church

The Phoenix diocese’s Child and Youth Protection Advocate was fired last weekend for marrying her boyfriend, who is dying from cancer, outside the Church. Oh what cruel beasts, the media says. But is it so cruel?

Jenny O’Connor acknowledged to her boss, vicar general Father Fred Adamson, that she married her boyfriend over the Christmas holiday. She said they didn’t get married by a priest or in the Church because “they did not believe there was time to plan for an hold a church wedding.” That is a crock. There is nothing in canon law that requires a hoopla wedding. If indeed her boyfriend is dying, there was nothing preventing her from going to a priest and explaining the situation. It would have been very simple to waive the usual six-month waiting period requirement and hold a small ceremony in a hospital chapel if they wanted. She had a reason for not having a Catholic wedding, and it’s not in the news story.

1 comment
  • Why couldn’t the diocesean judicial vicar have mentioned that the rules for which Jenny claims blocked her from Catholic wedding can be waived based on need (i.e. a dispensation from form)?

    In any case, couldn’t the couple now just apply for convalidation/sanation of the marriage at this point—if indeed this was merely a misunderstanding?

    I agree with Dom, there’s something not in the story.