Etiquette

Remarriage & Catholic requirements?

Hi! Lurker here, but I know you guys are all experts and give great advice.

If I am divorced and didn't have a Catholic wedding in a church before...can I have one when I remarry?  

I have been Googling this all day and can't find an answer. I know there is annulments, but do I need that even if I wasn't married in a church before?

I plan to talk to a local church soon, but figured I would ask here in the meantime.

Thank you in advance!

Re: Remarriage & Catholic requirements?

  • In Response to Remarriage & Catholic requirements?:
    [QUOTE]Hi! Lurker here, but I know you guys are all experts and give great advice. If I am divorced and didn't have a Catholic wedding in a church before...can I have one when I remarry?   I have been Googling this all day and can't find an answer. I know there is annulments, but do I need that even if I wasn't married in a church before? I plan to talk to a local church soon, but figured I would ask here in the meantime. Thank you in advance!
    Posted by cece84[/QUOTE]

    You should be able to get a dispensation of form without a problem if you were Catholic when you got married the first time and the wedding took place outside of the Catholic Church.  You should talk to your priest and get the ball rolling asap though, because annulments can take a while (although your type would usually be shorter).

    There is a Catholic board under "Cultural Wedding Boards" on the side.  They can give you more information & more specific advice there.
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  • edited May 2013
    Thanks for your fast reply! I was not Catholic beforehand and still am not. I was raised a little Lutheran and was only baptized. It just so happens I'm with someone who is Catholic and I know he would like to get married in a RC church if possible as would his family. However, while nothing is on horizon yet, I am reading up on annulments because I do see the take awhile. Just not clear on if I even need one if I'm not affiliated with the religion beforehand, you know? It seems then that my first marriage wouldn't have been recognized by the church anyway, so would I still need to annul it? All very interesting stuff, I must say. I didnt realize there was a catholic board! Good to know! I usually lurk on the main boards. :
  • daria24daria24 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2013
    If you are not a baptized Catholic, your first marriage IS recognized as valid by the Church and you will need to get an annulment. If you were baptized Catholic but not married in the church, it would be a simpler process due to Lack of Form.
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  • This is very much an "it depends" situation. If your first marriage was recognized by ANY church, you're going to need an annulment before you and your BF/FI can get married in a Catholic Church. If you weren't Catholic and your former spouse wasn't Catholic, it will be a shorter and easier process than if one of you was Catholic, but it will still be a process. Definitely talk to a priest about it.

    Also, please realize (and I don't mean to sound mean) that getting married Catholic is something YOU BOTH HAVE TO WANT. I say this as a practicing Catholic whose FI is converting. In order to have a wedding in the Catholic church -- either a nuptial Mass or a wedding outside of Mass -- you and your FI will have to do pre-Cana, which will involve answering questions about how you plan to raise your children (i.e., you have to agree to raise them Catholic). You can't just "have a Catholic wedding" as though it were an option on a menu; there is serious thought and preparation and planning and requirements that go into it. I don't mean to discourage you -- if this is something that matters to you and your FI, by all means pursue it, but know going in that it's going to be a long process.
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  • saric83saric83 member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    My mom was Lutheran and married in a Lutheran church to my father, but she was required to get an annulment in order to get married to my stepdad in the Catholic church (and they had been divorced for 13 years), so while I'm not sure if that's the case across the board, they had no way around it. 
  • In Response to Re: Remarriage & Catholic requirements?:
    [QUOTE]This is very much an "it depends" situation. If your first marriage was recognized by ANY church, you're going to need an annulment before you and your BF/FI can get married in a Catholic Church. If you weren't Catholic and your former spouse wasn't Catholic, it will be a shorter and easier process than if one of you was Catholic, but it will still be a process. Definitely talk to a priest about it. Also, please realize (and I don't mean to sound mean) that getting married Catholic is something YOU BOTH HAVE TO WANT. I say this as a practicing Catholic whose FI is converting. In order to have a wedding in the Catholic church -- either a nuptial Mass or a wedding outside of Mass -- you and your FI will have to do pre-Cana, which will involve answering questions about how you plan to raise your children (i.e., you have to agree to raise them Catholic). You can't just "have a Catholic wedding" as though it were an option on a menu; there is serious thought and preparation and planning and requirements that go into it. I don't mean to discourage you -- if this is something that matters to you and your FI, by all means pursue it, but know going in that it's going to be a long process.
    Posted by lemclane[/QUOTE]

    Thank you all for your responses! It's been very helpful. :)

    As to the above,  you're right. After I wrote my post, I felt like I was discussing whether I should have chicken or fish for dinner! I do know it's a big choice. I was reading up on pre-cana, as well. I actually find this all interesting.

