Petrine Privilege and Divorces and Dating

  • Thread starter Thread starter whosebob
  • Start date Start date
Not open for further replies.


Dear Fr. Vincent Serpa,

Thank you for the honest and straightforward advice you gave to sm4 regarding dating, divorces and annulments.

What about the case where one (or both) of the validly married persons is “elligible” to petition for a decree of nullity by virtue of the Petrine Privilege? Would it be okay to date in that case? After all, as far as I understand it, in order to petition for the Petrine Privilege to be “granted” (or “applied” or however it should be termed), the party in question must be asking for the previous valid, but non-sacramental, marriage to be declared null in favor a sacramental marriage. And to a particular Catholic man or woman, not just “in theory” or in hope of a future marriage.

Also, what happens if the Petrine Privilege is granted and then for some reason the man and woman do not marry? Is the decree of nullity conditional under those circumstances?

Finally, is it possible for the Petrine Privilege to be granted in favor of a man entering the priesthood? Or in favor of a man or woman entering religious life?

Thank you for your time and insight.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Dear Whosebob,

Ordinarily, I would not suggest that validly married people should date. People who apply for the Pauline or Petrine Privilege may not have been dating, but have had occasion to know one another through membership in the same Church group or some such interaction. Otherwise, how would they know that they want to get married? Should they decide not to marry after the privilege has been granted, then the person or persons remain validly, but not sacramentally married.

The Pauline and the Petrine Privilege is granted only to people who wish to be married. There are other dispensations for those desiring to enter religious life or study for the priesthood.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
Not open for further replies.