I was married in the Catholic Church 46 yrs ago. The marriage lasted less than a 1 1/2 yrs… We had a son. My husband abandoned my baby and I when our son was 6 mos old. My husband never returned,so I divorced him. I stayed single for 5 yrs then remarried a Lutheran. After 14 yrs of marriage, I divorced him as he was an alcoholic and abusive. I remarried a Catholic Convert. The priest who married us was a liberal Jesuit and married us in the Church Rectory. My question is, is our marriage valid in the eyes of the Church? Neither of us obtained annulments. At the time of my first marriage, I could not afford the time or money to pursue an annulment. I consider myself Catholic, attend Mass on most Sundays and go to Confession. I have been in a state of confusion for many years, esp since my husband never obtained an annulment ( however his ex wife has now passed). Have we both been living in sin all these years and not really married in the eyes of the Catholic Church?
Since your first husband’s wife has died, no annulment is needed now. However, when you married your present husband an annulment was indeed needed. The priest gave you false information. You are not guilty for his transgression. Ask your priest to check with your diocese’s marriage tribunal on how to proceed.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.