Becoming Catholic


I am a fundamentalist protestant. Recently I began to question protestantism after reading “Surprised By Truth”. I have a sincere desire to know more about Catholicism. The question that I hope that someone can answer is this: Can a non-catholic that married a divorced non-catholic become catholic and receive sacraments? I was a single man and married a divorced woman. This was done prior to my “conversion” and baptism. If anyone can give me some answers, it would be greatly appreciated.



not possible to answer a question about an individual marriage situation here, since each is unique. in general, when you begin the process of preparing to enter the Catholic Church, called RCIA, you will begin with an interview between you and that pastor, or his delegate, to deal with exactly such questions, and otherwise ascertain your needs in regard to the process. Be prepared to give as complete and accurate info as you can about your current marriage, and former marriages of either spouse, and about the exes–were they baptized, were they Catholic etc.

from that he will determine what must be done next. In general, the Catholic Church recognizes as valid marriages between non-Catholics, assuming they were otherwise free to marry. Someone who has been previously married and divorced was not free to marry, unless that first marriage was invalid from its inception. A formal investigation by the canon law tribunal is the means by which the validity of that prior marriage is judged.

If the first marriage was between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, however, it may be invalid because of a number of reasons having to do with laws that bind only Catholics, and may not need a full investigation, but still needs to be addressed.

as many parties are involved in the current and prior marriages, is as many pieces of the puzzle that need to be looked at. bottom line, it is usually a lot easier than this sounds, esp. if one of the “old” marriages involved a Catholic who was not married in the church. that is why gathering all the relevant info is so important.

dont be deterred by the sound of this from speaking to the priest at your closest parish ASAP, because some parishes have classes forming now, and in any case, the sooner you find out where you stand, the closer you are to getting an answer that applies to you.

welcome home!


We were in this situation. Both non-
Catholics, my husband was divorced (although we had been married for over twenty years).
We enrolled in RCIA and began going to Mass, although not receiving Communion. My husband applied for an annulment, we were allowed to join the Church but to refrain from sexual relations until his annulment came through. The annulment took only six months. It was so worth it to become Catholic! Now we are truly home!:thumbsup:


I too was drawn to Catholicism and then further drawn by “Surprised by Truth.” I read all three of the books and would highly recommend the 2nd and 3rd one as well.

My first husband divorced me in 1999 and now belongs to a polygamous cult in Arizona. I married a lapsed Catholic in 2002 in a Methodist church. I had not considered joining the Catholic church because I thought annulment of my first marriage would be an insurmountable obstacle. Last year, God’s leading me to join the Church became too strong to ignore. I called the local priest and he has been extremely helpful in working through our situation.

I just put the annulment application in the mail last week. I absolutely encourage you to call a priest and discuss your situation, since you know your home is in the Catholic Church. I was afraid that I would be looked down upon, but this was not the case.

I am not sure how it would work, though, since your wife is the one who is divorced. If only you want to join the church, from what I have read, it seems like you wouldn’t be able to receive the sacraments unless SHE agrees to get an annulment and then you had your marriage blessed in the church. As others have said, you would have to ask the priest.


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