    I know he would like to raise our kids as RC, and that's fine by me. I guess it's easier for me to see how much he respects his religion and since I don't have any identity to one religion, it's simple for me to see that since it's so important to him, I will get right on board, KWIM?

    As long as he is happy -- I will be, too. I'm viewing it (religion) as something positive that I can gain, I guess. I am very intrigued by all of it..I guess I'm just hesitant because I already feel like a reject.

    I shall see what the priest says, too.
  • In Response to Re: Remarriage & Catholic requirements?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Remarriage & Catholic requirements? : Thank you all for your responses! It's been very helpful. :) As to the above,  you're right. After I wrote my post, I felt like I was discussing whether I should have chicken or fish for dinner! I do know it's a big choice. I was reading up on pre-cana, as well. I actually find this all interesting. I know he would like to raise our kids as RC, and that's fine by me. I guess it's easier for me to see how much he respects his religion and since I don't have any identity to one religion, it's simple for me to see that since it's so important to him, I will get right on board, KWIM? As long as he is happy -- I will be, too. I'm viewing it (religion) as something positive that I can gain, I guess. I am very intrigued by all of it..I guess I'm just hesitant because I already feel like a reject. I shall see what the priest says, too.
    Posted by cece84[/QUOTE]

    You are DEFINITELY NOT A REJECT!! Not at all! Don't feel that way. FI and I are in the same boat you two are, only with the roles reversed. I was born and raised Catholic. He was sort-of brought up Lutheran, fell away from it, didn't really identify with a church or religion. When we met (we were friends first), I said that I'd never again consider marrying a non-Catholic; it was just too much of a deal-breaker for me. I wanted to have a full Catholic wedding, raise my kids Catholic, etc. He knew that before our first date. As we started dating and getting serious, the religion thing came up again, and he said -- without prompting from me -- that he'd be willing to convert. 

    Good luck, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask, either her or on PMs!

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  • Ive been married twice but am still able to get married in a catholic church. Mainly because I was married both times at the courthouse, so not recognized by a church. My FI was married twice also, but because his first was in a chapel on his college campus, a Christian college, his marriage IS recognized so we would need an annullment which his first wife would NEVER agree to :(. I really wanted to get married in a Catholic church too :(.

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  • In Response to Re: Remarriage & Catholic requirements?:
    [QUOTE]Ive been married twice but am still able to get married in a catholic church. Mainly because I was married both times at the courthouse, so not recognized by a church. My FI was married twice also, but because his first was in a chapel on his college campus, a Christian college, his marriage IS recognized so we would need an annullment which his first wife would NEVER agree to :(. I really wanted to get married in a Catholic church too :(.
    Posted by shilotony2012[/QUOTE]

    There is no "agreeing" to an annulment. His ex-wife can object -- and in rare cases, a former spouse's objections have derailed the annulment (cf. One of the Kennedys, who wanted to divorce his wife to marry his mistress and his wife hired really good Vatican lawyers and fought it), but she can't flat-out say, "You can't have that, I won't agree to it." If you want the annulment, go for it! The worst that happens is you try and find out you can't get one; the best that happens is it goes through and you get your marriage convalidated, bringing you back into communion with the Church!

