Divorce, Annulments, and Remarriage

What does the Catholic Church really teach about divorce? Isn’t an annulment just a Catholic divorce? If I am Catholic and divorced can I remarry? Can a divorced Catholic receive communion? These are common questions that we answer.

What does the Catholic Church teach about divorce?

The Catholic Church does not permit divorce for valid sacramental marriages. In fact a valid sacramental marriage is impossible to dissolve thereby making divorce not possible if the marriage was sacramental.

In marriage, the two become one flesh in a union joined by God, (Mark 10:8). Jesus speaks about divorce: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate,” (Mark 10:9). So for a marriage that meets the requirements of being a sacrament, divorce in the Catholic Church is not possible.

The annulment process is by which a marriage is determined whether or not it is valid, it is not a Catholic divorce process. If it found to be invalid (not meeting the requirements of a sacramental marriage) then an annulment would be granted.

Marriage directly parallels our relationship with God. God is 100% faithful in his relationship with us those who choose to get married are called to the same faithfulness.

What about if one spouse is abusive or unfaithful?

There are some cases where living together has become too difficult or practically impossible. The Church permits a physical separation of the spouses and living apart, but the two still remain married until an annulment is granted (if applicable).

“The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble,” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1649).

Isn’t an annulment just a Catholic divorce?

No. An annulment is not a Catholic divorce, bur rather says that the marriage never met the conditions to be considered sacramental. If at least one criterion for sacramental marriage was not met then the marriage can be considered invalid and an annulment will be granted.

The annulment process is often long, usually lasting about a year or longer; the people who make up the marriage tribunal for your diocese must perform extensive research in determining if an annulment can be granted.

If I am Catholic and divorced can I get remarried?

Perhaps, but only if you have received an annulment (which means your previous marriage was not considered a valid sacrament). If you receive a civil divorce, but no annulment, then you are still married to the other person in the eyes of the Church and would be committing adultery if you married another.

Jesus says, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery,” (Mark 10:11-12).

If I am divorced can I still receive communion?

If your previous marriage was not annulled and you chose to remarry, then no, because you would be in adulterous relationship and in a state of mortal sin. Otherwise it is perfectly acceptable to receive the Eucharist if you are divorced.


  1. A Bibb says

    I’m looking for some advise. My now husbands first marriage was in a Catholic Church to a catholic woman although he was not. They had a civil divorce. He’s been married since in a Christian service. He’s now also divorced from that. He’s now married to me. His first ex wife has asked him for an annulment although she’s already remarried. Is she still legally his wife? His he doing wrong by law or just the eyes of the church? Can she still seek an annulment after all this time and two further marriages on his part? Oh and by the way they divorced because she was unfaithful to him so is she right to ask for an annulment in this case.

  2. Barbara de Souza says

    I am both Roman Catholic and Pentecostal. I am a Minister of Healing and Deliverance in a Pentecostal Ministry. Whilst I agree with Roman Catholic teaching on marriage and the Word of God I must point out that marriages can fail if there is a curse put upon a family, a spell or a curse from God as a result of worship of false Gods in their ancestry. After a member of the said couple stands in the gap for deliverance from this generational curse God works and even though the said couple go and marry other partners in a registrar office God’s eternal destiny for the said couple will prevail. We are left with choices in life and although we go against His will family members’ intercession for restoration of Godly marriage is realized. If any ne of you is free then cast the first stone!

    • Ralph says

      The fact that you say you are Pentecostal automatically denounces you as Catholic. The Catholic Church, created by Jesus has very specific rules and obligations. People, and even the Pope, cannot change what God has created. This is often done to accommodate human desires and wishes. It is wrong. But in the end, it doesn’t matter what I say or you say and think. When you die, you will find out the truth. Who ever is wrong will spend eternity in Hell. Your free will is up to you. God is specific.

  3. Pamela says

    I was married at 17 by a JP. My ex husband and I were both raised in church (Evangelical). We were married for almost 30 years and have 2 wonderful adult children. During the time of our divorce, one of my children and spouse converted to Catholicism. I remarried 1 year after I divorced. My marriage with my ex was 25 years of sexual addictions and many online “friends”. I admit I made the decision to divorce and the decision to remarry quickly. I was taking care of a dying parent and lost my way perhaps. The situation: my adult child and spouse believe I am committing adultry. I can come over to see my gkids, but he is not welcome. How do I help this situation move forward to find some common spouse? This is not fair to my wonderful loving spouse.

  4. Mhia says

    Hello. My boyfriend was divorced for 12 years and he had 3 kids all grown up now.. We’re planning to get married but I found out that we cant have our wedding in the church because his ex wife doesn’t signed the annulment paper.

    My question is:

    1. Does his ex-wife needs to sign the annulment paper?

    2. When you’re a divorcee and you want to remarry in the Church, you still to file an annulment?

    2.If we push through our marriage but in civil court only, would that make me a mistress?

    Thank you.

    • Ron says

      “1. Does his ex-wife needs to sign the annulment paper?”

      If he wants to start the process and she doesn’t want to collaborate, I believe he can still make the petition on his own, but check that on a reliable catholic site or with a priest.

      “2. When you’re a divorcee and you want to remarry in the Church, you still to file an annulment?”, “2.If we push through our marriage but in civil court only, would that make me a mistress?”

      If he doesn’t have an annulment then he is still married in the eyes of God, regardless of the civil situation. Check the Bible and the Catechism.

  5. Pamela says

    My fiance was married for 10 years and has a daughter, she is not chatolic, never goes to church and never has, I think she was only baptized, no first communion or confirmation.. Can his marriage get annulled for that?

  6. Carmela says

    I was married by the civil courts and not the Catholic Church. I got divorced because my husband cheated. I recently spoke to the priest of the church I attend, and he told me I stilled need to get some kind of annulment through the church. I just want to know how that’s possible if my ex husband and I never married in the Catholic church?

    • Leisa says

      Follow through with the Nullification process. I am going through this process now and it is a healing and necessary process. There are many answers to if or if not it is necessary and each case is entirely different so as our priest says…we will do the paperwork, the examinations and the Tribunal will make its decision. I
      For me it is about having a completely clear conscious irregardless of “who did what” etc.

    • Tom says

      TheCatholic Church doesn’t seem to have answers for technological advances. My wife of twenty five years, and mother of our two grown children, underwent successful surgery for a brain tumor. After follow up gamma knife radiation treatment, her personality and morals completely changed. She no longer considers marriage sacred, fell in love with a co-worker, and said she wanted out of our marriage. The divorce was final a month ago. The point is – she is not the same person I married. The church doesn’t address situations like this.

  7. Angie says

    I married very young, right out of high school and only married as the person was in the military and it was my ticket (so to speak) out of my small town. I was baptized Catholic and he didnt have a religion but we married through a Lutheran church. After about 2 years he got kicked out of the military and I ended up moving back to my hometown and realized what I had done. I wanted to leave him and he became abusive and within a year I divorced him. No children came out of the “marriage”. Now it has been over a decade and I am engaged and wanting to get married through the Catholic church. Do I have to get an annulment? I have heard that I may not HAVE to go through the tribunal for an annulment and might possibly do paperwork “in house” at my parish. Is there such a process that exists which is shorter, faster and sweeter?

    • Mary Allen says

      The best answer to your question is to call the office of your Parrish church and ask for an appointment with a priest or the representative who handles annulments for the parish. It is very likely that your annulment will be granted due to a number of “defects” of form; namely your youth and the fact that you did not enter into the marriage for spiritual reasons. Not knowing where you live, I can only answer to “can this be done “in house”? Is that in my diocese yes. I pray that your impending marriage will be a blessing to you and your husband.
      PS. The priest will ask of you attend mass regularly. Hope the answer is yes.

  8. Sarita says

    My question is, my abusive cheating husband left me for another woman 6 years ago, filed for divorce dated the new girlfriend for 4 years then left her for another women that he’s now getting married to. He became Catholic while dating the first girlfriend. I was his 3rd wife and we were married by a JP in a small ceremony at our home. My understanding he married the other 2 wives in the same manner. All marriages produced children. In my marriage to to him, he left and filed for divorce. I’m still single, he is now getting married through the Catholic Church in a church ceremony. How is he able to do that when he was the unfaithful partner in the marriage? I never had anyone contact me from the church to ask me about my marriage to him if he had it annulled. Which I’m sure he must have to get married through the church. I’m confused as to how he was able to pull this off. I was a dedicated faithful wife even through the hard times. I am not Catholic and have never been. He is getting married this Saturday, I don’t think wife #4 knows what she’s getting herself into.

  9. Michael says


    My girlfriend and I are planning to get married. We are both Catholic and want to marry in a Catholic church. The situation is she was divorced. She was married in a City hall, but not in a church. So would she be able to marry in a Catholic church?

      • Vero V says

        Yes you can, but she needs to get an marriage anullment which is done very quickly, as long as there was no ceremony at the church on the previous marriage. I know you can get married because i went through the same and we are getting married in december. I suggest you to get in touch with an attorney of the canonic law within your archdiocese, someone who deals with divorce, anullments and such. Dont trust the RCIA or the person in charge of marriage preparation because they might not be as wise as you think and as they think they are. I listened to them and trusted their word and knowledge, their answer was NO, and it turns out they were wrong. Finally, after many years we are getting married.

    • Jenny says

      Hi Michael,

      If your girlfriend was never married in the Catholic church previously, she is able to be married in the church now. The Church does not recognize civil marriages as sacramental marriages.

      The Church invests itself in happy, fruitful, life-long marriages, and it will encourage that if you decide to be married in the Catholic Church.


  10. Angela says


    I’m Catholic and I have a Buddhist bf who is still married but not in good terms with the wife, he is a very nice and responsible guy and have 2 kids.
    However, he cannot file divorce at the moment since his kids are still small and he worries about the financial impact of getting a divorce at this time. We meet once a month only but the communication is constantly everyday.

    My question is am I committing adultery even he is not married in Catholic Church and do i need to stop my relationship with him?

    • Kathy says

      You do need to stop your relationship because it sounds like he’s having his cake, AN eating it to . But in Gods eyes , you are committing adultry . You don’t have a relationship with a man who’s married just because he’s not happy . He was still joined in Gods eyes , AN has children . Ask yourself, how could that be right? Perhaps you should ask the wife how she feels . Put yourself in her shoes . Maybe she’s happy, AN doesn’t even know that he’s having an affair. My opinion is , that you need to better understand YOUR religion , and perhaps, you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing in the first place.

    • Jenny says

      Sounds like you’ve found a close friend and support in your Buddhist boyfriend, which is a very normal thing to happen.

      Sounds like he needs time to figure out his family situation first before moving forward with you, though. It’s not an ideal situation for you or his family. We’re finite beings and we made to give ourselves completely to one person, and if we try to split ourselves between two, it stirs a lot of hurt and contention.

      Do your best to love him, his family, and yourself. At the end of the day, it’s one thing to ask “Am I committing adultery?” But the real question is “Am I loving fully and perfectly?” I’m praying for you 🙂

      • momof4 says

        It is adultery any time you have sexual relations with a married person or if you are married and have sexual relations with another human. If you are just friends and nothing is happening and you keep it as just friends then no. That is in civil as well as cannon law. If you are asking the question you probably already knew the answer.

  11. Amanda says

    I’m still legally married for 13 years. My husband left me 10 years ago for another women. He won’t divorce me. He says it’s too expensive. I am wanting to become Catholic. If and when we finally divorce can I get my marriage annulled?

  12. Veronica says

    I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witness, but have strayed since 1975. I don’t attend any church, but I do read the bible. I have been married 3 times at the Justice of the Peace and divorced from all 3. Now I’m in love with a Catholic and we want to get married, but he has to get married in the Catholic Church in order for it to be valid. Please tell me the process of what has to be done before this can happen. I attend Mass with him sometimes, but I’m not sure if I want to become a Catholic.

    • Mark says

      Divorce happens when the spouse starts shopping on-line for another person after 34 year and you daughter calls her for cheering on me. She talked to a lawyer who got her half of the common property plus 25 percent of my take home pay until I retire (CA liberal laws). I love my daughter and grand kids and needed to agree to the divorce to avoid a nasty divorce hurting them. I guess I should not have married a non-Catholic from a divorced family.

  13. Tony Turtle says

    As a lifelong catholic, I met and married a girl brought up, although left, the Mormon Church. After 2 sons and eight years of marriage, she had a mental breakdown and I was told by the doctors I should do as she asked, to save her mental anguish. She asked for a divorce, so I did not contest it, as advised, she got remarried and had a 3rd child.

    My “former” wife stopped me from seeing my boys and I could not bring them up as Catholics as I wanted. I think I tried for a decree of nullity, but can’t now, 25 years later.

    I met a woman brought up as CofE, but not practising we fell in love and married in a civil service. My parish priest knew I had divorced and remarried, but did not stop me from receiving the Eucharist. We went to Spain for our honeymoon, told the priest who ministered to the English speaking residents and visitors, no problem with Eucharist.

    Now 19 years after loving a woman, who when we married was not likely to have children, I am told I cannot receive Holy Communion. It is like having my world torn apart.

  14. Ziah says

    Hi. Pls help me, i’m very confused at the moment. I’m in a relationship with a married man but he is already separated, he keeps on saying they are already processing their annulment but i’m not sure, i think he is lying. They were married in a Catholic church in the Philippines and having their annulment in Singapore since they migrated their after their marriage. I’m a devoted Catholic, i know i have sinned i got tempted and i got everything. NOw i am pregnant with his baby, unfortunately my entire pregnancy is miserable, we quarrel almost evryday, i’m emotionally abused and he says he loves me but he keeps on cheating. i dont know i just feel so tired, sometimes i would say God is punishing me. i grew up with people who were really devoted to God and somehow influenced by them so sometimes i would just say God is just testing me, He wants me to be stronger and braver and just trust Him for everything.

    My questions are:
    1. I’m a commiting adultery even if he is separated though not divoreced or annulled.
    2. you think i should leave him for the better?
    3. if i give him one more chance, can we marry in the Catholic Church?
    4. Should i give him another chance? cause im already so tired but i want my baby to have a happy family.

    Thanks guys

    • Becca says

      Hello Ziah,
      Yes adultery is being committed on his part, and you have participated.
      Yes, I think you should leave him, and if GOD wants you two together, he ( father of this baby) will follow thru with his divorce, and additionally prove to you he is annulled w/ the paperwork.
      Then if you remain chaste, you can arrange a catholic wedding ( both of you would need a good confession).
      I think the whole situation is not destined by God but thru our desires for love, we sin, we fall, and a new life is created. ( I HAVE BEEN THERE – trust me so I am not judging at all )….Best advice:
      Keep yourself safe, healthy and pure for this baby and go from there, re-evaluate in a few years. Because now you need to support yourself and baby. He can’t have both worlds it is not fair and not right in Gods eyes. ( of course it is complicated because there are child support laws in order here) – Hope this helped and best wishes.

    • momof4 says

      In the eyes of the church you are both committing adultery because he is not annulled through the church and thus still married. you must go through marriage counseling to be married in the catholic church. They will definitely tell you that 1. you are both committing adultery. 2. he is committing it with other ppl 3. they will NOT marry you or approve it because of said situation. 4. he must have an annulment 5. you MUST go to confession for all the infractions.
      If you are asking the questions, you probably already know the answers. He was NOT faithful to the first wife, you were his mistress, now he is still cheating on you and other females…..

  15. Jackie says

    I have a question. I was married in the Catholic Church in 1997 and was divorced civilly in 1998. I did pursue an annulment but I had to withdraw. I was married in a civil ceremony in 2004. We are both Catholic, we were baptized and raised in the Catholic faith. I am currently pursuing my annulment again. If the annulment is granted, my husband and I want to renew our vows in the Catholic Church. Would it be considered a vow renewal or would we be “getting married” all over again?

    • Becca says

      I actually think ( not 100percent as I am just a new reader and layman) but you would be actually creating your First sacramental marriage, very exciting! best wishes!

    • momof4 says

      I am not sure but I believe the current marriage that was civil must be annulled as well even though you are marrying in the church to the same man. Seek a cannon lawyer for advice on this as well as your local priest to see what the ruling is on this.
      However, you will be able to marry once the annulment is granted and it will be your fist sacramental marriage NOT renewing your vows.

  16. Shawn says

    If only more people were Catholics and if only Catholics stuck to their moral convictions, the unjust laws that purport to put marriage under the authority of the civil authority would not survive. Essentially the faithful spouse should ignore all attempts by the state to change the faithful spouse’s life as though the defacto “divorce” was legitimate.

    What happened to the freedom of religion in the United States? This should be trumpeted as a first amendment issue.

  17. bev says

    Hi can i ask if a man who has been married in church, had children and committed adultery causing him to be divorced marry again in church if his ex wife has been married to another man for 15 years. Could the first marriage be annulled?

    • Becca says

      exciting confusing question! I want to say he still needs an annulment…one can get one without the other person involved or without their response to the annulment like I did ( it did take 2.5 years though!) but my witnesses dragged that’s why…best wishes!

      • Sofie says

        Hi am married fir 27 years now. Was in an abusive marriage which slowly sprawled out to my kids too. I have a married daughter n 2 sons. I walked out 6 months back with both my sons n we started staying at my married daughters house. My husband was alone. No one wanted to go back to him. But my elder son who is 24 had a fallback with me due to his heavy drinks and eent to his father. Now father n elder son stay n work in same business and me and younger son stay at my daughters. Am also earning now. Question is can we stay on like this, since my husband cannot leave drinks and tyranny of highest order. Will the church let me continue. Am practising celibacy and I can all my life. Is this allowed. Can any one force me back. Coz my husband was alwys a cheater.. he may continue as he likes. Is it alright?

    • momof4 says

      If there was a divorce there must be an annulment. However, if he was the cheating party the church may not grant the annulment. This will depend on the bishop. Contact a cannon lawyer to ensure you are given the correct information.
      If he has had more than one marriage there must be an annulment from each. If an annulment is granted you will both have to attend marriage classes and the priest must agree to preform the marriage and also “pass you on your class”. It all depends on the church officials since he was the cheating party.

  18. bev says

    Can a man who has been married in church, had children and committed adultery causing him to be divorced marry in church if his ex wife has been married for fifteen years to another man?

  19. says

    I am a baptized catholic my wife is Buddhist. When I was baptized we were married in the church. We are having marriage problems concerning her religion and she won’t have sex anymore with me she is becoming very mean and won’t talk to me anymore. I confront her and she only gets angry. This is been going on for a year. I think that an annulment is needed as we should not have been married in the first place. what say you.

  20. Ajax says

    No one or anyone never really wants avmember of our Catholic community remarried after divorce not sharing Catholic Communion ,,we should all follow the many examples demonstrated by Jesus to forgive and love all those who recognize their faults and seek forgiveness ,unfortunalally civil remarriage is only one of several rulings taught that most of our community largely ignore.It’s a sad reflection that after legal divorce even living as a couple without marriage appears to be universally more acceptable and tolerated.

    • Aurea T. Negron says

      Hi , my story is that three days before the wedding I was sick, we were both doctors already, something happened , I bit my lower lip sleeping, it hurt, I called him , he was away, he said @”oh relax” .. Then the wedding came… The priest was not there ( for my surprise ) the dia onus was there . He married us. A week after I was waiting for him to have lunch and he found me having a seizure… He called 911, I woke up later , I was found with a brain tumor.
      I underwent surgery… The recovery was very devastating, I prayed all day and night.. Then I had to go back home, with my parents to recover. I lost my job.. We divorced by law, since my illness caused changes that made me have to leave the center where we worked .
      Ever since, I cry… I saw God in The surgery, I died, he sent me back…
      Now 19 years after, I have The joy to fall in love with a Catholic man.
      I am as you can read …alone.
      I know I can try …
      But I dont know How to start.

  21. Ricky says

    Hello everyone,

    I am in a rather sad predicament and need some guidance/information.

    I am a baptized catholic who married a non baptized Hindu woman in secret civil ceremony two and half years ago.

    Unfortunately, we have been having some seemingly insurmountable problems, mainly due to significant cultural differences and expectations. She has been emotionally, verbally and even physically abusive to me over a long period of time, which has in essence ‘killed’ the love from my side.

    We have tried marriage counseling with two different therapists, as well as implementing a number of other strategies, however, nothing seems to be able to undo the hurt and solve our issues. I really feel the only solution is for us to separate and start over.

    I am been previously advised that the Catholic Church would not recognise my marriage as valid, and would not opposed to me instigating a civil divorce. However, I just have a couple more questions and would be very grateful if someone could answer them for me.

    1. I realise I made a big mistake in marrying this woman, however, I want to know for sure what would God want me to do in this situation? I want to make God happy. Would God be totally fine with me getting a civil divorce and then remarrying another woman in the future? Or would he prefer me to stay with my current wife no matter what?

    2. I have been doing quite of bit of reading about being married to a non believer. From what I can gather Paul taught that the believer was not to leave his/her (unbelieving) spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10; cf. vss. 12,13). I a bit confused with this… Does he mean we should stay in an invalid marriage unless the unbeliever leaves us? Have I committed a sin marrying this woman? Am I committing a sin staying with her?

    Please let me know your thoughts

    Kind regards,


    • AA says

      God does not want you to be in a abusive relationship. He doesn’t say if you are being a abused too bad and stick it out. I would not want to follow a God that did say this. Although divorce isn’t ideal for God he did allow divorce so the man would not become bitter towards his wife and his heart become hardened. A wife should bring joy to her husband because of her wisdom not be a burden to him. Hope this helps

  22. Elizabeth says

    I suppose you can molest a child and still be a part of the Catholic Church. But Marry the wrong person…. Then your a sinner.

    • Ray says

      well said. I married in 1974, as a catholic in a catholic church ceremony. Some years later my wife commiteed adultery and left me for my law partner. I waited for her for 20 years. Now I want now to marry a widow but apparently am prevented from so doing in the eyes of the church. Where 8is the forgiveness I ask

      • John S says

        Matthew 5:31-32 says you are allowed to remarry if your spouse is unfaithful and commits fornication.

        • Al Rossi says

          That is not the current translation. It is generally accepted by Catholic Biblical scholars that Jesus was specifically speaking of those cases where the marriage was illicit because it was incestuous, i.e. where it was within a forbidden decree of kinship.

          • CLARA says

            Why all religious leaders accept divorce to remarry and the Catholic church is so rough. It’s not more sinfully to stay with an man that changed so much over the years that he was able to e even hurt his children. I don’t think Jesus said that the church has to make laws, He came to stop the church to control people, and here we are we are in the same stage. There are lots of catholic families that live their life in sin or stays in an intoxicated marriage. God let us to make choices and the churches are the rulers above God. Sorry but I don’t think that all the other religious community’s will go to hell because they accept people to remarry in the church. GOD it’s a good Father and blesses the happiness of the people not their pain. We need to put the catholic church leaders to marry have children and live in an intoxicated marriage. Jesus blessed the marriage but human kind made the rules. God loves the kindness and the happiness on us not the frustration and the pain.

    • lily arpon says

      I want to ask a questions if a catholic woman is married in church with Catholic man and they are separated already but still not yet annul ,what if the woman will convert to other religion will the marriage they have before still valid or invalid already

    • Al Rossi says

      Neither someone who has molested a child nor someone who is living in an invalid marriage is barred from the Church, but only those who have been excommunicated, (and of those, only those who have been unwilling to repent.) Some denominations expel from their community one who has committed a serious sin. We don’t.

  23. LUPE SOTO says


  24. Maribel A. says

    I been married twice by civil court not church, I separated from my husband about a year ago for infidelity and abuse, in the process of filing for divorce. I have not attended church regularly, confessed or taken communion in many many years, especially after 5 years ago that I loss my father and in some ways blamed myself. Can I still confess and take communion or do I have to wait until I am divorce? I want to reach out to my church but don’t know how. Please help.

    • Catherine says

      Please excuse me if this seems unfair. I am not your typical Catholic from your typical Catholic family,
      and I would really challenge any mortal person who would condemn or judge me, to have lived my life ….
      Yes, I am a baptized , confirmed Catholic, who seriously tried to get into a religious order of nuns at one point in my life. Of course I believe in all of the Church’s teachings, the Commandments, and know I am
      a sinner in need of repentance and God’s saving grace, etc. If the Roman Catholic Church can be this
      hair-splitting, this fussy and demanding of peoples lives, then why in the world does every week bring
      one Catholic priest after another (even a bishop or two ) who has done unspeakable things to innocent
      faultless , trusting little children in their care ???? These men are, we are taught, “called and chosen of God,” “Brothers of Christ,” “Shepard’s of the Lord’s Flocks. How could they possibly hear confession,
      and institute the blessed sacrament of Our Lord, week after week, many for dozens of years ? ? ? This
      is a complex question, I’m sorry, which you may not be able to answer. I am not allowed , by my husband,
      to go to a Catholic Church, or speak to a priest, so I have no options other than prayer and reading scriptures, and online material.

    • Caitlyn says

      You can most definitely pursue the sacraments. The actual teachings of the Church are a little sticky with regard to annulments and divorce, as you know.
      In practice, though, you would be hard-pressed to find a priest who wouldn’t offer you a confession. In the midst of that conversation, more often than not, you’ll find that the priest is willing to be accommodating for Eucharist as well. (If you ask me, EVERYONE should be able to receive the sacraments, regardless of their emotional/moral/spiritual state. But that’s beside the point.)
      I know how scary it can be to face the Church in times like these. I hope it’s helpful to remember that there are many, many American Catholics struggling with the same issues as you right now. The best piece of advice I can offer is to just approach a priest at the end of a Mass (even if you are too intimidated at first to attend the Mass.). Then, you can set up a time to meet with him one-on-one. If the first priest you visit is callous or does not suit your needs, move on to a different parish. You will quickly find one who will love and understand you.

      I hope this was helpful. I’m sending prayers and good vibes your way.
      Much love.

    • Teri correa says

      If you contact your priest he will gladly guide you through the process. If you are divorced and not remarried you can still receive reconciliation and communion. I hope this helps. Do not be afraid to reach out to your parish priest.

  25. Marie says

    I was baptised Catholic but my parents never went to church nor brought me up in the church so I knew nothing else of Catholicism my whole life. In my 20s, I was married in a civil service to a man who never intended to have children and eventually left me for an affair so we are divorcing. Since then I have been studying to become a Catholic and I was wondering if I will be able to marry a Catholic man, if I meet one, in the church once I complete my confirmation, etc.

  26. Iza says

    hi I am Iza. I am single and Catholic, my partner is also a Catholic and he is annulled for 5 years. We’ve been together for 5 years and decided to get married. However, when we went to our church someone told us that we cannot marry in church only a civil wedding. And if we really wanted a church wedding we will first have our civil wedding then followed by a church wedding.. Is the process really like that? It has always been my dream to be married in church.. Please reply and explain the process to me.. Thank you and God bless..

    • Charmaine says

      Hi! Any news what happened? I would like to know what happened. Because according to my research, if the person was previously married, and he/shed got divorced, he/she can only get married in a civil wedding. But if the marriage got annulled from church, he/she can get married in church.

  27. Maganda says

    Hi all. I hope I can get an answer from this site.
    I am a Catholic, never-been-married and got married in a civil ceremony to a divorced Catholic man. We learned that he can have his first Catholic Church Wedding be annulled and eventually ours will be blessed by our priest-friend in a simple Church ceremony.
    However, for reason/s that I don’t know, he has not started the annulment process yet.
    My question, can I receive communion?
    It has been years since I have received Christ. It seems that life is not complete without receiving the Body of Christ.
    Please help me.
    I am in great pain.

    • Rafael says

      Hello Maganda. As long as you are in civil marriage with the divorced man, you may not take holy communion. In the eyes of the Church, the man you are living with has committed adultery, and it is perfectly fine with him. however, marriage is two-way, and since you agreed to the civil ceremony, then you are in mortal sin as well.

