Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jun 9, '08, 11:42 am
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
Forum Elder
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 23,255
Religion: Roman Catholic
Question Dating during annulment process?

I decided to ask this question on here, since reading a few threads that deal with people who are dating others, but are going through the annulment process. What is the Church's stance on being in the process of getting an annulment (and you are offiically legally divorced) and pursuing a dating relationship? Not just friendship with a member of the opposite sex, but a romantic relationship? Obviously we know the Church's stance on sexuality outside of marriage, but if the couple is kissing, holding hands, basically exhibiting signs that they are exclusively dating--is that acceptable in the eyes of The Church? Reply when you can...thanks
__________________


It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. ~St. Francis of Assisi
  #2  
Old Jun 9, '08, 11:58 am
jmcrae's Avatar
jmcrae jmcrae is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2006
Posts: 34,336
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatevergirl View Post
I decided to ask this question on here, since reading a few threads that deal with people who are dating others, but are going through the annulment process. What is the Church's stance on being in the process of getting an annulment (and you are offiically legally divorced) and pursuing a dating relationship? Not just friendship with a member of the opposite sex, but a romantic relationship? Obviously we know the Church's stance on sexuality outside of marriage, but if the couple is kissing, holding hands, basically exhibiting signs that they are exclusively dating--is that acceptable in the eyes of The Church? Reply when you can...thanks
A person who has been the bride or groom in a wedding before, and who has not yet received a Declaration of Nullity from a Tribunal for that marriage, is still married to that person.

We as Catholics don't believe in divorce - not in the sense that we think divorce is a bad idea, but rather, in the sense that we do not believe that divorce can exist. "What God has joined together let no man (human being) put asunder" is not just a line of pretty words; it is the literal truth. No human being, whether judge, or cheated-on spouse, nor any human being on earth, has the power to dissolve a marriage. "Till death us do part" is intended to be taken literally.

It is simply not possible to cause a marriage to cease to exist.

This is why the Tribunal investigates to see whether a marriage, in fact, existed, to begin with. Often, they find that it did not. Sometimes, they find that it did. But they cannot alter reality. So, until it has been proven otherwise, "divorced" people have to assume that they are still married, until death they do part - which means, no dating, and no looking around for a potential new spouse, etc.
__________________
According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

Tiber Swim Team - Class of 2001
  #3  
Old Jun 9, '08, 12:08 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
Forum Elder
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 23,255
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrae View Post
A person who has been the bride or groom in a wedding before, and who has not yet received a Declaration of Nullity from a Tribunal for that marriage, is still married to that person.

We as Catholics don't believe in divorce - not in the sense that we think divorce is a bad idea, but rather, in the sense that we do not believe that divorce can exist. "What God has joined together let no man (human being) put asunder" is not just a line of pretty words; it is the literal truth. No human being, whether judge, or cheated-on spouse, nor any human being on earth, has the power to dissolve a marriage. "Till death us do part" is intended to be taken literally.

It is simply not possible to cause a marriage to cease to exist.

This is why the Tribunal investigates to see whether a marriage, in fact, existed, to begin with. Often, they find that it did not. Sometimes, they find that it did. But they cannot alter reality. So, until it has been proven otherwise, "divorced" people have to assume that they are still married, until death they do part - which means, no dating, and no looking around for a potential new spouse, etc.
that makes perfect sense, and frankly, I'm not sure I ever fully understood it. I understood annulments, and the reason behind them--but the Church isn't telling a couple...it's ok to have a divorce through an annulment, rather, what is in question is if a marriage even existed. So interesting! Thanks j!
__________________


It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. ~St. Francis of Assisi
  #4  
Old Jun 9, '08, 12:09 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
Forum Elder
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 23,255
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

so, then what you're saying is dating would be a no no...because if a couple was living under the same roof and legally still married, they obviously wouldn't be dating other people. Regardless of the legality, the Church cannot grant someone a divorce, because it doesn't believe in it. So, the Church would view someone as dating during the annulment process, as commiting adultery? Even if there was no sex involved?
__________________


It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. ~St. Francis of Assisi
  #5  
Old Jun 9, '08, 12:17 pm
jmcrae's Avatar
jmcrae jmcrae is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2006
Posts: 34,336
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatevergirl View Post
so, then what you're saying is dating would be a no no...because if a couple was living under the same roof and legally still married, they obviously wouldn't be dating other people.
Yes, exactly.

Until you receive a Declaration of Nullity, you don't do anything that you wouldn't do if you were still in a civil contract with your spouse, other than look into the possibility of getting a Declaration of Nullity.

Which brings up another point: the "divorce" that you get in a courtroom breaks the civil contract of the marriage; not the marriage itself.

