I am so hoping I can get some help on this. I was a practicing catholic when I met my ex-husband 19 years ago and he was a non-practicing baptist. I was married in a parish hall at a baptist church by a church of God preacher. I didn’t formally leave my church or join any other church. I am hoping to remarry in a catholic ceremony. Is my previous marriage considered valid or invalid? Where can I get validation of the answer?
Thank you in advance to anyone that can direct me in the right direction…
When you got married, had you seen your priest and done everything that is required of a Catholic for her to get married outside the Church? If not, then your marriage is likely invalid due to lack of canonical form.
If that is the case, you present the marriage certificate, or more likely a certified copy of the registration of marriage (which shows the specific location of the wedding and the officiant), a recent copy of your baptismal certificate (which should show no marriage) and your divorce papers to your pastor who will likely forward everything to the Marriage Tribunal and that should be it – a few weeks and you get notice of freedom to marry.
If your marriage is deemed valid and you are now divorced then you need to apply for an annulment. They are not as easy to get as they once were. (70’s -90’s). There will be costs involved that vary from Diocese to Diocese.
As my first grade teacher used to say, “stay within the lines”.
It sounds as though you married outside Catholic form without permission from the bishop to do so. This would be an invalid attempt at marriage.
It appears to be invalid. So, what you do is make an appointment with your priest and follow his instructions. You will need a declaration of freedom to marry-- this is a paperwork process. You will submit your marriage license, baptismal records (you or the priest obtains that from your baptismal parish, it will have the parish seal on it), and your divorce decree, plus a form. This all goes to the diocese. It takes a couple of months, typically.
Step 1, go see your priest and get the process started.
welcome home, because the grace of this sacrament opens you to all the wealth of grace in the other Sacraments which our Lord is waiting to shower upon you and your family.
In such a case as you describe, the marriage was in valid because the Catholic party did not conform to law of the Church. If neither party has any previous marriages, it is simply a matter of approaching your Catholic pastor to convalidate the marriage, after a suitable preparation period suited to your family circumstances (how long you have been together, whether there are children etc). During that time you will return to confession and holy communion, your pastor will explain the timing, and if either of you still needs confirmation you can prepare for that sacrament as well. Of course you can also start your children’s religious edcuation and sacramental preparation, if this has not already happened. The power of the grace descending on families when the parents take this step is beyond my power to express but I assure you the Holy Spirit will be working in discernable magnificent ways in your family throughout this process.
First step, call and make an appointment with your pastor. Make sure you set out all the circumstances of your individual situation during this in-person interview. It is nearly impossible to cover all the bases in a phone conversation or by email.
You get definite answer through your Catholic parish.
For the validity of the marriage of a Catholic the witnessing of the parish priest is required (marriage in Catholic Church) Your marriage is almost certainly invalid, but the decision belong to the Church. Contact your parish.