Re: terms for marriage annulmentgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I have a question regarding how and when an anullment of a marriage is possible. My ex-wife and I were married in the Catholic church 6 1/2 years ago. We were married 5 years and have been officially divorced for almost a year now. I was baptized Greek Orthodox but was for the most part non-practicing at the time of marriage and ever since. We did attend the 5 mandatory marriage classes through the Catholic church but did not attend church services. I'm now engaged to be married to another woman who is a confirmed Catholic and she would like to have the option of getting married by a Catholic priest. So my questions are, how exactly do I start the process of getting an anullment and what conditions must be present to allow one? I'd like to thank you in advance for your response.
-- Neil OMara (email@example.com), October 22, 2002
Any time a person has gone through any kind of wedding ceremony (Christian or non- Christian, whether according to Catholic canonical form or not) with a person who is still alive, those two people cannot attempt marriage to anyone else without first obtaining a Decree of Nullity, issued by a bishop after the work of a marriage tribunal. The reason is that the Church presumes that the marriage is valid (regardless of a divorce) until the opposite can be proved.
Therefore, you need to visit your friend's Catholic pastor as soon as possible and explain the whole situation to him, to see if you can get the nullity process moving. Your friend cannot yet be called "engaged" or your "fiancee," since, in God's eyes, you may still be married to your "ex-wife." If the tribunal issues a Declaration of Nullity, though, you and your friend will be free to marry one another.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 2002.