Can two divorced protestants obtain a declaration of nullity?


#1

Laudetur Iesus Christus!

My best friend from childhood on (he himself has never married or attempted marriage)has announced his intentions to marry a woman who has recently become divorced from her husband. As far as I am aware, all three parties in this situation are baptized protestants of some stripe or other... I have made it clear him that I will be happy to attend his wedding if he can prove that no marriage existed between his desired spouse and her "ex" husband. Obviously, the only definitive proof would be a declaration of nullity from a Catholic tribunal.

Here's the thing: he's willing to obtain one, if he can. Will a diocesan tribunal even acknowledge the request of two protestants? :hmmm:


#2

Maybe I’m missing something here. Are you saying that none of the parties to this situation have any kind of Catholic connection? If that’s the case, why would your friend care what the Church thinks of his marriage situation? Besides, if I understand your situation correctly, it’s his future wife who would have to go through the annulment process, not your friend.


#3

Go for broke - invite them both to RCIA!;)


#4

[quote="CatholicNerd, post:1, topic:219260"]
Laudetur Iesus Christus!

My best friend from childhood on (he himself has never married or attempted marriage)has announced his intentions to marry a woman who has recently become divorced from her husband. As far as I am aware, all three parties in this situation are baptized protestants of some stripe or other... I have made it clear him that I will be happy to attend his wedding if he can prove that no marriage existed between his desired spouse and her "ex" husband. Obviously, the only definitive proof would be a declaration of nullity from a Catholic tribunal.

Here's the thing: he's willing to obtain one, if he can. Will a diocesan tribunal even acknowledge the request of two protestants? :hmmm:

[/quote]

How do you "prove" no marriage existed when clearly it did-and they filed for divorce? All 3 are Protestant, to boot. Why would they need a*** RC*** annulment?

I am really lost here....then again, I never got/understood annulment to begin with...


#5

Yes.. A protestant can petition for an annulment.. It happens often, especially when a divorced and remarried protestant desires to join the Roman Catholic Church.

This may not be the case in this matter, however I am sure the party can petition for an annulment.. Not sure if it would be granted. that is up to the tribunal.


#6

Can two divorced Protestants obtain a declaration of nullity? Sure, they can. I was granted one before I married my wife, who is Catholic. But I have to wonder, why would your friend ask his future wife to go through such a process, which can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. To please YOU?


#7

[quote="CatholicNerd, post:1, topic:219260"]
Laudetur Iesus Christus!

My best friend from childhood on (he himself has never married or attempted marriage)has announced his intentions to marry a woman who has recently become divorced from her husband. As far as I am aware, all three parties in this situation are baptized protestants of some stripe or other... I have made it clear him that I will be happy to attend his wedding if he can prove that no marriage existed between his desired spouse and her "ex" husband. Obviously, the only definitive proof would be a declaration of nullity from a Catholic tribunal.

Here's the thing: he's willing to obtain one, if he can. Will a diocesan tribunal even acknowledge the request of two protestants? :hmmm:

[/quote]

In these circumstances, no, the Tribunal would not address the question....unless they weren't paying attention to the Parties involved and their ecclesial status and just assumed that there was a Catholic person involved somehow.

Dan


#8

[quote="CatholicNerd, post:1, topic:219260"]
Laudetur Iesus Christus!

My best friend from childhood on (he himself has never married or attempted marriage)has announced his intentions to marry a woman who has recently become divorced from her husband. As far as I am aware, all three parties in this situation are baptized protestants of some stripe or other... I have made it clear him that I will be happy to attend his wedding if he can prove that no marriage existed between his desired spouse and her "ex" husband. Obviously, the only definitive proof would be a declaration of nullity from a Catholic tribunal.

Here's the thing: he's willing to obtain one, if he can. Will a diocesan tribunal even acknowledge the request of two protestants? :hmmm:

[/quote]

Non-Catholics are not bound by the Catholic understanding of marriage unless they attempt marriage with a Catholic. In that case, they have to demonstrate they are free to marry according to our understanding of marriage. Otherwise, our tribunals aren't going to address what is the business of their church authorities to ascertain.

Protestants do not believe in bigamy. Your friends, according to the understanding of marriage within their denominations, are free to marry. That is why the church they are approaching would agree to marry them. Neither are you bound to hold them to our understanding of marriage. Otherwise, you would not only have to be certain that the woman in question was free to marry but would also have to be certain they were following other aspects of canon law with regards to marriage, including that they had a validly-ordained minister. (If the minister they choose to marry them is a woman, are you going to walk out?)

