Annulment Dilemma

My fiancée and I are both Catholic. I am a widow and my fiancée has been divorced over 20 years. Our families are grown and we are retired. We are both very active in leadership roles in our Catholic church and donate generously. The annulment process is long, laborious and time consuming. We are thinking about getting married in the Episcopal Church and having the marriage blessed in the Catholic Church in Spain where we will be vacationing soon. Will our marriage be recognized in the Catholic Church?

As I understand it, there’s no end-run around the annulment process. Your fiance’s first marriage will still be considered valid, and therefore your attempt at marriage invalid, until he obtains an annulment.

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Of course not.

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The Catholic Church in Spain cannot convalidate your marriage without the annulment first. And typically, they need a letter from your pastor too.

Don’t wait any longer… start the annulment process right away. And I would wait until the annulment comes in before getting married (esp if you are leaders in the parish).

Honestly, he should have received an annulment before he ever started dating.


If your friend was married in the Church or had a valid marriage then you cannot marry him/her unless there is an approved annulment. If you are devout Catholics why would you attempt marriage in Episcopal Church. Stay away from Episcopal Church.

“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”


I suggest you sit down with your pastor. A priest in Spain (or anywhere else on the planet) cannot convalidate your civil marriage without a decree of nullity.


Please go talk to your pastor before proceeding with any marriage plans.

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Nope. And you would add the sin of blasphemy because you were getting a sacrament through deceit.

I went through an annulment. It’s not long, not laborious, and not time consuming. Of course it depends on what you mean by that. If you want to fill out a one-page form in five minutes and be done with it, you’re in the wrong place. But it’s not a big deal.

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I don’t understand the basis on which you’ve asserted this.

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You’re getting your marriage blessed under false pretenses–you’re not telling the priest the whole story.

Priests don’t convalidate marriages without the “whole story”. Including premarital preparation, an investigation of freedom to marry, and sacramental records.

Talk to your Priest. He is the one to help you with this.

Catholics are bound to marry under the laws of the Church.

You would have to arrange the con-validation (not “blessing”, it would be your genuine marriage in the Church) would have to be arranged by and approved by your Pastor/Diocese. Some Dioceses required 6 months to a year between an irregular marriage and the Con-validation.

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