      I am worried about you since we cannot tell when one’s life would end. I suggest the following:

      1. Talk to your husband, ask him why he got divorced. If the conditions are right, persuade your him to file an annulment. Chances are, your husband had divorce with an selfish reason (either from the previous wife or from him) and so he is afraid of letting out the truth to light.

      2. (only for the brave) break the civil marriage and live freely. This is okay especially if you don’t have children. If you already have children with him, then life would be much harder. However, keep in mind that as long as the church hasn’t granted annulment to him, you will always be a ‘mistress’, and the Philippine law shall always recognize the first wife as the legitimate wife (I presume you’re a Filipina by your name). That just hurts.

      3. Talk to your local priest about it. Choose a confessor that you trust, talk to him. ask advice. life is short, and you may regret this decision forever.

      Pax Tecum, Miss. I will pray for you always.

  28. Talia says

    Question: I was married in a Catholic Church and now divorced. I am thinking about getting married again. We want to do it at a banquet hall – not inside a Catholic church. If my fiancĂ© has a friend who is a deacon, can we get married by him in the banquet hall without getting an annulment? Or does it still count as a Catholic wedding since he is a deacon and I have to get an annulment. His wife passed away, my my ex husband is still alive. Thanks for your help.

    • Rafael says

      Hello Talia. His condition is fine, his wife has died and he can remarry again. However, you can’t without an annulment. In the Church, your first husband shall always be the legitimate husband unless he dies or an annulment is granted.
      Also, a catholic marriage should always be done before the altar. Except by having a grant from the Archbishop of your diocese that it is an extreme case, then no marriage that is outside a Catholic Church can be considered a catholic marriage.
      Thank you.

  29. Raph says

    Hi, I was a protestant and converted myself into catholic because i wanted to marry the woman i love who is catholic. After a couple of months of being married, we had a big fight, so i didn’t even want to go to church because i was so angry, since then we always fight over small things over and over again, but i’m the kind of person who gets angry very easy and forget about it very easy. Last week they went to her parents (with our 1 yr old son, we have a son before getting married) and they don’t want to comeback . My mom and aunt went there and ask her to comeback but she refuse and told them what a jerk her husband is for as long as 2 hours. I went over there and talk to my in laws, apologizing that we had a fight, which was my fault and i want her to comeback etc. they said that they’ll talk to her. The next day my mom called them and ask them if they are coming back, her mom said that she refuse to comeback . I don’t wanna get divorced because of some stupid fights, if we are family, sometimes we scream at each other but we make each other happy again, I don’t want my son to be raised without me. But what if she never want to comeback? What do i need to do? because like i said i am new in the catholic church. I have no idea what to do next, can i get an annulment or this? can i still receive communion?If yes, what do i need to do about it? what about her? can she receive communion? I really need help.

  30. Paige says

    Hello, I hope someone here can help me out. I was raised by two atheist parent, never baptized. I got a civil marriage a few years ago but we have been separated for 3 years now. If I was to convert to the Catholicism, could I get married in church? Is my first mariage a valid sacramental marriage if it was a civil one?

    • Geraldine says

      Hi Paige! Yes, you can get married in the Catholic Church, however you need to be baptized first as a Catholic and receive or complete other Sacraments such as Confirmation, Confession, Communion and the like. Your civil marriage is not considered as a sacramental marriage or VALID in short, it’s not considered by the Catholic Church at all. Thus, if you become a Catholic and decided to marry in the Church, this will be your FIRST MARRIAGE IN THE EYES OF GOD AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, itself. Hope this helps.

      • Becky says

        A Christian man was civally married and later divorced. I’m a never married Catholic woman. I don’t want to get involved with him,if his marriage was valid.

        • Melissa says

          If his name was in a marriage license then he was married..to marry one put away, I.e. Divorced, is committing adultery under Gods law..however, the catholic church would allow it..they have their own set of rules…guess your dilemma is who you going to obey..gee..what a conundrum

  31. Lilly says

    I was wondering if a woman got married and divorced 3 times (the 3rd man had never been married before) Wouldn’t the 2nd and 3rd men not be married to the woman? and the first man she married be her husband? Would that make it possible for the 3rd man free to marry? Sorry if I’m not communicating effectively…it’s late. And I’m confused about all of this stuff. (I believe all of the people were baptized? and maybe Methodist? and the pastor was present at the ceremony etc..) Thanks for any help with this puzzle.

  32. kate says

    I got married in a C of E Church and now divorced. I’m now wanting to get remarried to a Catholic man who would like a church wedding. I am not christened. Is this possible or not?

    • Geraldine says

      Hi Kate,
      Yes, you can get married in the Catholic Church with a Catholic man however, you need to follow such processes first. You need to be baptized first as a Catholic and receive/complete all other Sacraments of the Church such as Confirmation, Confession, Communion and the like. Also, your first marriage in the Episcopal Church with your former husband should be annulled first in the Catholic Church before you can get married to this Catholic man. Hope this helps.

  33. says

    In 2011 I married a woman that got married before in the Catholic Church in 2002 and a year later she left the husband. altogether she lied to me that her first marriage was annulled, but when I discovered that it was not true, I left her and now I have marriage annulment. Can I still receive Holy Communion? Thanks

  34. ne ne says

    hello … me and my husband foriegner have been marriage in 1996 and been divorced in his country in 2014, but we still on and off and accutually we get 2 kids together after divorced , then in 2014 we been together again and we have been renewal of marriage in a christian baptist church in dec. 2014 there in phil. , but the problem is he died in may 2015 but his country said that the renewal of marriage in chistian baptist church is not legal in philippines .. is that true that our renewal of marriage is not legal… we try to registererd it but they dont accept in the NSO bcoz they said that they can only reg. once the marriage we have bcoz its too the same person.. ”
    The question I have is that true that our renewal of marriage is not legal ? if not how can i registerd it ..

    šThanks a lot ..
    Hoping you can give me some advice bcoz i need to registerd our marriage situation her in his country norway before when he still alive.

  35. Aethiest #ScienceIsTheTrueGod says

    The Catholic Church is full of flaws and corruption. It’s nothing but a facade to misguide and convince plebeians such as yourself to follow a false god. No one has proof that he truly existed. No one has proof of who he is or what he is. All you fools know is that he is a supposed ‘saviour’. Open your eyes and stop following such garbage.

    • Lisa says

      Why are you on this website? Always the atheist creeping around and angry. People are here because it is our belief and need to do what is right in Gods eyes. Seems the atheist are the ones pushing their non beliefs on the world. I will pray for you to find peace.

  36. Jim says

    I am Catholic, my wife was married in the Episcopal Church and Divorced. We had a civil Wedding. Can I get married in the Catholic Church and more importantly, can I receive Communion.

  37. Sally says

    I am a 65 year old Catholic widow. The man am planning to marry is 73 and non-catholic, was baptized in the Methodist church and has been married twice. The first marriage was a courthouse marriage that ended in divorce. He is a widower from him 2nd marriage. What will we have to do to be married in the Catholic Church?

    • Kirk says

      Your fiance must apply for an Annulment through the Catholic Church. I was in the same situation myself. I was not Catholic at that time (going through RCIA now.) The Church will almost certainly declare his civil marriage invalid. He’ll just have to provide documentation for everything as required.

      • Melissa says

        Oh my goodness!!. The Church can NOT change Gods law on marriage..when you’re married, you are married!.. No place in the Bible does it say annulment, civil marriage,etc…if you divorce and remarry while your spouse is alive, that is ADULTERY…the only thing that frees us from.our spouse is death and even the, we are required to marry in the Lord, meaning an active faithful Christian. If you and your spouse can reconcile then you are free to remarry them. READ YOUR BIBLE …Mark, Corinthians…..and for the love of everything, stop saying some “church” has the authority to change Gods laws…nobody does!..Christ compared His Church, Church of Christ, with marriage.. His Church is called the bride of Christ..that sounds pretty cut and dry..unless you know women who take another man’s name at marriage..

        • François says

          Please stop ranking . You can have whatever opinion you may want but no matter what ideology you have you cannot condemn another . You speak as if you know the true meaning and plan of God in this world , but in truth no one does . As this is a CATHOLIC WEBSITE they shall promote catholic ideals and ideology, if you are a Christian of a diferent sect you need to respect the catholic ideal just as we respect yours . Your message is both hurtful and wrongful and I on behalf of the catholic community would like you to please do not repeat the attack upon this very delicate issue as it is a problem many catholics and Christians face . I invite you to first before ranting about something you don’t know about learn more about it and when you have enought knowledge of the subject then your opinion and better yet your voice will be impotant . Thank you for reading this and please undersand for a future time

          • Melissa says

            It may be a catholic website/forum but God’s word is the truth. If its not written in the Bible and given under the New Testament, as it is the law we are now under, then you best not follow it. We can’t add to or take away from.what God has written without repercussion..God Himself told us that..so, no..i will never follow or obey your pope..i choose to obey and worship the Lord, our Heavenly Father, who is in Heaven

          • Steve says

            Melissa, you are obviously here to be disruptive and bigoted against Catholics. However I’ll take the bait anyways. Your denomination, whatever it may be, is apparently sola scriptura i.e. scripture alone. You take the bible to be the exclusive source for the religion. Catholics are what is referred to as prima scriptura meaning scripture first, or scripture above others. What this means is that sacred tradition is co-equal with the bible, the bible being written by man and sacred tradition likewise being of a human source, both are considered within Catholicism to be equally valid. If this is not your religious belief, then you are welcome to disagree with it. However coming on this site and saying what you have said is essentially nothing more than bigotry and anti-Catholicism you are saying your belief system trumps ours in a rather offensive way. The peculiar part of it all is that almost all of the protestant denominations allow divorce, which you seem to be adamantly opposed to; while Catholics do not accept that divorce exists, i.e. the very thing you are arguing in support of. You seem to have a misunderstanding of the term annulment which is distinct from divorce and not a strictly catholic thing, there are several denominations that use that term including the church of England, a denomination formed specifically to allow divorce/annulment. Annulment is not divorce, it is a recognition that the marriage was never valid at any point to begin with; it can only happen under certain circumstances and is generally denied in the vast majority of requests. An annulment means that upon inspection, the marriage was not something God would have recognized as being the sacrament of marriage. Other cases would be a marriage that was never consummated. And for the record, “God Himself” did not tell us that; which by that I take that you mean God the father, God the father told Moses divorce was permitted in Deut 24. It was Jesus in Mathew 19 who clarified to the Pharisees that divorce was unacceptable and that God tolerated it previously only due to the hardness of hearts of the followers of Moses. This is the basis of Catholic belief, which the article itself even says, and is a hyperlink to an article about, “sacramental marriage is impossible to annul”. As François has pointed out, you are insufficiently educated on the subject of Catholic doctrine to make a coherent argument; instead you come on a catholic forum with a clear agenda to be insulting and disruptive and bash the Holy father; who almost every protestant i know says is a really great pontiff and a really exemplary christian.

          • Melissa says

            Daniel 7, 23-26…Matthew 23, 1-9…Matthew 21, 42…..Ephesian 2, 8-22…acts 10, 25-27…Colossian 2, 16-18…Colossian 1, 18-19…1corinthian 11, 3…Ephesians 1, 20-23….Matthew 28, 18…2thessalonians 2, 3-12….mark 10, 11-12…just a few scriptures that show what God says….there have been many “prophets” that have claimed to be Jesus…david Koresh, Jones, Jeff’s, etc….we all know their outcome…however none of these forbid marriage, eating meats, etc..as timothy speaks of ..

        • Melissa says

          Well then, Steve, I sure am glad we are no longer under the Old Law, Deuteronomy, which you said the Catholics observe for justification of annulment because this earth would be lacking enough stones for punishment.. And as for bashing the “holy father”.. Nope..i will never bash God since He has plainly told us that He is the only Father in Heaven and we aren’t to call any man on earth by that title in reference to holiness..however, feel free ti continue putting a man in the authority of God if you like..but so far, nobody has given scripture showing the word annulment, pope, sacramental marriages, purgatory, etc..because these are NOT in the. Bible..and yes, I will absolutely hold strict to the Bible, not some mans creed book, for my salvation ..

          • Melissa says

            If you practice and make allowances based in the Old Law, then you must also condone incest, rape, bigamy, concubines, slaughtering animals to sacrifice, etc…all of which were practiced then.. Once again, the Old Law was nailed to the cross, as it was imperfect..the New Law was made perfect by the blood of Christ..not a goat…is the blood and body you claim to partake of during communion that of Christ or some animal?.. Following the old law would beg to question..and under the old law, a divorced person could not remarry their spouse..

          • Steve says

            You clearly only skimmed what I said. I said nothing about Deuteronomy being justification for what Catholics believe. That was me correcting you when you said god said it, when it was Jesus in the book of Mathew who clarified that there is no divorce. That is the basis of catholic belief, as I said, in regards to divorce. I made no biblical claim of support for annulment I stated that it is not a strictly catholic thing and differentiated it from divorce. You seem to have this idea in your head that an annulment is just a catholic divorce when it is not, it is a decision that there was never a marriage to begin with. They are very frequently refused. An annulment would only occur if the church agreed that the marriage was not a sacrament, or was invalid in some way such as you were already married. For example if I were married, then divorced and got remarried, the first marriage is valid the second is not. If I then divorced my second wife, and the first died, I would be free to remarry despite my second wife being alive as that marriage was never recognized, that was just me living in sin cheating on my true 1st wife. That is what an annulment is, it is not a divorce, it is the church rendering a decision that you either were or were not validly married. You are on a catholic board, you know full well that Holy Father is a term of endearment used to mean the pope.

            As for your claim “nobody has given scripture showing the word annulment, pope, sacramental marriages, purgatory, etc”

            You are correct, I have not given you that, I have instead given you an explanation that the bible is the the exclusive source for religious teaching within Catholicism. Please read this since you clearly did not get this from my brief description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_scriptura

            Catholics believe that sacred tradition is CO-EQUAL to the bible<—-try to wrap your head around this, but not everyone thinks that all of Christianity is neatly compacted into a single book, which by the way the catholic church put together several hundred years after Christianity was founded, at the first council of Nicaea; prior to that it was a whole bunch of separate books, and a whole bunch that didn't make the cut and were discarded.

            I get that you don't like Catholics, however you are free to have whatever religious belief you wish, based entirely on a pure sola scriptura model of worshiping a book exclusively. Catholics disagree and have sacred tradition as well as a source, and while you may not like that, you cannot say it is incorrect based on a sola scriptura model when we can cite theologians whom we accept as authoritative. It would be like me citing the quran to disprove Lutheranism or something, it isn't an accepted source by the antagonist party to the debate.

            Annulment is not biblical nor would it make sense for it to be, it is simply recognition that you did not have a marriage ever due to a technicality. It is not divorce, that is banned.

            The word pope is a latin term meaning father, his actual title is the Bishop of Rome, which is the position Peter held. You of course will not recognize the primacy of peter being passed on to successors, that is fine it is again part of sacred tradition; which I'll remind you again, is coequal to the bible for denominations that are prima scriptura. You are perfectly welcome to hold strict to the bible, that is your belief, it is however not our belief and you are just here to troll this board for disagreeing with you.

        • Melissa says

          I’ve attended the catholic services on different occasions with my husband. Luke chapter 3 was being discussed on one of those evenings. When the priest asked who John the Baptist was speaking of in reference to one coming greater than he, who’s shoe latchets he wasn’t worthy to tie, a child answered that John was speaking of the Bishop. And to my surprise, the priest told him he was correct, it was the bishop…i had my Bible in hand, showed my husband what the scripture said and asked why the priest would say the bishop. The response I was given was that the Bible must be wrong because the pope said it was he bishop and the bishop is next in line to the pope…now, folks..i don’t know about you but to stand in authority and knowingly tell a child a lie concerning scripture is the last straw for me. I did however go back a few more times to see if perhaps I was mistaken. I wasn’t. The actual Bible is discouraged at this particular place, I stead being encouraged to read pamphlets and typed readings from a book the bishop have approved. Scary, folks. Its scary to think what God feels about this.

          • Steve says

            We were discussing doctrine and you have changed to a rather odd tactic of using an anecdote that is extremely improbable given how a catholic service is conducted. The priest never at any point directly asks the congregation anything; that has never happened once in my entire experience in the church. The idea that a priest would open up scripture to a Q&A session with a child mid-mass is frankly not believable at all. However if this did happen for some bizarre reason, that priest should be ashamed of himself as that is absolutely not a catholic doctrine he stated. Not to mention it would make absolutely no sense given the context of that chapter and that being an extremely well known passage probably half of the room would raise an eyebrow and approach the priest afterwards to correct him. As for that response that the pope said it; that is either a lie by you or by the priest, in either case I won’t defend it as it is absolutely not a catholic doctrine and is utter nonsense.

            The bible is absolutely not discouraged, where are you getting that idea from? The pamphlet you refer to is called a missal. It is a collection of prayers, hymn lyrics, and bible passages that will be read during the mass. They are directly from the bible and unaltered. If you are going to make the claim that a roman missal contained heretical alterations I’d ask for a source (you can find Roman missals online; prove this otherwise this chain of debate should end as I agree with you that if that did happen it is heresy to both your denomination as well as Catholics and the priest should be ashamed)

          • Melissa says

            Once again, you are stating your allegiance will lie with the “sacred traditions” over what is given as law in the Bible. We sir, will just have to agree to disagree there. I will always follow the word of God, never rules, changed rules, allowances, etc, made by men. It is simply wrong. God has told us if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. And in response to the priest pointedly asking a child, he didn’t. He put the question out there and a child responded. Instead of correcting the child, the priest told him.he was correct. Once again, I went numerous times and each time I tried to follow along with the Bible and simply wasn’t able due to situations like this. How can an unlearned person learn when they are not being taught what the scripture actually says. They can’t. My sincere respect for your clear love if the faith. However when God has plainly told us not to do son, we best not do it. When He has commanded us to do things, then we best do them. No man has any authority to change the Bible. Now, traditions of your faith, the literature/books they give to worshipers, pamphlets, ec., those are free to be changed anytime by anyone I guess .. God’s word is unchanging. If we were to worship the pope, Peter, etc, or allow the things various denominations are allowing, gay marriage and homosexual leaders in Church, women teachers, priest,,clergy, etc., God would have put it in the Bible…these things just are not in there and you’ve admitted that. Mans traditions can not be observed above Gods word. He says so repeatedly.

          • Steve says

            “Once again, you are stating your allegiance will lie with the “sacred traditions” over what is given as law in the Bible. We sir, will just have to agree to disagree there. ”

            Yes that is exactly my point we do disagree. You are sola scriptura, while catholics are prima scriptura. From my perspective I think it foolish that you believe that a book is the exclusive source for divine truth and theological knowledge. It is certainly a very excellent primary source but it is not the only one accepted by Catholics. You finally seem to grasping this concept, I sincerely hope that you read the Wikipedia article on prima scriptura. Don’t get me wrong here, Prima does mean first or above others, it is the primary source and tradition is basically interpretations of it.

            “I will always follow the word of God, never rules, changed rules, allowances, etc, made by men. It is simply wrong.”

            That is fine, that is your choice and that of your faith. What you need to understand about Catholics is that we have additional beliefs and traditions, they are not wrong because to us they are as authoritative as the bible itself. This is not a new concept or unique to Catholicism; within Judaism, the parent religion, there is Rabbinic teaching which is not within the Hebrew bible e.g. the Talmud. It is the teachings of their theologians, and not that dissimilar to what I’m attempting to explain here.

            “and in response to the priest…………(etc)…….no man has authority to change the bible”
            I already responded to this: 1, we are talking about doctrine I cannot respond to a questionable anecdote 2, If that did happen, which I seriously doubt, that priest is a heretic. That is NOT catholic teaching

            “Now, traditions of your faith, the literature/books they give to worshipers, pamphlets, ec., those are free to be changed anytime by anyone I guess .. God’s word is unchanging”

            You seem to greatly misunderstand what those are, seriously google roman missal and read one. They contain hymn lyrics and prayers, which can change occasionally but generally don’t and who cares that isn’t biblical it is songs and what not. The remaining parts are biblical passages that are unaltered and directly from the bible; they are not interpretations or catholic versions, they are verbatim direct copy/paste of the bible. The reason this is done is just for ease of the parishioner, so they can quickly follow along with what is happening by giving a page number. The passage is clearly labeled as Mathew #:#-# format. I’m really quite baffled by your disparagement of the missal they are not something that generally gets brought up in an anti-catholic rant as they contain nothing offensive to a non-catholic.

            “If we were to worship the pope, peter, etc”
            no catholic worships the pope.

            “or allow the things various denominations are allowing, gay marriage and homosexual leaders in Church, women teachers, priest,,clergy, etc., God would have put it in the Bible
these things just are not in there and you’ve admitted that. ”

            Are you trying to imply that the catholic church supports gay marriage? No…
            Homosexual leaders in the church now that bit is trickier; The church teaches that simply having homosexual urges is not a sin; it is a temptation. Acting upon those urges instead of resisting and/or being celebrate if you cannot is a sin. As for the women teachers, priests, and clergy I’m actually a bit confused by how you worded this, it sounds like you are saying you do not support this, however given the context I assume you are meaning the opposite and that women should be allowed to be priests. It is a tradition that the priesthood be only men read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis if you want to understand why but basically it has to do with Jesus only picked men etc; it is tradition.

            “Mans traditions can not be observed above Gods word.”

            Prima scriptura how many times do I have to keep saying this. Not observed above, the first source is biblical; however anything not in contradiction to the bible is open to traditional interpretations and those are considered valid by a catholic. We have tens of thousands of books from theologians over the last couple millennia, many of their thoughts have shaped our understanding of the bible and have developed into a tradition that is accepted by us fundamental to our religion.

            I get that you don’t agree and that for you the bible is the exclusive source for religion. We have no such restriction and if you really think about it it would make very little sense if we did the bible didn’t exist in its current state until around the 5th century, the faith had existed for several centuries without it being codified into a single structured book it was a series of individual books; some of which didn’t make the cut and became the apocrypha. Some were rejected as heresy while others were simply deemed not important enough to be put into the bible, but nonetheless they were still considered valid (when you are trying to make 1 book out of hundreds, you have to pick the important ones, that doesn’t mean the apocrypha was deemed false). The vast majority of Christianity developed slowly over many centuries. Frankly from the catholic perspective we find it peculiar that you reject anything aside from the book when the book was not written by God, nor did predate the religion it came hundreds of years later. You are welcome to be Sola Scriptura if you like, but I seriously have to question why you insist on posting anticatholic bigotry all over a catholic website; what is your motivation to be so intolerant of other religions?

        • Melissa says

          And Steve, I found this site because I was actually trying to learn more about what I had been witnessing and hearing from family. However, when asking my family, who has been raised in this faith, they have no scriptural answers, only what the “church” allows or says, or their “father” . After coming here, seeing the responses people were being given, it just saddened me even more. Members of my family have started to read the Bible, being not only surprised at the differences in what they read over what they’ve been told 60 plus years but actually becoming angry at the catholic faith, stating they feel lied to. After reading the responses on here, now it is starting to make sense why. No response comes from.scripture, its all about the catholic traditions. And the responses, reasoning for purgatory, annulment, indulgence, limbo, infant baptism, etc, is so far from what the Bible says, no wonder all the questions. Again, I respect your love for your faith, however, to put a,man in Gods, Christ’s place goes strictly against the Bible. You may call pope father. But The Bible,Gods law, forbids it. It just makes no sense why anyone would willfully do what God says not to.

          • Steve says

            You realize we cannot possibly resolve this argument. You have 1 source and a belief system that says accept no other source no matter what. I have multiple sources and a belief system that says they are all good, one is best but the others are good too.

            This is a fundamental difference between us that we cannot resolve. As for the calling the pope father bit, I already cited a pretty decent explanation of how Catholics interpret Mathew 23:9 you are welcome to disagree with that interpretation if you like but our tradition is that the bible does not forbid it and that mathew 23:9 has additional meaning to it given the context. As I have multiple sources that is valid, as you do not it is not. We cannot agree here, but again I’d point out this is a catholic forum, not general Christianity, you are here just to be offensive towards those who lack the knowledge to argue back effectively.

            I’m sorry that your family didn’t bother to read the bible for 60 years; they were clearly not very good Christians if they couldn’t spend a couple days bothering to even read one book. Seriously I read the bible fully when I was 10 with the help of my mother (then again later when I actually understood it on my own; and I regularly read from it to this day). I take great pride in understanding catholic interpretation of passages that are disputed in meaning; I read the theological arguments behind them as I find that interesting.

        • Melissa says

          Steve, once again, to allow things from tradition, books, etc that are not according to scripture is just wrong. You state that the Bible come first above traditions,etc, yet still validate accepting the traditional things over the laws in the Bible. As far as women holding authority of any kind, God forbids it as far as the worship service itself. It is considered a shame for a woman to usurp authority, to speak in Church. They are to remain silent. As far as the family reading their Bibles, yes it is a shame they didn’t. However all these years they were never taught the importance if it. Like yourself, they’ve been told the books, catechisms, etc of the catholic faith can be used, which after seeing some, anyone could agree they would be easier to read and comprehend. The Bible however was written for everybody to understand with reasonable study as we are commanded to do to show ourselves approved. It still begs to say, the catholic church puts its traditions and rules in above what the Bible says. If God had wanted everyone to accept those ideals, they would be in the Bible. The name Pope would have been there with reason and justification for addressing him as father. To end this conversation, again, I respect the depth of your allegiance to your faith, your church and its order of hierarchy, however, I will, again, choose what God has given us. If it isn’t in the Bible, it simply can’t be justified, no matter how anyone interprets it.

          • Steve says

            “Steve, once again, to allow things from tradition, books, etc that are not according to scripture is just wrong. You state that the Bible come first above traditions,etc, yet still validate accepting the traditional things over the laws in the Bible.”

            I grow tired of explaining this to you. That is your opinion on how religion works, that a book is the absolute and only authority. Good for you that is your religion. My religion is far more complex than that as it predated that book, it put that collection of books together, it litterally held ecumenical councils to decide which books to keep and which not to keep. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_scriptura please read this article, if you respond again saying that I’m wrong in a childish manner this article is my only reply.

            “As far as women holding authority of any kind, God forbids it as far as the worship service itself. It is considered a shame for a woman to usurp authority, to speak in Church. They are to remain silent.”

            I’m confused why are you attacking this then? We don’t have women priests. Also what denomination are you? The majority of protestants allow women to hold prominent roles.

            “the catholic church puts its traditions and rules in above what the Bible says. If God had wanted everyone to accept those ideals, they would be in the Bible. ”

            Show me where in the bible it says disregard all things not written here. Seriously quote me a passage that is self referential saying by the way forget everything that was taught prior to this book existing, and ignore the teachers instructing you from it who just finished making it. I want something explicit not vague or referring to false prophets etc, I want a clearly stated don’t listen to other sources. Guess what, Sola Scriptura is only a few hundred years old, it is relatively a new concept to disregard all other things than the bible. You’ll notice also I have not made any attack on it, I think that it is a perfectly fine way to structure a faith and I hope it gives you great joy and meaning in your life that you read the bible and follow it; I sure wish you’d stop your hatred of my way of understanding it, but you are a religious bigot so what can you do; I’m used to it.

            As for the Pope name; dislike it if you want I guess. I explained why we don’t think it is sinful but you disagree. His actual title is bishop of Rome, Pope is litterally derived from Father and has become the title over time but his actual authority comes from being bishop of Rome and the primacy of peter (by that I mean bishop of rome was peter’s position)

          • Karen says

            Melissa, your only reason for continuing this diatribe is to persuade us, or anyone reading this, that YOUR beliefs and YOUR practices are the only correct and true ones. Steve has clearly told you that what you believe is your belief and while we respect yours, please do not be disrespectful of ours. Catholic beliefs are different from yours. NOT better and NOT worse. Simply different. If you are having a hard time understanding this, as well as the fact that there are many different religious/spiritual traditions in this world all followed by different people both good and bad, then may I kindly suggest looking into some counseling or therapy?
            Otherwise, please stop trying different ways to attack another’s faith here or on any website, and just GET OVER IT!

