Catholic wanting to marry divorced non-Catholic in Catholic churchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Hello. I need help. I have been trying to get someone to help us since last Oct. My fiance and I have been together for 8 years, engaged for almost two. He has been divorced for the past 9 years. I am Catholic; he is not. His first marriage was not in any church (performed by a professor). We are currently living in two states. We were told to get an annulment in the state where his marriage was and that the process would take up to or more than a year. He approached the Catholic church asking for assistance. No one has returned his calls since January. I was told that I couldn't do anything. I have spoken to a friend who is Catholic and she was able to have her marriage to a non-Catholic divorced man performed in a Catholic church without the annulment. I am confused and frustrated. We have been trying since last year to remove barriers so that we could get marry at the end of this year or beginning of this year. We have not been successful in getting anyone to assist us. I would appreciate any advice. Thank you
-- Linh Huynh (email@example.com), June 30, 2003
You wrote: "I have spoken to a friend who is Catholic and she was able to have her marriage to a non-Catholic divorced man performed in a Catholic church without the annulment."
This could not have been done legitimately. Either she is not truly married (because her pastor made a mistake), or she has not given you all the facts (perhaps because she misunderstands the situation.
My point is that you are doing the right in trying to get the situation resolved -- to find out whether or not your friend is free to marry you or not. (I encourage you to think of him as a "friend," not as a "fiance," because he may still be married in God's eyes and thus unable to be engaged to you.)
So, it is indeed necessary for your friend to receive a formal declaration, from the Catholic Church, of the nullity of his first "union" before you can get married. You say that he has "approached the Catholic church asking for assistance", but that "[n]o one has returned his calls since January." You say that you were "told that [you] couldn't do anything."
I don't agree that you can't "do anything." The first thing you can do is to tell your friend not to rely on the telephone. He should visit either the nearest Catholic parish rectory to speak to the pastor (to ask for his help), or he should visit the Catholic (arch)diocesan tribunal office itself and speak to someone face-to-face. You also have the right to visit your pastor and/or your local tribunal office to ask for their help in communicating with the remote tribunal.
Now let's say that you follow all my suggestions, and still no progress is made. Then, if you trust me, I would invite you to send me an e-mail message, giving me the names of the two Catholic (arch)dioceses involved, your friend's name, and the circumstances under which he was previously "married."
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 01, 2003.