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.

588 thoughts on “Divorce, Annulments, and Remarriage”

  1. I was baptized last year but was married before and have been divorced for over 10 years before I was baptized. Can I be married in a Catholic marriage without an annulment?

    1. Dear Matt,

      Please research the “Pauline Privilege”. It’s a somewhat unknown Church teaching that in certain cases, allows converts to the Catholic faith to be validly married to another Catholic even if they had been married and divorced before becoming Catholic. Here’s an article with more details, but certainly talk to your parish priest: https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/04/04/what-is-the-pauline-privilege/

      God Bless You!

  2. Can a Catholic divorced man (married civically to a non-catholic) be able to marry a Catholic woman in a Catholic church?

    1. Dear Abigail,

      If a Catholic marries a non-catholic in a civil ceremony, the man is NOT validly married in the eyes of God or the church.

      As a result, if and when he does choose to get married in the Church, since his first marriage wasn’t valid in the first place, we WOULD be able to marry a Catholic woman.

      God Bless You!

  3. Always remember, a Jew would never eat human flesh. The “Sacraments” and receiving communion was a Roman Catholic Joke to the christians so they could be laughed at as they performed ritualistic cannibalism. Jesus never would have said eat by body, EAT ME, or drink my blood. Jews don’t do that. Pagans, like Constantine, the joker responsible for creating the bible, put those words in the bible as a trick. Mockery. Same for humiliating Christians that think they can “raise the dead”. It says they can, if they believe in Christ, yet, it has never been done. More Roman jokes on the christians. Remember every time you take communion, you are performing ritual cannibalism.

    1. Ms. Smith,

      You sounds very confused and in deep sin. I will pray that you repent of those sins that keep you far from Christ and His grace and His Sacraments like Holy Communion.

      You are obviously lost and worshiping your own bloated ego. I suggest repentance of that and getting your sanctimonious self-righteousness self to the Sacrament of Confession.

    2. Hi Mary, are you a Christian?

      Jesus clearly said His Body is true food and His blood is true drink….Read John Chapter 6. We know Jesus transformed and fulfilled the meaning of the Passover meal. Take this all of you and eat it….
      The lamb had to be eaten at the Passover. Jesus is now the new Lamb of God. Scott Hahn has a good book called The 4th Cup. pax

  4. hi, my hubby was married before in a catholic church then got divorced. i was never married before, i come from a very strict italian family, i never told anyone that my husband was married before so we just got married in my church. my family would have freaked out if i wasnt going to get married in a church. we were able to provided all the paperwork to priest and we got married. we have been married for 23 years.
    we did get married at city hall first because that is the way my church wanted it…they need that paperwork.
    my question is….in the eyes of the church i am not married correct? but i am married being we go married at city hall? i know it is nuts…this whole marriage was a scam from the beginning…i am still with this man …WHY? so i dont disappoint my family…now 2 kids later…very unhappy…miserable…always thinking of everyone else but myself…but like the church says…til death do us part…i guess…that will be the only thing that will disolve this marriage with my family…LOL
    I laugh…because it is the only thing i can do…it really is sad…a whole life wasted with a person i dont love…just living like two roommates…going thru the motions…SIGH…

    1. Dear Alex,

      I know this is an old message, but I just read it and wanted to reply anyway. If your husband was originally married in the Catholic Church and that marriage was never annulled, then he is still married to his first wife. The two of you are NOT married!

      As Catholics, we follow the civil laws where required, but they do not go above God’s laws, and His law is very clear – your husband is still married to his first wife.

  5. My husband and I have been married for 37 years. He is Catholic. I’m not. His first wife died. My first husband died. I remarried a Catholic that never got an annulment from his first wife. He has since remarried after our divorce and has Alzheimer’s and can’t remember where he and his first wife were married.

    I want to join the Catholic Church but all that was at my marriage to My second husband has passed away or I have lost track of who was there.

    I do not know what to do.

  6. Hello, I have a complicated, or perhaps simple in some eyes, situation. I married my now boyfriend in the Catholic Church a few years ago. We had a civil divorce last year, after going through a tumultuous time with deaths in the family. The dust settled and we began dating again and are now very much in love and together once more. We would like to remarry, but as I understand it, we are STILL married in the eyes of the church? The only reason to remarry would be for a civil marriage within the context of the state laws and to renew vows (within the context of the church, something we would very much love to do), is this correct? Thank you so much. And God Bless.

    1. Of course u can in the eyes of God there was no divorce Gods spiritual law superceeds mans law in fact is universal law did he not create the intire universe and all that exist in it then his law is intrinsically a part of it as far as doing a recommit in the church that would have to be orchestrated with the priest or Deacon for renewing vows and as far as the civil part is concerned you re-up your license to marry and have the priest sign it to become civil validation but wat a testimony this is and a witness to Gods provincial miracle working power to bring you two back together as one in flesh and spirit my hats ? off to both of you and brings hope to others in similar circumstances praise be to God and his blessings on you both Daniel

    2. Dear Alicia,

      I don’t know if you received an answer to this post or not.