There are times (like in a situation where there is abuse, or cases where there has been adultery) where it might even be necessary to break the civil contract (the Code of Canon Law calls these "intolerable living conditions"), so that the abused/injured party can get to a place of safety and/or gain control of his or her own finances, but even in these situations where a civil divorce is a good idea, it still doesn't mean that the marriage is ended - nor does it necessarily mean that the marriage itself was automatically invalid.
__________________
According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

Tiber Swim Team - Class of 2001
  #6  
Old Jun 10, '08, 8:23 am
Mankney Mankney is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2006
Posts: 42
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

It also is not fair to the person you are dating. This person is dating you and becoming very emotionally attached to you. Imagine then one day the annullment is denied and you need to stop seeing them. It is very unfair to that person and could cause them great distress.

Also what happens if you are in love and you choose to not stop dating each other, then your souls are in danger.

It gets messy all the way around. Best to avoid it entirely.
  #7  
Old Jun 10, '08, 8:40 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Posts: 37,470
Religion: Catholic no adjectives
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatevergirl View Post
I decided to ask this question on here, since reading a few threads that deal with people who are dating others, but are going through the annulment process. What is the Church's stance on being in the process of getting an annulment (and you are offiically legally divorced) and pursuing a dating relationship?
it is simply not possible for a Catholic do enter into a dating or romantic relationship while still married to another person. Married people cannot date, simple as that. UNLESS an until the first marriage is investigated and found to be invalid from its root, there can be no thought of entering into a new relationship.
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
  #8  
Old Jun 10, '08, 8:47 am
Gertabelle's Avatar
Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2006
Posts: 4,494
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
it is simply not possible for a Catholic do enter into a dating or romantic relationship while still married to another person. Married people cannot date, simple as that. UNLESS an until the first marriage is investigated and found to be invalid from its root, there can be no thought of entering into a new relationship.
Ditto to what Puzzleannie said. The point of a Catholic entering into this sort of dating relationship should be to discern compatibility for marriage. A civilly divorce person without an anullment is not eligible for sacramental marriage.
__________________

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

ALL for Jesus!
ALL that He wants!
ALL for Jesus!
  #9  
Old Jun 10, '08, 8:50 am
catharina catharina is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: September 16, 2007
Posts: 12,860
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankney View Post
It also is not fair to the person you are dating. This person is dating you and becoming very emotionally attached to you. Imagine then one day the annullment is denied and you need to stop seeing them. It is very unfair to that person and could cause them great distress.

Also what happens if you are in love and you choose to not stop dating each other, then your souls are in danger.

It gets messy all the way around. Best to avoid it entirely.

It's essential to avoid it entirely.

I pity the poor priests who must face "new couples" who are still a part of "old marriages."
  #10  
Old Jun 10, '08, 8:57 am
pnewton's Avatar
pnewton pnewton is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: June 1, 2004
Posts: 25,222
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

I guess I do not agree with others have posted here. I do not think the catechism addresses the issue. The Bible does not call such actions sinful. Therefore, I have to fall back on the old Christianity 101 adage of St. Paul, that we are at liberty where something is not sinful.

Now there are ways that dating would not be prudent, for example if one dated in a way that put one in near occasion of sin, like stopping over for a night cap. Another problem would be getting too close where one would be tempted to sin for the violate Catholic teaching on marriage. But holding hands, even kissing, can be done in a safe way.
__________________
Nooo!! I didn't mean it!
  #11  
Old Jun 10, '08, 9:04 am
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 19, 2007
Posts: 4,439
Religion: Catholic, Obl.OSB
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
I guess I do not agree with others have posted here. I do not think the catechism addresses the issue. The Bible does not call such actions sinful. Therefore, I have to fall back on the old Christianity 101 adage of St. Paul, that we are at liberty where something is not sinful.
It's called adultery. The Catechism addresses it. The Bible says it's sinful.
  #12  
Old Jun 10, '08, 9:11 am
pnewton's Avatar
pnewton pnewton is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: June 1, 2004
Posts: 25,222
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuscipeMeDomine View Post
It's called adultery. The Catechism addresses it. The Bible says it's sinful.
No, I am fairly certain that adultery involves a wee bit more than holding hands and kissing. If you re-read the original poster she acknowledges that sexualty outside marriage is wrong. Adultery is not the question asked.
__________________
Nooo!! I didn't mean it!
  #13  
Old Jun 10, '08, 9:15 am
Gertabelle's Avatar
Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2006
Posts: 4,494
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
I guess I do not agree with others have posted here. I do not think the catechism addresses the issue. The Bible does not call such actions sinful. Therefore, I have to fall back on the old Christianity 101 adage of St. Paul, that we are at liberty where something is not sinful.

