Divorcee and Marriage in the Catholic Churchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I hope that you can help.
Myself and my fiancée wish to get married in the Catholic Church. Our problem is that my fiancée has been married before in a civil ceremony in a private home with no religious present and has since got a divorce. My fiancée had not been married before and neither had her husband. I have not been married before.
I am a practising Catholic and my fiancée will be confirmed a Catholic next Easter as she is on the RCIA programme - she was baptised in America as a Baptist but now wishes to become a Catholic.
After talking to our Parish Priest he feels that there could be a problem and that an annulment may be required. He is concerned that as my fiancée was not Catholic at the time of her marriage the Church would believe that her wedding would have been conducted with the best intentions and so the marriage will be considered valid until it can be shown otherwise - hence the possibility of having to seek an annulment.
I hope that you can help as we would like clarifaction of the situation do we or do we not need an annulment...?
-- Paul Jennings (email@example.com), November 08, 2001
Thank you, Paul, for giving so much detailed information. That helps me to say that you definitely will have to seek a Declaration of Nullity. Your pastor should help you develop the paperwork as soon as possible.
I really don't know why he seemed uncertain about this, unless he is somewhat inexperienced in these matters. According to the circumstances you described, it is clearly a case that must be placed before the marriage tribunal (Church court).
Paul, I must say something now that may be a bit hard for you to take. I don't intend to hurt you, but only to be honest, for your own benefit. It is impossible for me to say what the tribunal's decision will be. There is no guarantee either way, which is why you and your friend need to begin now to prepare yourselves mentally and spiritually for a decision that her marriage was valid and that you may not marry her. It would be better for you not to use the word "fiance(e)" nor to make wedding arrangements of any kind.
God bless you.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 08, 2001.