Am I free, as a Catholic, to marry a divorced woman?

The woman was divorced from her 1st husband 17 years ago. She was not a baptized Christian during her 1st marriage. She was baptized and joined a Lutheran church 8 years atfer the divorce. If I marry her, can I remain in good standing with the catholic church?

Thanks you

Dear friend,

Ordinarily, no. The Catholic Church recognizes marriages between non-Catholics as valid. Whether the woman’s first marriage is valid or not needs to be examined. If it can be annulled, you would be allowed to validly marry her in the Catholic Church. If not, then in the eyes of the Catholic Church she would still be validly married and you would not be allowed to attempt to marry her. See your priest about this. To marry her outside of the Catholic Church would put you in the state of mortal sin and you would not be able to receive the sacraments. You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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