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Woman Says Chicago Archdiocese Suddenly Denied Her Wedding At Catholic Church, With Only 20 Days To Go

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The flowers and the bridal dress were all set, and a couple was set to get married at St. Genevieve Roman Catholic Church in Belmont-Cragin.

But the Archdiocese of Chicago said it was a no-go. And as CBS 2's Tara Molina reported, now the church wedding is canceled and the couple is outraged.

St. Genevieve on West Altgeld Street was the church on the invitation that Francisca Sanchez sent to her 180 guests – people who planned to show up to the church on Oct. 25.

On Monday night, Sanchez said she was not sure where she would now be getting married, but she wants to know why it took so long to find out St. Genevieve is not an option.

The invitations were sent, the reception paid for, and decorations prepared. But now, 20 days before the wedding, she has no idea where it will happen.

"More than $12,000 is spent on this wedding," Sanchez said. "What are we supposed to do?"

What she does know is that the wedding will not be at St. Genevieve's or any other Roman Catholic Church.

"They called us last Friday and said they couldn't marry us," Sanchez said.


She said her husband-to-be, Francisco Agostin Gallo, was denied by the Catholic Church's marriage tribunal. CBS 2 asked the Chicago Archdiocese about that.

The Archdiocese of Chicago explained, "No wedding in the Catholic Church should be scheduled until it has been established that both parties are free to marry."

Sanchez said she and her husband-to-be have us both been married before and are both divorced – and it's not entirely clear why he was denied.

But she added: "My husband is not Catholic. He's not from any religion."

Her issue is that she said she filed all of their information in April; took their pre-Cana, or pre-marriage, classes through the Archdiocese in May; and met with the priest earlier this month.

"And they said everything was fine," Sanchez said.

So why the last minute denial?

"Why wait? What's the point of having the six-month gap? That's what I want to know," Sanchez said. "But we are getting married. I don't know how, but we are getting married."

Sanchez said says the Archdiocese offered to help them find a new church that's not Catholic, but CBS 2 has not heard back from the Archdiocese on why the couple was just denied.

We will follow up on that, and this story will be updated when we find out.

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