      You ARE still married in the eyes of the church and of God – God Bless You for staying with your husband and rekindling your marriage.

      The only reason to remarry would be related to the civil aspects.

  7. Have a question that i was asked.. If the spouse kills the other and is found not guilty by the law. Why is he or she not allowed to remarry in the catholic church.. But the catholic church states you can remarry if your spouse dies and its not adultery for you are allowed to remarry only when your spouse is dead in catholic church again..

  8. Live to be a million years and i will never understand. Your Catholic church ran peadophile rings but not having your marriage annulled is living in a state of mortal sin. Why do any of you listen to this garbage? Your church is morally depraved.

    1. Dorrance E Deakle III

      You’re an idiot.

      The Catholic Church is not a Governmental orginization, nor is it a police orginization. That’s not the churches purpose.

      In every orginization their are sinners.

      The Catholic Church does not run pedophile rings, don’t be an idiot. And please don’t believe everything you see on the internet.

  9. If I am a divorced non-Catholic and remarry a Catholic without me getting a Catholic annulment, Will my wife who is Catholic (her 1st marraige) still be able to receive communion?

    1. Yes she can because she’s getting married for the durst and in this case there’s is a particular process before getting married and she has to be taken in marriage as per the marriage ceremony of the catholic church.

      1. ABSOLUTELY wrong. Unless the Catholic Church finds Kelly’s first marriage null, it holds that he is still married. And so he can’t validly marry a Catholic woman (or anybody else). He can’t validly marry a Catholic woman in a Catholic ceremony without an annulment.

      2. I believe you are incorrect. Regardless of this being her only marriage the man was married and divorced he needs to get an anulment they want to marry in the catholic church h from the catholic church he is still considered married in the eyes of the church ..so she won’t be a leader to get married in the catholic church till he gets an anulment

    2. No she cannot receive Communion because the marriage is not valid- in the eyes of the Church, you are still married to the first wife. You need to get an annulment for you and your new wife to be validly married in the Catholic Church.

  10. Hi. I need your advice. I’m not so religious. I became Catholic because my husband insisted only on religious marriage. He is living in Dubai. Most of the cases only religious marriages are accepted here. I want to leave him after 5 years of living together. We try to be nice but we cannot stand out each other. We have a daughter. Please advise how to get annulment of our marriage. I don’t care if it’s annulled or not but I would like him also to have a chance to start new life. I know that marriage in church is important for him.

    1. Hi bro please help me out… How to write application To priest asking to accept for second marriage …writing that because of my wife mother trying to change my domination into protesten church I disagree with this…we divorce and I got married with another woman…

  11. Hi,
    I am a non-practicing catholic who wants to return to the church. I have been twice married. My first wife was an atheist and we were married by a minister of some chapel in Las Vegas (a planned elopement). We were married for around 7 years and had a son together, and got divorced when he was only three years old. My son is now in my full-time care. Several years later, I remarried, this time to a woman who was a non-practicing member of the United Church. We were together for 9 years total, and married after 6 years of being together, by a local minister in a 10 minute ceremony at the minister’s house (My wife found him online) We also had a son together. We have been separated for over a year now, and this son is also in my full-time care, and his mother for the past year has been living thousands of miles away. I’m hoping that sometime in 2018 that all of the financials will get sorted out and that our divorce can be finalized.

    Do I need to get annulments for both marriages even though I was not married in the Catholic church?

    I don’t think I would have a problem getting wife #1 to sign any papers, but wife #2 is a different story. She is a violent alcoholic, and when we split up, I started untangling all of the lies she had been telling me. I saw behind all these masks she had on, and it was not pretty. From thousands of miles away, she is actively trying to destroy my life. She too was married once before, and she had abandoned two of her children before we got together. Now she has abandoned our son.

    I have no intention of getting remarried. I have remained celibate since we broke up over a year ago. With two sons in my full-time care from two different mothers, it’s obvious that I do not have a good track record with relationships, and I’m trying to salvage what’s left of my boys’ childhoods. Both boys were born out of wedlock.

