My fiancee and I are in marriage formation. He was married before, to a non-Catholic, in a civil ceremony. He was Catholic at the time of the marriage and DID NOT request permission from the Bishop to marry outside of the church. We explained this to the Priest at our church and both he and the Deacon said the marriage would be nullified because of “lack of form” - because he was Catholic and did not marry in the church or ask for a dispensation. So, we go to his church of baptism and his baptismal certiciate lists a CATHOLIC marriage to his ex-wife on this record. He then asks why that was listed when the marriage was civil and never blessed by the Bishop. They then said the Bishop DID write a letter of dispensation. My fiancee was beside himself! He is adamant that he never requested this letter of dispensation from the Bishop nor did he consent to it. Now the diocese where the letter was written is researching who made the request. The theory was that his Parish Priest may have requested it in order ot “legitimize” the marriage. But, if he DID do this he did so without my fiancee’s consent or even knowledge. I spoke to our Deacon doing formation and he believes that a third party (i.e. the priest) CANNOT request this without the Catholic party’s permission. But, now the diocese has to find the paperwork containing the original request.
Question one, if they find the paperwork and see that my fiancee never requsted or consented - is the dispensation then invalidated?
Second, what if the diocese cannot find who made the request (remember, at this point we are THINKING it was the priest but we dont know who did it until or unless the paperwork is found)?
We know we can get an annulment easy because his ex-wife is a lesbian now married to another woman and that invalidates her sacrament. But, we have already paid deposits for much of this wedding and would have to go forward with a civil ceremony and just get it convaildated later if we are stopped from marrying.