        • Melissa says

          And to be called a bigot, offensive , etc just because I answered questions with Biblical scripture first instead of the catholic rules, begs to question.why? Why get offended by giving scripture first as any answer. The next question that would have to come would be if putting scripture first over the rules, traditions of the catholic church is offensive, bigotry, hatred, then exactly who or what is being worshipped and considered God, the truth…one would be left to wonder

          • Steve says

            The definition of bigot is “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions”
            Another definition is “a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)”

            That is precisely what you are doing. You are intolerant of a religious belief that is different from your own. Your belief is that the bible is exclusively the only source for religious truth. My belief is that it is not the exclusive source. You acknowledge this, but you call it “just wrong”; that makes you a bigot along with every reply you’ve made so far. I’m not offended at all, I actually find it interesting to debate theology and I’m fairly used to the anti-catholic bias.

            “The next question that would have to come would be if putting scripture first over the rules, traditions of the catholic church is offensive, bigotry, hatred”

            Absolutely not what I said; I said YOU are a bigot, not the sola scriptura belief system is bigoted. I have a great respect for sola scriptura; what I do not respect is intolerance, however it doesn’t offend me. I know a bunch of protestants who are very openly tolerant of Catholics and see it as just another way, just not their way. They do not call it wrong, they call it different.

        • Melissa says

          Once again, the tradition of the catholic faith is put above what God said not to do, calling no man father. As for many protestant churches allowing women to hold authority, yes they do. Which goes against what God tells us. Many also only have communion once or twice a year,which goes against the example in the scripture. We either choose to read and follow God’s law first or not. Using mans creeds, books etc is fine for reference, but to allow those books to override Gods law is wrong. Asking the question once again, who or what are you worshipping first…a Church or The Lord

          • Steve says

            Your interpretation of Mathew 23 is that Jesus banned the use of the word father. The catholic interpretation of that is not a general ban on the term. There are many later examples of saints calling people father throughout the new testament. Seriously read this: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/call-no-man-father

            “Using mans creeds, books etc is fine for reference, but to allow those books to override Gods law is wrong” Example of bigotry for the other post I just made. It is not wrong, it is different.

            Look up the Duetoerocanonical books for example. there are a bunch that were left out of the bible but are still considered valid and true; just not significant enough to be put into the bible. Of course you reject these, that is your choice; but they were at one time part of the collected works considered for inclusion in the bible before the bible existed as a single entity.

        • Melissa says

          Matthew 15, mark 7, Luke 6, 1st Corinthians 11, Titus 1, Galatians 1, 2nd Thessalonian 2&3, Colossian 2, 1st peter 1….in reference to your asking about scripture condemning tradition over Gods law. Now, the scripture you quoted giving validation of tradition over law in 2nd Thessalonian refers back to 1st Corinthians 11, Paul stating to be ye followers of Christ, keeping the ordinances as he, Paul, delivered them to us, further stating that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is man and the head of Christ is God. Nowhere does it mention the pope, the catholic creed/catechism, etc…just the ordinances of God as Paul has delivered them. And Steve, you seam intelligent enough that I would implore you to study the Bible first..if the laws of God are different than the laws of the catholic church, then anyone would have to agree that Gods law trumps any creed, book or tradition set forth by men, be it catholic, Mormon, Jehovah witness, etc

          • Steve says

            Matthew 15; mark 7 = Not a ban on traditions, it is a ban on traditions that outright contradict the bible directly. Catholic tradition is a series of interpretations of scriptural passages, and an addition of some things not directly covered in the bible. There are no direct contradictions. These two passages are actually the same story told by different people twice.

            Luke 6 = Not about tradition, this is about canceling out the old law. This lines up with catholic teaching we don’t follow Sabbath laws either (The only denomination I know of that does is Seventh Day Adventists)
            1Cor 11 = Um this doesn’t ban tradition at all. If anything it supports it it literally starts with praising for following traditions.

            Titus 1 = Has no mention of tradition.

            Galatians 1 = Is not a ban on tradition it is a ban on promoting different/new gospels. (e.g. the book of Mormon for example)

            2 Thess 2:15 = Litterally says keep to the traditions. This is supportive of tradition not contrary.
            2 Thess 3:6 = same
            1 Peter 1 = No mention of tradition

            “now, the scripture you quoted giving validation of tradition over law in 2nd Thessalonian”
            That was a different thread. However I agree with Mike who used it for the reason he states. This promotes tradition.

            “Nowhere does it mention the pope, the catholic creed/catechism, etc”
            ya that is my point it doesn’t ban it. You are still stuck on the notion that all things must come from the Bible. They don’t for a catholic. You just admitted that passage is not banning catholic teaching; which is my point. You seem to have this idea that its authorization must come from the bible, that notion is you continuing to only accept a sola scriptura definition of Christianity. (Seriously how hard is it for you to grasp the concept that another source of doctrine can exist outside of the bible?)

          • Melissa says

            Gods law is perfect. To claim a church needs or can use another book to validate or add to Gods word because things were left out or not made clear enough and need mans explanation is outright calling God a liar. Had He wanted anything else added, you can guarantee it would be in there for EVERYONE to read and learn. So, to call me a bigot because I don’t agree with manmade additions is just fine. If being considered offensive, a bigot, hateful, etc, simply because I love God and want to keep His commandments, obeying Him over mans way, then yep, a hateful bigot I shall be ? ..and by the way..the catechism claims Christ was sent to Hades at death..simply not true, not in the Bible..

          • Steve says

            “Gods law is perfect. To claim a church needs or can use another book to validate or add to Gods word because things were left out or not made clear enough and need mans explanation is outright calling God a liar.”
            You do realize that every word of the bible was written by man entirely right? The only books that even make the claim of being the direct words of god are the first 5 books of the old testament which was god telling Moses what to write. Every book that is in the bible is in there because the Catholic church voted to put it in there in or before the 5th century. Some old books were removed from the old testament and made into the apocryphal books called the Deuterocanonical books; others were later additions. Others were written after the time of Jesus, for example John wasn’t even written until between 90-110 while Jesus died sometime between 26-37. John never met Jesus or any of the apostles in person. Everything you believe you believe because the Catholics agreed you should 1500+ years ago and Luther agreed with the council of trent reaffirming it in the 16th century whereby mostly every protestant denomination agreed as well from that point forward.

            “So, to call me a bigot because I don’t agree with manmade additions is just fine.”
            I’m not calling you a bigot because you disagree with them; I’m calling you a bigot because are intolerant and disrespectful of them.

            “If being considered offensive, a bigot, hateful, etc, simply because I love God and want to keep His commandments, obeying Him over mans way, then yep, a hateful bigot I shall be”

            No, you are hateful and a bigot because of your hateful bigotry. You could hate Catholics while being an atheist or a muslim, your love of god is irrelevant to your hatred of Catholics and intolerance towards us. Perhaps it is the extreme belief that your system of interpretation of scripture is correct that inspires you to hate other things but you are perfectly capable of being respectful and tolerant towards things that differ from your belief system.

            Just to throw a bit of a curve ball at you. Do you celebrate Christmas on December 25th? If so you are following sacred tradition of the catholic church; the bible does not list his birthday.

        • Melissa says

          The responses to questions on this site are almost always what the church allows, reference to the catechism, what a bishop or priest allows. Steve, if the church wants to clear up any confusion as to who’s law comes first, Gods or the catholic church, it would make sense to give scriptural answers, then follow up with comparisons of the catholic rules where they both are in agreement. To say Christ built His Church on Peter is odd. Peter was just a man and he said so when people were bowing to him..the Church WA built on Peters confession, the fact that Christ is the Son if God. Peter was indeed given the keys, however he wasn’t given any authority or special powers over any other apostle. CHRIST died fir His Church, not Peter. The Church is referred to as the Bride of Christ, all power on earth and in heaven was given to Christ, not Peter or any apostles. Christ is the Head of the Church, the Chief cornerstone, which was prophesied in the old testament that that cornerstone would be denied. Once again, Timothy said it best..having a conscience seared, choosing a lie over the truth. To say I hate other religions or their beliefs is wrong, untrue. I find it sad that people choose to follow man first…and to see or hear a question being asked and not answer according to scripture would be wrong on anyone’s part.

          • Karen says

            Which Bible? We are in version 7 at the moment. Are you completely familiar with all the gospels and writings left out? I’m very certain you are not. Therefore, you can only make statements based on what you have read at this time and, as with the rest of us, have no idea what was or wasn’t written in the beginning.

          • Steve says

            “To say I hate other religions or their beliefs is wrong, untrue. I find it sad that people choose to follow man first”

            You give a perfect example for me to work with here; petrine primacy. You are doing exactly the thing you claim to hate; you are following the teachings of man. Matthew is not clear enough for you to make the assertion that you made. The assertion that Christ was referring to peter’s confession rather than peter himself is a biblical interpretation. It is not clearly stated in the text. In fact it is so vague that protestant biblical scholars make this assertion by citing the specific words used in the original greek being petra the feminine version rather than petros the masculine. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to express this whole time, that there are ambiguities to how to interpret things. For Catholics those ambiguities are answered by sacred tradition telling us what is meant. Protestants do the same thing with the 5 solas for example. They just don’t call it things like tradition or catechism etc but you do it all the same and just gave an example of one where you do.

            I know your argument well it is based on the use of petra vs petros in the Septuagint (greek) bible. The argument goes that the first use is petros, and that is the part where Jesus renames simon into Simon Peter. Masculine Petros is used to refer to him. The second use the feminine Petra when he says and upon this rock I will build my church.

            The main flaw in that logic however is that the book was not originally written in greek, it was in Aramaic which doesn’t have gendered nouns. Both uses were cephas which is Aramaic for rock. Prostants make the assertion that this means the translators were implying that the two uses were distinct the first being a reference to Simon the second being different was a reference to something else. In this case I’d like to point out that you are now using biblical interpretation twice here in that you are trusting to the knowledge of those translators to make that distinction intentionally, and trusting in the interpretation of protestant scholars in assigning the 2nd use of cephas to mean peter’s confession. The flaw with all of this however is that in the original aramiac the only word used was cephas and later in John 1 It much more clearly states that cephas is Peter.

            I missed one from above “the catechism claims Christ was sent to Hades at death..simply not true, not in the Bible..”

            First off this isn’t just Catholics this is the majority of christian denominations you are actually in the minority here. There are dozens of examples but I’ll just go with the primary one used to support this 1 Peter 3:19-20 however i suggest reading this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrowing_of_Hell and realizing that some things are vague in the bible and what we call “sacred tradition” you call “Biblical scholarship” Not ever detail is stated in plain language understandable by uneducated people, that is where traditional interpretation and teaching comes in.

          • Renee says

            Did you also know that rapture is not in the Bible? But it’s a belief the Protestants believe in? Did you also know if you go back to the original bible, the one before Luther, there are seven books that he took out. Why would he do this? So if you go by sola scripture, purgatory is in there.

  38. Miss says

    I have recently seperated from my husband of 7 years. We have 3 children. I am not baptized but I am on a journey with the Catholic Church to be baptized which I’m so excited about. My husband is baptized but a non practicing catholic. We were married by a celebrant. I really want to g wet baptized sooner then later but wonder if I should wait for our civil divorce? Also do I need an annulment from the church?

  39. Pastor Billy says

    anybody ever thought of Christ? Pray about everything? Anybody ever thought about reading the Bible for direction? There is hope in Christ!!!

  40. Elizabeth St.Cyr says

    I was a divorced RC who remarried in a civil ceremony. he is now deceased. I met with my parish priest and he welcomed me back to the church ad I am receiving the sacraments. Is there anything else besides reconcilliation I must do?

    • melissa says

      Yes…stop looking to the ” church” for permission..the only power and authority is stated right in your Bible..Jesus..not a man claiming to be the. “vicar of Christ”.. Funny how vicar, pope, purgatory, original sin, lent, etc is not found anywhere in the Bible but people will buy into this garbage..READ YOUR BIBLE!!!.. stop letting a church or man, who sadly thinks he has the authority to change Gods laws, tell you right from.wrong..if you worship and love God, you will obey His word…which us unfaltering, unchangeable and given to us by Him..

      • Derek says

        The Bible was also written by fallible humans but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is within the teachings of the bible and apostolic tradition that we reach our tenets of faith.
        Blessings to you on your journey!

        • Melissa says

          Thank you for your blessing..however, I will never deny what God has told us about keeping traditions… He does however plainly tell us that to keep them over His laws, His word, His truths is wrong. There will come one exhalting himself to be as God, forbidding to marry, causing to abstain from meats, whereas all things have been made clean by God, one who will look to change the written law, the true word of God, one who will lead many astray, choosing to believe a lie over the truth, having their conscience seared..all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God..to claim a man on earth is here in.Christs place would be calling God a liar..all power in heaven and on earth was given to Christ. It was Christ who died for His Church, His Church is called His bride..i don’t know many brides who take the name of another man other than their husband..so can you tell me, or better yet, provide scripture where the pope is mentioned, where vicar of Christ is, where different levels of sin are, where indulgences are, where bishop is, because the only times bishop in the scriptures refers to a married man with children..i family raised 60 plus years in this garbage. After being given a Bible and actually reading it, a few are questioning the catholic practices.. An aunt in her 60’s has told me repeatedly that they have always been discouraged from reading the Bible, by instead are given books that are approved by the catholic church to read in its place. I’ve been to their services and have witnessed firsthand no Bibles at all in the building, at least not where anyone can get one to follow during readings, I’ve listened to the priest put the word bishop in scripture that’s being quoted, but the Bible doesn’t say bishop, it says Christ. When I questioned this, I was told it was because the bishop second in line of authority to the pope..when I poured put the actual Biblical scriture and verses the priest was supposedly reading from, the response I received was a shoulder shrug, and told that the Bible must be wrong because the pipe said it differently…BRAINWASHING at its finest!

          • Mike says

            Blessings to you, Melissa!

            You seem to be angry at the Catholic Church based on some misconceptions. Your letter implies that the Church has usurped the place of Christ in the work of salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth!

            The first thing you say is “I will never deny what God has told us about keeping traditions.” Great, neither do Catholics! What did God say through his inspired word about traditions? He said:

            “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (Thessalonians 2:15)

            This is St. Paul writing to the Thessalonians telling them to stand firm in the traditions he taught them, by word of mouth or letter. The traditions he taught were not in contradiction to the laws, precepts, or teachings of Jesus. In fact, that is how these things were handed on. It is from these traditions, the teachings of the Apostles, that we get the writings of the New Testament.

            Then you ask a series of questions:

            – “so can you tell me, or better yet, provide scripture where the pope is mentioned, where vicar of Christ is”

            When Peter, the first Pope, tells Jesus “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16), Jesus then tells him, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound ini heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19).

            Christ gives Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven as the first Pope, an office which he handed on to his successors and continues to this day in an unbroken chain of succession. So the Catholic Church was instituted by Christ himself. Of the 32,000 Protestant denominations, which one can make that claim?

            – “where different levels of sin are”

            “If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal” (1 John 5:16-17)”

            -“where indulgences are”

            “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. as the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:21-23)

            Here Jesus gives his Apostles the power to forgive and retain sins, similar to what he said to Peter when he said he would build his Church on him. The Apostles, and their successors the bishops, are given the power to forgive and retain sins by Jesus himself.

            -“An aunt in her 60’s has told me repeatedly that they have always been discouraged from reading the Bible”

            This is odd. There are many Catholic translations of the Bible available. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has the entire Bible, the NABRE translation, on its website. Every Catholic Mass has at least 3 Bible readings. Most Catholic parishes have Bible study classes.

            – “I’ve been to their services and have witnessed firsthand no Bibles at all in the building, at least not where anyone can get one to follow during readings”

            Every parish has Missals available which have the readings in them.

            -“I’ve listened to the priest put the word bishop in scripture that’s being quoted, but the Bible doesn’t say bishop, it says Christ.”

            Since you don’t give a reference to the scripture you are referring to, it’s hard to respond to this. I can’t think of a scripture that could fit what you are saying. I don’t think you’re being honest with this anecdote.

            If you have objections to the Catholic faith, these can be raised in a way that encourages dialogue. Calling the Catholic faith “garbage” and then giving for evidence what your 60 year old aunt said and an anecdote of an encounter with a priest that seems to be of questionable veracity doesn’t really promote dialogue.

            I hope you find “the peace of God, which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

          • Melissa says

            And once again, I came across this site in my search for answers as the only ones family could give came from the catechisms, or what a pries had told them. Its clear that quoting scripture from the Bible instead of the catholic books has offended people. Which leads me back to 1st Timothy chapter 4..because it has been deemed offensive, bigotry, etc, that I quote scripture, I know now that I should search elsewhere for answers. No scriptural answers will be found on this site, only catholic tradition and rules.

          • Melissa says

            2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 says it best…there shall be a falling away first and the man of sin revealed..whole opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, all that is worshipped, so that he as a God sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God….the rest of the chapter I as clear where misleading people so that they believe a lie over the truth…to claim any other book is equal to the Bible not only does this, exalting something to be as God, it calls God and his word untrue…aa far as Christmas….no…Jeremiah 10 calls those that decorate a tree with silver and gold HEATHENS!.. and no place is Christmas or the birth of Christ declared as far as a date or command to honor.. His death thru communion is what we are to observe. And that example was given as upon the first day of the week..no other time, no other day…to add to the scripture is wrong, to take away from it is wrong. Had God, being the perfect Being He is, wanted your”books” as a guide, guarantee HE would have seen to it they were all inclusive..

      • Chrisstelle says

        Thanks Mike. As in the case of Melissa and many others who read The Bible to their own understanding and not by God’s, they believe that going to confession is also just a Catholic “thing”.

        I have never owned a “Catholic Bible” but every bible I’ve read to this day tells me, WE MUST CONFESS our sins to our PRIESTS, whom will make atonement for our sins.” That is God’s Law NOT man made.

        That is the authority give by our Living God to our priests. I refuse to allow any man or woman to try and make me believe in their own understanding, due to their lack of Knowledge.

        Lent is a sacred period, a journey with Christ, His pain, torture and love for us. To those who don’t believe in it, allow God to be the judge of those who do.

        God bless you.

        • Melissa says

          Read James 5, verse 16…. No place in the new law does God say confess your sins to a priest…unless you have that scripture and I have overlooked it???…and to say Christ built his Church on a man is ridiculous…the verse above the claimed Peter is the rock claim tells what the Church was built on…Peter’s confession that Christ was the Son of God…pretty sure building His Church on that makes more sense than building it on a man who was never sacrificed for the Church

      • Melissa says

        What I do find interesting is the fact that other comments, posts have been made that are outright vulgar, as well as remarks to the sexual abuse within the Church, yet, my quoting scripture and advising people to just pick up a Bible and read for themselves has garnered animosity whereas these above mentioned comments barely got noticed. Strange how scripture will upset people but talking about such sickness as rape doesn’t get a response.

        • Linda smith says

          Steve you have the patients of a saint oh don’t quote me don’t think its from the bible Melissa looks like she just wants to argue and trying to put out Catholic beliefs down all I can say is poor thing

      • Jacky says

        The sola scripture does not save, the greatest gift God gave us was his Son, Jesus founded a Church Catholic, is guided by the holy spirit , now days many. Marriages are invalid because at the moment of getting married they don’t even have faith some or something else, when you get married needs to love Jesus with all your heart and pray offer this marriage to God ..Jesus said who eats my body and drink my blood will have eternal life…so as catholic we have the truth in our church, we have Jesus there, why the church gets so attacked? Because satan wants to destroy it, for him the most Important is to win souls , makes them blind, leave the real church, leave confession, and leave communion. Believe me when somebody like you attack the Church this way….satan triumphed over you, I invited you to read a catholic bible, catechism, ask Jesus ..show me the truth…are you present in a piece of bread….with your heart pray…don’t be deceive by our enemies (demons) …have you watch Gloria polo testimony…blessings

  41. Eileen says

    My partner and I were married to our previous partners in the Catholic Church and we have both since been divorced by our partners. I am now also a widow.

    We both have three children each by our previous marriage, so annulment is not an option.

    We know we can’t get married in a Catholic Church, but can we have a blessing in a Catholic Church?

    Thank you

    • Gerald says

      No ! You cannot. And no, you should not! Being blessed by any religion that is famous for anally raping young boys is not a smart move. Even a satanist has more respect for kids. You are doomed eternally.

  42. Bobbie says

    Hello, I was married in the Catholic church and we were married for 22 years. He met someone else and wanted a divorce this was many years ago. I remarried a non Catholic and my first husband died several months ago. I am 72 years old and my husband is 80. I would like to get back to my Catholic religion and my husband is fine with this. He goes to his church and I have been going to mine. What if anything do I have to do now to receive communion and the sacraments?

    • Marie Scanlon says

      Annulment is still an option regardless if you have children or not. The fact that you are a widow means you are no longer married in the eyes of the church. You will not need an annulment but your partner will. Just because you have children’s doesn’t mean you can’t get an annulment. I have a daughter and I got an annulment.

      • Rebecca Genovese says

        I wĂ  married in the Catholic Church 25 years ago. My husband had more than one affair and is now divorcing me. We have 2 children. I have never wanted to divorce, but was given no choice. Now, I would like to get an annulment. How do you go about it? Someday, I hope to remarry.

    • Shirley Uhrain says

      My husband and I are going through this now and we talked to a priest about it last night. The rules have changed on how a previous marriage is nullified. We will complete the internal process tonight and can receive communion on Sunday. The external process will be completed in just under a month and we can have a ceremony in the church. We have been married for almost 26 years and I’m finally having a ceremony before a priest.

  43. Amanda says

    I have never been married, however the man i am marrying is catholic but was never married in a Catholic church but of a different faith , are we still able to get married in a Catholic church or is his prior marriage still recognized as a marriage through the Catholic church. He was divorced , it was his ex wife that began the divorce process.

    • Marie Scanlon says

      If neither you nor your spouse have been married in the Catholic Church, you can still marry in the church. If one had been married in the church and then divorced then you would need an annulment but if not, no issues.

    • Marie Scanlon says

      If it wasn’t a marriage in the Catholic Church you shouldn’t have a problem. You will meet with the deacon or priest beforehand but it won’t affect getting a marriage in the church.

      • Lauren says

        Well, that’s confusing…Amanda, I’m (Catholic) dealing with the same thing: my fiance (non catholic) has been divorced and when we contacted our priest and then the dioceses in TX they told us we had to go through the annulment process that would take a minimum of 16mo. I’ve been torn and doing a lot of soul searching because I feel like I have to choose between him and the church (and live with the guilt from my family if I choose to marry outside the catholic church). Clarity on the issue would be a relief..

        • Cecilia lenz says

          If your fiancĂ© was married outside the Catholic Church you shouldn’t have to go through an annulment. We were in a similar situation, my husband had a previous marriage outside of the church at the beginning of our classes the priest had him complete a form detailing the previous marriage the bishop for our diocese reviewed the document and declared the previous marriage invalid. It took about 6 weeks.

    • Sue Goodrich says

      I went through an annulment. It doesn’t matter where you were married. Your husband still has to get an annulment. My husband did He’s not Catholic and his 1 st marriage was in a presbyterian church, and we had been married legally for 28 yrs. We had to take the pre-cana classes, it took over 3 yrs., cost over $3000.00, and the reason we both got annulments was for against the good of having children. that wasn’t why we had both divorced before at all. Both of our 1st spouses left us for other people, but that was the reason the annulment counselor chose for us. We even argued with him but to no avail. We found our 1st spouses on people search.com. My husband’s ex wife never responded. We had to go to the archdiocese’s’ office to meet with their lawyer. It was not an easy, cheap or quick process.

  44. Kimberly says

    I am engaged to a be married to a man who has been married 3 times before. We are trying to navigate through the long and confusing process of annulment through the church and honestly I’ve considered just going to another (non-catholic) church to marry because it’s become almost impossible to get all the required documents together. His first wife was Catholic but they did not marry in a church, rather a courthouse. I know this is grounds for an invalid marriage, but we must provide a baptismal certificate. She will not communicate with us on where or even when she was baptized and her family refuses to provide such information. The second and third wives also were in courthouses and both were of other denominations. Pretty much our priest told us in reality he’s only been “shacking up over these past years with these other women.” We cannot complete the process because we cannot provide a baptismal certificate for the first wife. Has anyone every had this problem before? Our two churches have pretty much said sorry but without a baptismal certificate we can’t help. Are they any other avenues we can take to get a baptismal certificate? All we know if her full maiden and married names, her date of birth, and her parents’ names. No idea where she was born or where she may have attended church at the time. Please any assistance would be welcome!

    • Marie Scanlon says

      Go to the diocese’s tribunal office. If you aren’t able to get the required information from her, they will try and if they can’t get it then they will process without her. It might take quite awhile but they won’t deny you a sacrament because a party refuses to provide necessary paperwork. You may have a harder time finding a priest willing to marry someone who has been married three previous times regardless if it wasn’t a Catholic wedding. Not judging, just saying it might be an issue.

  45. Jessica says

    Wondering how long would take get a annulment and so I can marry my boyfriend that was marry and divorce and I never marry and I was born and am Catholic

  46. ruth says

    If I have never been baptized in any religion….was married in civil ceremony and then divorced….then from another relationship had a child while not married to the father…can I be married to a Catholic in the Church? Can I become baptized in the Church? Does baptism remove all previous sins in the eyes of the Church?

    • Lukas says

      Yes you can be baptised in the Catholic Church and yes you can marry in the Catholic Church. See a parish priest so he can guide you in the right direction and answer your questions Bless you, Ruth!

    • Marie Scanlon says

      You can still get married at long as one is Catholic. If you are interested in getting Baptized, call the church and enroll in their RCIA program to become a member of the church.

  47. Melissa Gonzalez says

    I married my high school sweetheart by JP in 1997.. In 2007 we renewed our vows I’m the Catholic Church and then got divorced in 2012 due to circumstances. My question is can I remarry the same man in Catholic Church again?

    • Jason says

      I am a theologian but not a canon lawyer. According to the teaching of the Church, a person can only “remarry” once the other spouse is dead so you would not technically “remarry” the man you married in 1997. You are free to live together as husband and wife again because the marital bond is not dissolved by a civil divorce. It may be prudent to have the relationship recognized civilly again and to renew your vows but consult a faithful priest and/or canon lawyer for guidance.

      • Douglas Pearsall says

        My wife and I of 25 years were both preveiously married to divorced people wouldnt those marriages be automaticaly considered non valid making our valid to be able to join the catholic church?

        • Marie Scanlon says

          If you weren’t married previously in the Catholic Church, nothing would prevent you from marrying in the church now.

    • Gretel Gonzalez says

      You can renew your wedding vows in the Catholic Church as you are already married to him in the Church. So if you’re divorce don’t you just need to go and do the legal paper work that says your married you don’t really need to do a church wedding because you both are married till death do you part. Only if like I said you want to renew your vows you can do a church wedding. Good luck and God bless!

  48. Adriana says

    I married through the Catholic Church in 2002 and divorced in 2011. Is my marriage valid if I was given a year to get confirmed and never did and also if I married not really wanting to but told I had to because I was pregnant? Could I get an annulment? I would like to re-marry and not live in sin.

    • Jason says

      Lack of the sacrament of Confirmation does not render a marriage invalid. Only baptism is needed to have a valid Catholic marriage contracted under normal circumstances. Coercion to get married because you are pregnant is a good ground for an annulment but the process takes into account many more factors. Consult a canon lawyer for more information. I personally think that if you were pressured to get married, you stand a good chance to receive a decree of annulment but there are more parts to the process that need to be considered.

