Can a Catholic married outside the church get divorced and marry someone else?


#1

Can a Catholic married outside the church get divorced and marry someone else in the Church? Does the Church recognize the original civil marriage (presuming that it was valid)?

Thanks,

P.S. Can you provide some authority other than the catechism


#2

The Church does not generally recognize as valid a civil marriage between Catholics. Code of Canon Law (CIC) states, “Only those marriages are valid which are contracted before the local ordinary, pastor, or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and before two witnesses…” (CIC 1108 §1). For the complete text and related law see The Form of the Celebration of Marriage.

Even so, a Catholic who invalidly attempts marriage must have that marriage officially declared null before attempting marriage again. Canon law states, “if the prior marriage is invalid or dissolved for any reason, it is not on that account permitted to contract another before the nullity or dissolution of the prior marriage is established legitimately and certainly” (CIC 1085 §2).


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.