Post # 1
I have a quick question regarding getting married in a Cathloic church as i have been getting conflicted answers.
I was married briefly years ago (small civil ceremony – not in a church), and i am now divorced and engaged to my lovely fiance. my fiance was brought up in the Baptist church although he was never officially baptised.
I spoke to a catholic priest friend of mine who told me even though i was never married in a church before i will still need to get an annulment before re-marrying in a catholic church.
However, on the reverse side i have heard conflicting opinions on this, that if you were not orginally married in a church then the catholic church doesn’t officially recognize your first marraiage, and are therefore free to marry in one.
Post # 3
All of what you have heard is actually correct…it just hasn’t been explained very well.
It sounds like you are saying you are Catholic and you married outside the Catholic Church without dispensation (and I’m assuming that marriage was never later convalidated by the Church). That marriage would not be considered valid by the marriage formally decreed to be invalid.
Your first marriage (if I’m understanding you correctly) is considered invalid for lack of canonical form. Though you do need an annulment of that marriage to marry in the Church, it is not a full case before the tribunal. All that is required is some paperwork filed with the tribunal (your priest will be able to help you with it) and the annulment is granted automatically, assuming everything is in order.
My husband’s situation was similar to yours. He is Catholic, was married in a non-Catholic church, without dispensation. Our priest helped with the the documentation required by the tribunal and the decree of nullity was issued about a month after the tribunal received the application.
Post # 4
@brklynmmbb: Listen to the priest.
You will need an anullment, but it sounds like an anullment will be easy for you to obtain. Contact the priest and ask him how to go about obtaining a decree.
Post # 5
thank you both!
If i get the annulment, does it matter that my Fiance was never baptised?
Post # 6
I know in the couple of churches I have been involved with, that if there is one person who has not yet been married then you can still marry in the Catholic Church.
However since you stated that your Fiance has never received any Catholic sacramants then in the eyes of the church it would go by your standings. So I would say that you will need to obtain the annulment to get married.
Post # 7
@brklynmmbb: If i get the annulment, does it matter that my Fiance was never baptised?
It depends on what you mean by “matter”. Can you still get married? Absolutely. Is it a different situation than a Catholic and a baptized Christian? Yes.
When a Catholic and an unbaptized person marry, it is called a “natural marriage”. A natural marriage has it’s own rules for the ceremony. You can read about it here: http://foryourmarriage.org/rite-for-celebrating-marriage-between-a-catholic-and-an-unbaptized-person/
In addition, your priest will need special permission from the bishop to allow the marriage (the permission is called a Dispensation from Canonical Impediment of Disparity of Cult). This is generally always granted as long as the Catholic promises to remain Catholic and to raise the children Catholic.
If your Fiance believes in God, you might want to consider having him baptized. I’m sure there are plenty of baptist or non-denominational churches that would be happy to do it.
@roxy821: I know in the couple of churches I have been involved with, that if there is one person who has not yet been married then you can still marry in the Catholic Church.
You must be mistaken. That is in direct violation of canon law. Both individuals (Catholic, protestant, Jewish, atheist, or agnostic) must be free to marry for a Catholic marriage to occur. If either person has been married before, a decree of nullity must be issued before the could can marry. There’s no exception and no wiggle room.
Post # 8
I was previously married and even though it had been a civil ceremony which is not “recognized” by the church, I still had to get a decree of nullity. I just had to provide my divorce decree, fill out some forms and answer some questions of which our priest helped with and viola….we were able to marry! The process is relatively easy compared with if you had been previously married in a Catholic church. That is a whole other ball of wax there which is much more complicated and can take years….(and under certain circumstances only).
Post # 9
my Fi was married before but not in the catholic church. We had to do what is called Lack of Form. basically we just had to provide documentation that his marriage wasnt in the catholic church. it’s reviewed like an annulment but not quite as intense. it is still reviewed by the church and we had to fill out some other forms. but i’m 99% sure you will need to do something like that. all they are doing is checking to make sure nothing had been done in the CC before. i have a link to the information if you want.