EWTN Catholic Q&A
Would this marriage be valid?
Question from karen on 11-21-2012:

I'm putting this into your bin b/c the canon law bin has been full for a long time. Besides, you're a good resource on marriage and family life. Someone from the neighborhood was saying that her niece wants to get married. We are what some people call "working poor". Auntie says the boy is nice. Here's the meat of the issue: They want to do what the Church says to in marriage, especially when it comes to children. They want children, but both have very limited earning power b/c of their limited education. While both graduated high school, neither went to college. She works 8 hours/day in customer service making about $10/hr. He works part-time at a grocery store making a little more than minimum wage. They don't have health insurance. NFP classes are not available to them b/c of the cost. He learns "differently". This limits his earning power. She could take training classes and get a better job, but what about the children? Won't most of her pay go for day care? What about the values kids learn (or don't learn) in day care? I'm sure this is not the only couple in this situation.

Answer by Judie Brown on 11-23-2012:


Marrying in the Catholic Church requires a couple to contemplate what the sacrament means, and how they will cope with such questions as being open to the gift of a child if God blesses them with such a gift. You explain that they cannot afford to pay for NFP classes but there are many teachers with organizations like the Couple to Couple League who would not charge a fee in order to witness and teach the truth to this couple.

I think they have to take this one step at a time, and the first is to learn all about Catholic teaching on bearing children and avoiding pregnancy if there is a just cause. You can contact Couple to Couple League directly: http://www.ccli.org

Judie Brown