Annulment question


I was talking to someone today who told me she was excommunicated from the Church because she got married without getting an annulment. She said the reason she never got one was she did not want to pay money (I am not sure if she refused or couldn’t afford it) to get one. The reason she got a divorce was because her husband was abusive towards her. I find it hard to believe she was excommunicated because she didn’t pay to get an annulment. Is this how it happens or is there something she isn’t telling me?


Well, if she got married to a second husband without having her first marriage investigated by the Tribunal, she is not allowed to receive Communion. Could that be what she meant by excommunicated? Many people get this confused.

The tribunal does charge a fee. It is a small percentage of the actual cost incurred to investigate the first marriage. All dioceses have arrangements for those who cannot pay the fee but I don’t know if they would be available for someone who just didn’t **want **to pay the fee.


I’m not sure. She said she was excommunicated. The same thing happened to my teacher who said she was excommunicated for marrying again. Does this happen? Maybe she is getting it confused.


Actually she is living in a state of adultery until it is confirmed that she was free to marry and that her first marriage was invalid.

The tribunal does charge a fee. It is a small percentage of the actual cost incurred to investigate the first marriage. All dioceses have arrangements for those who cannot pay the fee but I don’t know if they would be available for someone who just didn’t **want **to pay the fee.

Not always. Some times CSA funds cover the cost of the annulment process.

She had options. She chose not to do it the right way. Now she is living in a state of mortal sin because of it. She needs to get herself right with God and the Church and get back to the sacraments.

She can not blame this on anyone but herself. I can understand leaving an abusive situation, and the Church does not expect anyone to stay in an abusive situation. But you still need to do it the right way, you don’t just get to write your own rules because your life may have been crummy.



Having read everything that was written, I do not think she was willing to wait for an annulment. They may take a long time. My parents’ annulment took 10 years. Unfortunately, many people’s pride take over and they want to do things their own way. Pray that she returns to the faith. It takes a big leap of faith to change your life from one of sin to one of trust. Especially in such a case like this. Take courage that with much prayer God can change her heart. Things that are undertaken outside of God’s laws will cause a person much pain. Do not give up on her. Find a good church. Find a good priest and encourage her to join you. Prayer, prayer, prayer. I will keep her in my prayers. Yours in Christ.



One can easily look up the excommunicable offenses in canon law. This is not one of them.

She would be barred from the Sacraments by her choice to commit adultery. She is not excommunicated. I’m sure she just doesn’t know what excommunication means.

We’ve heard this accusation over and over here on CAF and other places. It is simply a smokescreen. The Tribunal will investigate any case, regardless of ability to pay. Everyone has options.

That does not mean she is free to marry another.

Well, of course you find it hard to believe, because it isn’t true.

The fact that you are asking this question tells me you don’t know enough about your own faith to defend it when people make crazy and outrageous accusations. I really encourage you to STUDY what the Church teaches on this and other topics, do bible study, and become educated in the faith.

For this topic, I recommend the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster.


I cannot read Latin, so I am not sure if this is true, but I have heard that in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, marriage to a non-Catholic in a non-Catholic church resulted in excommunication latae sententiae. First, is this true? Second, if true, and this person was married before 1983, would her excommunication have been “reversed” with the promulgation of the 1983 Code (which clearly does not indicate this as an excommunicable offense)?


Did you even bother to read the post above yours? :rolleyes: She is not excommunicated. She is in a state of sin.



In the old canon law, yes, there was an excommunication. That has since changed.


There’s a really good booklet from the Knights of Columbus about annulments that can be read online for free:

It soundly explains these things in a very readable format (and it’s free online)


Yes, I did. And it is clear that a Catholic that marries outside of the Catholic Church is in an irregular marriage, and as such, cannot participate in communion, but is not excommunicated. “Correcting” the irregular marriage is fairly straight forward and involves first receiving an annulment (assuming that an annulment is granted), confessing the couple’s sins, and having the marriage convalidated.

My point, which you rolled your eyes at, is that the above is only applicable since 1983. Prior to 1983, I believe that such an act was an excommunicable offense. As such, I was inquiring as to whether someone who was married outside of the Church prior to 1983 (and thus excommunicated) would still be excommunicated after 1983, when his or her action was no longer an excommunicable offense. In essence, is newly promulgated cannon law retroactive?


I find this a fascinating canon question.

Just found this, don’t necessarily know what it means.

  1. The penalties decreed by canon 2319* of the Code of Canon Law are all abrogated. For those who have already incurred them the effects of those penalties cease, without prejudice to the obligations mentioned in number 4 of these norms.


— Disclaimer ----

As to the OP’s question, if the person was married after 1983, none of the below applies. The person was not excommunicated and can apply for an annulment now, and have her marriage convalidated.

---- End Disclaimer —

OK. So from the above, Canon 2319 was abrogated in 1970.

Canon 2319 from the 1917 CIC:

Can 2319 §1. Subsunt excommunicationi latae sententiae Ordinario reservatae catholici:
1º Qui matrimonium ineunt coram ministro acatholico contra praescriptum can. 1063, §1;
2º Qui matrimonio uniuntur cum pacto explicito vel implicito ut omnis vel aliqua proles educetur extra catholicam Ecclesiam;
3º Qui scienter liberos suos acatholicis ministris baptizandos offerre praesumunt;
4º Parentes vel parentum locum tenentes qui liberos in religione acatholica educandos vel instituendos scienter tradunt.
§2. Ii de quibus in §1, nn. 2 - 4, sunt praeterea suspecti de haeresi.

Which references 1063:

Can 1063 §1. Etsi ab Ecclesia obtenta sit dispensatio super impedimento mixtae religionis, coniuges nequeunt, vel ante vel post matrimonium coram Eccclesia initum, adire quoque, sive per se sive per procuratorem, ministrum acatholicum uti sacris addictum, ad matrimonialem consensum praestandum vel renovandum.
§2. Si parochus certe noverit sponsos hanc legem violaturos esse vel iam violasse, eorum matrimonio ne assistat, nisi ex gravissimis causis, remoto scandalo et consulto prius Ordinario.
§3. Non improbatur tamen quod, lege civili iubente, coniuges se sistant etiam coram ministro acatholico, officialis civilis tantum munere fungente, idque ad actum civilem dumtaxat explendum, effectuum civilium gratia.

I believe I know what this says, but I’m not confident enough to try to translate it fully. Can someone please translate the above? Unfortunately, Google Translator doesn’t have Latin in the database. Thanks.


I thought I read an english translation somewhere…don’t remember where. Perhaps google it?


Hello, bpcatholic, she is not excommunicated, she just can’t receive communion…My in-laws got divorced and they got an annulment , it only took like a year …even less…to get it…I don’t know how much it costs but it was not exorbitant…abuse is not a reason for annulment, I’m not saying she should stay with an abusive person, if she is really interested in receiving an annulment, she should look into it…My in-laws got an annulment b/c she was pregnant at the time and he thought he was doing the right thing, anyway that’s what my fil told me…he was granted an annulment…


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