I heard Fr. Vincent Serpa speak at my church yesterday, so I came here today. I started dating a man, who later told me his wife had divorced him 8 years ago, so she could marry another man. In Australia, where the divorce took place, only she needed to sign the divorce papers. I thought I was doing something wrong, as I thought he needed an annulment before we could date. He then went to a priest in San Diego, who started the annulment process and said we were doing nothing wrong. The annulment is still in process at this time, as he was deployed to Iraq, and hasn’t finished the interview in Australia. I have heard different things about dating and divorce, since the priest said I was doing nothing wrong, so I am still confused. Am I wrong for dating him before the results of the annulment are out? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I’m glad that somone from Mass yesterday is making use of the Forum here, but I’m sorry that you have been given conflicting information. The simple fact is this: until your friend’s marriage is declared null, it must be treated as a valid marriage. It is inappropriate to date someone who is married. To do so with the knowledge that he is still considered validly married can be seriously sinful. I know this is not easy to hear, but by the fact that you weren’t sure of the other priest’s answer shows that you suspected that this is the case. God love you. You are in our prayers.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.