    My parents have both passed away, but my father was married prior to being with my mother. He was married to his first wife in the Catholic Church, and had two children, my half brother and sister. He never received an annulment and then had two children with my mother (Myself and my sister) upon my father’s death, it was revealed to all the children that my mother and father were never actually married. Which makes me a bastard I guess. I don’t know if this has any relevance or not to returning to the Catholic Church

    For several years prior to my wife and I splitting up, I developed what I thought was arthritis in my hands and knees. it was getting progressively worse. Each morning, I would have to walk downstairs holding on to the banister, and walk on an angle as I felt my knees would buckle from the pain. I had a morning routine where I would wrap my hands around a hot cup of coffee to ease the pain in my hands and then painfully pry back my fingers on both hands to loosen the joints. During the day these symptoms would subside. After several breakups, I knew at the final one that I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t live with the alcoholism and the lies anymore, the abuse, and the mistreatment of my first son. I went and stayed at my sisters. The next morning, I got up and started discussing with my sister what my next steps should be. suddenly, mid-conversation, I noticed that I had no pain in my hands or knees. A year later, this pain is still gone. I still wake up sometimes at night and clench my fists open and closed to make sure it’s really gone. Many people tell me it was all the stress that was building up over the years and manifesting in my body in the form of arthritis in my hands and knees, but to me, it is nothing short of miraculous. It disappeared overnight, and never returned. This part has nothing to do with annulments or returning to the Catholic Church, but I often feel compelled to share this story, -a need to give it proper acknowledgement I guess. I feel blessed.

  12. I was married in the Church to a Catholic but I was not Catholic at the time. Several months after the marriage, I converted to Catholicism. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last and we obtained a civil divorce but no annulment from the Church. Can I still receive Communion since I wasn’t Catholic during the time of the marriage? I’ve read some of the comments about receiving Communion if one does not remarry, which I haven’t. I miss the Eucharist.

  13. I am trying to help my big brother who is going through hell with his marriage. I am protestant (Presbyterian now, but formerly Lutheran), but he is now a Catholic. I have learned a lot about Catholicism while trying to be of assistance to him. Needless to say, I am not interested in joining that club. I hate to see him as unhappy as he is.
    Anyway…. My brother married a Catholic woman who was divorced civilly but the marriage was not annulled. He eventually converted to Catholicism (he says he did this for the family unity). He’s a very loving and generous soul. Extremely patient, too. More so than I would be.
    His wife and he are both on their second marriages. This one has lasted them 20+ years. She had 3 children with her first husband and now they have more. Their youngest, however, is now about to finish college and get married.
    His first marriage to a childhood friend from our church lasted only three years before she left him. It was annulled when he decided to his current wife. So he has jumped through all the hoops.
    Her annulment, however went through the ringer for several years. Somehow it ended up in Rome for their decision ( I thought that stuff was all handled at a lower level) and was lost or hidden for some reason. Anyway, her ex, from what he has told me, is very controlling and verbally abusive which is why she made him leave in the first place.
    So, for the last 15 years or so he has been going through hell. A “special dispensation” was granted to them by their priest, but she now thinks that process was invalid or fraudulent. (All this makes my head spin.)
    Bottom line is, he is very unhappy and she has become more and more unlike a wife to him, claiming that they must live like brother and sister. He says they stopped having sex years ago. And even though there was this dispensation thing that their priest gave them, her conscience would not allow it. She treats him like anything but a husband. She forgets his birthday and tells him to order his own birthday and Christmas presents. She does not cook, but when she does he says it is bad. She also does nothing to help provide income for the family. Instead she spends money like it was nothing.
    He should have left her years ago, get on with his life and be happy, in my opinion. God does not want us to be unhappy, does he? He does not know if it is OK to leave her and remain Catholic.
    He says he wants to remain Catholic but that this whole process has put him off of it.
    Since her marriage was never annulled, does that mean that he would have to get an annulment from this one in order to remarry?
    I tell him that he should leave her and become a protestant again.
    Do you think that he should he leave her and make a new life for himself while he still has some time? He is 60 now and I know he deserves better.

  14. Show me where it is written that Jesus said, if a man or woman is the victim of divorce, they where the ones put away, that they can’t remarry. This notion that the victim is guilty is absurd. He say if you divorce your spouse you and remarry are an adulterer. It’s pretty clear.
    Jesus goes on to say that a person should take a wife or be as a eunuch IF one has the ability to do that. Again, clearly, Jesus understands that the biological drive is overwhelming and offers marriage as the means to remain sinless provided its to procreat.
    Paul goes on to say that an unbeliever divorces you, you have to try to reconcile but are not bound. So I ask you, if my wife put me away because she wants to lead her life differently, is she a believer? She knows she is living a sinful life on purpose… no remorse. How much is she a believer?
    This absurd doctrine punishes the faithful victim. It’s twisted and sadistic. It’s NOT WHAT JESUS SAID!

  15. Question about civil divorce and got married in Australia after citizenship but still civilly married in philippines.
    Husband left me and will not reconcile with me, after 2 years of separation here in Australia. I got divorced since i already have my australian citizenship. However could not afford a civil annulment in the philippines.i was not married in the catholic church. As an australian citizen i am now civilly married but would like to have my new civil marriage be convalidated in the Philippines to make my civil marriage recognized in the church. Is it possible to happen? We dont hve the moeny to have my civil marriage in the philippines be anuled because of money constraint. Plus i am now an australian citizen

  16. I was forced into marriage by my dad when I was 15, i have two kids. We did church wedding 4years after traditional way. After the wedding he changed telling me,am domed and there’s no going back.He will invite his sisters to beat me up, Throw my bags outside. We got separated and he collected The bride Price. But now i want to go for annulment
    Catholic Church annulment.