    • Gretel Gonzalez says

      It is very hard to get an annulment in the Catholic Church and your reasons are not good enough. My husband wasn’t comfirmed when we got married, and we just went through a divorce after 28yrs and his girlfriend know that I will be his wife till death do us part because the doesn’t believe in divorce. Actually it in the bible Jesus didn’t like divorce. I’m away from my Bible to give you the chapters and the verse but it’s in there. Now if you were married for let’s say a few months and he beat you, you have a good case to start an annulment. Good luck and God bless!

    • Marie Scanlon says

      If you were coerced into getting married that is a valid reason for an annulment. One of the questions in the paperwork was “did you freely decide to marry?” If you didn’t and were forced to by a parent, etc due to circumstances, it will show you weren’t a willing participant and therefore would be grounds for an annulment.

      • Gerald says

        Hi. A few month ago I was cohersed into an armed robbery and was forced to hold up a bank. . I’m wondering if the Pope can have my 15 year sentence annulled? I was not a willing participant in this crime . Can I still take communion? I’ve been to confession about this, but I have nothing to confess on this matter. Please help.

        • Melissa says

          Now that is funny!.. Sad that people will follow some man on earth for religious beliefs but will ignore God, what the Bible says, which is the true word of God…Thessalonian says it best..in the end will come one exalting himself to be God, forbidding to marry, abstaining from meats, Daniel even tells us he will try ti change the written word of God and many will choose to believe a lie instead of the truth, having their conscience seared…pitiful…this whole catholic brainwashing….but be sure to pay the priest your indulgence fees..but what its gonna cost you will be decided on what type of sin you commit..after all, the “church” claims there’s various levels of sin…but God says they are all the same..with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit…gee…now I wonder how much money the Catholics would require for that one????..after all, the pope is Christ…right????…. Craziness!!

        • Mike says

          How were you coerced into committing an armed robbery? Your story doesn’t ring true. If you were coerced into participating somehow, why were you found guilty and sentenced to 15 years?

          I assume you’re a troll and are trying to make a point about marriage annulments somehow, but even so, you are confusing two distinct things. The Pope doesn’t have any power to overturn your sentence imposed by a secular court. The Pope, the bishops, and through them the priests do have the power to forgive sins, because Jesus gave it to them.

          If you went in to a bank with a gun and told people you would kill them if they didn’t give you money, how is that not a sin?

          If you confess your sins and receive absolution, you can receive communion.

  49. Jenny B. says

    I was raised Catholic and married a man in the church. He didn’t really have a religion but believed in God. He was never Baptized. Also everyone of his 5 uncles including his Dad have been divorced at least once. We are now getting a divorce. He wouldn’t even try counseling. We went through all the steps to get married in the church but he never joined or got baptized. SO Is my marriage invalid? Could I get remarried in the church? Do I still need an annulment? how involved in the annulment process does he have to be in? I’m not sure if he would even be willing to do this for me. So in the future If I ever do find someone to love again I can remarry in the church. I hope that all makes sense.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Marie Scanlon says

      First of all, if you were married in the Church, you must get an annulment before you can remarry. The fact he didn’t believe in God is irrelevant given the fact you knew this before you got married and married him anyway. This means you went into the marriage vowing to be married for life. However, if vows were broken and the marriage wasn’t sacramental there may be grounds for an annulment. You will still need to start the process. They will send both of you paperwork to fill out. If he doesn’t fill it out, it will lengthen the process quite a bit because they will give time for him to respond. If he doesn’t respond after some time, they will proceed without his information. I believe under the year of Mercy and Pope Francis’ changes in the annulment process it is supposed to be easier and take less time than it used to. You will still need an annulment but it won’t take as long if he doesn’t respond.

      • Marie Scanlon says

        My apologies, I read it as he didn’t believe in God. Strike that part of my reply. The rest is still the same. Good luck.

  50. Ugwonali scholastica says

    I am a full Catholic n i got married in 2015 the man lied to my parent he’s a Catholic after the the marriage I became hopeless I neva love the man buh I was under pretendence n i still love my ex n we came back now d man said that I can go n marry dat he cannot marry me again dat he is now a Muslim and now me n my ex was to marry wat am I suppose to do

  51. michael says

    I was only married in civil rights, Seven years later my wife left me, Can I be married in Church Ceremony without annulling my civil married. By the way, I have a child with my ex-wife. Currently I have a girlfriend and we want our relationship blessed by the church.

    • EmpressRose says

      I am wondering the same thing. I was married civilly but not in a church. I was also divorced civillay. But eventually and hoping to remarry in the church now that I am back with my faith.

    • Jason says

      A lot depends on the circumstances around the time when you attempted to contract a marriage only civilly. For example, if you were not Christian at the time you were married and you married another non-Christian, it would appear on the surface that a valid marriage was contracted. However, if you one of you were Catholic and the other was not a Christian at all, the marriage would be invalid. If one or both were Catholic, the marriage would be invalid. More details are needed to assess if there was a valid marriage or not. These examples give above are only cursory ones and do not necessarily reflect the ultimate judgment of the tribunal. If you contracted an invalid marriage, you would not need an annulment but will still need to go through a lot of paperwork for the Church to document and demonstrate you are free to contract a new marriage. A valid marriage cannot be annulled except in rare circumstances such as Pauline privilege. See a canon lawyer for more information.

  52. says

    My husband of ten years passed away (cancer related complications) in September 2015. We were extremely happy in our marriage and devoted to God….we thought of each other as a gift from God and celebrated/worshipped him each day. Neither of us were catholic at the time of our marriage. We each had been divorced prior to our marriage ……did this make our marriage a mortal sin? I am wanting to become Catholic but will have a deep struggle if I am told that the best thing that ever happened to me was/is a sin…..it would interfere with healing and cause me deep deep grief. Can anyone help me understand? I am in RCIA and plan to ask the priest but have become too emotional when I have had the opportunity to speak with him

    • Patty Alanis Fulghum says

      Dear Karen
      No, you should not worry. If any of you were not married in any other church previously.
      were you married in the baptist or Methodist church before, to your first spouse? if you weren’t , that is good news, because your first married was not valid. Now, your second married was not a sin, it may have not been blessed by the Catholic Church, but it was not a sin. If none of you were Catholic, it was not. Your marriage ties to your second husband dissolved at the time of his death, so you don’t have anything to feel guilty about. Aproach your priest with confidence. Listen to this radio programs by EWTN and you may call or email them so they can answer your questions.

      “Open Line” is a fast-paced call-in show, with a new host every day! This enables our listeners to ask questions and comment to each host’s area of expertise”.
      Mondays: John Martignoni (apologetics), Tuesdays: Barbara McGuigan (chastity/pro-life issues)
      Wednesdays: Fr. Mitch Pacwa (Bible and Church questions), Thursdays: Fr. Larry Richards (Evangelization)
      Fridays: Colin Donovan (theology), To be a part of the program call: Toll-Free: 1-800-585-9396

    • Jason says

      I am very sorry for your loss. That sounds terrible and I wish you the best and hope you heal from this all very soon. I hope I can communicate to the best of my ability the Church’s teaching without adding more to your pain.

      The Church has a sharp distinction between the act of sin and the state of a person as a sinner. She condemns acts of sin, not sinners. However, many people end up condemning other persons instead of the acts so we often muddy the waters to live this teaching clearly. Such it seems is the human condition. Your relationship to your second husband is not a sin in itself. Divorcing someone is not a sin in itself also.

      If there is no valid marriage between the man and wife and a civil divorce follows, there is no sin because the Church does not believe there was a marriage to begin with. Each person in the relationship is free to marry someone else because they were not validly married to each other. If there is a valid marriage and the couple divorce (let’s say for example for a good reason like abuse in the relationship), that is not a sin in itself also. It is only when a couple who have a valid marriage get a divorce and then marry someone else with whom they commit the marital act that the Church does not approve. What is considered sinful is committing the marital act outside of a marriage. If a person is validly married to someone in their first marriage, gets a divorce and then marries a second person, the second couple often commits the marital act where one person is already married to their first spouse. This takes the marital act out of the context of the first marriage and the Church only sees a person as having one marriage, not two.

      I don’t know if you were married to your second husband just as I do not know if you were married to your first husband. More details are needed. You don’t need to be a Catholic to have a valid marriage. Non-Catholic Christians and non-Christians can contract valid marriages. For example, two non-Christians contracting a marriage only civilly can have a valid marriage. Depending on many factors, you may have been validly married to your first husband or you may have not. I don’t know. I don’t think it is worth trying to figure it out unless you wanted to get married now.

      With all this being said, I would not consider your second husband to be bad for you or your relationship to be bad. There might be instances within that relationship were the marital act was committed that were sinful only if you are validly married to your first husband. If you are not validly married to your first husband, they may not be sinful. Again, we really do not know without more details that a canon lawyer would ask for in an interview. For a sin to be a mortal sin, full knowledge is necessary and if you don’t have full knowledge (and I’m guessing that you don’t from what little I see in your post), then if (a big “if”) there is a sin then it is venial. The Church does not condemn your love for each other, your care for each other, and your reciprocal support of each other. That is all very good! It is only committing the marital act outside of a marriage that is a sin but this should not blind us from other good qualities in a relationship.

      Pastorally speaking I wouldn’t worry about it. If you want to speak to a priest about it, I really encourage a gentle elderly priest if you are afraid of your pastor (sometimes priests can be intimidating). They’re the best. I often go to them because they help me put things in perspective and realize that some things are not as bad or big as I make them out to be. I hope you find solace and healing in your journey.

  53. cari says

    Heres a good one:
    My partner and I have been discussing future. He was born and raised catholic however was married by common wealth of PA only. Never a sacramental marriage. They have also “divorced” by government standards- they have a daughter with split custody and split belongings etc.
    If he were to get married again, could he marry catholic. Is the last marriage considered not in churches eyes, an annulment, or divorce.
    I’m Episcopalian, but not practicing.
    Inquiring minds. Thank you.

    • Patty Alanis Fulghum says

      If he was never married by any church, just a civil marriage, and divorced, he may marry into the Catholic Church, He needs to call the office of the bishop, or the archdiocese. You may want to become a Catholic before, but if not, he still can marry Catholic, and he can receive the sacrament. Talk to a priest.

  54. sad says

    I am a non catholic but my husband of 17yrs is n we hv 3 kids. We married in a church and abt 2yrs ago i found out that my catholic husband cheated on me…..was devasted. He forged a annulment paper to claim himself no longer married n hv no kids so as to fool with girls outside… While i am still in trauma for his cheating….he been retrenched n leave without job for close to 2 yrs…. so i stay put in the marriage while his when jobless n even took up homebase job n weekend part time job to help in the finance..n keep telling myself to give our marriage n him a 2nd chance …to trust him again that he will change..
    But thereafter, when he finally found a job mid this yr…..he starts all his flirting all over again …….am completely feeling sick n angry n speechless……
    But i hv my 3 kids to consider..my youngest is just 6 yo…..please please advice me what shall i do next…….
    To go ahead n file for a divorce or any other

    • Stephen Alston says

      To who may answer this question is it ok, to have a committed relationship while waiting for the annulment process to be finalized.? Reason I’m asking this question is because my attended spouse broke up with me because initially I didn’t want to file for an annulment. After giving it careful thought and study I decided to go with the process. After that she said she did not want to get back together until the annulment was finalized. I would like to know is this the rules of the Catholic Church or is this a personal thing with her.? Would we be having an adulteress relationship if we are committed to each other while the process is taking place.? It has been two and a half years since I have filed and have not received an answer as of yet but our relationship is in a horrible state right now due to the wait of the process. It is possible that we may never get married because of how long this process takes. I’ve expressed that the wait time is not a problem with me I just want us to be in a committed relationship until we get an answer. My question is am I wrong for wanting her to commit to a relationship or would she be classified as a sinner in the Catholic Church?

      • Patty Alanis Fulghum says

        Listen to this radio programs by EWTN and you may call or email them so they can answer your questions. You can listen live or email questions and then listen to the podcast.

        “Open Line” is a fast-paced call-in show, with a new host every day! This enables our listeners to ask questions and comment to each host’s area of expertise”.
        Mondays: John Martignoni (apologetics), Tuesdays: Barbara McGuigan (chastity/pro-life issues)
        Wednesdays: Fr. Mitch Pacwa (Bible and Church questions), Thursdays: Fr. Larry Richards (Evangelization)
        Fridays: Colin Donovan (theology), To be a part of the program call: Toll-Free: 1-800-585-9396

    • setter nevils says

      file for divorce, and dont let him do it to you again, he will still get to see the kids, but you should not let him back into your life, only your kids, you shouldn’t do it.

  55. Gemma says

    My fiancĂ© was married at 16 in Scotland and divorced a year later, hasn’t spoken to his ex wife in over 15 years. Now want to get married in my local Catholic Church , does he need an allument and who would he need to apply to?


  56. Holly says

    Wrong and unbiblical on SO many levels! I have a sweet friend who has been put through the wringer by her ex and NOW he wants an annulment. They were married almost 22 years, he’s already remarried and he wants to now declare their marriage invalid?! And no matter what anyone says that makes their 3 children feel invalid as well. Jesus never said annulment was a good way to do things, there is NOWHERE in the Bible that says this, it’s marry or divorce. Divorce was only allowed under very limited circumstances (adultery and abuse is about it). Shame on the Catholic church for saying this ok!

    • Joseph Sena says

      You have it wrong. “An annulment is a declaration by a Church tribunal (a Catholic church court) that a marriage thought to be valid according to Church law actually fell short of at least one of the essential elements required for a binding union. ” The church is saying that the union was not valid at time of marriage. For example, someone married another to defraud them to steal their money and leave. That would not be a valid marriage. It is not a ” Catholic divorce”, not even close. Learn the facts before you make these comments.

      • Heather Rehtaeh says

        Annulment is nothing more than a way for the RC’s to make more money off the backs of the people they have beaten into submission with their doctrine and dogma of self-hatred and self-loathing. What an annulment states is anything in that marriage was unholy in the eyes of G_d and this is incorrect. If there were children, are they the product of un-holiness? Really? How sick and depraved is that. Those children were created by the same G-d that created the RC’s marriage tribunal members. If anyone is unholy, it is the damned tribunal. Sad bunch of priests passing judgment on a poor individual only trying to do right in the eyes of G_d and they have done right. It’s just not right in the eyes of the money hungry RC’s. What a sad bunch of people. Go beat your backs with a cat o’ nine tails and don’t forget to cinch your cilice…..

        • Mary Anickal says

          Could you please go vent your anger somewhere else? Everybody else is here is acting civil – why can’t you?
          Also, please get your facts correct before going on and on and on about your own righteousness. Half-baked knowledge is the worst.

    • jay smith says

      I so agree with you my fiancé was married his ex wife took all his money and sold his House and got married to some other rich guy and four years have passed by our wedding is to take place on nov 14th and now the church says we need annulment before he remarries

      • Mary Anickal says

        Er … how is the church supposed to know in all those 4 years that your fiance needed an annulment? Shouldn’t he have approached them earlier? It shows his lack of knowledge about his own church – not the church’s fault.

    • Mary Anickal says

      So wait – the ex misused the rules and bend the law for his own good and the Catholic Church is to be blamed? Looks like your main purpose is to demean the Catholic Church and not actually seek the truth.

  57. Gayle J. Davis says

    I am a Catholic. I was divorced in 1973 and I remarried to a non-Catholic. My former spouse died about 10 years ago. Am I still considered living in mortal sin and therefore cannot receive communion? Is it still necessary for me to apply for an annulment?

    • Joseph Sena says

      mortal sins don’t disappear without confession. No need for annulment for spouse that passed away, but talk to your priest.

      • Heather Rehtaeh says

        Mortal sin? WTH is mortal sin? Really? Classification of sin? Really? Where is that in the bible? Sorry Joseph, there is sin and there is sin. No classification. Oh, and a priest cannot absolve you of what G_d has already done. Or was what G_d did a mistake? Does what G_d did only apply to all others in the world, just not RC’s? Sad for all y’all now ain’t it! G_d sent his Son to redeem us all, all y’all RCer’s as well! Why do you beat yourselves up thinking you need a priest to forgive you? Really? It’s all about the money isn’t it. Sad.

        Johann Tetzel, (1465 –1519), Roman Catholic German Dominican friar and preacher said it best when he sold indulgences: “So soon as coin in coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs” was Johann’s “call to worship”. Uh huh.

        • Patty Alanis Fulghum says

          Why are you judging, are you free of sins? and YES, there are sins and MORTAL sins. Lies is a sin, but murder is a MORTAL sin. do you get it? And we Catholics go by tradition, we gave the world the bible after 4 centuries of tradition, and this is a fact, it’s HISTORY. Yes, there has been corruption in the Church, but this does not make the Church any less holy. We cannot judge the Church by the bad apples, when there is so much goodness in it. The church does not force you to give money. But, oh, don’t the Christian Churches require donations? The pastors remind you of it often. So don’t come here to complain.
          Here you can find confession in the bible:
          A. Confess your sins to men
          ~ Leviticus 5:5-6 (“All scripture
”: 2 Tim 3:16), Law is a shadow: Hebrews 10:1)
          ~ 1 John 1:9
          ~ James 5:16
          B. Can men forgive sins?
          ~ Only God has the power to forgive sins but He exercises this power through men.
          ~ Mark 2:7
          ~ Matthew 9:1-8
          C. Instituted by Christ
          ~ John 20:21-23

  58. Kelly says

    I submitted a post a few days ago and it appeared briefly here and then disappeared. I will re-post again, as I really am hoping for some informed opinions with regard to my question. Thanks! :-).

    I am a Catholic man, near the end of the annulment process. While the tribunal and it’s employees obviously can’t give me a definitive indication of the proceedings until those responsible render their decision, I have been told that I have a strong case for a decree of nullify to be issues in my favour.

    Having said that, I’ve met a gal (Catholic, but practices infrequently) and over time, we’ve developed a platonic, but potentially marriage-minded relationship. The problem I currently have, is that I just discovered that she has been married three times, but only civilly. I realize that the Church still recognizes those marriages as valid, and that an annulment would be required for each marriage (except for one, where a husband died). I thought I would only be having to deal with one annulment, and now it looks like I may have two to deal with, if I wish to stay with this woman and hope to marry her. I did bring up my staunch Catholicism and the requirement of each of us to have our marriages annulled. She understands my position, but it is somewhat exacerbated because she is Eastern European and traditionally many marriages there are only performed at the government offices and not at a church, after the actual legal marriage takes place. This complicates her understanding of my situation, because she has suggested that the Church has no way of knowing that she has been married at all, because no record has been kept in her passport (which is a convention of some Eastern European passports). I’m definitely not comfortable lying to the Catholic Church just for the sake of getting married, because, to me, it’s more about thinking that I could get away with lying to God, which is absurd, and beyond the definition of hubris. However, is my lady friend correct? Is there any way for the Church to establish that she has been married civilly, if it is not contained in her passport? Could she effectively lie (not that I would allow or want her to) if it came time for us to ask a priest to marry us, and I present my decree of nullity for my marriage and she state that she has never been married? I find this all troubling and can’t believe that it is this easy to “fool” the Church.

    Can anyone help with a response, please? Thanks!

    • Vitor says

      Dear Kelly,

      You have stated that she is Catholic. A Catholic cannot validly get married without observing canonical form, unless the person gets a dispensation from the bishop not to follow canonical form. I doubt she has ever received any dispensation. Most probably, all her three “marriages” were invalid, due to lack of canonical form. Being a Catholic, she should have get married in the presence of a qualified witness of the Church (usually a cleric). So, if she did not get a Church wedding, the odds are that she never, never got really married. So she would be free to marry you. But these previous “civil marriages” should not be concealed from the parish priest who is to interview you. In fact, in these cases, there is no need for an annulment – what the Church needs to do is to make sure that all her previous marriages were indeed invalid, but this is done through an easier ans faster procedure conducted by Church tribunals. If you have any doubts, drop me a line.

      • Denise says

        I am catholic. First marriage was a civil ceremony and the 2nd time, i was married by a minister. Not a Roman Catholic priest.
        I am getting married again to a roman catholic and we would like to be married by the priest. My fiance is a widower. Can i marry in Church? what are the restrictions?
        Thanks for your help.

        • Joseph Sena says

          A marriage outside the Church had what is called a “lack of form,” in that it wasn’t a Catholic marriage. However, because it was an attempted marriage, you would still need to file paperwork to get an official Church decree stating that this previous union had a “lack of form” and thus was not a marriage.
          The Church has this requirement because of her duty to make sure that the couple is free to marry in the Church. This generally could be handled by one’s pastor. It’s a relatively simple procedure that sometimes is taken care of during a couple’s engagement period, because the party who was previously married outside the Church assumed that he or she was free to marry.
          Even though this sort of nullity procedure should be a granted it does add stress during the engagement process as one has no way of knowing exactly how long it’s going to take to get the decree.
          One really should not seriously consider marriage until they have gone through this process and has officially established his or her freedom to marry. I would encourage to go to your pastor or another priest as soon as possible

          • melissa says

            Holy cow!..you have got to be kidding me!!. Have you ever read the Bible?.. No where in it does it mention annulment, not even hinted at. No where is the word “pope” mentioned..there are no levels of order except God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit..no earthly man can claim.otherwise…read what the scripture, which says it was given by GOD, not the Catholics ad they’ve just claimed, says about the son of perdition..there will come one who exhalts himself to be above God, forbidding to marry, requiring to abstain from meats, which have all been made clean by God, looking to change the law of God, wherein many will be led astray. I know of no other “religion” that makes such claims..shame on any of you who think some man on this earth was given any authority by God to change HIS laws…Christ is the Head of the Church..not some pope..the fact the catholic “bible” has to be approved by a group of men and the churches don’t require members to read them, speaks volumes..sad, my friends,,sad indeed that people will run to greet a man claiming to be a descendant of an apostle of Christ but will turn their backs and hearts on the real thing..people…get your KJV Bible out and start reading before its too late!!.. I beg you!.. No man, no church has any authority to change the written Word of God..please!!.. I beg you sincerely, read for yourself the actual Bible..leave creeds, books, tradition out of it…Mark even tells us that it is wrong to follow tradition over the Holy Scripture…Matthew yells us we are to call no man father upon this earth, as there is only one Father, he which is in Heaven

          • Squirrelyone says

            Are you aware that many dioceses – all of those around me, in fact, and I can’t believe my half of Ohio is unique in this – don’t charge anything for the tribunal process? I mean, it’s probably a lot of fun to scream that it’s all about money, but maybe you should find a subject where money is actually involved.

          • Patty Alanis Fulghum says

            Please Heather, go somewhere else with those nasty comment.
            Your poison is not needed here.

    • Cindy says

      I have a question: When I was 17 I married in the Church. It only lasted less than 2 years, he was abusive and he divorced me. Can I get married again in the Catholic Church?

  59. Kelly says


    I am a Catholic man, near the end of the annulment process. While the tribunal and it’s employees obviously can’t give me a definitive indication of the proceedings until those responsible render their decision, I have been told that I have a strong case for a decree of nullify to be issues in my favour.

    Having said that, I’ve met a gal (Catholic, but practices infrequently) and over time, we’ve developed a platonic, but potentially marriage-minded relationship. The problem I currently have, is that I just discovered that she has been married three times, but only civilly. I realize that the Church still recognizes those marriages as valid, and that an annulment would be required for each marriage (except for one, where a husband died). I thought I would only be having to deal with one annulment, and now it looks like I may have two to deal with, if I wish to stay with this woman and hope to marry her. I did bring up my staunch Catholicism and the requirement of each of us to have our marriages annulled. She understands my position, but it is somewhat exacerbated because she is Eastern European and traditionally many marriages there are only performed at the government offices and not at a church, after the actual legal marriage takes place. This complicates her understanding of my situation, because she has suggested that the Church has no way of knowing that she has been married at all, because no record has been kept in her passport (which is a convention of some Eastern European passports). I’m definitely not comfortable lying to the Catholic Church just for the sake of getting married, because, to me, it’s more about thinking that I could get away with lying to God, which is absurd, and beyond the definition of hubris. However, is my lady friend correct? Is there any way for the Church to establish that she has been married civilly, if it is not contained in her passport? Could she effectively lie (not that I would allow or want her to) if it came time for us to ask a priest to marry us, and I present my decree of nullity for my marriage and she state that she has never been married? I find this all troubling and can’t believe that it is this easy to “fool” the Church.

    Can anyone help with a response, please? Thanks!

    • Josephine says

      I am from East Central-Europe. – If she had only civil marriages, the Church does not have to give her an annulment. Of course you have to be truthful about this info before any authorities. – My maternal advice or concern is rather this: is she an American citizen? Some women and men are looking for an easy way to immigrate and use marriage as a means to achieve it. Also, she has been married three times, will she stick it out with you? She was ready to lie in an important matter; do you feel you can you trust her? Love frequently blinds us to facts. Please forgive me for saying these things, I want you to be happy.

  60. Jane says

    I am a Filipina and was married 9 yrs ago, but my husband abandoned me and my child before she turned 1. Now me and our daughter were living here in Saudi. I met a guy, single, and we’re together for 2 years now. It was hard to live here in Saudi if we don’t have legal documents (marriage contract), the culture here is totally different from Philippines. I filed an annulment for over a year now but it was still on process. Me and my boyfriend were planning to have a secret marriage for our safeness because our situation here is getting risky everyday, I don’t know what’s the next step to do. I was really worried that one day policemen will just knock on our door and bring us together with my daughter because we don’t have marriage certificate to show. I need an advice. Thank you.

  61. Kelsey says

    When my husband and I got married over 6 years ago he was baptized Catholic but I was never baptized. We did NOT get married in a church and did NOT have a member of the church marry us. However, after being married I went through RCIA and was baptized Catholic in 2011. We did NOT get married again in the Church. So my question is…is my marriage considered sacramental or non-sacramental? And if we decided to divorce would it be permitted?

    • mark says


      I’m currently separated (1 year) from my ex wife, under Irish Law I need to be separated for 4 years Plus in order to be considered for divorce.
      I cant wait that long.
      I met a lady from Islam faith.
      I changed religion to Islam faith last week, so I’m now Islamic religion.
      I did this in order to marry the lady, and we will marry ion 2 months time.
      In Islamic religion I’m able to do this.
      BUT, as I’m officially married (separated) under Irish Catholic Religion, Am I committing any offence?
      In Islam religion I know that I’m not committing any offence.
      In reality I have abandoned my Catholic religion.

      What are the consequences if any? especially towards my ex wife, who I shall try divorce in 4 years time?

      • Luz says

        Hi Mark,

        I am a Catholic married to a Muslim and from this angle I thought I relate to your situation. I know in Islam a man is permitted to married a non Muslim lady but not otherwise which is your case. When I got married I was very clear though to my husband I would not leave my religion even thought it wasn’t mandatory and even when he was not asking me but I made it just to make point clear to him for the future and to let him know that if it was a requirement I wouldn’t then prefer not to get married… It’s not that I am not converting out of selfishness but out of believe because God Almighty should come first, second, third and occupy all and the most important places of your life… If we convert to please a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife …we are not putting Jesus first but our loved ones in this world first…

        Leaving your faith behind is respectable because faith is a free choice but for that precise reason you should be free to continue believing in your own faith and not change it because you need to be tied to somebody outside your faith and be accepted… Your conversion should come freely because you really believe Jesus is not God but a prophet as Muslims believe, but then you should not do it to have your way to obtain a divorce because you are not making there a free choice.. Only a choice that allows you to do your will.. And is this will aligned with God’s will…?

        I myself have thought of many commitments I had to make in order to be happily married to a Muslim but I can’t commit beyond my faith because I would be serving man and myself first before God and that simply is not the way to salvation.

        You may have the answer in your heart, search for it deeply, human love is not eternal but God’s is… Don’t lose our Lord Jesus, remember he clearly said ..” I’m he way, the truth and the path” don’t lose His love.

        I wish you all the best anyway may you be enlightened and that you find the peace and the truth in this decision process you are going through.

