Annulment ?

I don’t know if this is the right area for this question or not, sorry if it isn’t. I’m a non-Catholic person. I am very confused on the following.

I guess if you get married in the Catholic church, you have to have the church do a annulment if you get divorced? Why, I have never heard of this. Also why would your fellow Catholics feel a need to e-mail this person insisting on this be done before they can participate in communion? Does it state such thing in the bible? Thanks

The bible is a book that the church put together to teach salvation history. The books chosen to be placed in the bible and how to interpret it is given to us by the church.

Authority was given to the apostles, the first bishops of the church…it was NEVER given to a book. They were given the ability to “bind and loose” and Peter , the leader of the apostles (the first pope) was given the keys to the kingdom. The apostles were told to “teach all that I have commanded you” as Jesus went up into heaven.

AN annulment is a statement by the church that says a marriage did not take place between a couple. It does not “erase” a marriage…it simply (after the church investigates) says it never exhisted in the first place. There are several things that must be present for a marriage to exhist: for instance that the couple knows that it is for life, a full giving of self and is open to life…all of these things CAN be backed up by the definition we have of what marriage is in the bible.

To take Holy Communion is a very sacred thing and can not be entered into lightly. We must be properly disposed to recieve communion and to recieve in an improper state is known as “sacrilage” …and is very serious.

Someone who is separted from their spouse may recieve communion IF they are living a chaste life…meaning that they are not dating or having any sexual relations…if they choose to date…they must have an annulment because if they dont, they will be beaking their marriage promises since they are still considered married (until the church says otherwise).

I hope this helps.


Hi Walkindex,

The Catholic Church holds that a valid consummated marriage cannot be dissolved. Thus if a person is divorced, he/she is still considered married by the Church and cannot remarry. The declaration of nullity (annulment) states that a valid marriage never actually took pace, due to the fact that conditions for a valid marriage were not met. Among these conditions are full consent to the marriage, recognition that marriage is until death, and the non-exclusion of children.

A declaration of nullity follows a rather lengthy process in which the spouses state their case, witnesses are called and so forth. It is not automatic. The spouses who receive a declaration of nullity are free to remarry in the Church.

Is this clear to you now?


Thanks that helps.
This person is remarried, his first wife left him for another guy.

So an annulment is basically a catholic church rule then, right?
They are still divorced in god’s eyes, but after an annulment they where never married in the eyes of the church, right?



Divorce is a civil thing…it helps divide goods and property.

Marriage is a sacred spiritual institution. An annulment is a pronunciation that a marriage did not exhist in the first place and the individuals are able to marry someone or date and such. Your friend needs to recieve an annulment before he can recieve holy communion since he is living as though he was never married with his first wife. In the eyes of the church, who is God’s authoritative voice on earth… he is commiting adultery and is therefore unable to recieve communion unless he repents, goes to confession and abstains from his current lifestyle with his current wife until/if he can get an annulement.

Take a look at Matthew 19. Jesus was pretty clear that someone who divorced and remarried was committing adultery. The Catholic Church believes this.

There’s another relevant passage in Mark 10, “what God has joined together, man must not separate.” And therein lies the question. Did God join together this particular couple? If he did – if it was a valid marriage – then the couple is not free to marry again after a divorce. They would be committing adultery. But what if God didn’t join this couple together? That’s a different situation.

A Tribunal can examine a broken marriage to try and understand the situation at the time they wed. Did they validly marry (did God join them together)? Or not? If not, the wedding may have taken place but there wasn’t really a marriage. And if there wasn’t really a marriage then they would be free to marry someone else.

This page offers more information including the grounds that would be considered for an invalid marriage:

Marriage between the baptized is indissoluable. It is for life. Jesus tells us that those who divorce their (valid) spouse and remarry another commit adultery. So, a Catholic who divorces is not able to marry another while their spouse is alive.

The Church has a process for examining marriages that have what is called an impediment. This means a valid marriage did not actually take place because one or more impediments existed at the time of the marriage.

The Church does not annul a marriage-- make it invalid-- the Church investigates marriages and if it finds that it was invalid from the start issues a finding of that fact.

I can suggest the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster to help you understand this topic. It can be quite complex.

I don’t know why you have never heard of this. It is quite common knowledge that divorce and remarriage are sins-- even among non-Catholics. Although, many non-Catholic denominations ignore this particular teaching of Our Lord.

I am not sure who emailed who or why. That is a matter for the Catholic to take up with his/her pastor.

A Catholic who is divorced and remarried may not receive communion. That is because they are committing adultery.


No, it is more than that. It is a process for determining the truth about a marriage-- was it valid or not. It is authority given the Catholic Church by Christ to bind and loose.

No. God does not recongize divorce as ending a marriage.

A decree of nullity is a finding of fact regarding whether or not a valid marriage took place.

I really suggest you get the book I referred to if you want to understand this topic fully.

You can call a Catholic church and ask to talk to a priest or suggest it to the other person.


Thanks for your answers, I disagree with almost all of them, but that’s why I don’t discuss religion with the wife and (all the in-laws) it never goes well. Thanks again.

Which ones do you disagree with and why?

No, in the Bible God says What God has put together no man can put asunder.
That means that no state bureau has any authority to desolve a valid marriage.

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