Divorced Non-Catholic and Catholic considering marriagegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Hello. This is my first time posting to a forum. I am recently dovorced and have started a relationship with a wonderful man. I am a non-Catholic Christian, he is a Catholic Christian. From the beginning of our relationship as a couple, and even as far as friends go, we have discussed marriage. I don't know much of anything about the Catholic Church. I did go and speak with the Pastoral Assistant (I believe that was her title) at the local Catholic Church in my town. I did not care to disclose my personal business, so I didn't ask questions related to marriage. Where do I go from here? He wants to get married in the Church. What does that mean for us, for me, for him? Please help if you can.
-- Lori (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2003
Since you once went through a wedding ceremony with an exchange of vows, the Catholic Church respects that event and will assume that a valid marriage "in God's eyes" took place on that occasion -- unless and until there is proof that what took place was actually null and void (the two of you not really having been united by God).
The Church does not recognize a civil divorce as being capable of ending a marriage, since the gospel tells us that only God can separate (by death) that which he has joined together. Therefore, the Church cannot agree to marry a couple if one or both of them is still united with someone else.
I recommend that you make an appointment with your friend's Catholic pastor soon, so that you can discuss your case. I think that he will encourage you to work with him to fill out the necessary forms, so that your friend's diocesan tribunal (marriage court) can consider all the evidence and make a determination. The tribunal will be particularly interested in knowing as many facts as possible about your husband's state of mind, beliefs, expectations, etc., on the day of the wedding.
The tribunal will either decide that you and your husband entered into a valid, sacramental marriage -- or that your apparent "union" was actually null and void. Only if the latter is the case will you and your Catholic friend be free to marry each other in a union recognized by the Church (and, we believe, by God).
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), May 05, 2003.