  17. I was married for 15 years, engaged 1 1/2 years, had a big wedding got married at 26 he was 28. I’m divorced 10+ years and NOW my ex wants an annulment so he can marry his new girl in a Church- her wish. I will NOT sign anything that tries to claim my marriage was not valid. I got the paperwork yesterday and will fight this. I took a vow and planned to keep it and although I hate his guts and he made my life a living hell, I’m sad that our marriage didn’t work or last -I stayed as long as I possibly could, gave it my all and we have 2 children together. the reasons he presented to the diocese are quite a load of fiction. I plan to respond to the diocese and stress my strong objection to this but can he actually get this to happen? It’s RIDICULOUS!!!!!!! We got married in 1991… it’s 2017 (lol) seriously? I realize annulment doens’t change the validity of my kids but in my mind it does and doesn’t sit well with them either. I’m beyond infuriated.

    1. B in Mississippi

      Hello. I’m interested in learning how the annulment process ended? Did they allow him an annulment?

      My brother-in-law has been married to my sister-in-law for 16 years. They have 3 daughters. She became Catholic before they got married so that his parents would approve of the marriage. She is faithful and attends daily Mass now that he’s having an affair with a married woman. She’s been praying for 9 months and they’ve gone to counseling until he decided he didn’t want to try anymore (he wants to be with his mistress and not have to deal with his wife’s pain). He will not admit to the affair, but there’s a PI report proving it. His office is a single office rented in a building so everyone else who works there doesn’t actually work for his company. So he leaves work at 10:30 every morning and parks in different parking lots near his mistress’ home then walks to her house. They stay there the entire day until 530 when she brings him back to his car. This is all on video and GPS tracking. 2 weeks worth and his friend’s wife. It’s been going on for at least 6 months as far as we know. He won’t admit to it since there’s no actual physical inappropriate intimacy shown on the video. He says they’re just friends. My sister-in-law doesn’t even want a divorce. She wants to save her marriage but he doesn’t. And now we are hearing that his parents are trying to pay off the church so he can get an annulment! They’ve seen the report and admitted one that there’s no other explanation that it’s an affair. Then they zipped it and started denying it and told everyone in the family they’re just friends and that his wife’s depression (caused by the affair) is why he’s divorcing her. So they are victim shaming my sister-in-law whom they’ve loved for 16 years! Now all of a sudden they are going to tell the church she’s crazy because she struggled with what she called dark thoughts in her head for one month during all of this telling her to kill her self. She knew it was wrong and would go to Mass when the thoughts would overcome her. If they still didn’t stop, she’d drive to my house so she couldn’t be alone and she started seeing a psychiatrist immediately because she didn’t WANT to kill her self. She knows that’s wrong and she loves her daughters. So the psychiatrist medicated her. Now my mother-in-law is saying the Effexor is causing my sister-in-law to tell too much and that my brother-in-law feels threatened when she yells! She’s literally going to try to convince the church that he had no choice but to divorce her all while she knows he’s STILL sleeping with his friend’s wife! My sister-in-law is DEVASTATED! She doesn’t even want a divorce. He does and now they are going to try and manipulate the Church by tampering with a Holy Sacrament! Is there anything that can be done? Can i tell the diocese he’s still sleeping with a married woman or is that not my place? He should NOT be allowed to invalidate their marriage. She is a good wife and mother. He’s just possessed by lust now and refuses to confess and repent. My mother-in-law wants the annulment so she doesn’t have to worry about his soul, but he’s still sleeping with another man’s wife. My mother-in-law is refusing to admit that truth, however. Now I’m afraid for my mother and father in law’s salvation. Abusing sacraments like this seems to me to be a grave sin. I don’t want to judge them, but they are not thinking straight, and I feel like if I allow this abuse of a Sacrament to take place by not speaking up that I’m sinning? And I’ll just be honest, I don’t want him to have the satisfaction of tricking the church into granting him an annulment. The victim shaming and lies and manipulation are just too much for me! It’s evil. I feel it and I see it. And my mother and father in law were good people. A reality of mine is shattered. My mother-in-law has gone to Mass daily ever since I’ve known her – 21 years and she teaches CCL and is a leader in the Holy Family Institute. She’s gone to Medjugorie several times. I’m truly astonished and saddened and angry all at the same time. What should I do?

