If a Luthern is joined in marrige to another Luthern and they get a divorce in a civil court, can either remarry in the Catholic Church should they meet a Catholic and decide to get married in the Catholic church?
If the prior marriage was a valid, sacramental marriage then only death of one of the spouses frees the other to marry again. The Catholic Church is consistent with Jesus’ teaching on this (ie. Mark 10:9).
Therefore, if one of the spouses wishes to remarry in the Catholic Church while the other spouse is still living, the prior marriage must first be investigated to determine whether or not it was a valid, sacramental marriage. If it was, a new marriage cannot take place. If it was not, the Church will declare this officially with a declaration of nullity – an annulment – and the party will be free to marry a Catholic.
(Note: A Catholic must get permission from the Church to marry a non-Catholic Christian – see Mixed Marriages.)