    • Vitor says

      Dear Kelsey,

      Since you were not baptized by the time you got married, you were not a Christian yet. Your husband, a Catholic, cannot validly marry someone who is not baptized without a previous dispensation from the bishop. Since you did not marry in the Church, I’m assuming that you did not get a dispensation from the bishop. Most probably, your marriage is invalid (unless you got a dispensation from the bishop), due to the impediment present in canon 1.086 of the Code of Canon Law:
      Can. 1086 §1. A marriage between two persons, one of whom has been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and the other of whom is not baptized, is invalid.

      For sure, your marriage is not a sacrament, because you were not a Christian back then. And it is not valid as well (unless you got the dispensation from the bishop). Now that you are a Catholic, you would have to marry him again (or apply for a canonical convalidation of the civil ceremony, but it is easier to just get married in Church). If you are getting a civil divorce, both of you are going to be able to marry in the Church to other people, since there was no marriage in the first place.

      I hope these brief explanations were able to help you.

      • Robin H says

        I’m confused. When you state never baptized, you aren’t saying that the Catholic church doesn’t recognize a baptism in another denomination, right?
        I’m Catholic, I Got an annulment from my first husband who we did not consulate our marriage, his addiction to porn and 1-900#s. His insistence to wanting to be a part of a swingers group. A total nightmare. I married my 2nd husband in the Catholic church and he was baptized southern Baptist as a teen.
        Nothing was ever said that the church didn’t recognize our marriage. I have the certificate to prove that.

  62. Naddie says

    I am new to the catholic faith. Just began RCIA. I grew up Protestant and was baptized so it is the accelerated version.. Anyway, I ended up divorced after my then husband would not stop drinking alcohol (he became very violent and abusive when he drank) and refused medications for his mental illnesses (he was diagnosed shortly after we were married.) the tribunal will not give me an annulment without speaking directly to him, however we have a 4 year old daughter together. He lives with his parents so he has overnight visitation, and I’m afraid to go through with an annulment if he must be contacted and “admit” to everything he has done. I fear he may become violent. At the very least he will be very manipulative to her.
    I am dating a catholic. We have spoken about marriage. It seems the door is being slammed shut. Is there anything else I can do or that has worked for anyone else ?

  63. Paul says

    I am Catholic. I was married to another Catholic in a civil ceremony ( justice of the peace) 27 years ago. I never remarried. Would I have to have an annulment and obviously confession before I can receive the sacrament of Holy Communion

    • Vitor says

      First of all, if you are both Catholics, you could not get married in a civil ceremony without getting a dispensation from canonical form (“Church wedding”) from the bishop. If you did not get this dispensation, you were never validly married. You are single. Period.

      Second: even if you were validly married, you said that you never remarried. I’m assuming that you are not leaving with anyone else right now. Divorced Catholics are not forbidden to receive Communion. Just divorced remarried Catholics are. If a divorced Catholic lives his life as a single person, he can receive communion just as everyone else.

      • says

        How ridiculous is that. Jesus said even if you look lustfully at a woman you have committed adultery. Even if you think it you have done it. So how is it that if they actually married in a civil ceremony, they actually thought the thoughts and actually physically lived the life of a married couple then it is not real? Impossible. They thought it, they wanted it, they did it. It is real. Neither of them are single anymore. You cannot be single and also be in a committed relationship living together as a married couple. God knows what is in their hearts and what their intentions were. Was it a Catholic Church Sacramental Marriage? no. But it is still a marriage. Two people coming together and making vows.

  64. Jack says

    Good article, I also need some help please.
    I know this is long, so I am very thankful for any response.

    I met my wife when I was 19, She was catholic and I was not. I was raised in a non-denominational family (very faithful Father). Within 8 months of meeting eachother she got pregnant and we got married in the court. Shortly after that, I became catholic and we got married in the church. now we are 21, we have been married for just under 2 years. I am in the Military, about a year ago she was unfaithful while I was deployed, we moved past it and stayed married.
    Since we got married, i have been very angry and short-tempored. I am frustrated that I got married so young, and quite honestly I regret it, but I love my wife and I love my son. The Bible says not to divorce, so we haven’t.
    Now, I am deployed again. She recently told me she is fed up with all of my anger and if i dont learn to reconcile my anger she is going to divorce me. She says if She is the reason I am unhappy then she will leave me to make me happy, but if she is not the reason, I need to find the reason and fix it because she’s done putting up with it.
    This is where it gets tough for me.
    I am angry and snappy because I am frustrated about being married. A Divorce would make me happy, and it kills me to say that.
    She is the reason I am unhappy.
    HOWEVER, we do not have grounds for divorce according to the bible!
    The bible says an “unlawful” Marriage. suggesting that if our marriage is “lawful” (Which it is in the eyes of the Church) we should stick it out.
    I’m at such a loss. I can’t reconcile my anger in my marriage because I’m angry about being married, but she deserves someone who is NOT angry all the time. But we CAN’T divorce because neither one of us have the self control required to stay single and not re-marry (and the bible says…).
    So what’s the answer?
    If we divorce, will it be justified? will we be able to re-marry? or do we stick it out and I just suck it up? I wont be as happy as I could be, neither will she, but if thats what it takes to be with God in Heaven then thats what I’ll do and I’ll work hard at it. as will she.
    I have thought long and prayed alot about this. I dont know what else to do except talk to strangers online for help.
    I am deployed and there are no priests or councelors available for me to talk to.

    Again, I know this is alot, so I am very thankful for any responses.
    God Bless

    • Eva says

      I think the article above gives you one answer. If you sincerely can’t make it work and the marriage is hurting everyone in your family, you and your wife could go your separate ways (as much as you can while still taking care of a child that you share, anyway). You could have a civil divorce but the church is not going to give you an annulment, so you couldn’t remarry in the Catholic faith.

      The only piece of advice I would give you is, don’t ignore how miserable this is making you. Your wife and child are not going to have a better life because you “stick it out” when it brings you anger instead of joy. You’ve clearly tried to make that work, and you aren’t obliged to make everyone miserable because you entered a marriage that isn’t working for anyone involved.

    • Grace says

      Check out this website and watch the God never said that series. There is something there about married which might be helpful. Start with the first one.

    • Sandra says

      The Bible says there are two reasons that free you from a marriage. One in Mathew 19:9 if your mate commits adultery. The other is if you loose your mate in death.

    • C says

      Really, the best thing to do is to talk with a priest and start the process to see if you might be able to get an annulment at some point. You were very young and a child was already involved. Those may have been impediments to your (or your wife’s) ability to make a free decision to marry, which is one of the things required for a valid marriage.

      However, may I suggest that you explore more deeply your feelings about your situation? You mentioned that you didn’t think either of you would have the self control to remain single if you separate. Is that true for yourself? Could your frustration with your current situation be at all because you are struggling with self control already? As someone who as anger issues myself, I have learned to really dig deep and be honest with myself. Usually the real causes for my anger are my own faults, not the particular things that trigger the angry outburst.

      Even if the true cause is deep hurt and pain due to her infidelity, it’s worth it to make sure you understand. I find my anger is easier to control when I understand where it’s coming from and articulate it honestly. And if it is this pain, get counseling from a good priest or Catholic counselor/therapist. Even if you divorce and seek an annulment.

  65. Zenaida says

    My ex-husband and I were married in a Catholic Church. We got divorced and got back together after 17 years. Neither of us re-married. We have two children together. He has 2 children outside of our marriage after we got divorced. I know that our civil divorced is not recognized by the Catholic Church. Do we need to get a civil marriage again? Are we committing a sin of being together again? I would prefer not to have a civil marriage again to protect my children’s inheritance.

    • Vitor says

      Zenaida, if you got validly married in the Catholic Church, the civil divorce was not able to dissolve the marriage bond between you two. The only thing the divorce really did was settling civil effects (property, assets etc) and also establishing a moment in which you started living apart from each other. But the marriage bond remained (because of that, your husband should not have had other partners). So, if you got back together, in the eyes of the Church, there is no need for you to get a new “civil marriage”, since a civil marriage, for Catholics, is usually no marriage at all (unless you get a dispensation from canonical form, but it is not your case). You are already married. A civil divorce was not able to change that. Period.

      Since you are already validly married to your husband, you don’t need to do anything else. And no, you are not committing a sin being together again. Quite on the contrary. Rather, you would commit a sin if you, living together again with your husband, stopped having conjugal relations with him. Married people, without a just cause (e.g., the husband has a serious venereal disease), cannot deny, on a constant basis, sexual relations to each other. This would expose the one who was denied sex (on a constant basis, I’m not talking here about days in which the person is not feeling well) to danger of sins such as adultery or other forms of sinful use of sex.

      I hope these clarifications were helpful for you to understand that you are doing nothing wrong.

  66. Khaye says

    Me and my husband are catholic but we got married by a pastor and outside of church for some unavoidable reasons. After 2yrs we got separated bcoz of physical and verbal abuse, psychological problem and personality difference. We didnt had a child. My partner now is also married but only in civil wedding. They have a eight year old daughter and also got separated because of personality difference. After almost 2yrs of being separated (both me and him) we met each other and fell inlove. Now we are planning to annul both of our marriages and someday we would like to get married in church. Will the catholic church approve of our marriage?

  67. Kimberley says

    I am a baptized Catholic. I am going to marry a man who has not been baptized in any faith. He desires to go through RCIA and join the church (which he has been attending for three years now.) Today after mass, when he told our Pastor his wishes, he said “You can go through RCIA, but cannot be a member of the church until you have your first marriage annulled.” That is just crazy… I am already upset because he said he can’t marry us, now this. He was in a bad marriage… his ex-wife is in no way going to sign annulment papers. Has anyone ever heard of this rule?

    • Cindy says

      Kimberly, she does not have to sign off on or even acknowledge the annulment. Mine is being processed right now (please pray that the Holy Spirit guides the tribunal in truth) and my ex didn’t acknowledge it. They like to have input from both of you because it helps them get a clearer picture of the marriage. I wish you both the best!

  68. Murphy says

    Can anyone tell me if I filed for divorce from my husband does that look worse then him filing from me? We both are catholic. He wants out of the marriage after 35 years with no reason. This has been going on for a few years and we are both near retirement and it is time for him to say something or I have to leave. I cannot live in a marriage where he won’t talk about what is bothering him. Should I file first would I have a hard time getting an annulment later? I keep thinking if I do the filing, I will look like the bad one while he will look like the innocent one. Please help.

  69. Maria Alba says

    My 3 children, my husband and I are all practicing Catholics. My husband of 15 years told me a month ago that he no longer loved me and had to get away. He says he loves our children, but can’t be with someone he doesn’t love. I’ve begged him to go to our Priest but he won’t because he’s in the men’s group at church and doesn’t want to be embarrassed. He’s moving out this weekend. What is my role as a Catholic wife? I pray for him to realize what he’s doing to our beautiful family. I am trying to be patient with him and focus on the children and be a good mother. Any direction anyone could offer would be extremely welcome.

    • Christine says

      Hi Maria Alba,
      I am by no means a consultant or adviser, but I am a Catholic woman who recently went through a divorce. My situation is different than yours, but the advice I have is that you should look at this, not only as a Catholic wife, but also as a Catholic woman.
      It is good that you are being patient with your husband and are focusing on your children. My direction to you is pray to understand God’s plan for you. You begged your husband to go to your Priest; I urge you to do the same. This is life-altering, emotional news. It is important for you, and for your children, that you acknowledge and process your emotions and begin to heal from this, regardless of the outcome. Only God knows what will happen and that can be very difficult to accept. Find and strengthen your faith in the Lord; release any negative thoughts and emotions, and lead your children and husband by example. You can be there for him and encourage open communication and perhaps therapy, but you cannot force him to do any of this. He too is on his own journey. This may not be what you want to hear, but there is no easy fix. Remember, the Lord will always take care of you. Go to Him.

      • Maria says

        Thank you for your suggestions. This has all been quite an experience. We will do our best for our children and I am praying everyday for God to give me strength for what he has in store for us- good or bad.

  70. danni says

    Please can someone help me? I am a practicing catholic, I went to convent schools and grew up in the church. I have met my fiance and he is older than me by some years. he is not a catholic but he is divorced. He and his ex wife were married in a CofE church but neither of them nor their children are practicing any faith. We wish to get married in a catholic church but they have told me that because he has been divorced ( which is accepted by the CofE) we can not marry in a catholic church. Is this true and is there any way around it? I am distraught. I have never been married.

  71. purple says

    I hope someone can help me please…

    My fiancĂ© and I are both Catholic. We were born and raised Catholic and are practicing Catholics. About 10 years ago he fell in love with a non-Christian woman and had a civil marriage in court. The marriage lasted 5 years. They obtained a civil divorce in court about 5 years ago. He and I would like to marry in a Catholic church. But he is being asked to obtain a freedom letter from his parish where they are requesting signatures from the witnesses to his previous court marriage and also signatures of his ex-wife to prove that the marriage was not in church. He has all the original documentation as to the court marriage and the court divorce, but he cannot get signatures of the witnesses because he was married in a court in Turkey and the witnesses were random people in court. Also, he is not in touch with his ex-wife and does not even know where she is following the divorce. We have tried to explain this to the parish priest but he said his hands were tied and we’d have to take it up with the Archdiocese, which we plan to. But if we get the same response does it mean we can never be married in a Catholic church? Someone please help me understand why the church would refuse or make it so difficult for two Catholics who want to be married in the faith….

    • Deacon jum says

      Contact your Diocese Chancery Office
      You are in a very unusual situation with civil marriage in a different country

      • Vitor says

        Deacon jum is right. Contact the Diocese Chancery Office. They will find a way. In cases like that, in which is impossible to contact witnesses or the ex-wife, the bishop’s office might accept the documents you have, along with a sworn statement by him saying that he has never been married in the Church. The Bishop’s Office could also send a letter to the Latin rite Roman Catholic Church in Turkey in order to check the information. It will be easy, since there are not a lot of Catholic parishes in Turkey. In Istanbul, for instance, there are only 12 parishes. Catholics are a tiny minority group over there.

      • Purple says

        Thank you for your replies. Just wanted to provide an update. My fiancĂ© contacted his parish and the Tribunal in Philadelphia and he received an annulment to his civil marriage within a couple of months. We are so grateful that this nightmare is over as we weren’t even sure we could get married in church before. Just want to give hope to all out there who may be in a similar situation. Don’t lose hope. Pope Francis has made the process easier so if you are getting push back from your local parish please escalate. If God has meant for it to be, it will be.

  72. Catherine says


    My question is, I am a Catholic, married a Catholic was married for 46 years, now a widow. I recently met a non Catholic man who has been divorced for many years. His wife remarried. He was married in a Catholic church to a Catholic lady. He asked if I would ever consider marrying again, I told him I do not think it is possible because he is divorced, and he said why his wife remarried. Would you be able to answer this question for me. Thank you

    • Carolyn says

      You need more information.
      Was his wife remarried in the Catholic church? She could have legally remarried, but not remarried in the Catholic church.
      In order for her current marriage (her “second marriage”) to be valid in the Catholic church, she would have had to obtained an annulment, meaning the first marriage was declared invalid, essentially saying they weren’t really married in the first place. This would of course apply to both parties, meaning he is free to marry you. However, if their marriage was not annulled, then he is not free to remarry. He is still bound to her by the vows he made back then.

    • Lisa Barnard says

      I am a deaf and lip-reading. I married to my ex-husband for 21 years. I am now divorcing because he was domestic abuse to me. He was trying to kill me (tight around my neck). I meet a lovely, caring person who is a catholic person. He has no kids and never marry. Can I marry to him in registered book such as solicitor or hotel? I know that I can not marry him in catholic church because he is a catholic. Please help me what should I do? Maybe engagement only, not marry. Is it difficult at the moment? I felt that he doesn’t love me any more because |am not a catholic and divorced. I am terrible emotional and upset sometimes. I am worrying about him that he might leave me and finish with me. Then I am alone again. I think he wants to marry a catholic lady. It was very sad for him and me.

      • Lisa says

        I know that I cannot marry him in catholic church because I am not a catholic and divorced. I typed the words for grammar by mistake. I hope you are understanding my comment. Many thanks.

  73. Patricia says

    I have been divorced for 9 years and engaged for two years. My fiancĂ© is catholic and I’ve been practicing catholic beliefs with him for 4 years. He got a divorce and granted his annulment. I was not granted my annulment because I didn’t have witnesses that wanted to be involved in a past marriage that was so long ago. How can my fiancĂ© and I get married in the eyes of the catholic belief?

  74. FRANCIS says

    i am married for 24 yrs but i am in relation with a widow and we want to get married but my wife is not ready to release or give divorce
    we thought we will get married in court is it possible. what is the church role

  75. rich says

    My wife and I had a civil marriage. She had a previous civil marriage from which she is divorced. Neither of them, at the time of marriage, had been baptized.

    I’m guessing this qualifies her to get the annulment right?

  76. says

    was married 16 years to abusive husband (both of us catholic) I tried everything God lead me to in order to save the marriage and spare our 2 sons the anguish of divorce. Finally I filed for divorce when I was becoming emotionally destroyed. That was 7 yrs ago yet the verbal & emotional continued. I’ve even had several orders of protection against him. Now his request 4 annulment in final process. I feel he robbed me the best years of my life (age-wise) I’ve been in counseling for years and 1 son is in treatment 4 depression and suicide, which I’m sure stems from the bad marriage. Since I’m able to give final statement. I’m considering restitution for all the pain and suffering. Although he told tribunal he was abusive husband, he has never admitted that to me, in fact, our problems were ALWAYS my fault. Any suggestions on what to request from judge n start the healing process? Thanks!

  77. DOR says

    Myself and my fiancĂ© want to have a Catholic wedding. I am a Catholic and she is not. She is also divorced. i understand we can get a dispensation from form to allow a Catholic Wedding. My question is as she is not a Catholic does that mean her divorce doesn’t matter and we can have a Catholic ceremony?

    • PROLOG says

      The dispensation will be possible if an annulment for the previous marriage is granted. For non-Catholics its actually fairly easy to grant an annulment, though it can still take some time. It also depends on what religious background she comes from. I would suggest beginning the process soon. The Idea behind an annulment is that through the the examination by the Church, the previous marriage is determined to be invalid. In other words no marriage ever actually occurred. this is why anyone who has had a previous marriage and wishes to be married in the Catholic Church, whether or not they are Catholic, must have an annulment. But like I said before, annulments for people who were married outside of the Church previously are usually easier to obtain. Especially if they are non-Christian.

  78. Questions abound says

    I am a Christian but not of Catholic faith. My question relates to Catholic annulment. Many years ago my husband divorced me after 15 years of marriage to marry a woman who was raised in the Catholic church. She was also married at that time, had been married for several years, had two small children with her first husband. So they essentially divorced spouses to marry each other. She recently called and told me she is trying to get her first marriage annulled because of her faith and wanted to know if I had been baptized and if so did I remember when and where. Well of course I remember so I readily shared this information. She also told me the Father in her Catholic Church might be calling me. In hindsight I began to wonder why would she need this information about me? I was a Christian before I married if that’s a need to know item. If you have any insight please help me understand.

    • Italian Girl says

      @Questions abound, your first husband’s current wife needs to know this information because the Catholic Church considers your marriage to him to be a sacramental marriage and they will require that he also receive an annulment before giving her an annulment. Giving just her an annulment would not lead to her being in full communion because she would still be living with a man who is considered to be married to someone else (you). I hope she and your first husband realize that as soon as they start this annulment route, they will be required to live as brother and sister so as not to be “living in sin” during the annulment process, which could take months, if not years.

  79. purple says

    Thank you for your insights. I am in a dilemma and I hope you can help.

    I am Catholic and have never been married. I am currently seeing a Catholic man who had a civil marriage and then a civil divorce. He is a good man and I really see us having a future together in accordance with the ways of the Church. Since his earlier civil marriage was not recognized by the Church am I correct in understanding that he does not need an annulment before we consider the sacrament of matrimony? If I am wrong and he does need an annulment, are we sinning through our dating now? Does he need an annulment before he even considers going out with me. I am involved in ministries including the Lectors and teaching Catechism to children at my church, and he is strong in faith. I believe God led me to him and the other way around so I find it hard to believe we’re sinning if we want to be together the way God intended.
    I’d still like to know what the Church teaching is on this…thank you.

  80. roni says

    I have a question about a man and woman in their late 60’s, early 70’s both of their spouses are deceased. (Both marriages in the church). I know they are free to marry, but what if these two were in-laws. Example: a brother dating his deceased brothers wife. Being mindful that both had long wonderful marriage with their spouses and their only marriage, until one was deceased. Would this be a sin? Would marriage between them be a sin? Hope i explained the situation clearly.

    Roni (the daughter/niece)

  81. cheryl says

    Here in canada, me and fiancĂ© planning to get married and wishing to get married in catholic church where our baby got baptized, but i was once married in non-catholic church and got divorce. ..but catholic wont marry us if my past marriage not annulled..we really love to get married in catholic church so we can go to church every sunday and guide our baby as she grow up and teach her spiritually…question : if they wont allow us to get married in catholic church, and get married in civil instead, would they still allow us to go church? Could we still participate in church activities especially for our daughter? is God happier to see us not going to church anymore because they see us a sinner couple? I dont think so…if we wanna be closer to God, inspite of my past mistake in life, Im sure God will not gonna judge me or desert me..He will be happier to see us we are hungry of His love, acceptance and forgiveness. ..this is the God i know…if God is not judgmental then why catholic church be? I dont understand all these rules…these are just manmade rules, not God..

    • James says

      There is no reason you cannot attend mass every Sunday or participate in church activities. Anybody that tells you different is wrong. All are welcome to attend mass and participate in parish activities. Now, technically you should not receive the Eucharist if you are living a married life, but your relationship is not yet blessed/con-validated by the Catholic Church. This doesn’t mean you can’t attend mass though.

      To be a Catholic of good standing, yes you must have your previous marriage annulled. This is not impossible though, I would ask family ministries, a priest, or someone else that knows in your parish. Assuming you are baptized and a confirmed Catholic, after your marriage is con-validated and you have gone to confession, you can then happily participate fully in the Eucharist.

      Hope this helps, I encourage you to keep attending mass and to try to start the process of annulment!

      • Heidi says

        All it takes is MONEY 🙁 Sadly after 20 years of marriage and 4 children my husband cheated on me. The Catholic Church annulled our marriage due to incompatibility ! What a joke -:(

        • Sara says

          I believe that. Complete joke that you can annul a marriage that lasts that long and produces children. What my marriage was lacking was the ability to be faithful. Going to fail his next marriage for the exact same reason…

          My ex did the same thing (I’m not catholic and were married in a civil union but he was married before me in the church). Married 15 years and 2 kids. He finally got his first marriage annulled-within the past year-cheated on his first wife too. We divorced in April after a very long drawn out process. He announced his engagement to the mistress (he knocked her up which is why I left him-he still wanted to work it out) weeks after the divorce was final and they are planning to marry in the church in a month. As I understand it there is no way to get the annulment done so quickly. And were they doing the counseling while we were still technically married? Here’s the kicker. Her brother is the priest who is going to marry them. I am 100% certain he is allowing them to bypass a lot of the red tape or they were not truthful with him about a lot of the details.

    • liam says

      Hi, I am divorced and was baptized orthodox to get married in a orthodox church however the ceremony was in greek and didn’t understand it and since we are divorced and want to remarry a new partner in a catholic church. Do I need an annulment or because im not reconized by the Roman catholic Church because I was married in an orthodox church can I remarry in a catholic church without an annulment? All help and guidence would be much appricated as myself and fiancĂ© are stressed that we cannot marry in a catholic church. Thank you

  82. alicia orda says

    Were both married to catholic churc before his wife die n my husband died too we want to remarry but he lost his baptismal and we are civil married alreay do you think priest marry just because he has lost his baptismal

    • Debi says

      Why can’t you obtain a copy of his baptismal certificate. The church he was baptized in should have it recorded.

  83. Antonia says

    A girl who I am dating at the moment has been divorced more than 7 years ago and is now planning to get married and settle down. She would like to go for an anulment from the Catholic Church. Her husband was abusive and they both have not had kids. He used to harass her and used force against her. She has heard that he has already got married but there is no trace of him. What are the chances of getting an anulment if he is not traceable? However the divorce papers are available as proof. What is the process in this situation. Request your suggestion. She is from Hyderabad. Thanks

    • helper says

      She may still get annulment even though it is not possible to trace her ex. She needs to contact her local priest from her parishe who will start the process.

      • Debi says

        Also, the Tribunal will answer all your questions and if they try several times to locate your ex without success, you should still be able to get the annulment.

  84. KAS says

    My fiancee was married at Town Hall, and then divorced. I am Catholic and we would like to get married i the Catholic church. Does my fiancee have to get an annulment? Does he have to convert to Catholicism? From my research I do not think he needs to get one… ? Thanks! (I’ve never been married)

    • Michael says

      If he was a baptized Christian and married a baptized Christian he will have to have it annulled. When two baptized people marry, it is a sacramental marriage. So, before you do get married, so that it is not adultery, he ought to see about getting it annulled.

  85. vivianne says

    I was married and divorced after 10 years of marriage. Thereafter I converted to a Roman Catholic from CofE. a few years later I annulled my first marriage. 12 years later I remarried to a CofE for 6 years and has since died. As a widow can I remarry?

  86. Denise says

    I am catholic and have ben married 15 years to a non catholic. He had his first marriage annulled inorder to marry me in the catholic church. I am a practicing catholic. he is not. We have 2 children who have ben baptized catholic and mad their first communion and attend ccd along with myself. My husband is seeing someone else and wants a divorce. If I do give him a divorce can I still receive communion along with my 2 children? Can he force me to sign the divorce papers if I do not want to?

    • L Marie says

      You may receive Communion but only if you remain alone and not get involved with another man. Speak to your priest about it and maybe he can help you. I don’t understand why the Church would have married you to a non-Catholic to begin with? Maybe try a Traditional Catholic Church and they could get you back on the right track.

  87. separated Catholic says

    About ten years ago, I began to have an affair with a married man. To date, I have not had intimate, physical relations with him for almost a year. I fell in love with him. He notsomuch. My husband, who is Lutheran by baptism, found out (early on in my affair). Initially, my “desire” was mostly emotional but not exclusively. My husband, naturally, responded adversely. He forced sexual relations (oral sex too) on me while I was still pregnant with our youngest child (yes his child). I did become fearful. Enough to move out.
    Over the course of these ten years, my husband and I have tried to forge a friendship because we do love our sons. Since the physical intimacy has ended between me and the other married man, I have tried, blindly, to find my way back to God. Yes, I’ve gone to confession. I don’t think my husband would ever want to take me back because he has a new love. I honest!y believe that one day, he will divorce me to marry her. We were married in a Catholic ceremony. I have, lived alone since then. I think it only right because I have failed miserably in the Eye’s of God.
    The married man has and now only wishes friendship with me. My husband and I have a better relationship since parting. I realize that I will spend the rest of my days in this state of solitude. It is a regret that I now realize how misled I was in the first place. For such a transgression, I do offer my cloistered life to God. Truly. It has taken me years to sum up the courage to put this into words. If being alone and secluded will help me find my way back into God’s favour, then I will accept whatever He wills for me. This life, I wish to make amends before I have to face His Just Judgement.

  88. hilda says

    Hi I was wondering I was baptized a in a Catholic church thirteen years my ex husband paid for a divorce he was not happy with me messing on the internet with other women he told me he didn’t love me anymore and wanted me leave I didn’t want to give up he paid for the divorce he got married seven years now and have kids he wants to bless his new marriage to be happy I got married again five years ago to but I just confuse why he wants me to send him a copy of my baptism certificate why could he get his marriage bless with out it please help

  89. Linda L says

    i was married to my sons’ father, a non-catholic , ended in divorce and our marriage was annulled by the church but not until after i had remarried and divorce a second time. i married a third time, still married on paper but have not lived/been together in over 6 years. i want to receive the sacrements of confession and communion. my first husband(father of all 5 sons my only children) passed away in 2013. don’t think this has any barring. what do i need to do?