  18. My husband, he divorced me last year, hes getting married. Our marriage fell apart 2011 and he made no attempt to reconcile. I was happy being separated but married. I do still feel married to him and see this as an affair in a way and could cope that he is having a civil marriage. However I have just found out that he is having a catholic priest perform a blessing in a catholic chapel afterwards. We have/had a sanctified marriage, both practising catholics and had a recognised wedding, she doesn’t practice any faith – Im so lost how are they getting a blessing?

    How can this be?

  19. Me and my wife has been fight very frequently since the day we were married, even during the time of the marriage we were in an argument and clashing. Now its been four years, we have two kids, but the frequent fights, shouting, cursing for hours and hours when she starts has started to affect my health as I have developed the problem of disturbed heart beats at such times. It also gets very difficult to tolerate as all of this is bringing shame, and disgrace to our family’s respect.

    My question is, now that i have married her, do I have to tolerate all this all my life or do I have the option of going for annulment and build up something myself, by being able to think in a peaceful environment. Also for the betterment of our children, I find it better to raise the kids myself. Although I have often tried making up my mind for reaching the church for discussion but haven’t been able to due to my busy work routine.

    I look forward to your valuable comments for restoring the peace in my life

    1. Roger, good day:
      My humble advice is just this: please find the time to talk with your parish priest/pastor. Make an appointment and tell him that you needed help. Your problem can’t just be solved online.
      God bless and all the best!

    2. Hello Roger, While Ronnie is right, you need to speak with your parish priest, you don’t need to live in your current situation. The church allows separation lending annulment, but would encourage counseling first. If this has not been persude then it can make getting an annulment more difficult but not enough to be denied.

  20. Hello.
    I’m so sorry if I offend anyone with this but I need some Catholic advice. My story is a bit complicated, and I admit I married very young and then remarried again.. not truly knowing that these partners would not even come close to respecting a marriage.

    Please be gentle but truthful to me.

    I have been with my current partner, (a Catholic for all of his life), for going on 3 years now and we have been living together for 2 1/2 now. He has proposed to me and I have accepted.
    We want a marriage that is recognized in the eyes of God. Since he is also started process of annulment obviously we both want to do all the right things from here on out, in order for OUR marriage to one another will be long lasting and blessed until the end.

    Due to infidelity, drugs and physical abuse (not on my part) those marriages ended and I am now a TWO time divorced non-Catholic, and finalizing my third civil divorce any day now. From this last marriage, we seperated 11 years ago, but due to having 6 children to raise on my own, I just now had the money to pay for civil divorce, plus I had been alone for long time.
    In all of my prior marriages NOT one was performed before a priest, deacon or bishop (they were performed before the justice of the peace).

    So what do you think is my status? How much more complicated does it become for annulment from three failed marriagrs since I’ve had these number civil divorces what risks do I run of not having them nulled?

    PLEASE help me see what I’m facing at this point.

    1. T, good day:
      My humble advice is just this: please find the time to talk with your parish priest/pastor. Make an appointment and tell him that you needed help. Your problem can’t just be solved online.
      God bless and all the best!

    2. I’m curious. Why didn’t the church recognize your husband’s first marriage since he was Catholic and she was Lutheran and they were married in the Lutheran church?
      I became Catholic two years ago. When I was in RCIA, the Deacon advised me I didn’t need to have my first marriage annulled. I asked him multiple times. Only when my current husband of seventeen years started RCIA did I discover that the Deacon misinformed me. Hence, I have obstained from taking the Eucharist and just finished the annulment process of my first marriage. Now there’s a problem with my current marriage since my husband was married before me. He is refusing to get an annulment since it will bring out many secrets that have been kept in the family and from his children. I’m extremely frustrated. I decided to commit myself to the church after twenty five years and now it seems it was for nothing.

      1. Melrose, I’m sorry you are facing these difficulties. I will be praying for you and your husband. As you probably already know, the annulment process is a very private process. So any secrets your husband doesn’t want your kids to know should be able to stay that way.

  21. Hi, I have been divorced for many years having thought I had done the right thing by getting married in a Church of England church for the wrong reason (pregnancy). I have now in love with a wonderful lady and she feels the same way. As she is a practising catholic the powers say she cannot have any relationship with me because of my divorce. Is there anyway round this problem as its making us quite stressed. We are both retired.

    1. Hi Steve, good day:
      My humble advice is just this: please find the time to talk with your parish priest/pastor. Make an appointment and tell him that you needed help. Your problem can’t just be solved online.
      God bless and all the best!

      1. why do you maintain this forum if never give any advice?
        I am also curious how another human can say we are committing adultery when the bible says if there was infidelity in the previous marriage, you do not have get an annulment. Also, Jesus taught that we are to forgive 7 x 70 times. GOD WAS TEACHING US ABOUT FORGIVNESS. then we say the prayer “Lord I am not worthy to receive You (communion) but only say the words and you shall be healed.
        I always said this prayer to receive forgiveness for anything I may have forgotten to ask God to forgive.

