What is a polygamist supposed to do upon converting to Roman Catholicism?
The Roman Catholic church, in the Council of Trent, forbade polygamy:
If any one saith, that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that this is not prohibited by any divine law; let him be anathema.
But in many areas of the world, polygamy is still practiced, at least to some extent. So what happens if a polygamist – someone with marriage-like commitment to multiple partners – converts to Catholicism?
In particular, I'd like to understand what kind of guidance or rules the Roman Catholic church has laid out for what a polygamist should do upon conversion. Possibilities that come to mind:
- Choose one spouse and put off others
- Choose one spouse but continue to uphold some or all non-sexual obligations to others indefinitely
- Only the first spouse is valid; others are to be put off with or without continuance of some obligations
What does the Roman Catholic Church teach regarding the actions that converted polygamists should take?