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  • MoxieMickieMoxieMickie member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary
    edited May 2013
    Talk with your FI's priest. I think getting married in the Catholic church goes beyond not bugging your husband about being Catholic and letting the children go to Mass. I think (and I welcome comments from the Catholics brides board) it means that you must accept those aspects of Catholicism that would affect the two of you, for example, what circumstances allow the use of birth control and the prohibition against hormonal or barrier methods, prohibition against abortion even when necessary to save your life, restrictions on fertility treatments, role of husband and wife in the marriage and family, etc.
  • ON a side note, if you FI is Catholic, and gets married anywhere outside of a Catholic church, he will no longer be able to participate in or reeceive the sacraments. As a Catholic myself, this is a huge deal..
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  • In Response to Re: Remarriage & Catholic requirements?:
    [QUOTE]OP, don't feel like a reject, they're not worth it.  I was raised a lifelong Catholic (altar server, reader, eucharistic minister, catholic high school and college) and married in the church to a guy with Asperger's.  He decided at 2.5 years married that he didn't "want" to be married anymore and insisted on divorce, refusing counseling.  After attending a session on being divorced and seeking an annulment, I was informed by the local tribunal head (the committee who does annulments) that as a divorced woman, I am "not welcome in the church until the time of my annulment being granted."  I always thought it was just that you couldn't take communion, but  both this priest and my local parish priest told me in no uncertain terms that I'm not welcome inside those doors.  I felt like a reject and a failure for a long time and it's taken me until recently to realize that with that mindset, the Catholic church is doing itself no favors and there's nothing wrong with me- OR YOU. 
    Posted by sxyktn812[/QUOTE]

    Sxy, I'm really sorry that you were treated like that, but that is in NO WAY the universal belief of the Catholic Church.  There is NOTHING in Catholic belief that says you can't still come to mass and other church events.  In fact, as long as you didn't remarry until your annulment had gone through, you can actually still take communion as well.  Being divorced is not an automatic sin.  It's only a real problem if you remarry before your annulment.

    Again, what you were told is awful, and I'd be really upset and bitter if I were you.  But I've known plenty of divorced men and women that were treated much more kindly than you were.  Please don't judge the Catholic Church for the actions of this tribunal or parish priest.


    OP, of course the best thing to do is to talk to a priest about it first, but in general, if a non-Catholic marries, it is presumed valid, even if it was in a courthouse.  You will need a more complex annulment, not lack of form.


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  • sxyktn812, I'm sorry that you had that experience.  That IS NOT the church teaching.  By that logic, any sinner wouldn't be allowed in the doors...  The unfortunate thing is that the church is made up of humans, and humans make mistakes.  That church/pastor were mistaken on church teaching and it is horrible that you had that experience.  They should have welcomed you with open arms. 

    What diocese are you in? 
  • Sxyktn, as the PP have stated, what you were told was incorrect.  You can receive communion after a divorce, but you cannot if you get married again following a divorce without an annulment.  My parents are divorced, and my father has never stopped receiving communion.

    OP, you should speak with the priest of your FI's church.  First by yourself and then together.  You need to decide if you would like to become a Catholic, you then have to decide if you want to get married in the church.  You do not need to be Catholic to get married in the church, but you need to agree to not stand in the way of your FI raising your children Catholic, etc.  Most importantly don't plan on getting married in the church without meeting with a priest.  If you do not regularly go to church and neither does your FI they may want you to wait and attend mass on a regular basis, which you should anyways.
  • divorced people without annulments can actively participate in the church adn receive all sacraments PROVIDED they are not involved in a relationship which the church would consider adultery since you are still technically  married to your ex-spouse until the church determines otherwise.  So sxy, you were horribly misinformed and im sorry you had that experience.

    as for OP, you should look into the annulment process NOW, as if you do get engaged, the church wont allow you to set a date or really do anything until your annulment is granted and you are free to marry.  as you are lutheran, not catholic, the church will consider your marriage valid as it does recognize marriages of other faiths as valid.  it can take 1-2 years (sometiems more) so id get going now.  your local priest can help.  good luck!
  • I am also a lurker but I actually first hand knowledge of this.  My fiance (now husband) was previously married, he was Lutheran and married in a Lutheran church.  I am Catholic and wanted to get married in my Church (I practice and he does not).  He did need to get an annulment from the Catholic church which we just ended up recieving about 3 or 4 weeks ago.  We decided not to postpone our marriage and were married at a different venue this past August but will not have our marriage blessed within the Catholic church, (this is also so that our children will be baptized).  Just to give you a time frame we started the process in January of 2012 and recieved the dispensation in April of 2013 which is fairly typical.  The actual process on your end will only take about 1.5 months but the rest is a lot of waiting.  We were lucky because his ex had remarried (also to a Catholic) about 8 years ago and also wanted the annulment and so was very coorperative and accomodating to us.  I'm sorry this is practically a novel but OP you can PM me if you have any questions. 
    [Deleted User]
  • interestingly, Kennedy's ex-wife wasnt even Catholic.  i dont think she ever converted.
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