        You are human and a sinner just like the rest of us poor souls( thats the way the church has made me feel).

        Ive made tons of mistakes to include marrying and getting divorced without any annulment. I pray everyday for Gods will in my life activities and I know i am forgiven without talking to another man about it. The church gives you the “power…” to tell us to five hail Marys in order for my sins to be forgiven.

        The Holy Bible doesn’t bestow the power to forgive sins except through Jesus advocating for us to God. The good book doesn’t mention a word about priests and the “power” nor does it validate the catholics teachings going back centuries and amended several times since. Perhaps thats why the Bible hasn’t been revised or “updated”.

        Remember the most famous sinner/prostitute wasn’t stoned to death as the high priests would have ordained.
        To stop the Killing, Jesus asked the rock holders “for he who is without sin throw the fist stone”. They all froze and slowly dropped their stones; walking away from the doctrine of the church after hearing the Holy/ordained by God words of Jesus.
        I grew up in the church, but left after hearing the exact same words with little if any message from the man at the podium with the colorful robe. So at the age of 19 I left the church and only returned a year ago because my wife wanted to go back to the church.
        By the way, our priest told her she needed to get her first marriage annulled by paying money and filling out lots of forms the people in the Popes house will review with their
        “human” brains and decide if she will be “granted” an annulment. The church here in palm bay fl. is really stepping up the guilt trip to knew levels while promoting annulment applications as if its some kind of a commodity. Meanwhile, I can’t find any God or Jesus proclaimed requirements for annulment. The Bible teaches forgiveness 7 x 70 times; which is given by God through His Son Jesus to anyone who sincerely request same.

        Im going to find myself a church that understands my human shortcomings and its pastors as well. A church that will seek to uplift me not make me sick to my stomach by hurling Guilt. AS I recall, thats why i left the church years ago.

      2. Ronnie, my humble advice is not to act like an autoresponder bot. People are here for help and prayer, not to talk to a brick wall with a sign that says the same thing.

  22. So I just wanted to share my experience with obtaining an annulment of my marriage as maybe it will help some of you. I was raised Lutheran and went through the process to become Catholic. I was then married in the Catholic church to a Catholic. I was married for 35 years and had three children. Due to drug issues and abuse with my spouse I got a civil divorce. I met a man that is a divorced Catholic and we wanted to get married. We started the process to get my marriage annulled. It is a very long and intense process. It has been 1 1/2 years and still not done. We went ahead and were married outside of the Catholic church by a pastor but plan to get married in the Catholic church when and if my annulment is granted. My now current husband was not married in the Catholic church as his first wife was Lutheran. The Catholic church does not recognize that marriage therefore he was not required to get an annulment. If you divorce you can still participate in communion however if you remarry after the divorce you are not allowed to participate in communion until you are granted an annulment. I hope that helps some of you that have so many questions. This may not be the case for all of you just what I have experienced.

  23. Hello.
    I’m so sorry if I offend anyone with this but I need some.Catholic advice.
    I have been with my partner for 14 years now and we have 5 children together.
    He was married but separated from her when I met him and he is Still married to her now. He Is Roman Catholic and she is Maronite and they married in the Maronite church 27 years ago. He has 4 grown children.With her and he hasn’t been with her for 16 years now!
    She never shut her mouth, always arguing and fighting with him.In public, in front of family.And friends.And always infront of the children. He left her everytime they had a child yet kept giving her.Chances and she got worse each time.
    He wants to make an honest woman out of me and marry me finally. He’s filing for divorce but she doesn’t Accept it. I’m recently a Confirmed catholic and two of my children have taken Their catholic journey. I want to.Marry him in a catholic church, how can I do this right?
    I want to teach my children the right path to follow and follow the catholic way, I want a marriage that is recognized in the eyes of god.
    I live in Australia, not sure what to do… Please help! Thank you

    1. My dear sister in Christ, first of all, you need to repent and confess.

      Out of wedlock, you lived with this person for 14 years and gave birth to a child. Don’t you realize committing perpetual adultery out of marriage is a mortal sin ? Repent & do penance. Abstain from sexual relation until you both get married.

      For him, he could receive an annulment if his previous marriage was not considered a valid sacrament by the Church.

      I believe, since he was married to a Maronite, chances are he would not require an annulment. Also, he can receive communion after he marries you. Please do enquire it with the priest.

      May God bless you and your family!

  24. I have a question… My ex and I were married in a protestant church. She was divorced once before when I married her. Because she was not Catholic she didn’t have her previous married annuled. I am now dating a Catholic women and I wish to get married. Do I have to get an annulment or does the church not recognize as valid?

