Marriage and annulment

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juvefan

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I am not Catholic but am in need of some answers regarding Catholic teachings. I am currently dating a woman who is Catholic and would like to marry her. However if we were to marry she would like the marriage to be blessed by a priest. The problem is that she is divorced but has not been able to receive an annulment. So I would like to know what the teachings are regarding remarriage and annulments, and marriage to someone who is not Catholic. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! 🙂
 
Marriage to a non-Catholic is not a big issue any more. The Catholic is required to promise to continue in their faith, and to do their best to see that all children are raised in the Catholic faith. The non-Catholic does not make any promises, but must be informed of the seriousness of the Catholic’s promises.

A prior marriage, whether of the Catholic or the non-Catholic, when the spouse is still living, is a serious obstacle to remarriage, because the Church considers the person still marriage to their first spouse. The most common way to deal with this situation is via annulment of the first marriage. There is no guarantee that the first marriage can be annulled; the tribunal might determine that it is a valid marriage and that no remarriage can occur. Other approaches are dissolution of the first marriage via Pauline or Petrine privilege; this can only be done for non-sacramental marriages (i.e., where one or both of the parties is not Christian).
 
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juvefan:
The problem is that she is divorced but has not been able to receive an annulment.
This statement could be read two ways.

If you mean that she tried for an annulment and it was denied, then she will never have another marriage recognized in the Church while her ex-husband is living.

If you meant that she hasn’t been able to apply for an annulment yet, then she should talk with her pastor and start the process. BTW, does she practice her faith?

If we assume the annulment issue is resolved, then her marriage to you will be affected by whether or not you are a baptized Christian. If so, then it will be easy. Marriages to non-Christians,however, need a special dispensation (“pre-approval”) from the local Bishop.
 
Yes she does practice her faith. And I am not sure if she has actually tried to get the annulment yet. I am a baptized christian, so that will not be an issue. I will talk to her and see what she has done so far. Hopefully we can talk to her pastor and get the process started. Thanks for your reply. 🙂
 
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juvefan:
Yes she does practice her faith. And I am not sure if she has actually tried to get the annulment yet. I am a baptized christian, so that will not be an issue. I will talk to her and see what she has done so far. Hopefully we can talk to her pastor and get the process started. Thanks for your reply. 🙂
Steven:

It seems to me that you really love this woman and I appluad the way you are trying to support her faith. I hope you dont mind but my wife and I will pray that you have the strength to do what is God’s will in this matter. In laymans terms what the Church teaches is that she(the Church) can not undo what God has done, so if the marriage was blessed by God it can not be undone, if it was not then there never was a marriage. This can be a very diffcult thing to accept, but it seems like you have a true love for her and for God to even be asking. If you seek his will you will both find his peace.

By the way what is your faith background?
Also are there any Children involved?
 
I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but left about 10 years ago. I do consider myself to be a christian though I do not belong to any organized religion. Long story there, lol. There are not any children involved, however I am aware of the Catholic Churches teaching on that matter. And I know that my girlfriend wants to raise any children that we may have as Catholic. I am supportive of this as long as our children are well informed about all faiths and are able to make their own choice as to what to believe and accept. I dont want them to be Catholic or anything else for that matter, just because myself, their mother, or anyone else told them that its the one true faith. 🙂
 
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juvefan:
I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but left about 10 years ago. I do consider myself to be a christian though I do not belong to any organized religion. Long story there, lol. There are not any children involved, however I am aware of the Catholic Churches teaching on that matter. And I know that my girlfriend wants to raise any children that we may have as Catholic. I am supportive of this as long as our children are well informed about all faiths and are able to make their own choice as to what to believe and accept. I dont want them to be Catholic or anything else for that matter, just because myself, their mother, or anyone else told them that its the one true faith. 🙂
Hi Steve, 🙂

Was your baptism in the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Because that would not be considered a valid baptism by the Church due to JW’s not being trinitarian. The baptism has to be done with the form of ‘in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit’ and ALSO has to intend to acknowledge that the Father, Son and Spirit are One God in a Trinitarian belief. So just want to let you know that might be an issue you’ll have to discuss.

You might also be certain of what your future wife thinks on the education of children. Would be best if you both agree on that in advance.

God bless,
Marcia
 
Hi Steve,

Can I recommend a great book? It might be helpful for both you and your lady friend.

Annulment: The Wedding That Was: How The Catholic Church Can Declare A Marriage Null by Michael Smith Foster.

It is in a Q&A format and it explains very thoroughly the Catholic teaching on Marriage as well as what the annulment process is and is not.

I hope you are able to work through this issue.
 
Here is a very good sequence of ten web pages by Rev. Michael Smith Foster, J.C.D. on the topic of annulment.
 
Thanks all very much for the info, will take the next couple of days to review it. Hope that we can get this worked out. Will keep you all posted.
 
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