    • Donna says

      I’m not sure I understand your situation…I assume marriage # 2 and #3 were not in the Church because you had not obtained an annulment from your first marriage. Neither of these marriages are recognized by the Church. Now that husband #2 has passed, you are free to marry whether you had that first marriage annulled or not.
      You do need to go make a general confession and get all this out as well as any other mortal sins you have committed over the years. You need to have your current marriage convalidated as well. Go set up an appointment with a priest and get things back in order! God Bless!

  90. Lucas says

    What about Matthew 19:9: “anyone who divorced, EXCEPT FOR SEXUAL IMMORALITY, and marries another, commits adultery”
    Why do Catholics ignore the fact that the Bible does spell out permissible grounds for divorce in some instances. Jesus allows for divorce in cases of sexual infidelity.
    And in 1st Corinthians 7:15 Paul says there are grounds for divorce if your spouse flat-out leaves the faith and you, deserts you.
    FACT: there are SOME grounds for divorce biblically

    • Lizzy says

      Lucas, this is the first time I have heard about this as grounds for divorce within the Catholic faith. My ex husband committed adultery for most of a 34 year marriage. His behaviour was beyond belief.

      Now I want to marry again, but I am forbidden to marry in a catholic church.

      Why does the church turns its back on divorced people.

      It has been the most excruciating journey. I felt abandoned by my church.

      Is there grounds for annulment when one partner was deceptive for most of a marriage?


    • cas says

      because in matthew the word fornication in greek is “porneia’, which technically means an incestuous union. the term for adultery in geek is “monicheia”. Pornei in fact renders a marriage nul. Also the other synoptic gospels do not mention this ‘excption’ Marc does not admit any exception and Luke mentions that even if a woman was sent away by the husband (i.e. left by him) and marries another one, she still commits adultery – even if he has left her.

      also, divorce can exist in the church, you just need to leave alone afterwards. Paul has stated that it is better to live alone and celibate, and if you really want you can take ONE spouse, not 2, 3 or 4.

  91. Lindsay says

    Hello! I have a question.

    My boyfriend was married in the Catholic Church and is now divorced. I have never been married. Would me being with him/ marrying him be a sin? Would I still be able to receive communion?

    • says

      Hello Lindsay.

      If he hasn’t received annulment of his previous marriage then yes, you would be committing adultery and be in sin. Because of this you would not be able to receive communion.

      • Joan Dee says

        Hello…merry Christmas!
        Have something to clarify–how correct is it to say that it is okay for someone whose previous Catholic marriage has been declared null by the Tribunal but whose petition for civil union was denied, to marry secretly once again and have a sacramental marriage.

  92. MK says

    I’m personally very disappointed with the whole concept of annulment. Our Lord said that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. I believe He meant ALL marriages are for life, sacramental AND non-sacramental, and His rule applies to everyone and not just believers. He certainly didnt have a detailed list of requirements for what constitutes a “valid” and “sacramental” marriage. The bible says that God hates divorce and spurned the offerings of priests because they had abandoned the wives of their youth. The idea of annulment is ludicrous – basically anyone can say, I was young and stupid and wasn’t psychologically ready when I got married before … or tell some lies or whatever … And over 90% of applications eventually gets approved! Which can only mean that almost all marriages in existence can conveniently be found to be invalid by hook or by crook … which surely goes against the intent of what Jesus was trying to teach. It is a SCANDAL! How can the Church declare, for example, that a decades-long legal and Church-blessed marriage with children and grandchildren is invalid??? A civil court wouldnt even do that. In fact, marriages within the Church should never be annuled as all investigations and conditions should have been satisfed BEFORE the ceremony, through marriage prep or whatever, after which people cannot exploit loopholes to get out when things get rough! Never forget that popes and priests are not infallible, and many have done stupid things throughout history. I’m guessing that the concept of annulment came about to enable powerful figures in the past to ditch their spouses and remarry in Church, and they coerced the Church into cooperating. I personally think the tribunals are on very shaky spiritual ground by coming up all kinds of creative reasons to tear apart – annihilate?? – what God had put together, and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes on Judgment Day. I used to wonder how was it that Padre Pio saw many priests suffering in purgatory … a good number must be these “tribunal experts” who have bent Our Lord’s teaching all out of shape and given people the green light to do things they should not do. St Paul urges those who are divorced to remain single and serve the Lord, or else seek reconciliation with one’s original spouse – not seek annulment.

    • CidaliaMariaa says

      While I concede that the annulment process can be and is abused, there do exist situations where one of spouses was dishonest at the time of marriage, even in their vows. A marriage prep course will not help with that. I didn’t find out until after the marriage and my divorce (he went to jail for child molestation) that he never really wanted to get married, felt “pressured” (because I refused to live in sin with him), and never really wanted kids. Plus, he was “damaged” from sexual child abuse (he never told anyone about) to the point of becoming an abuser himself. This was not just things getting tough. There is no hope of reconciliation with a man who sexually molests children.

      • Betty Magee says

        I completely agree. I do not believe a loving and merciful and loving God would want you to stay with some one you abuses youand your children children

      • askmo says

        @CidaliaMariaa & Betty Magee – both make excellent points. My question is for both of you, is what part of a 2nd marriage is sacred enough to call a sacramental holy marriage if a woman abandons her 1st loving caring, respectable, and responsible husband for the riches of another man who has never been married before? Also, is it a sacramental marriage if the man is not baptized before he marries the woman who abandoned her husband, and eventually (now adult) children from 1st marriage.

    • james says

      You must be living in a strange world then because the fact remains that certain people are evil and not fit for marriage. Because we are mostly blind to this fact, we fall quickly in love. I believe the good Lord sees everything and if he does not accept the fact that abusive relationships have to end then we should seriously rethink being christians. Certain Christians themselves just take out a verse from the bible and quote it when it pleases them, forgetting that from Genesis the LORD laid out steps which if followed, would create in man the right level of maturity required for lifelong relationships. You cannot skip Genesis to Mathew and then quote Mark!

  93. Ron says

    OK, trying to filter out what I am reading. My present wife and I are both baptized catholics from childhood, married 5 years ago in a civil ceremony. We both are previously divorced … her from a civil marriage and me from a marriage by a Methodist minister. How do we go about returning to the Catholic church?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • MaBelle says

      Hello, and welcome home!
      I am no expert, but having just gone through an annulment and a late return to Catholicism myself, I’d like to encourage you on your journey. I would reccommend you contact your local parish for your diocese’s annullment forms. If neither one of you got married in the Catholic Church, I believe you both qualify for “invalidity of form” (not sure I got the legal lingo right, but you get the concept). Getting this processed is a pretty straightforward process, should take a few weeks or so, and then your current marriage can be celebrated in the Catholic Church.

      In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out ways to grow spiritually both as individuals and as a couple–I really enjoyed CHRP as my adult re-introduction to the Catholic faith about 10 yrs ago, and I’ve never be happier. My friend was raised Catholic and is returning after 30+ years, and she finds her RCIA program to be a total blast and more educational than she ever imagined, even though she already was confirmed. God bless! :))

    • Joan Dee says

      Dear Ron,

      It is best to present your case to the Catholic parish priest you wish to join and he will help you with the process of nullity…all the best…merry Christmas

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  95. NotACatholic says

    I am not Catholic. I cannot believe the things I am reading here. Why would any of you want to be Catholics when your religion is so harsh and unrelenting in matters of divorce?

    Sometimes divorce is necessary. Some of you or your spouses or ex-spouses have committed desperate actions due to not being able to get a divorce. Cheating on someone and even fathering a child with another woman to somehow get out of a marriage is worse than getting a divorce would be.

    Why do you let the Church dictate to you the interpretation of the Bible? There are many interpretations of the Bible but certainly it is NOT true that only Catholics are going to Heaven (or Lutherans or Baptists or any other religion; no one religion has a monopoly on Heaven). If I wanted a divorce and my religion was going to exclude me if I got one, it would be time to find a more tolerant religion.

    What matters is your relationship with God in your heart.

    • Catholic Wife says

      Did you skip this part?
      In marriage, the two become one flesh in a union joined by God, (Mark 10:8). Jesus speaks about divorce: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate,” (Mark 10:9).
      I’m having a rough (very rough) time in my marriage, but God calls us to be faithful. Marriage is not meant to be taken lightly and is not only a sacrament, but also a covenant with God. It’s not a contract that can just be ripped apart and thrown away.
      Yes, God loves us even in divorce, but we become one when we marry our loved one. I’m not sure how many ways that can be intrepeted. If you don’t believe in the Catholic faith, that is your prerogative. Don’t be harsh to those who do and Love their faith.
      Furthermore, there are situations (also mentioned in the article) where an annullment can be made and the marriage be deemed “no longer valid”. Also, marriage prep is at least 6 months long, a retreat for engaged couples is encouraged, and many questions are asked by the pastor before the wedding ceremony even takes place.
      The main reason I’m responding is because so many people just get divorced for any reason now a days. We must work for our marriage and TRUST that God has a plan for us.

        • mahal says

          Roberta, you’re acceptance of a mistake would mean to me a repentance. This may or may not even be a sin anymore – it is forgotten by God after confession and repentance. Jesus’ unconditional love to her child / you, after repentance is beyond describable words of comfort – He has paid for all the perceived and justifiable punishments we all deserve. Rejoice in our God – He cries and carries the burden in your heart, and even died for you and me for our sins on the cross. Your ex-communication may only be your feelings but with full assurance Jesus – God loves you. Seek spiritual counsel again. You can receive Jesus! The Church is simply careful on these matters. The bottom line is your loving relationship and faith in /with Jesus, for you have repented and confessed what you believed your sins were. May the Almighty God – Jesus comfort, bless and forgive you/us always in your/our journey seeking His face! Smile, Jesus is looking at you with peace! Time for a journey back home. Your parish church/priest will understand.

    • says

      I made the mistake (big mistake) of getting married at 17 in the Church. Needless to say the marriage lasted two years. The best thing that came from the marriage were my two kids. I was a single mother for ten years and the I met my current husband. We have been married out of the Church for 37 years. We are not rich. Annulments are expensive. My husband was married twice before me out of the Church. His first wife is deceased and his second wife we don’t know where she is. My first husband is around but,of course, I would rather not dredge up something that happened so long ago and really means nothing to him because he is not a Catholic. My second husband would convert to Catholicism but I am excommunicated and I would love to come back home to the church that I have loved all of my life but they make it costly and difficult. Isn’t 37 years without my beloved Church enough punishment? I am hungry for the Eucharist. I would like nothing better than to go to Confession again. I’ve missed it every day. Any suggestions ,anyone? I am not comfortable in any other church or religion. I am a Catholic.

      • CidaliaMariaa says

        Annulments are not expensive. Tell the tribunal your financial situation. The amount suggested is a donation, not a fee.

        • Donna says

          Make an appointment with a priest and get the ball rolling. It may require a bit of effort getting what is needed from your first husband, but if he has a little compassion for the mother of his sons, he should comply. The truth is annulments ARE NOT expensive. The Tribunal will always work with the petitioners and their ability to pay.

    • CidaliaMariaa says

      There is no way to reinterpret “he who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. And anyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” Had Jesus left his sermon at just the evils of divorce, it would be one thing, but he defined remarriage as adultery. The Catholic Church is simply trying to follow Jesus’ teachings which, in this case, are not open to interpretation.

      • Lucas says

        But Jesus also says in Matthew 19:9, that whoever divorces, except for sexual infidelity etc.

        And Paul says in 1 Cor 7:15 that someone who’s spouse flat out leaves them and the faith, deserts them, they are no longer bound.

        The Catholic Doctrine is what it is, but they Bible does present SOME grounds for divorce, that God doesn’t count as sin. I personally feel like the Catholic Church has made a rule about this, period. And that’s fine, but the Bible says something else about it that’s ignored

  96. Darren says

    I am Catholic and was previously married to a CoE person in a Registry office due to the fact that we were originally refused to be married by both the CoE and Catholic Church’s.
    The reason for this was because my spouse had previously been married in a CoE church and then subsequently divorced so both Religion’s declared that she was ineligible to remarry leaving us at the time the only option of a Civil marriage in a Registry office.

    However after a few years with Children the civil marriage broke down and we where formally divorced.

    Many Years later i have now met a good catholic person whom although was also previously civilly married in a Registry Office and has since had her marriage annulled.
    We now wish to marry each other and are free to do so in the eyes of the Law however we would also like to be married in a Catholic Church but we are unclear as to if I will also be required to have an annulment.

    I have been told that i will need to however It seems very strange that I would now need to apply for an annulment from the Church for something that was originally refused and not even recognized by the Church in the first place, as in the eyes of God my former spouse was not eligible to marry me due to being married to someone else.
    So I am confused, how can the Church actually annul something that in their eyes never actually happened in the first place due to the fact that they refused to allow it as my former spouse was ineligible to marry me.
    Please advise

    • Richard says

      A Catholic annulment is a declaration that a marriage was invalid. The Catholic Church approaches previous marriages as valid until proven otherwise. If both parties were married before both need such a declaration from the CATHOLIC church. Generally, from what you described for yourself, you would need to produce your Baptismal certificate to show you were baptized a Catholic and your civil marriage certificate to show you were married outside of the Church. In most cases I don’t think any investigation beyond that is needed.

  97. Ree says

    It looks as if my marriage of 3 years is ending. My husband asked for a divorce and when I wouldn’t give it to him, he cheated and possibly impregnated this other woman. I am STILL taking my vows seriously and pray for, well, a miracle but it looks as if he’ll be seeking the divorce whether I want it or not. If down the line I find love again and try to remarry and rebuild I’ll STILL be in sin without an annulment?! Really?!

  98. SAM says

    My son just received a affirmative decision regarding the nullity of his marriage. I realize there are a number of reasons why a marriage does not meet the necessary requirements of a valid marriage – including how capable both or one of the parties was able to make such a serious decision. He will have to have a marriage evaluation before being able to marry again to determine if the new marriage would be stable. Is this standard procedure for all who desire to marry again or is it just for those whose first choices did not seem wise?

  99. allan.aitchison says

    The remarkable thing is it is possible to get on with life. The saddest thing is our Holy Mother alters each time there is a new Pope, I’ve seen all since Pius 12. We share communion with each other every Sunday and like another single 80 yr old male we don’t bother too much about the shifting goal posts, if you are given the gift of love again, this is worth everything you pray and stay together, this is truly a divine gift.

  100. Martha says

    Hi I have a question I know off a couple that wants to marry in the Catholic Church but he is still married to his wife and has 3 children they ended up separating but never went through with the divorce he moved to a different country alone and is with his current partner and have a child together they now wish to marry and are talking about getting his previous marriage annulled is that possible?

  101. judy espinas says

    hi, i would like to ask you about my situation…hope you can answer me…when my husband and I decided to get married we were not able to talk to a bishop during our interview with a priest…i’m a baptized catholic and my husband is a converted born again christian but he was baptized as a catholic when he was still a baby and in his high school days he was converted into born again…he has a baptismal certificate as a catholic and since i wanted to be married in catholic so he agreed with me….since he has already a baptismal certificate as catholic it was easy for us to process our documents…that’s why we did not ask permission from a bishop…is our marriage still valid though we were not able to ask a permission from a bishop ? thank you..hope u can answer me…

  102. Grace says

    Hello Jon,

    I have a friend who was married in the Catholic Church and divorced, at least civilly. He isn’t Catholic and he divorced because his ex was unfaithful and she has Parkinson’s. He already knew she had Parkinson’s but it just got worse throughout the years. If he wasn’t Catholic, can he be granted an annulment?

    We used to date but since I saw that under Catholic law he is considered married, i felt it was wrong to be dating him and told him why. I still would like to marry him but it seems like ever in his case an annulment wouldn’t be granted.

  103. sierra says

    IS it possible to get a dispensation to marry in the Catholic Church without an annulment?

    I am not a Catholic, and previously married a Catholic in a civil ceremony. We have divorced and now I have met another Catholic who wants to marry in the church. I contacted the local parish here who helped me try to track down my ex husbands baptism certificate from Cuba but it could not be located. I do not want to through the formal annulment process as it would involve rehashing ugly memories and bringing my family/witnesses into it.

    Is a dispensation only for non Christians? I was baptized in a baptist church.

  104. Julia says


    If an unbaptized man got married in a civil union to another unbaptized woman (because of an unplanned pregnancy) and then got divorced two years later, and now that man wants to marry a Catholic woman in the church (he is still not baptized), is an annulment required in this new marriage?


  105. Paul Nardozzi says

    My fiancé from Mexico was married
    30 years ago to a man in the Mexico military. Shortly after the marriage he went missing. She has not heard from nor has his family seen or heard from him for over 30 years.
    We want to get married.
    How can we rectify this within the Catholic Church. A body has never been found. What is the atatute of limitations?
    My fiancé was 17 years old at the time
    and she told me her husband was very close with his family.
    What do we do?

  106. Teri says

    Hi Jon,
    I recently got engaged, and my fiance is a baptized non-catholic who was previously married at a young age in a Christian church. He was granted a civil divorce a few years later. Although he doesn’t plan on converting to the Catholic Faith, we would still like to get married in a Catholic church. Would we have to go through the annulment process?

  107. Art Guerrero says

    I plan to get married in a Catholic Church again after 28 years while only married 1.5 years then. Reaching the end of the Anulment process my x wife got married years ago and she claims to be a full hearted born again christain AND wants nothing to do with answering the catholuc anulment papers. How will this effect me getting granted my anulment request?

  108. JoanneR says

    Hi Jon –

    After our divorce, my ex-husband and I were granted a petition of annulment. That happened about 5 years ago. We’d been married 23 years and 2 sons, grown now. I was the petitioner for the annulment – my ex was not in favor of it. Short story — I keep thinking the Church made a mistake. Pretty arrogant, huh? I still love my ex, even though the marriage had so many bad bumps. I did things I’m ashamed of, and with the help of a priest friend made things right.

    Five years later with our sons grown, I wonder about silly things — what if I didn’t petition the Church? What if I could have just accepted the marriage for what it was and accepted the Cross instead of exchanging it for another one? Why didn’t St. Paul’s words jump out at me about staying married — pretty much accepting things. I was a daily Communicant, did my daily Holy Hour….. No. I just had to find out if the marriage was valid. I sometimes wonder if the annulment was given because that’s what the Church does now, or is it that many entered marriage immaturely … without a real good grip about what marriage is supposed to be. I really wish the annulment could be revoked.

    Your thoughts? I’m guessing I’m being pretty ridiculous, eh?

    I still love my ex – and have reason to believe he still cares for me. I dated another for a bit, but since then have no desire to either see or be with anyone else. I get a little jealous of those who go on to find someone else.

    It seems the question – if the occasion presented itself, would it be possible for my ex and I to remarry? Is it sinful to think that the Church made a mistake in granting the annulment?

  109. CORISSA says

    jon can i please get an answer to my question or atleast an acknowledgement that you read it, its like you leaped over it and read every other post…i posted this in aug its almost october, come on ….

    i just want to know if i can proceed with the legal divorce before the annulment thats it

    please dont ignore three requests

  110. Bernadette says

    Dear Jon,

    I am a single woman from the Philippines living with a married man who left his wife because of infidelity 5 years ago. He married his wife when he was only 19 years old because he got her pregnant and since they are both from the province and were both young, their parents decided to help them marry. During the ceremony, my partner was drunk. He says that the night before the ceremony, he was having second thoughts about getting married and was only pressured to do so because their respective parents already agreed for the wedding to happen and because he was being pressured by the girl. After marriage, his wife had several extra-marital affairs, which was reason why my partner left her. She continued to have an affair with the same one she had five years ago. They lived together and just this year gave birth to son. As for us, we have been living together for more than 3 years now. I met him a year after he left his wife. Being a catholic, I have mostly felt guilty because of our living arrangement and more so because I fear God. We both have sought confession several times and were told to go see our bishop. The problem is that we have no money. Since we lived together, life has become hard. We are deeply in debt and barely have money to eat so how can we work on a Catholic annulment wherein fees need to be paid and it being a long process which requires money as well. What we do is just pray for God to forgive us and for God to bless us. But I read that if we are sinning, sometimes it becomes a hindrance to God’s blessings. Im so lost. What should we do. Please advice. I believe that you are in tune with God and His divine will. I have been asking forgiveness for many years. Also, I pray for His blessings. But life is hard because of our situation. Looking forward to hear from you. Please pray for me and I will pray for you as well. God bless you.

  111. Bill says


    Hoping you can clarify some general info. If a catholic man marrys a non catholic woman outside the church, ie christian service and divorces then it seems to be not recognized by the RC and therefore an annulment may not be required? This goes back many years, too young and unsafe behaviour forced the civil divorce after counseling did not work.

    Wanting to return to practicing RC but concerned with approval, and if now dating a christian woman who wants to take the steps to be baptized, could we in one day have a recognized roman catholic wedding?

    thanks in advance

    • says

      Hello, Bill. Yes, you are correct in your assumptions about your previous marriage and yes, you would be able to have a recognized Roman Catholic wedding. The first step, as I usually recommend, is to discuss the matter with your priest.

  112. Arthur says

    My question is… Can I become Catholic? I am divorced, and remarried. Both marriages were in a Baptist Church, but I never really practiced any form of religion. I am not baptized either. I want to join the Catholic Church in my hometown, but cannot financially afford an annulment bill. I want to take Communion as well as be a complete and faithful servant to the Catholic Church with no extra rules sanctioned against me. A full fledged Catholic if you will. I would not want anyone in the Church to look at me as if I am sinning or wrong, or even guilty of adultery. I want to go through the steps to make it valid in the eyes of The lord. What can I do in my hometown?

    • says

      Hello, Arthur. Yes, you should be able to become Catholic. You would want to discuss your situation with a priest or the person coordinating RCIA for sure. There is a path for everyone to the Catholic Church.

  113. Mike says

    Hi my wife and I got married in a civil court but she has cheated on my and wants a divorce. Can I still get married in a Catholic Church or can she?

  114. Dale 2690 says

    a lot of divorced an remarried Catholics are waiting to see what happens in October when all of the Cardinals meet to discuss this issue and others. Should the Church remain firm in it’s stand, and I believe that it will, what happens then? Is the Church going to enforce the ban on receiving for divorced and remarried Catholics? And if so, how? In my paris there are people who teach RCIA that are divorced and remarried. There are people who serve communion who are divorced and remarried. There are Church leaders in my parish who are divorced and remarried. None of them have sought an annulment. If the church is not going to actively enforce the ban on receiving the sacraments, then why not?

  115. CORISSA says

    can i get a legal divorce first there is very bad marital abuse in the relationship. im seperating ofcourse, but im livign in peru and the legal divorce the papers take a while
.can u do that first and then ask for the annulment

    because i cant bring up a family with someone that punches me in the face im an academic and professional and cannot be at work in situations like this.

    i dont plan to stay in peru long once i do my dissertation defense for my ph.d im leaving.

    another note: i dont want to have to do this but i converted to catholicism way before i met my husband i grew up lutheran and i married young 23
.so if they are not willing to give me an anullment i may go back to the lutheran church because i dont think its fair because i have an abusive spouse that i wouldnt be able to take communion anymore

    thank you god bless


    • says

      As with most cases it is best to discuss the situation with a priest. Each person’s situation is specific and different. I live in the United States, but the customs in Peru may be a little different. I am sorry I can’t be of more help. I will pray for you and your situation.

  116. Tristmar says

    This isn’t a reply to anyone else’s questions but a question of my own. I hope this reaches the appropriate party. Situation ~ I, a RC, married a widower, Greek Orthodox. We were married in the Greek Orthodox concelebrated by Priests from both our religions. In the 9 years since, our marriage has not only never been consumated, but we have been separated for 3 years. Neither of us can afford a divorce but are unclear as to have this dual sacrament “marriage” annulled and without having to pay for a divorce. We both live in NYS if that matters. Can you please point me in the right direction to my email address? Thank you and Bless you all on your journeys!!

  117. Samuel Agyegelone says

    My cousin’s wife walked out of the marriage and got married without any form on divorced whatsoever. what can he do

  118. says

    I have never seen what I’m about to tell you anywhere, but I am hurt beyond belief & need to know where I stand, if you can help. My 2nd husband & I have been married for 30+ yrs. Both of our prior spouses committed infidelity early in our first marriages, & both of us were able to get annulments (also legal divorces, of course), of those marriages. So, we were free to marry each other(30+ yrs ago), and we did. Both of us were very hurt by our spouse’s infidelity, so we had common ground that bonded us together. Here is my problem. My husband recently told me that he often thought of his ex-wife throughout our marriage, I mean to the point of even imagining that I was his ex-wife when we were intimate. He told me because he wants to be forgiven for his sexual sins. However, I am so broken by this, I feel as though he not only destroyed our marriage vows. I also feel as though he annulled our annulment. I hope you understand what I mean by this. If his mind was back in his previous marriage (which it was), then it seems our annulment was pointless. His mind, his heart, his soul & even his body (in a sense), were back in his previous marriage. So, as far as I’m concerned, he left me & renewed his wedding vows with her. I feel as though he cancelled out his annulment to her & his marriage vows to me & resumed being married to his ex-wife. Do you understand? I know how Jesus would feel about this. The Bible heavily frowns on such things. But how does the church view it? I know my husband didn’t legally cancel his annulment or our marriage, but he definitely did in spirit. I can’t imagine why he would do such a thing. His ex-wife was awful to him; she was much worse than my ex-husband was to me. No man, including my ex-husband ever crossed my mind in our 30 yr marriage. I don’t get why he would do that to me. Is my annulment cancelled (in spirit), & my marriage too? Did he renew his wedding vows with his ex-wife (in spirit)? I feel as though he did all 3, but how does the church look upon this?

      • jr says

        And the Catholic Church is silent. In the same situation as you. I believe our God is one of mercy though. Maybe our leader will change this but I’m not very hopeful. If this isn’t changed by end of fall 2014, I’ll join a nearby Anglican church.

      • says

        Hi Jeanie. The lustful thoughts by your husband were most certainly sinful, but they have no effect on an annulment. An annulment is a declaration that a sacramental marriage never took place. Your husband lustfully thinking about his ex-wife does not create a sacramental marriage to his ex-wife (both parties have to be consenting and celebrate a marriage ceremony; however in this case he was having a fantasy in his mind about her), thus it does not undo a declaration of nullity of a previous marriage. As all members of the faithful should, he should pray to God and go to confession to work through his sins. The two of you may also want to seek Catholic marriage counseling to work out trust issues and to help build your marriage together.

        • says

          Hi Jon, Thank you for your response. I know that legally speaking (in the eyes of the Catholic Church), that my husband’s annulment was not nullified by his lustful thoughts. But, i still feel as though my husband renewed his sacramental vows with his ex-wife when he decided to bring her into my bed in place of me. He chose to bring his ex-wife back as his wife & intimate partner. He replaced me with her, and it hurts more than you can imagine. We worked so hard to have both of our previous marriages annulled. I cannot fathom why my husband would destroy the purity that I thought we had together in forsaking all others, for that woman. I could probably forgive impurity with any other woman. But, the fact that he destroyed the sanctity of our marriage with his ex-wife, after having his marriage to her annulled, is just too much. The annulment brought us so much closer together. And I’m sorry, but the annulment seems moot & pointless to me now. For me, it’s much more than just a sexual sin. My husband chose to replace me with his ex-wife. He chose to renew the sanctity of his marriage to her, by reliving intimacies with her. And, in doing this, he annulled his marriage to me. That’s the way I see it because, that’s the way it feels.

