Inter Faith Marriage : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

My Finance and I hope to get married in the Catholic Church in Ireland in 14 months. He has previously been married in the Pentecostal Church and is since divorced. Does he need to get an annulment even if the Catholic Church donít recognize other marriages?


-- Alicia McCarthy (, May 28, 2003



He does need to get an annulment (from the Catholic Church), precisely because the Catholic Church does recognize non-Catholic marriages as well. In fact, the Catholic Church is much more lenient in recognizing non-Catholic marriages than it is in recognizing Catholic marriages. Catholics who marry must follow many rules of canon law; failure to do so will result in a (putative) marriage that can be quickly and easily annuled. Non-Catholics (except for Eastern Orthodox) who fail to follow their denomination's rules will still be considered as married by the Catholic Church, and must go through a lengthy, formal case should they desire a Catholic decree of nullity.

Note that 14 month may not be enough of a lead time to complete the annulment process.

-- Mark (, May 28, 2003.


He will need to obtain a "lack of form" annulment. Assuming your fiance provides all the required documentation -- certified copy of original marriage certificate and divorce decree, and baptism and confirmation certificates -- it should require only a couple weeks, and whatever "administrative fee" the tribunal charges.

-- Gary Chambers (, May 29, 2003.


Gary's response is only correct provided that your fiance was a baptized Catholic (or, as I mentioned, Eastern Orthodox) at the time of his first marriage. He did not need to be confirmed, just baptized, as long as he did not defect from the Church by a formal act before the marriage.

Because of your thread title, I had assumed that your fiance was not Catholic; thus the need for a formal case annulment. Lack of canonical form only applies when one of the parties is Catholic (or Eastern Orthodox), and the marriage did not take place in the Church.

The only "short form" annulment that I can think of right now that might possibly apply to your fiance is "prior bond". If his ex-wife had been married previously, and she had not obtained a Catholic annulment, then this would be grounds for an administrative annulment. You should talk with a priest as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.

-- Mark (, May 30, 2003.

Heh! It's funny how we "see" things. I assumed he was Catholic because Alicia mentioned that they hope to get married in the Catholic Church, and Mark interpreted (very appropriately) her "Inter-Faith" subject. So, Alicia, which one is it? :)

-- Gary Chambers (, May 30, 2003.

Thank You Mark and Gary for replying. I never knew this site existed until I was faced with this problem.

I spoke to mat priest and he said as my Finance's Ex wife was catholic and did not get written permission from the catholic church to marry in a Pentecostal church the marriage can be annulled by form. He is going to work with me on that one.

Thanks Alicia PS Iím Catholic and he is Pentecostal

-- Alicia McCarthy (, June 01, 2003.

Very good news, Alicia! It didn't even occur to me to consider that his ex-wife might have been Catholic. That should make things go much more quickly and easily.

Good luck in Ireland.

-- Mark (, June 01, 2003.

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