With all due respect, that’s a judgment call that neither you nor any of us are able to make; instead, that’s a call that a tribunal would be able to make.
I can personally see no reason why it wouldn’t be.
You might want to pick up a copy of Annulment: the Wedding that Was, by Michael Foster. You might be surprised at some of the considerations that might lead to a finding of invalidity. It goes far beyond “they both consented”…
For example – and I’m not saying that this is the case in her situation!!! – if one of the spouses never intended fidelity or indissolubility, from the start of the marriage, that might be sufficient as a cause for invalidity. There’s a lot more to consider than the simple fact that they both consented to the marriage.
Presuming this is the case, then none of her other marriages are valid, including her current one.
Yes, but that’s quite the presumption. The way it has to work is that the Church considers all of her marriages, in order, as well as any other previous marriages of her prior spouses, in order to make a determination of potential validity. It can get very complicated, very fast. If there are multiple marriages in her life, and some or all of her prior spouses were married before attempting to marry her, then there’s a lot of research that has to be done. (Perhaps this is the reason that you’re hearing that it might take 16 months to reach a resolution in this case?)
She has also expressed that she does not want to be with her current husband.
OK… that makes a big difference in understanding the situation!
she has been separated from him for several years but has not pursued a divorce and retains a somewhat friendly, if often argumentative, relationship with him.
OK – so, if they’re not living together, or having relations, then the question of “living as brother and sister” is easier than ever! What that phrase means is not that they have to go back to a situation of living under the same roof, but back to a situation in which their physical relationship is like that of a brother and sister – i.e., no physical relationship at all. Know what I mean? So, if the priest is amenable to that solution, then there might not be any need for a divorce at all! (Of course, if the priest is not amenable to that solution, then another solution might be needed…)
She has also not specifically said, that I know of, that she wants a divorce. Again this is more private and more her business.
Agreed; for all we know here, she might wish to reconcile with him. :shrug: (And, in that case, divorce is particularly inappropriate as a ‘remedy’ to her situation.)
I am just trying to sort out specifically why it would take her as long as 16 months (as our local bishop told my priest) for her to be able to get baptized. That seems like a very long time to establish the validity of her first marriage
If that first marriage is valid. If it were determined that it was invalid, then they need to look at the next marriage, and any previous marriages of that spouse. Etc, etc, etc… until they’ve examined each marriage or determined that one of those marriages was valid. Yes, that’s a lot of potential research, and yes, it could take 16 months, easily!
The time of it and difficulty of contacting her other husbands, one of which has passed away, is largely what has bothered her.
Well… there are no issues with a deceased ex-husband; any potentially valid marriage in that case would have ended naturally with his death. So, it’s just the living ex-husband(s) that are relevant here…