  119. corissa says

    can i get a legal divorce first there is very bad marital abuse in the relationship. im seperating ofcourse, but im livign in peru and the legal divorce the papers take a while….can u do that first and then ask for the annulment…

    because i cant bring up a family with someone that punches me in the face im an academic and professional and cannot be at work in situations like this.

    i dont plan to stay in peru long once i do my dissertation defense for my ph.d im leaving.

    another note: i dont want to have to do this but i converted to catholicism way before i met my husband i grew up lutheran and i married young 23….so if they are not willing to give me an anullment i may go back to the lutheran church because i dont think its fair because i have an abusive spouse that i wouldnt be able to take communion anymore…

    thank you god bless

  120. Debra Reid says

    I converted to Catholic after I was divorced and my daughter and I were baptized same day. I went through religious instruction with a Priest and my daughter and I were baptized together 1984 when she was 4. I would read and help with mass and sing in choir when going to St. Mathias. Danielle went to PSR classes later and confirmation. I went through religious instruction, baptized and confirmation. My X is no longer living since 2006 and we did not get married in the Catholic and divorced before church I become Catholic faith. I guess we were never considered married and I am hoping to get married one day in the Catholic church. Do I need to get my marriage annulled to be able to marry in the Catholic church. I am looking for a man in my Faith. Debby 🙂

  121. says

    Hello. I’m now in my second marriage. my first marriage has been annulled. Me and my present wife did not get married in the church. This is also her second marriage, and her first marriage has not been annulled. Can I receive communion since my first marriage has been annulled?

    • Christina Gomez says

      If your marriage has been annuled then yes you can. Your wife’s previous marriage has not been annuled so she cannot.

  122. Justiana says

    I am divorced from my ex husband past 6 years,we married in Catholic Church n both of us are Christians,court declared divorce within a year on mutual agreement,we also have a son which he agreed will be with me and I alone look after my son without any financial support since my divorce,the reason of divorce was; my marriage was fixed with him by elders n when asked him he gave wrong name of his father so that my people may not get any information about his family that they were bad,he lied that a property was his when is was not,he lied that the family members we met on first meet adopted daughter when after marriage I knew she was his sisters daughter,since we stayed joint family this affected,after marriage I came to know that he never had a job but he lied earlier that he was a seaman,all marriage was based on lie but I still continued thinking I am married now I should not break it on any cost and adjust,my parents supported us financially because of my son,my parents gave him a job abroad he left it and came hence they asked me to take over to work and gave me job overseas,wth great pain I had to leave my son with ohm for 2 years in this time he kept a live in relationship with a girl and was Madelyn in love with her ,I could not bear and had no other option than depart,I confronted him about his life that I came to know , he did not bother to give any effort to deny he put his head down ,and said he will apply divorce, I agreed on 1 condition I vl give if he gives my child , he agreed At once,and that was the end of it ,I am highly religious but I never heard about annulment,all our catholic community are quick to judge me as I am adulterous women, when I went in scripture search ,and google while I came across word called annulment,after knowing this I need an annulment will I get it? But soon after divorce he got married to that girl n have a child,past 4 years I also got married but since my husband is muslim n my family did not support me for his religion I was forced to get married in muslim way,but I don’t hav child yet with him he accepted my son as his from the time of marriage and both love each other,he also supports both of us financially,praise be to god that I managed to give jesus to my muslim husband,he is now ready to be baptized and marry in catholic way,but I don’t know where to start,will the church permit me annulment ? How long will that take,I don’t wan to. Come in contact with my ex cause I stay in different country and he is aggressive man,than can my husband get all procedures of baptism communion,confirmation and marriage how and whom to approach? Please reply.

    • says

      Justiana – I am praying for you. From what you wrote, it appears that your previous marriage was arranged and that your ex-husband provided false information in order to get married. Both parties to the marriage must freely consent to the marriage. If one person is holding back or if the person is coerced into marriage then that would be grounds for an annulment. An annulment declares that the previous marriage never happened and then you are free to marry again. Please consult with the priest at your church to discuss this important matter.

  123. Mandero says

    I am a widower, having been happily married to a non catholic for over 30 years, we wed in a registry office. My husband died many years ago, I remarried in 2006, and have not seen my husband since 2009, he lives in another country. There was a lot of mental cruelty from him, and many many issues, he is not a catholic, unlike me. It is my wish to be free of him, would I be able to get an annulment please? It is not likely that I would become involved in marriage or a relationship in the future.

  124. says

    Dear Jon
    I was married for 14 years. Divorced in 1985. We had two children who are now both in their thirties. I am a catholic and married my ex in the Catholic Church. He was abusive and aggressive in the marriage. After ten years I met a non catholic man and got married in the registrar office. We are still happily married for nineteen years now. And would like to marry in a Catholic Church. Can I get an annulment. Thanks

  125. Elle Wali says

    Hi, I am married for almost 8 yrs now. We used to be a happy couple until recently we are not getting along well. We are not having sexual relationship now for almost a year. Sometimes I feel he can hurt me because of too much jealousy. He already hurt my son which he said he just lost his temper because he was too much naughty. It got big bruises. I am aftaid to tell him that I want to legally separate with him but im afraid he will take my kids away. What shall I do? We got married by a civil wedding. Please advise.

  126. Hunter says

    Hi Jon, I am from the US and married my husband in a Catholic Church in Ireland last year. I am not catholic. He has recently revealed that he kept hidden over $80,000 in debt. We agreed before marriage to have a family early on and now because of this debt we are not able to do so. I am in my mid 30s and I feel this deceipt has compromised my ability to have a family as it will take many years to pay off. Is this grounds for an annulment and if so how are assets and debt handled?
    Thank you.

  127. Martha Fratello says

    I was baptized as a child in the Baptist faith. Several years ago, I married a man in a non-religious ceremony. He was never baptized. The marriage lasted five years. We have one child.

    I recently married a Catholic man in a non-religious cermony. This is his second marriage as well. His first marriage was not a Catholic ceremony as his first wife was not Catholic.

    I would like to convert to Catholicism. Do we both need to have our first marriages annulled for me to become Catholic?

  128. Natasha says

    I am looking for advice. I married 8 months ago after being with my partner for over 8 years and entered into the marriage truely and faithfully believing it to be for life. My husband came home 3 weeks ago to tell me he does not love me anymore and was moving out. This was completely out of the blue and has stunned me. He swears there is no 3rd party involved, he just does not love me anymore. I have offered what i can to convince him to stay and give our marraige a chance but he refuses. We married as catholics but he was never a practicing catholic, only in name and only agreed to marry in a church as it was fundamental to my belief. I am a practicing catholic and I no have no idea where i stand. If he decides he wants to divorce me, and its him who is refusing to stay with me to try and rebuild the marriage what can i do? From reading this does not seem to be considered reason for annulment in the church but if its not me who wants to end the marriage what can i do?

    • says

      Natasha, as you know you are in a difficult situation. The first thing to do is pray for your husband and for yourself. The second thing to do is to set up an appointment with your priest to talk about it. He will be able to work with your or refer you to someone who can provide more guidance for your situation. If an annulment is the eventual path that you choose the process will reveal if it was a sacramental marriage. Both parties must enter into the marriage freely without reservation. Perhaps he had undisclosed reservations about getting married 8 months ago and they are manifesting now. I will also pray for you.

  129. says

    I am tortured every day I live. I am a divorced Roman Catholic, with children from that marriage. I remarriedin a civil service, with children from that civil marriage. I go to Mass regularly, but do not receive Holy Communion. I no longer love or intimate with this person for last 3years. I sleep elsewhere. We live as brother/sister but he has a lot of hate for me. I want to recieve Our Lord in Communion, how can I? it totally has broken me that icannot recieve. I want to go to Confessions this Saturday, but I am so scared that I will not be able to go to Communion. The only reason I stay in the home is because my youngest is 11 and is going to run away if I divorce her father. Please help me. Many thanks. Mary.

    • says

      Mary, in confession the Lord offers forgiveness through the ministry of the priest. I encourage you to start there and do not lose hope. It may be a process to come back to Holy Communion, but with perseverance and God’s grace you can overcome this.

      • Jerry says

        How can you truly say that the “Lord offers forgiveness through the ministry of the priest?” Are you saying that the Word of God is not what it says that if you confess your sins He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins? There is nothing in those words that say anything about the “ministry of the priest.” Where does that come from?

        • says

          It comes from Jesus calling his 12 apostles and the continued succession witnessed in the first chapter of Acts from those apostles to our bishops and priests today. This is called apostolic succession.

  130. says

    I am a born baptized catholic and I met and married a non baptized baptist. We devorced after 5 yrs. I never got permission from the church to marry out side the church. I didn’t know that was a require like I do now. Since then I have met a catholic man we want to marry n catholic faith he has never been married. Can we do so? I want to know if my 1st marriage was invalid do I have to get an annulment?

    • says

      Great question! Start with contacting your priest to discuss. He will ask you some more questions about your situation to determine if it is necessary to begin the annulment process.

  131. bernardine says

    Greetings to you sir’ please I need your advice, am 29years old,married to a man @ the age of 16 and we wedded in catholic church,ever since we are married is from one big problem to another, I happEned to be the bread winner taking care of his responsibilities for the past 10years+ yet he end up abusing me, unfaithfulness etc. Am tied of the marriage and am having a fear of losing my life in this marriage. we have been separated for 2years and he have never ask for the welfare of our 3kids up to date. I need to divorce him official, how do I start? Thanks. I need your response.

    • says

      Hello, Bernardine. I am sorry to hear of your troubles. You will need to start with your priest and talk to him about your situation. It could be the case that you do not have a sacramental marriage if you did not enter into it freely at age 16. I will pray for your situation to improve.

  132. Janet Greens says

    Dear Jon, I posted a comment a few days ago but it seems to have disappeared and so I am reposting it now. I really need your advice on a fairly complicated situation. I am a single Catholic and have never been married. I have me an absolutely amazing man. He is very interested in becoming Catholic and wants any children we have to be raised as Catholics. The complications are that he is a non-Catholic Christian and was married, through a civil marriage (not a religious one) to a Muslim (he remained Christian). Later, he then got a civil divorce, again in a civilian court. He does not know whether he was baptised because his folks past away when he was young and he does not have any other close relatives living. My question is what is his status considered by the our Church? Would we be able to marry in a Catholic Church? With kind regards, Janet.

    • says

      Hi Janet. Your situation truly is unique! However, given that he is not and was not Catholic it seems that a sacramental marriage probably never took place and he should be free to marry. Now, if you married him while he was still not a Catholic you would need a dispensation from your bishop (see: Marrying a non-Catholic). As I always recommend, begin by making an appointment with your priest to learn the right course of action. He will be able to go over your situation in detail. God bless.

  133. Toni says

    Hi Jon,
    My boyfriend and I have been talking about marriage for some time now. I am Catholic and he just became Catholic, thought the RCIA program.
    He was previously married in a civil ceremony, non religious, and is divorced. Would it be possible for us to be married in a Catholic Church?
    Thank you!

  134. Andrea says

    My boyfriends name is Matthew and he is Presbyterian. I am Catholic and I would like to get married in a Catholic Church. Before my boyfriend ever met me, he was married, and the marriage was not a happy one. A non happy marriage is not a marriage. To make a long story short, she left him which enabled him to get a civil divorce. What I need to know is that does he have to get an annulment when the fact is that she left him?

  135. Charlie says

    Hi Jon, I am catholic and wanted to understand the proceedure my fiancé and I need to go through to get married in a Catholic Church.

    The complication is he was previously married in a civil ceremony at a registry office/hotel and now he is divorced. How is that viewed in the eyes of the church?

    Look forward to hearing from you

    • says

      If he is not Catholic then there doesn’t appear to be the possibility of a sacramental marriage for his previous marriage so he should be considered free to marry. Your priest will be able to provide more guidance in this area.

      • penny canino says

        Hi. Im hoping you could educate me on wether I need an annulment or not. I married only in the courthouse. I divorced 7 years ago. I just got engaged to a catholic man, I’m also catholic, he has never being married but I need to know if I need an annulment eventhough I was never married in any church.

        Thank you for any input you can provide.


        • says

          Hello, Penny. I would recommend that you contact your parish priest to discuss this. It may be that you need an annulment to confirm that your courthouse marriage was never, in fact, sacramental.

  136. casilda says

    Hi i am a catholic..i was married before in a civil wedding in a courthouse but it ended in divorce..can i remarry in a catholic church? my fiance is also a catholic..

  137. Joyce Churchill says

    My son is divorced and has applied for an annulment. He has become really good friends with a woman, who is a non-Catholic recently divorced woman. They are together 24/7 every weekend (even when it is his weekend with the kids), talk and text all the time. He said that they do not sleep together but he ‘has the hots’ for her. I think that he is committing adultery. He doesn’t see it that way. Who is right?

  138. Margaret M Bannon says

    My first spouse is deceased and I am married by civil ceremony to a divorced catholic . Can I still receive sacraments?

  139. sofia says

    Dear Jon
    I am Catholic and live in Greece married once with an orthodox man and divorced since 8 years. At that time we only got married in the Orthodox church …..My fiance now is Orthodox and devorced my question is can we get married in a Catholic Church?? Is my first marriage invalid for the Catholic Church since i did not married in our Church??? and if Catholic Church does not permit a catholic wedding can i move on making a second wedding in an Orthodox Church…….I am really confused…..

  140. APA says

    Widows role in Church

    Apostle Paul says

    Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous [d]pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed. 1 Timothy 5:3-16

  141. APA says

    To the Unmarried Brothers and Sisters understand

    Apostle Paul says:

    Because of the present troubles, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you from this.

    What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

    I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

    If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.

    A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
    1 Corinthians 7:26-40

  142. APA says

    Please understand,

    If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?.
    1 Corinthians 7:12-16

  143. APA says

    To the Married

    To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
    1 Corinthians 7:10-11

  144. APA says

    To the Unmarried and the Widows

    Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

  145. APA says

    Concerning Married Life

    It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
    1 Corinthians 7:1-7

  146. Kelly Peterson says

    In 1979 I married a Catholic man in the Catholic church. We were divorced in 1988. We both subsequenlty married and divorced other people. He and I are together again after 25 years. I am currently in RCIA. Should we renew our vows in the church or are we still considered married? And is there any point in time that he can receive the holy sacrament again?

  147. Wendy says

    Hi Jon! My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. We have two children (ages 12 & 4). I am a cradle Catholic, he was raised Baptist but isn’t active in his faith, nor does he attend church with me and the kids. Our kids are baptisted in the Catholic faith. We were married outside of the church, due to my husband having been married once before. They were married for 5 years and had no children.

    Over the course of our marriage, I have tried to be an active member of my church, but fail miserably all of the time. It’s hard to attend Mass, knowing that you aren’t suppose to receive communion, since our marriage isn’t recognized by the Church. I will admit, I have gone to communion on occasion, knowing that I shouldn’t have and feel utterly sick to my stomach, knowing that this is gravely looked upon.

    To the point…..how difficult would you imagine it to be for my husband to receive an annulment for his first marriage? I would love for our marriage to be blessed in the Church and for me to be able to receive the sacraments again. I haven’t even brought it up to my husband that I would like for him to do get his first marriage annulled. I’m not sure he would understand the need for it, since he is not of the Catholic faith. Just trying to get some information together before I approach him on this.

  148. N. Duncan says

    I was married to a Catholic in a Catholic church years ago. The marriage ended after four years. I remarried a Baptist in a civil ceremony. We are still married with two grown children who were baptized Catholic. I recently did some research and discovered that my first husband died several years ago. My first question is whether I can go to confession now? My second question is what is necessary to be able to take communion again? Thank you.

  149. says

    I am a baptized noncatholic and want to begin the process of joining the church. My husband is a nonpracticing catholic. We both have previous marriages and children from these marriages. I want to be able to take communion.
    My husbands first wife was also noncatholic and they were married in a noncatholic church. My ex husband has since died. Will my husband be eligible for an annulment since he was not married in the Catholic Church? Will we need to remarry if he gets an annulment. This is very confusing to me.

    • Tom Meister says

      Barbara, this may be simpler than you expect. Since your first husband has died, you are free to marry. Your current husband, baptized a Catholic, was required to celebrate his marriage in a Catholic church, but he did not, so that marriage may have been invalid on its face, without extensive inquiry into other circumstances at the time of his first marriage. (This requirement may have been waived or dispensed by the Catholic Church at the time of his first marriage; check with him to make sure he did not have the Church’s permission to celebrate his first marriage outside the Catholic Church.) If his first marriage was invalid because he did not celebrate it in the required way, all that is needed is documentary proof of his baptism in the Catholic Church ( a recent baptismal certificate from the church where he was baptized) and his marriage license and divorce decree. The whole process should take less than 2 months. You and he should speak with a priest or deacon about this, or call the tribunal (marriage court) of the diocese in which you live. After the grounds for annulment are proven by submission of these documents, you can celebrate your marriage in the Catholic Church; this is referred to as “convalidation.”
      Since you are not Catholic at this time, you will likely need to go through a period of learning about the Catholic faith, commonly called RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). Talk to the priest or deacon about this as well. Thank you for all you are doing to bring your husband and yourself into full communion with the Church. May God bless you and your marriage.

  150. Ray says

    I married my wife in a catholic church in 1974, we have no children and she began an affair and then she went off with a so called friend and my employer 1981. She demanded a divorce and I delayed for two years be fore she threatened to appy herself to the courts so I was forced to relent , getting same on grounds of her adultery two years later. Then she immediately re- married and I now have no idea where she lives or is alive even. I want to marry my friend and carer, can I now do so without sinning in the eyes of the church. Can I take the sacriments. From what I have read the church seems to be quite intransigent on such matters. I even discussed the same some years ago with a priest who frankly appeared to wish to knowhow much money I had. What do you think Jon ?

  151. Carolyn says

    I am the daughter of a son and a daughter of alcoholics my family has suffered generational strongholds for at least four generations  I was raised in and out of many different Protestant churches. At the age of 15 I became pregnant and was married by my uncle. He was a preacher at one time but that I know of he did not have a church when he married  us. my marriage was a sad solemn ordeal in my mother’s living room. It was march. On September 1 of the same year I turned 16 and was 9 months pregnant when I found my 18 year old husband at a hotel with his ex girlfriend.  Unfortunately, i stayed another three years in which he and I did some serious damage to each other.  When I left my mothers home I spent so many years in the dark suffering one consequence after another. In 1985 i married  a basically peaceful agnostic man  who adopted my daughter and we did try to make our lives work together. Unfortunately our blended family didn’t survive our faithless union and we divorced 12 years later. I fell right into a very disfunctional relationship with a non practicing alcoholic catholic. It was during this relationship that I returned to church. I was blessed with two sons and tried to pull it together for them. I was able to earn two degrees and despite living with a particularly dysfunctional alcoholic I made steps to try and heal from my past and basically grow up. I was determined to not have a third divorce but the healthier I became the harder it was to not deal with the verbal and some times  physical abuse my children and I were being subjected to. In November of 2012 I made the hardest decision I’ve ever made and left everything. Healing from this brokenness has taken amazing twists and by the grace of my Heavenly Father I have found a home in the Catholic church. This is really hard to believe for anyone who knows me because I was taught, believed and was very vocal about so many misconceptions about the church. If anyone would have told me that i would be here I would have never believed it. At 49 I have found the discipline and order that my life has been missing and I celebrate it every Sunday during mass. My youngest son and I are half way through RCIA classes and are looking forward to our first communion during Easter vigil.  It is my intention to seek an annulment for my first marriage. I know that it was not a valid marriage by church law and feel that an annulment would be granted. My question is about the other two marriages. If someday God brings a good man into my life that actually understands the sacrament of marriage would I be required to seek annulment for my two non valid marriages?  Wow what a mess I made. Thanks so much for your time.

  152. CMS says

    Dear Jon,

    I am recently engaged to my wonderful boyfriend. I am Catholic, baptized and confirmed, as is he. He was previously married, had children, and divorced. This was due to infidelity of his wife and she wanted to end the marriage. She has since re-married and had another child with her new husband. When they were first married, they did not have a Catholic wedding. I am not sure if she was baptized or not at that time. We are trying to plan our wedding but want to make sure we can marry in the Catholic church. The date chosen as of now is about 19 months away. Is this enough time for the annulment process if we qualify? Are there certain cases that will not require a lengthy tribunal? My fiancee is dreading re-hashing everything from the past and I know it took him a long time to get past it himself.

    Thanks for your help

  153. Fred Rogers says

    I am a divorced / widower and divorced father. I am Episcopal and want to marry a Catholic woman. What needs to take place? According to what I have read my marriages do not count as they are not acknowledged by the church. If that is so we should be free to marry correct? Or not so easy? BTW I have read the Lack of forms and the process and it appears as though it doesn’t apply to me. Can you advise please…

  154. Anne says

    Hi, We were married for 4 years; married in a catholic church. We got legally divorced 2 years ago (both catholic, no children); no annulment. Since the divorce, we have been able to work thing things out (long story) and our relationship is back on track. We’d like to retract the divorce/re-marry. Is it possible to just represent the original paperwork from the priest in 2007 to get a new marriage certificate, in effect voiding the divorce?

  155. Jimmy says

    Is it true that if a catholic marries someone in the catholic church that is not catholic then later they get divorced an annulment isn’t neccessary for the catholic to marry again? That is a friend of mines understanding, but it seams to me if the marriage was in the catholic church it would be recognized in the same way as 2 catholics that were married in the catholic church and an annulment would be required for the catholic to marry again in the catholic church. His understanding is that a catholic can marry as much he or she wants in the catholic church and never have to get an annulment to marry again as long as they never marry a catholic. That seams strange to me.

  156. rose says

    Hi Jon. If the process of annulment has been settled, and the man wish to remarry, is it (the wedding) going to be a full Mass (able to receive communion) or the priest will only bless the marriage?

  157. hydin says

    Jon, I see where you are saying that you are able to receive the Eucharist if divorced but not remarried. Can you help me understand why the Catechism states that Divorce is a Grave Matter, which usually means a mortal sin. Of course separations are allowed, if approved, according to canon law for abuse as long as the danger remains. Reconciliation is always expected even for abuse cases if the danger is no longer present.

    If one spouse divorces the other for irreconcilable differences, no abuse or danger present, wouldn’t they be in a state of mortal sin? If not why is the language of innocent spouse present? This section seems to define one spouse as guilty and one as innocent of sin.

    It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179 (1640)

    One spouse has not contravened the moral law which implies the other has.

    I can see where one spouse, the one not filing is not in a state of mortal sin. Is the other innocent as well? If not as part of setting things right and being forgiven wouldn’t they be required to attempt reconciliation or get approval of clergy for a separation? Can. 1153
    §1 A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local Ordinary or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority.

    §2 In all cases, when the reason for separation ceases, the common conjugal life is to be restored, unless otherwise provided by ecclesiastical authority.

    This confuses me. Either the Catechism uses the term grave matter where there is none (no mention of being remarried here) or the person divorcing is in mortal sin. Canon law would also be violated if no danger or approval of clergy exists. Can you explain this for me?

  158. Jennifer says

    My ex husband and I were divorced for eight years when he passed away. I remarried a few years in a civil ceremony a few years after divorcing. Can I receiving communion?

  159. PHIllip says

    Pls I met a lady of 25yrs,she has got married with one kid..but the Husband has left this world…
    And we are getting acquitted to each other for a relationship.
    But it is now 5months after the burial of the husband..can we start a relationship now, please if No,how long can I wait to start a relationship (marriage) with her. Thanks

  160. Jeff says

    How does the church view a marriage that consists of a non-baptized Christian to an atheist in a Christian Church? Is that a valid marriage?

    • says

      There is no such thing as a non-baptized Christian. Baptism is the first entry point into the church and the way in which someone becomes a Christian. In this case, no it is not a valid marriage.

      • Jeff says

        That is the situation for a friend of mine who wants to get re-married and come into the Catholic Church. What advice should I give her? Her fiancé is Catholic and free to marry. Her ex-husband is more than likely not going to respond to the annulment. What does she need to do? Thank you.

  161. Jean Lauer says

    Good Morning,

    I am a Catholic, a widow of almost four years. My friend is a catholic divorced since 1988. Never remarried. He was married by a priest to a non – catholic woman . I am assuming he will need an annulment in order for us to marry catholic?

  162. Neal says

    My exwife is getting remarried and is asking me for my address to fill out paperwork from the Catholic Church? Her new boyfriend is catholic so I assume this is for that. Upon looking I can’t find any mention of this paperwork online?

  163. August says

    My case is a bit complicated, Jon…but here goes:

    A cradle Catholic, I have been married once in a marriage that lasted just over 20 years, and which produced one beloved child. We married in her church, a Methodist one, but without special permission from the Catholic diocese as I was unaware of this requirement at the time and I was also somewhat estranged from the Church at that point in my life. My wife had earlier been married in her own church, but divorced, producing no children of her own.

    My wife subsequently divorced me about 4 years ago. Since then, I’ve returned to the Catholic church and have been actively involved in several ministries (CRHP, eucharistic minister, reader at Mass, adoration and now CLOW), much to my enjoyment and (prayerful) spiritual development.

    In the course of returning to the Church, I met a good Catholic woman who was herself recently divorced by her spouse and we’ve developed a close bond and relationship, with marriage discussed but not yet formally proposed.

    My earlier 20-yr marriage has been formally declared invalid due to “lack of canonical form,” as we did not have special permission to marry. As you’re likely aware, this actually isn’t a formal annulment since the marriage lacked proper form from the beginning in the Church’s eyes — the original marriage was simply found to be invalid. A formal “Declaration of Freedom to Marry Due to Lack of Canonical Form” was issued by my pastor.

    And now an additional complication: speaking recently with my apparently ever-lonely former wife about our now college-age child, she essentially broke down and said that she wants to explore our reconciling. For our now-adult child and their future children, and at least in part due to a sense of spiritual obligation, I’ve agreed to at least meet and talk about things.

    All of which leads to my questions:

    1) What is my greater spiritual obligation here in the Church’s eyes — to stay the course with my current relationship with a bonafide Catholic and (re)marry [with no likelihood of having additional children at her ~50-yr age], or to return to my original wife and child and marry with the Church’s approval?

    2) Perhaps more deterministically, would the Church’s current constraints even allow for approval of my (re)marrying my wife, given that she had been legally married (both non-Catholics) once before?

    Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi August. Welcome back to the Church! Many different things to talk about! You are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place. What do you think God wants for your life? Take it to prayer. Be honest with God and yourself as to what God wants for you. Consider spiritual direction to help you discern what you are being called to at this point in your life. God has a plan.

      First thought. Is your new girlfriend free to marry? Has she received an annulment? The Church strongly advises against entering into a relationship with her until you know she is free to marry. If her previous marriage is indeed a valid sacrament you wouldn’t want to go down the road tempting yourself with something you can’t have.

      If you want to reconcile with your former wife, she should look into an annulment for her marriage prior to you. While your marriage to her was not valid (sacramentally) she needs to find out if her previous marriage is also invalid regardless of whether it was in the Catholic Church. For instance if she entered into her previous marriage with the intention that it was faithful and fruitful until death, the Catholic Church recognizes the sacramentality of marriages in other churches so long as the spouses have the same intentionality as what the Catholic Church requires.

      There’s certainly no need to rush – be patient, take it to prayer, and seek what God wants for you. Everything will fall into place from there.

      • August says

        Thank you very much for your good thoughts and suggestions, Jon. And it is good to be back.

        To answer your first-thought question regarding my new girlfriend, yes, she has been granted a formal annulment. We’re both free to marry in the Church’s eyes.

        Must say that, to me, there’s no small irony in the fact that my Methodist marriage to my now ex-wife isn’t viewed as being sacramentally valid by the Church — such that a formal annulment wasn’t even required after we divorced — but her earlier Methodist marriage to her former spouse is presumed to be sacramentally valid by the Church such that an annulment is required, even though they were both non-Catholics. But at least I can see the path forward, arduous as it may be, for us to reconcile and remarry should we choose to do that…so I thank you for that information.

        My ex-wife’s ex-husband had been married once before himself, so perhaps another “Lack of Form” condition may apply. We’ll check with the local parish should things between us develop to that stage.

