Catholic want to marry divorced Protestant. : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Hello, I'm Catholic married to a divorced Protestant. Living in Germany. We would like to get a Catholic church wedding, but we got "NO" as an answer. Because my husband's ex-spouse was Protestant as well. I still don't understand why I need to suffer because of that? Is there a way to make the Catholic church wedding happen?

-- Kim Sanchez (, February 10, 2005


I think you may have misunderstood. The fact that your husband's wife was Protestant would not, in itself, prevent you from having a Catholic wedding. What would prevent a Catholic wedding is failure to obtain an annulment of his previous marriage. You need to submit a petition for annulment, then wait while the marriage tribunal makes a determination. If they find in favor of annulment, then you can marry in the Catholic Church, regardless of who his former wife was. However, if you do not seek an annulment, or if the tribunal does not find just reason to issue one, then you will not be able to marry in the Church.

-- Paul M. (, February 10, 2005.

My point is that if she was Catholic, we wouldn't have that problem. We could still get the church wedding, as long as they didn't have the church wedding. But since she was Protestant (even they had only civil wedding) we can't get church wedding.

-- (, February 11, 2005.

No Kim, you misunderstand. Whether your "husband"'s wife is Catholic, Protestant or any other religion, you would have exactly the same problem. ANY previous marriage (whether in a church, temple, government office or anywhere else) by either party, must be decalred null before any Catholic marriage can occur.

-- Steve (, February 11, 2005.

or of course you could wait until his wife dies.

The only person you can really blame for your "suffering" is yourself, as it was you who made the decision to marry a divorced man.

-- Steve (, February 11, 2005.

Thanks for your input. But that's not what the Catholic Parish told me. So, I don't know what the truth is. Every person says something different.

-- (, February 11, 2005.

Kim I really believe you have totally misunderstood or mis-heard what the person from the parish told you. Did you speak to a priest or just someone who said he was a member of the parish? Go back and ask to speak to the priest. Get him to write down his explanation if that helps.

What Paul and I have told you are the facts, and every Catholic here will agree, although we all dispute over many other things.

-- Steve (, February 11, 2005.


Steve is correct except for one thing; if the former wife had been Catholic and the marriage was never sanctioned by the Church, then a decree of nullity would not be needed. Instead there is a petition to be filed declaring Lack of Canonical Form. Anyhow, this does not apply to you.

In the laws of the Catholic Church, Catholics must be married with the permission of the Church for it to be valid. This law is binding on all Catholics, but not on Protestants or anybody else. Therefore, no matter where they get married the Church considers it valid until proven other wise through a Church Marriige Tribunal. Whoever told you it is not possible for you to marry this man in the Church is incorrect unless they qualified their statement by saying that a Decree of Nullity must first be obtained if possible. Nobody can make the judgement that the marriage in question is valid or not, save a Marriage Tribunal. As priests we do not council one way or the other on the validity of a marriage, it is not within our competence, that belongs to a duly appointed Tribunal and the Judges of those Tribunals.

I hope this helps.

-- Fr. Paul (, February 11, 2005.

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