I was married outside the Catholic church in a christian church and divorced about 12 years ago.....Yesterday at confession I had a priest ask me if my divorce was annulled and I told him no and that I was told two different times by priests my marriage was not recognized by the church therefore did not have to be annulled. He shook his head no and said that it is not entirely true what I was told and that I needed a paper to at least re marry in the church. He did not go any further with it and since it was a question not initiated by me I didn't either. Can anyone tell me what the true facts are on this because when I came back into the church I checked on this with two different priests and was given the same answer that I didn't have to do anything. PS: this was all brought up by my confessor and I have no intention of re marrying but it does have me curious Do I need this paper to re marry in the church ??
no way to answer because there are too many variables,
please make an appointment with your pastor outside confession to lay out all the facts of your prior marriage(s) and your current state of life so he can best advise you on what, if anything needs to be done.
Please share with him what other priests told you. They may not have had all the facts (either did the priest in this confession btw) or may have been acting out of misguided pastoral concern, or simply did not give you complete information.
You will probably find the situation is much simpler and more easily resolved than you fear.
I can only tell you my story , as I dont know why some priests would say no and some yes.
My husband and I were both married young (as non christians) neither marriage lasted due to lack of a vow of manogamy on all counts . We both came to faith and both had to have annulments of the first marriages to be married in the church . I suspect ( just guessing ) that the priest brought that up because you are young ? , and may have wanted to do you the favor of helping you to be prepared in case you did find someone you would like to spend your life with . God bless you :)
If you plan to live the rest of your life as a single person, then you probably don’t need an annulment. If you don’t intend to remarry or enter a religious order, then you don’t need to worry about it.
On the other hand, you never know what kind of curves life will throw at you. I’d get the paperwork done and be free and clear to deal with whatever happens. It shouldn’t be near as hard as the paperwork required for an annulment. It should be fairly easy. I’d go ahead, schedule an appointment with your pastor and get it knocked out. Then, you won’t have to worry.
But as far as living single now, you should have no impediments to the Eucharist, etc., as long as you don’t commit mortal sin. If you do, just go to Confession first.
If you are a Catholic who married outside the Church without a dispensation to do so, then you have what is called a “lack of form” case. It is true that you do not need a decree of nullity, because there is no presumption of validity for lack of form. So the other two priests were correct.
However, the priest yesterday is also correct that in the United States, those with lack of form do complete *adminstrative paperwork *that documents their sacramental records along with civil records proving the lack of form. This is necessary if you are planning to marry in the Church.
If you have no plans to marry, ever, then you do not need to complete this paperwork. I don’t know why the priest would make a deal out of it, perhaps just trying to inform you in case you do decide to marry in the future. It would be prudent to do all the paperwork and confirm your canonical status-- sort of a “never say never” type thing. But, if you truly don’t want to, you aren’t obligated to and it does not prevent you from receiving the sacraments.
Thank you all for your replies....it sounds like something I may want to check out. The priest I saw was not my normal priest but at a nearby parish. I may schedule an appointment with him to look into this further.....like the old saying never say never