        In any case, thanks again for your kind assistance. I’m a weekly regular at adoration and seem to receive my clearest guidance from God there, and will prayerfully seek that over time as you suggest.

  164. Rhodora says

    Im single and my boyfriend was seperated with his wife for12 years. If annulment is granted it would be possible that we will get married at the rc church?and also he is not a catholic…what would be the process.. Thank you

  165. Wendy Ann says

    I am a Catholic living in Goa India, My husband left me 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our 3rd child. During our marriage he was often very verbally abusive and would constantly doubt and accuse me of having affairs – which were never true. Since he walked out 3 years ago – on the excuse that I had been sleeping with other men and the child was not his, Since he left, he has had no contact at all with our 3 children. He does not support us in anyway and infact initially use my name and borrow money on my cards and left several debts for me to pay. I do know where he lives. But his abusive nature has me extremely scared for he feels no shame and would not hesitate to shame me in public. He is currently living in our apartment in Mumbai – the mortgage f which is being repaid by me. In such a situation would I get an annulment if I applied for it?

    • says

      Hi Wendy. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. One of the criteria for a Catholic marriage is that you enter into it freely. It may be the case in your situation that you did not enter your marriage completely free, such as if you were coerced, you had significant doubts, etc. This would be something that the marriage tribunal would review in your diocese. I encourage you to speak with your priest to start the process. God bless.

      • Wendy Ann says

        Sorry to trouble you… but would the fact that I was under the impression that he was a practising Catholic, which I later found out was not true… be a grounds for an annulment ? Also, he had wanted me to abort my 3rd child which I refused… But I have not proof for this of course…

  166. Jermal says

    My situation is complicated. I was married in the Church 20 years ago and got a civil divorce about 2 years later. I did not get an annullment. I had a son from this marriage however he was conceived before the marriage. Subsequently, I have been married and divorced twice after that in Protestant ceremonies and have fathered 5 more children. I am now currently married to a Baptist and we were married in a Baptist Church. Through the years I attended Mass and received communion. No one told me otherwise. I however did leave the Church and started attending a Baptist Church with my wife about 4 or 5 years ago. I howevr now want to return to my faith. I don’t know where to get started. Will I need an annullment for all of these marriages? How can I get the Church to reckognize my current marriage? What about my children are they all considered illegitimate? Please HELP!

    • says

      Hi Jermal. I am so glad to see that you want to come back to the Church. I always recommend that people start by talking with a priest. Contact a parish priest near you to get the process started. You will be asked to go to confession, you’ll need an annulment for your first marriage and the rest will be worked out by you and the priest. God bless.

  167. Sophia Mai says

    Dear Jon,
    My bf is a Italian Catholic, im Vietnamese Catholic (still single). We re going to get married but we have much problem abt the annulment. He divorced 12 yrs ago, he married for 5 yrs and got a son (12 yrs old w his ex-wife). Now he want to annul a marriage but he said to me when he talk w the priest in Milan, they said he can not annul cuz he got a son. But i search info abt annulment on lots of website all the say the children is no effect from their’s parent annulment. Im so confused and can not know exactly conditons abt the annulment a marriage. We relly want to marry at the Church but its seem to hard to do that. Pls give me some advice abt our situation. Can he make the annulment and can you show us the best ways to solve it.
    Thanks so much Jon, God bless you!

  168. Sandy says

    My ex husband & I are both Catholic, we were married in the Catholic Church, and recently divorced. We did not get our marriage annulled and actually want to remarry each other again. (Very long story) must we remarry in the Catholic Church or can we just go to JOP as marriage is still valid within the church?

  169. Curtis Rudolph says

    Thank you for posting this. I am currently taking an online course through a university for Catholic Social Thought and Justice and I am writing about new age marriage and issues with common marriage, divorce, and annullments. This website is very well done and I have given you credit for your work.

  170. christine says

    hi jon, i am from philippines. my husband and I are legally married in civil rites. my husband’s previous marriage was annulled but not the church marriage. is it possible to file church annulment outside the philippines?
    If so, what are the requirements to file for church annulment?

  171. Jessie says

    I am a Protestant interested in catholicism and have been struggling in my marriage. I have been strongly considering divorce. I’ve been talking with a catholic who thinks my marriage doesn’t sound valid and could be annulled. The more I look at it the more I think they are correct. I’ve been married for 7 years and we have never consummated the marriage and from the beginning there was never an openness to children on either part. I have been reconsidering that stance for children but not with my spouse as we have too many problems and never even consummated the marriage. Does it sound like I have a case for annulment if I decide to convert?

  172. S.Lantrip says

    I married a catholic in 1953. I signed a paper promising to raise out children, which I did and they still practice the catholic faith. My husband became abusive and an alcohilic and put me in the hosiptal with abuse and when he started on the children, I had to consult a priest. I decided I had to leave the home so I could maybe save our lives. We both had counseling however, he did not comply. He is now dead and has been for a long time. I finally remarried (after his death) to a fine Christian man who had lost his wife through death. We attended church (non denominational for years. He is now 90 yrs. old and we have been married for 23 years. He is unable to attend services, but does pray and read his bible each day.
    My question is this. I wish to return to the Catholic Faith as I became a part of it the 23 years I was married to my now deceased husband. Will there be a complication for me to embrace the catholic faith again?

  173. scott martin says

    I am divorced not a catholic but am in love with a girl that is catholic and would like to marry her. I am converting to catholic and would like to know if we can marry.

  174. JeffWy says

    I am a divorced and remarried Protestant. I have long hoped to join the Catholic Church. I was not able to complete RCIA because I had not pursued an annulment from my first marriage. My 2nd wife and I have lived apart for some time but have no plans to formally divorce as we have a child together that we are sharing and raising separately. Does the simple fact that I had a divorce from my first wife and remarried into a 2nd marriage mean I must pursue an annulment from my first wife, even if I am not living with my 2nd wife?

  175. gfw says

    Hi I have a question. I was married in the catholic church for 30 years to a wonderful man. We had a beautiful family and life, however, sadly he passed away tragically several years ago. A couple years thereafter, I remarried in a civil ceremony and was quickly divorced (all within 2 years start to finish) I am ready to move on with my life and have found my way back to being a practicing catholic. I am now wondering if since I was married in that brief civil union and divorced, do I need to get a catholic annulment in addition? I so hope not??

  176. hannah says

    I am reading all these comments & questions about annullments. How come so many people are having annullments? How is it possible to be married to someone over 2 years have a child and then divorced and able to have it annulled so as to marry again? It seems to contradict what your church is teaching? please explain

  177. Duane says

    I’m not Catholic sir but I have found a wonderful lady that is. I was married civilly and divorced the same way. Not to get into the details of the marriage my question is do I need an annulment to marry my fiancĂ© in a Catholic church as that is her beliefs and its my honored to make that happen.

  178. hannah says

    Not that it matters anymore because it has been over 35 years ago. I am not catholic. The young man that I married was. We were married in my church by my minister and we were married a little over 2 years. I let my eyes wander and starting have a crush on a co worker to the point that I divorced my husband just so that I could start dating this other man. Although I never cheated on my husband I know my heart was as guilty as if I had. two years later I regretted it and asked him to take me back. We had no children. He told me that he would take me back in a heartbeat but that he had met someone else and would not do to her what I had done to him. I moved on & remarried but could not put him out of my mind. my 2nd husband did not take care of his family. I divorced the 2nd husband as well after 10 years. we had 4 children together & my first husband married the other woman & they have 2 children. I remained single after the 2nd divorce for what is now is over 22 years. I have often thought about what God expects from me and how my first husband was able to remarry. How could he get an annullment if we entered into the marriage willingly, both of us baptized in our religions? I have the weight of the world on my shoulders because I had no cause to leave him in the first place. I do not have this concern for my 2nd husband and can’t understand why. Can I be forgiven for all this? and am I still married to my first husband in God’s eye along with the 2nd wife? this is all so confusing to me, even after all these years

  179. teresa says

    I live in Zimbabwe and was married in the church to a baptised Anglican and in our 18th year he moved out and we lived separately for 2 years before seeking civil divorce. We have 2 children. He terrorized the children and finally beat our daughter so badly she needed medical attention. He felt that I was disloyal to him in favour of the children. As parents, isn’t it our obligation to protect our children and not be the ones they have to be protected from? He moved out shortly after the beating. Do I have grounds for an annulment or special dispensation to remarry in the church?

  180. Lisa says

    I am a Catholic and so is my husband……we have been separated for 2 years and I am seeking a divorce. I do not believe an annulment is possible as we were both willing when we got married. I am in another relationship and know I will not be able to take communion and will be considered an adulterer if I remarry but will the Catholic Church turn their back on me or will I still be able to attend Church?

    • says

      Hi Lisa. I am sorry to hear about your situation. The Church isn’t turning its back on you, rather it appears that you are making a conscious choice to be in a relationship with another man while knowing you are currently married and under the assumption that it is a sacramental marriage. I would urge you to speak with your parish priest to explore the annulment process and receive appropriate pastoral direction.

  181. Arik says

    Dear Jon

    I live in Israel. I met a Filipino catholic woman and we are already living together for eight years. at the time we’ve met she was married and till today her husband in philippines does not want to give her an annulment. Today she wants truly and deeply to convert to Judaism. Which makes my happy.
    My question is – will her conversion to judaism be helpful in her divorce? Will she still be considered catholic by Catholic church after completing conversion to Judaism? will all the catholic marital laws be void in her case?
    Thank you. Arik

    • says

      Hi Arik. Your situation is very complex and I am not qualified to speak to most of it. What I can say is that baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul, meaning a permanent mark that never goes away. Learn more about the Catholic sacrament of baptism. Once a person is baptized they are always a Christian.

      With all due respect, what is perplexing from a Christian perspective is why someone would convert to Judaism. As Christians we believe that Jesus is God’s new covenant, foretold in the Hebrew texts. A rejection of Jesus is very serious matter. Her situation is very complex and I recommend discussing it with a Catholic priest.

  182. JJ says

    I am catholic divorced for 5 years – annulment granted earlier this year (was a long process) I did not date until annulled and met someone right away. He is a divorced non-catholic (was married in las vegas). Our relationship is developing – if marriage is in future -can I be blessed and still maintain catholic faith

  183. Frank says

    I married a Russian woman in Russia at a Russian Orthodox church, without consent from the Church. I am Catholic, she “my wife”, isn’t later I find out my wife isn’t even Russian Orthodox, Father of my parish says the marriage don’t exist I have two daughters eight and ten, and my wife and I can’t get along anymore at all. what should I do?

  184. says


  185. Dawn says

    I have a friend who was a non practicing catholic who married outside the church and then divorced. He now wants to marry a widowed Catholic..does he need an annulment?

    • filmel says

      yes, and more. He must talk to a priest . marrying outside the church; getting divorced; are all subject to a priest discerning if orig marriage was with a baptized person, and what are his intentions with this widowed practicing?catholic person; a marriage of faith or a marriage of convenience?
      The morals of this nation are become more liberal with a whats in it for me, but the Church remains steadfast in its dogma, and tradition.. see a priest..

  186. DELLA WEBLEY says

    i married a man from jamaica who was still married to a woman from england but i had no idea at the time he was still married he told me he got a divorce. anyhow he got divorced during out marriage and we had to marry again but i never divorced him…am i legally married to him even though we did not divorce

  187. Jack says


    I am not Catholic, I was raised protestant. I am recently divorced. I did not want the divorce to begin with. I have two children with my ex. A couple years ago we hit a rough spot and she ended up leaving me for someone else.

    There have been times in the post couple years where we have almost reconciled but basically because of trust issues on both sides and both dating at various times we haven’t. I personally do love her and wish that somehow we would.

    Anyways, my ex recently converted to catholicism. Today I found out she had been in the process of seeking an annulment. You would think that after going through an excruciating divorce that finding this out wouldn’t hurt so bad, but it really does. Most of our marriage was pretty good, and from what I understand is this is saying that it was all invalid?

    I guess what I would like to know is what can I expect? Any other advice? I have told her that I am very hurt by this and this is not what I wanted and reiterated that I didn’t want this divorce either.

    • filmel says

      You were blessed with two children that will not disappear when and if she receives an annulment through the church. She converted to catholicism, and she remains a divorced catholic w/ two kids..
      An annulment sounds like she has plans to remarry someone perhaps.

    • Mike says

      Keep hope Jack! Rest assured you will be involved in the annulment process. As long as you would like to reconcile a sacramental marriage, I can not imagine any Catholic Church granting an annulment! Most likely they will recommend she come together with her priest, and work with you both at reconciling your differences so the two of you can live out your covenant in a christian manner. I’d love to know if you have an update!

  188. Ellen says

    Hi. My fiancé was married in a civil service and divorced after his ex left him for another man. He was never baptized but now wants to be baptized catholic. Can he do so and will he now be able to marry me in a catholic church?

    • michael says

      I am british and devorced in London,I am now in Philippines and in process of getting married to my philippineo girlfriend.we have all the paper work and license’s,we have also done seminar in the church.But the church missed the interview with the bishop.We had interview last and he refused us to marry.All the organising has been done (everything for the big day) I also paid the bills,so now I lost all my money and we can not marry.Why do thy ask for my devorce paper’s if thy mean nothing in the church? I am so mad with the church now,it is turning me away from the church.

  189. Amy says

    I have been married for 15 years. We were married in the catholic church, however my husband converted 5 years ago. At the time he converted, he confessed to me that he has was molested as a child and has been addicted to pornography since a young adult. Now, he no longer believes in his conversion, does not believe he was of sane mind when he married me, and he only dated me, due to all this, our marriage shouldn’t be considered valid. I am not giving up on our marriage, we have 3 kids, and i believe in the commitment i vowed on our wedding day. I think he is finding ways to get out of the marriage. Would there be grounds for annulment, as he thinks? Thank you and please pray for us.

    • filmel says

      do not give up on your marriage. His grounds for an annulment are weak at best. Take him by the hand an lead him to a priest or marriage counsoler.

  190. Stacy payne says

    I am Catholic and was widowed at age 44. My fiancé was divorced but was married in a courthouse. Is that recognized as a marriage and will he need to seek an annulment before we can be married in the church? If so, and we opt to marry outside of the church, can we have the marriage blessed later? Or, will they only bless it with an annulment?

    • filmel says

      legal marriage…was either or baptized in any faith? If you marry outside the church, you are commiting a serious sin upon consummation of such marriage. Whats wrong with going the annulment route…See a priest.

  191. Trees says

    I am a practicing catholic & living with my partner. I have never been married. My partner is a Catholic & was married in the Catholic church. He & his wife decided to separate. She applied for a divorce. I desperately want to do Gods will but feel I am living in mortal sin. Do I have to just up & leave to avoid living in mortal sin? Am I living in mortal sin since it was their decision & not mine to separate?

    • says

      Hello! Thanks for reaching out. Your partner is still considered married until granted an annulment. While living together isn’t a sin in and of itself it could lead to near occasions of sin meaning that you are walking a fine line. If you are having sexual relations with him it is called adultery. It may be best to live separately to protect yourself and your partner from sin until he is free to marry again (provided the current marriage is annulled). I strongly recommend confession to get additional advice from a priest who can counsel you best on your situation. God bless.

  192. Abigail says

    Hi Jon. 🙂
    I am extremely confused. I am newly Catholic, and currently engaged to a Catholic man, and trying to plan our wedding. I was married years ago, in a civil ceremony, to an un-baptized atheist, while I had never been baptized. We were divorced legally in 2006. The diocese here keeps insisting I need an annulment before my fiancé and I can be married in the church. Why is this the case?
    Thank you for your assistance! God bless!

    • says

      Hi Abigail. Being that I am by no means an expert, that you and your former spouse were not baptized when married it seems peculiar to me that you would need an annulment. Has the diocese given a reason? Are they simply looking at the fact that you are now baptized and extending that to your previous marriage?

      • Abigail says

        Recently, the diocese lost the individual in charge of such cases. I’m assuming that they’re just being super cautious, crossing t’s and dotting i’s. I just want to be able to marry my fiancĂ© the correct way, in the church, without unnecessarily disturbing painful memories.
        Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

        • filmel says

          Your intention is forthright… there are other parishes with the proper tribunals to straighten this out close by… use them, give them the circumstances and go with the knowledge that if you are a convert and not because you want to marry a catholic.. it will greatly weigh in your favor.

      • Mike says

        Because the church assumes ALL marriages are valid, even those between Unbaptized persons. Both were not baptized at the time. Assuming she knew he was an atheist before, yet willingly agreed to marry, unless he initiated the divorce, the marriage may still be valid.

        1 Corinthians 7:10-17 on marriage to non-believers. This is why she needs to go through the annulment process to determine if the marriage is valid.

  193. says

    My husband was divorced when we got married. We applied for an annulment but were turned down at the time. His first wife has just recently died. My husband and I have been married 32 years and would like to have our marriage blessed. Since his first wife is deceased would we still have to go through the annulment process?

    • says

      Since she is deceased, I do not believe that your husband would have to try to receive an annulment. A marriage ends upon death. However, if your husband was still validly married to another woman while married to you then you have both committed adultery and would need to go to confession. When you meet with the priest to discuss the blessing of your marriage, be sure to give him all the details and he’ll work with you on the proper steps to move forward. God bless.

  194. says


    My boyfriend is married to the church of god denomination, then he is now divorce, and i am single roman catholic. can we get married in roman catholic?

  195. Brian says

    I am divorced 6 years now but we never got an annulment and i would like to marry my current partner very soon. My ex wife has remarried already 5 yrs now as a and to a pentacostal christian. Is it ok for me to remarry or how can i marry a single Russian Orthodox person. Will i have to change my religion to marry in a church. I do not have the money for the annulment.

  196. Comfort says

    My husband and I have been seperated for six years. We are not divorced. Can the church grant an annulment while we are legally married to each other? If No please what are the reasons?

  197. Alicia says

    My boyfriend was married in a non Catholic Church, divorced several years ago, but his previous marriage was not annulled. We want to get married next year and I have never been married. Would we be able to marry in the Catholic Church? And would our marriage be valid if he’s divorced but I have never been married?

    • says

      He should discuss his previous marriage with a priest to determine what needs to happen with respect to an annulment and then you will have your answer. God Bless.

  198. Valerie says

    Hi Jon can u help.What about a catholic couple who received the sacrament of marriage,got divorce legally,and wants to remarry in the church again.Thanx.

    • says

      Hi Valerie. Do you mean that the couple wants to re-marry each other? If so, and there was never an annulment, then they are technically still married in the Church. If they want to marry other people then they need to go through the annulment process to determine if they have a valid sacramental marriage or not.

  199. says

    I was married in catholic church and met all requirements for a valid catholic marriage.(both of us) She was unfaithful and wanted a divorce …I told her that she had to do the divorce (civil) as I cannot break my vows. So she did. I have not remarried and consider myself still married after 20 + years…I have received communion since..am I wrong to do this? I do not believe I have done anything wrong…I am still faithful to my marriage and God….but is having communion wrong…Am I doing the right thing?
    thank you

    • says

      Hi Steve. From how you describe it, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. You are not the one committing adultery. I pray that God will continue to give you his strength to live in his grace during such a challenging experience. God bless.

      • Roxana A Cervantes says

        Good afternoon,
        how are you? I got married by catholic church and I was with abusive husband. we been separated for 8 years and now i want to get divorced by church? what are the steps and can i get remarried again?

  200. concerned person says

    My question is if a person gets raped/molested by a Catholic church members husband can the wife file for a divore/annulment after finding out what he husband has done to a person under the legal age to consent to a sexual act I am now 26 years old it happend when I was 13 the husband and wife no longer live together and I just wanna know the answer to this question so please answer ASAP

  201. Audrey says

    We were married in a civil ceremony and were married by a reverend. Is it considered a sacramental marriage?

  202. john says

    If I am divorced can I still receive communion?
    Since divorce is a grave offense against nature, if you are the one perpetrating the divorce than you would objectively be in a state of mortal sin (full knowledge) and could not receive Communion. What do you think, Jon?

  203. Michael J. says

    Hi Jon,
    I was not raised Catholic but am now interested in learning about Catholicism and have been reading more about it online. I left the faith I was raised in (Baptist) in my teen years. I am now in my 40s and divorced after after a 13 year marriage. We were married by a Baptist minister though neither of us were religious or practicing members of any church when we married. If I were to convert to Catholicism would I be able to remarry?

    • filmel says

      If both parties were baptized in any faith…If you were to convert,you still must obtain an annulment.

    • Mike says

      Sorry to disagree with you Jon. But that is most certainly not correct. ALL marriages are assumed to be Valid in the eyes of the church! She would have to prove her marriage was invalid in order to be able to re-marry. Based solely on the circumstances she described above, her previous marriage would not qualify for annulment.

      Catholics believe that marriage between baptized Christians is a sacrament, regardless of the denomination of the spouses. The Church understands that marriage takes place when two persons exchange consent through wedding vows according to the norms of their own faith tradition. In fact, the Church believes that even marriages involving unbaptized persons come into existence with the exchange of vows according to their beliefs and practices.

      For the marriage bond between husband and wife to be established by God, the couple have willing consented to be joined in marriage. They must know what marriage is and they must intend the marriage to be lifelong. They must also have the physical and psychological ability as well as the personal maturity to follow through on what they have intended.

      When all of the above factors are brought together, a sacramental, indissoluble union is established by God. The Catholic Church recognizes, respects, and presumes this type of enduring marriage bond between persons of any faith background (and in a similar way between unbaptized persons), even if the civil government, because of divorce, no longer recognizes that a marriage exists. This is why the Church respects your previous marriage, even though you are not a Catholic. Converting to Catholicism does not change this.

      Without an annulment she would not be able to remarry. Try to remember the marriage covenant between man and woman, is meant to parallel our covenant with Christ.

      For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Divorce is not forgiveness.

  204. jb says

    Hi Jon,
    I have a question. My husband and I of 22 years are seeking a separation/divorce. (still in early stages)
    We agreed and got married in MY church, the Presbyterian Church. His priest did not attend, even tho was invited. We signed a form, I think called a form of despensation, which promised we would raise our children RC (which we have done). I understand this form also ‘recognized our marriage’ by the Catholic Church. Do we in any way have to notify both churches, once divorced, or does my spouse have to seek an annulment in order to potentially re-marry? Thanks

  205. says

    Since the RC Church recognizes the existence of the Anglican Communion which uses the NT to formulate its theology
    What would happen if a person married in the Anglican Communion gets a divorce and one then enters the R Church, will she be allowed to remarry in the RC Church. If so I find this hypocrisy because since the Anglicans use the NT Mark says No in Ch 10 8-9 to divorce. Apparently this can happen in the RC Church under the Pauline Privilege. I think it is contradictory. Please Jon answer this question

    • says

      Hi Irfan. I wish I knew the answer, but this matter is beyond my area of expertise. My educated guess would be that the person would need to seek an annulment, which determines whether a sacramental marriage had happened, before marrying in the Catholic Church, but I’m knowledgeable enough about the intricacies of such a situation.

  206. Alicia says

    If a Catholic gets married outside of church and gets divorce, then was the marriage invalid or does it still need to get annulled before remarrying in a Catholic church?

  207. Jenny Watson says

    So rather people are divorced or annulled, after having sex with one person, it is a sin to have sex with another – an annulment only gets someone “out of a marriage” and not the act of having sex – so technically, you get once chance to do it right – if you have sex after an annulment, you are a sinner everytime you have sex with someone else – so, bottom line, until your spouse dies, you cannot have sex with anyone else

    • says

      Not true. An annulment means that the marriage never happened; i.e. you never had a spouse. Therefore if you never had a spouse you would not be committing adultery with another person to whom you are married post-annulment.

      • Jenny Watson says

        I know that I am being difficult but: So if I never had a spouse, did I have sex out of wedlock – then after the annulment, I am a virgin? What about Gail’s question with children – the couple had sex, had kids then an anulment – did the kids not happen?

    • filmel says

      sex outside the marriage state is sinful,,whether divorced,single,or traveling in a circus or what have you.

  208. Gail says

    Hi,, If my husband who is also Catholic, was previously married (as he was )) we have since married after his divorce. Asked for an anullment of his previous marriage , and that is to say the marriage never happened would not his children by that marriage be seen as Illigitimate?? he wants to take communion
    Thank You

    • filmel says

      The children have nothing to do with the annulment..they were born whilst he was married to previous wife; however he cannot receive the sacrement of communion until after his annulment. He is living in sin.

  209. JOSHUA NYATEPE says

    how long must a baptized catholic who has now become a widow wait to remarry. after the deceased catholic spouse?

  210. Lori says

    I was married in the Catholic church in 1988 and divorced in 2001. I remarried without an annulment in the Greek Orthodox church last November. My new husband is Greek Orthodox. Is it still possible to get an annulment in the Catholic church so that I may receive communion again? My ex husband has since become a Jehovah’s Witness

    • filmel says

      anything is possible,keep the hope alive.. I am surprised you were married in greek orthodox church without an annulment..
      check with a priest at you place of worship..get the ball rolling..communion is worth the effort.

  211. Rae says

    My first marriage was a in a Catholic Church. We divorced 5 yrs later and I’ve been single since a few years ago. I remarried-civil. I finally received my final decision from the Tribunal and my first marriage was granted invalid. Can I now receive communion?

      • Chev says

        Hi Jon,

        This is in reference to your discussion above “If I am Catholic and divorced can I get remarried?” and Rae’s post. If the guy’s first marriage was in a Catholic Church and he’s been divorced from his first wife a long time ago, can he remarry in civil rites? Or does he need to get a “civil annulment” first before he can remarry in civil rites? If he has been granted a “civil annulment” from his first marriage, would that mean that he won’t be committing adultery anymore and can receive communion?

    • Jackie says

      I was married in the church at eighteen to a man with an IQ of 70. I didn’t know about his IQ. The priest didn’t want to marry us but the bishop overruled. He was physically and mentally abusive and after 27 years he injured me badly and we divorced. We have three grown children. I want to marry a man who was previously married in a church. It was his ex wife’s second church marriage with no annulment. He was married in themethodist church. Can we be married in the church?

  212. jmant3s says

    Hello Jon, when filling out forms for new parishioner at my new parish office I was stumped by a question, “Marital Status”. I was granted an annulment a few years ago but don’t know if my status is single, divorced or annulled, what is the proper designation? I eventually plan on having my wedding ceremony in this church as well as future sacraments for myself, daughter and fiancee.

    • says

      An annulment essentially means that a sacramental marriage never happened. If it was me, I would put single. Certainly when you plan to begin the process for marriage you would need to disclose your annulment at that time, but it’s not necessary for registration with the parish.

  213. PJ Saaenz says

    I am going through a divorce (my husband asked for it). Can I still receive communion even after the divorce as long as I don’t remarry? Thank you.

  214. emilia holcomb says

    i married a man that coud not have , or do sex, so i divorce him, now do you think that i will never be able to remarrie a nother man////

  215. Jackie Akinyi says

    Hello,i am dating an Italian man and we are getting serious however am not catholic but he is and he is also divorced,i wanna know if its possible to wed in another faith and will the marriage be legal?

    • jo says

      If a person has an annulment can he/she marry someone of a different faith who is divorced? Or does the person of the other faith have to get a divorce also in order for it to be a blessed marriage the Catholic church?

  216. Samuel Abraham says

    I married about 14 years ago, an anonymous caller called to say the child I claim to be mine is not mine.I reported to the Police to fish out the culprit. For one year there was no headway. Just recently my wife said she has been carrying an IUD without knowing. Is it possible? I am confused. My blood pressure has written to 150/100. It is not good for my health. Can appy for annulment or separation?

    • says

      Hi Samuel. While I am not qualified to answer specific questions about IUD’s or other contraceptive methods, it is best to consult with your parish priest regarding the annulment process. If you do not belong to a parish try calling the office of the parish church near you. I will pray for you.

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