      1. Hi Liza/all

        I got questions, sorry I am confused and sometimes thinking I am in a wrong relationship and Sometimes its sad coz I grew up and very much catholic. I married in civil and I met my husband when he was 5 years divorced, hus ex remarried after 2years of the divorced, I married my him last 2015 and he was 10 years divorced.I know its not his fault to get divorced and thats his ex wants so i never think its a sin to love and married Him cause I know God knows what is in our hearts and we love each other. He got no religion and never baptist but his first marriage done in methodist church and his ex was methodist. We want to get married in catholic church, we where thinking maybe his 1st marriage wasnf valid since he doesnt have any religion.And he was very much willing to be catholic so we can have same faith. My husband is very good loving guy, sometimes its sad when we go to church and he sees me im worried that i wasnt able to received holly communion.when I opened up with him all my thoughts that I maybe committing adultery, etc. Is it possible to get annulment even he got a divorced paper.

      2. Can you give me a verse in scripture in the Bible, King James Version, where it says my marriage has to be in the annulled, george calf o’clock a.m.

  25. Hi
    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.

  26. Barbara de Souza

    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!

    1. 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.

      1. I guess I am going to rot in hell because when you get older the likely to marry again to another Catholic is very low possibilities I am 49 and if I do get married and if I cant get married in the Catholic church I will go somewhere else and I am happy with that. Did you know that the would of could of should of when you find someone who makes you happy and you are blessed I learned that shoulds mean shit on in the psychology world. I have always thought that God was a loving god and a loving god would never condemn you to hell. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are going to hell because it is wrong. May the loving god bless you.

    2. Dear Barbara,
      I am only now, in my 6th decade of life, coming to realize what God intended in the relationship between one man and one woman. Perhaps I may be able to explain it to your satisfaction; you are looking for truth or you would not be on this site.

      God is the Creator of all life. He gives mankind the grace to worship Him. What He expects is that mankind will accept that grace, fulfill the Will of God, and therefore return a fruitful harvest to give back to God. That fruitful harvest is the holiness of each person by doing God’s will and by seeking to bring others to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In that way, we help to fill the halls of heaven with saints, the members of His Church who are the Body of Christ.

      Marriage is meant to be a representation of Jesus’ unity with His Body, the Church. A man’s body is made in the image of Christ; he represents the Father, the Giver of Life, in his very bodily form. The woman’s body represents the Church, the one who will receive the life-giving seed, nurture it, and return children to the man. Those children are meant to be God’s saints to fill the heavens with His creation.

      Christ promised that He would be with His Church to the very end of time; thus, in a human marriage, the vows and the living out of those vows are meant to represent the undying love of God for His Church. God hates divorce, Scripture says. The only reason the Catholic Church considers annulments is because there are cases in which at least one partner in the relationship was found to be unfit to commit themselves to a lifetime relationship at the time the vows were taken. It is Scripture itself — Jesus’ words — that say that divorce and remarriage equal adultery.

      No one is judging you as being condemned to hell because your marriage is not recognized by the Catholic Church (which is very Christian — Christ is indeed our Lord and Savior). Instead, but most important, the Church wants your salvation and your husband’s. Your husband thought that a civil divorce was o.k. only because he did not understand Catholic teachings. So, unless he intended to leave the Catholic Church, his second marriage would not have been considered valid by the Church because he had not obtained an annulment and he did not marry in the Church. The same would be true of your marriage to him.

      It sounds as though his first wife, although remarried, did so without being in union with the Church. She now considers that important to her, so she is asking him to fill out the paperwork to help her proceed with the annulment process. If your spouse wants to return to the Church, the two of you would need to stop having relations (considered adultery by Christ ) until the Church considers whether his first marriage warrants an annulment. Then you could make plans to get married in the Catholic Church.

  27. 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.

      1. You don’t state that you converted to Catholicism. If you did not, then you don’t have to follow Catholic doctrine. You can’t have an annulment if you never converted. That would be like saying every Presbyterian who divorced and remarried was committing adultery. It sounds like they are using the Church as a way to keep your husband away as a punishment to you for divorcing their father.

        1. It is Christ’s teaching that to divorce and remarry is adultery. It is part of the natural and divine law and binding on everyone. John the Baptist lost his head because he told Herod and Herodias they we’re validly married. They were not even Christians. So most divorced and remarried Presbyterians are committing adultery.

    1. You state you were married by a Justice of the Peace. Per Canon Law, that is not a valid marriage, therefore you are not committing adultery. Look up Diocese of Des Moines, they have a great website for questions like this. Provide it to your children and show them. There are so many misunderstandings about this topic.
      Here is the question/answer from the Diocese of Des Moines. I realize you aren’t Catholic, but the point of the matter is that the Church doesn’t recognize JP marriages as valid (unless you later had it validated in a Christian Church or received a dispensation).

      5) I am a divorced Catholic and my prior marriage was not performed before a priest, deacon or bishop (it was before the justice of the peace or another Church). What is my status?
      A) Your prior marriage was invalid (unless you received a dispensation from form) since it did not follow the required form of marriage required for Catholics. You may file an administrative process, called Lack of Form, which is very simple, takes less than thirty days and has a fee of $50. You would then be free to marry in the Church.