Satisfy yourself that the woman is free to marry according to the understanding of their own denominations, and then attend or don't attend accordingly.


#9

The official rule is (see here):

Art. 3 § 2. However, an ecclesiastical judge hears only those causes of the nullity of marriage of non-Catholics, whether baptized or unbaptized, in which it is necessary to establish the free state of at least one party before the Catholic Church, without prejudice to art. 114.


#10

No comprende' why 2 Protestants would be interested in or would need Catholic approval for anything they are doing....

:confused::confused::confused:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing anything Catholic here. Except you!


#11

[quote="EasterJoy, post:8, topic:219260"]
Non-Catholics are not bound by the Catholic understanding of marriage unless they attempt marriage with a Catholic. In that case, they have to demonstrate they are free to marry according to our understanding of marriage. Otherwise, our tribunals aren't going to address what is the business of their church authorities to ascertain.

[/quote]

The permanence of marriage is part of the moral law and not a Catholic discipline. As long as she is still married to another man I wouldn't attend the wedding. At least that is my understanding of the issue. Do you know anything different?


#12

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:10, topic:219260"]
No comprende' why 2 Protestants would be interested in or would need Catholic approval for anything they are doing....

:confused::confused::confused:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing anything Catholic here. Except you!

[/quote]

Right, and he doesn't want to attend a celebration of adultery. I can understand wanting to go to the wedding but at the same time wanting to stand up for marriage.


#13

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:11, topic:219260"]
The permanence of marriage is part of the moral law and not a Catholic discipline. As long as she is still married to another man I wouldn't attend the wedding. At least that is my understanding of the issue. Do you know anything different?

[/quote]

No, he said she had recently become divorced. Most Protestant denominations are not as strict about divorce and remarriage as we Catholics are. It's like the OP wants these people to act like they are Catholic when they aren't!


#14

[quote="EasterJoy, post:8, topic:219260"]
Neither are you bound to hold them to our understanding of marriage. Otherwise, you would not only have to be certain that the woman in question was free to marry but would also have to be certain they were following other aspects of canon law with regards to marriage, including that they had a validly-ordained minister. (If the minister they choose to marry them is a woman, are you going to walk out?)

[/quote]

Catholics don't have to be married by validly ordained ministers. While a priest or deacon usually receives the consent of the couple, it can be received by a lay person if no priest or deacon is available. Such a person is appointed by the bishop with Rome's approval. In my own diocese there are parishes where the person who witnesses marriages is a Sister because there are no priests available.


#15

This is not true. A Catholic cannot support non-Catholics in their attempt at invalid marriage.

The Church recognizes the protestant man and woman as validly married. The man who wants to marry this woman would be committing adultery.

God’s law isn’t only for Catholics, it is for all people.


#16

[quote="1ke, post:15, topic:219260"]
This is not true. A Catholic cannot support non-Catholics in their attempt at invalid marriage.

The Church recognizes the protestant man and woman as validly married. The man who wants to marry this woman would be committing adultery.

God's law isn't only for Catholics, it is for all people.

[/quote]

I stand corrected, thank you.

In this case, I can understand why the rule used to be to just not go to non-Catholic weddings at all. If their clergy aren't competent to decide if the previous attempts at marriage in their denominations were valid or not, nor if other impediments are present, then it is a Catch-22 to figure out who is free to marry and who is not. It is not realistic to expect non-Catholics to go to our tribunals for a decision on validity. You can't even go to an Orthodox wedding.


#17

However, all that being said just to throw a wrench into the works - let's say the couple was considering entering the RC and marriage - they may choose to go for the decree of nullity before entering RCIA for the obvious reason - that way they would never be in a state of being away from the Eucharist. Meaning they may wait to get married until after the decree of nullity goes through. Just a extrapolation on a situation - it is philosophical sorry.


#18

I am still confused about this thread.

Why does a Catholic want 2 non-Catholics who are marrying to obtain a nullification from a church they don't belong to?? According to their own religion, they are not committing any sin, so why would they jump through the Catholic "hoops" (that is what many Protestants think of our annulment process, or worse) when there is no need?

It would seem to be a matter of: Can a Catholic attend a Protestant marriage that we do not consider valid in the Catholic Church? Since my catechism was stopped when I was 10, I don't know if we can apply our own rules to Protestants. Don't we just pray for them and recognize that for THEIR own belief system, this marriage is perfectly acceptable to God and everyone else? If we don't ask Jewish people to get married by a priest, then why can't we let this one go and be allowed to attend the wedding?

:confused::confused::confused:


#19

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.