Now there are ways that dating would not be prudent, for example if one dated in a way that put one in near occasion of sin, like stopping over for a night cap. Another problem would be getting too close where one would be tempted to sin for the violate Catholic teaching on marriage. But holding hands, even kissing, can be done in a safe way.

With respect to Saint Paul, I don't think the scriptures or the Church should have to list out every single "don't" -- sometimes we have to use our reason. It doesn't say in scripture or in the CCC that I shouldn't spit up phlegm onto a public sidewalk, but my reason indicates that doing so would be an act of disrespect and selfishness (except, for example, in some extreme medical situation, of course).

Perhaps the question then should be asked, "What is the purpose of dating?" I don't have my catechism with me, but I doubt it specifically defines the dating relationship. Still, we Catholics can use our reason to determine that ALL of our actions should be within the teachings of Christ and His Church. Romantic kissing done without any sense of commitment would almost certainly constitute a sin against chastity.

What would be the point of kissing someone unless you were discerning a marriage in the future (perhaps even a long way into the future)? As Catholics we are not called to follow the teachings of "Sex and City" or even shows on the Disney channel. Society says dating doesn't mean anything.

Reason makes it clear to me, however, that romantic kissing is not "no big deal." It means something in the emotional and physical feelings it creates. A civilly divorced person without an anullment should consider him/herself still married and should not engage in actions which create these feelings in another until and only if the Church declares that person free to enter into a sacramental marriage. Otherwise these actions (i.e., romantic kissing) are out of their appropriate context.

Just my two cents.
__________________

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

ALL for Jesus!
ALL that He wants!
ALL for Jesus!
  #14  
Old Jun 10, '08, 9:17 am
Red Meg Red Meg is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2005
Posts: 678
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
I guess I do not agree with others have posted here. I do not think the catechism addresses the issue. The Bible does not call such actions sinful. Therefore, I have to fall back on the old Christianity 101 adage of St. Paul, that we are at liberty where something is not sinful.
The married state is a binary function-- on or off, married or not married. Nothing in between. If someone has entered into a presumably valid marriage (and it is presumed valid until determined otherwise by the tribunal) then it doesn't matter if the spouses are happily married until one roof, at each other's throats, or living separately, divorced and no longer speaking. Married is married. The divorced couple (and remember, divorce is a purely civil contruct) is still just as married as the happy couple until the tribunal says otherwise. The divorced couple has no more right to go off dating, kissing, romantically pursuing, etc. someone else while they are still married.

Frankly, the catechism doesn't have to express this waiting-for-annulment scenario in painstaking detail. It's already clear from the Church's understanding of marriage, exclusivity and permanence being the salient points here.

Pnewton, if you were correct, then there'd be nothing to stop me from heading out and "dating" other guys, despite having happily celebrated sixteen years of marriage last month. Thankfully, you are not correct. I apologize for coming down so strongly on this, but there's really no wiggle room here.

To the OP, I strongly urge you to refrain from any entanglements at this time. Your affections are not yours to give away at this point in time. And I'm sure you'll find no end of moral support and encouragement on these forums to continue to live as a married woman until and unless a declaration of nullity is issued.

Best,

Margaret
__________________
There is no human heart, no matter how deeply immersed in sin, which does not conceal, like embers among the ashes, a flicker of nobility...
--St. Josemaria Escriva www.escrivaworks.org
  #15  
Old Jun 10, '08, 9:17 am
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 19, 2007
Posts: 4,439
Religion: Catholic, Obl.OSB
Default Re: Dating during annulment process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
No, I am fairly certain that adultery involves a wee bit more than holding hands and kissing. If you re-read the original poster she acknowledges that sexualty outside marriage is wrong. Adultery is not the question asked.
What would you call it if a married man is dating someone who isn't his wife? Or a married woman dating someone who isn't her husband?

"Dating" has a meaning that is different from a casual friendship. Married people shouldn't be holding hands and kissing someone other than their spouses. And until/unless a declaration of nullity is received, the people we're talking about are married.
Closed Thread

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lack of Witnesses in the Annulment Process Sharon OB Family Life 56 May 12, '11 4:30 pm
Annulment Support fns Liturgy and Sacraments 43 Sep 13, '08 3:55 pm
RCIA and annulment therese_lisieux Evangelization 4 May 13, '08 11:12 am
Annulment Origin and History nmc1a0 Apologetics 12 Apr 21, '08 8:50 pm



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8049Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: KayleighPigg
4829CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4295Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: James_OPL
4027OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: fencersmother
3813SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3377Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3184Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: libralion
3150Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
2963For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: 4Jessie
2703Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:38 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.