  28. 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.

    1. “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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  31. 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?

    1. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. Hi,

    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?

      1. 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.

    1. 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.


  34. Hi,

    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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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 🙂

      1. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

    1. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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…..

  39. 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?

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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?

    1. 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!

      1. 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?

    2. 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.

  42. 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?

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

    1. 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.

  45. 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,


    1. 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

  46. 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.

    1. 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

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

    2. 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

    3. 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.


  48. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. Maribel,
      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.

    3. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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..

    1. 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.

  51. 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.

    1. 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.

  52. 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 fiancé 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.

    1. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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

  55. 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.

  56. 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?

    1. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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 ..

    ¨Thanks 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.

  59. Aethiest #ScienceIsTheTrueGod

    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.

    1. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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..

        1. 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

          1. 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

          2. 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.

          3. 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 ..

        2. 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 ..

          1. 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..

          2. 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.

        3. 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.

          1. 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)

          2. 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.

          3. “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?

        4. 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.

          1. 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.

        5. 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.

          1. “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)

          2. 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!

        6. 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

          1. 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.

        7. 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

          1. 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.

        8. 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

          1. 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?)

          2. 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..

          3. “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.

        9. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. “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.

          3. 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.

  62. 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?

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

  64. 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?

    1. 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..

      1. Melissa,
        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!

        1. 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!

          1. 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).

          2. 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.

          3. 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..

      2. 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.

        1. 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

      3. 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.

        1. 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

          1. Hmmm…perhaps the word “garbage” makes us think you are being hostile and offensive…

      4. 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

  65. 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

    1. 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.

  66. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. Rebecca Genovese

        I wà 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.

    2. 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.

  67. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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..

        1. If your fiancé 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.

    3. 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.

  68. 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!

    1. 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.

  69. 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

  70. 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?

    1. Ruth,
      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!

    2. 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.

  71. Melissa Gonzalez

    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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

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

    2. 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!

  72. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

    3. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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!!

        2. 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.

  73. Hello,
    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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  74. Ugwonali scholastica

    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

  75. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  76. 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

    1. Patty Alanis Fulghum

      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

    2. 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.

  77. 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.

    1. Patty Alanis Fulghum

      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.

  78. 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

    1. 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?

      1. Patty Alanis Fulghum

        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

    2. 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.

  79. My fiancé 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?


  80. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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…..

        1. 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.

    2. 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

      1. 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.

    3. 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.

  81. 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?

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

      1. 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.

        1. Patty Alanis Fulghum

          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

  82. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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

          1. 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

          1. 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.

          2. Patty Alanis Fulghum

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

    2. 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?

  83. Hello.

    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!

    1. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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?

    1. Hi,

      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?

      1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

  86. Hi,
    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 ?

  87. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  88. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

  89. 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.

    1. 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.

  90. 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?

  91. 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?

    1. 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!

  92. 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.

  93. Hello,
    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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. I hope someone can help me please…

    My fiancé 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….

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

      1. 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.

      2. Thank you for your replies. Just wanted to provide an update. My fiancé 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.

  96. Hello

    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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

  97. I have been divorced for 9 years and engaged for two years. My fiancé 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 fiancé and I get married in the eyes of the catholic belief?

  98. 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

  99. 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?

  100. 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!

  101. Hi,
    Myself and my fiancé 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?

    1. 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.

  102. Questions abound

    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.

    1. @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.

  103. 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.

  104. Hi,
    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)

  105. Here in canada, me and fiancé 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..

    1. 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!

      1. 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 -:(

        1. 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.

    2. 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 fiancé are stressed that we cannot marry in a catholic church. Thank you

  106. 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

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

  107. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  108. 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)

    1. 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.

  109. 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?

  110. 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?

    1. 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.

  111. separated Catholic

    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.

  112. 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

  113. 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?

    1. 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!

  114. 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

    1. 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?


    2. 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.

  115. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  116. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

      2. @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.

    2. 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!

  117. 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.

    1. 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! :))

    2. 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

  118. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
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  119. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

    2. 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.

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

        1. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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

  120. 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

    1. 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.

  121. 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?!

    1. Correct, sadly that is the truth, without an annulment you can’t marry again or you will be committing adultery because you are still married in the eyes of the Church.

      1. Received Annulment

        Roberta – I just received an annulment. It’s not as difficult as you might believe. Just submit the required paperwork and wait faithfully. The answer will always be “No” if you don’t try.

  122. 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?

    1. I don’t think it is standard procedure but see it as a good thing to have a marriage evaluation before marrying again.

  123. 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.

  124. 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?

  125. 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…

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. Question:

    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?


  129. Question:
    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?

  130. 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?

  131. 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?

  132. 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 ri