Didn't mention first marriage to priest?

A friend of mine recently had her marriage convalidated in the church. When talking to her about it, I asked her how the annulment process worked. She had been civilly married for about 6 months when she was 18; married and divorced the same year. She said that she just “didn’t mention it” when she was going through the convalidation process because she was young at the time, the marriage was brief and she had no doubt that it was not a “real” marriage.

So-my question is—since she withheld this information from the church—is her newly convalidated marriage really legitimate? If not, what should she do??:shrug:

Was she Catholic at the time of this first marriage? If so, it was automatically invalid – if she’d had a dispensation it would have appeared in her baptismal record. She was free to marry, so it would have no impact on this marriage – although normally the Tribunal would be involved, it is not necessary that it do so, in some dioceses the priest would have simply recorded the facts, and asked for a certificate of baptism, her marriage certificate or the papers that were filed with the State that showed where the marriage occurred and who was the officiant, and her divorce papers.

If she was NOT a Catholic, most likely this marriage would be considered valid, and in the eyes of the Church, her current marriage would not be. If she had become a Catholic after that marriage, she would have committed a very grave sin by not disclosing this.

Regardless, she STILL may have committed a grave sin, because she willfully withheld relevant information from the Church, and thereby may well have invalidated her current marriage in the eyes of the church.

She needs to sit down with her pastor and discuss this situation. None of us here can give a complete answer, because none of us know all of the facts involved.

One should NEVER withhold information like that.

Her dad was Catholic, but her mom was Baptist. She was baptized in a Baptist church, but had always attended Catholic church. She said that she recieved her sacraments of first communion and confirmation within the same year. She also said that she asked another Catholic friend who told her that the sacrament of marriage can never be 'taken back" so to speak, but that she should confess the sin of lying by omission.

I’m a bit confused by this – don’t Baptists only practice adult baptism? It’s hard to figure out the time line for the sacraments of initiation. Did she receive First Communion and Confirmation as an adult? Was it before she married at 18 or after? Depending on those answers her first marriage may or may not have been valid.

I do think she needs to discuss this with her pastor.

She needs to bring this to the Church.

I think the timeline went something like this…

-Born to Catholic dad and Baptist mom who divorced while she was young
-Attended Catholic Church on weekends that she was with her dad. He never got her baptized.
-Age 14-baptized in a Baptist church by her mom, still attended Catholic church with her dad.
-Age 18–married civilly and divorced civilly within the same year
-Age 18/19-Recieved sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Never went through RCIA because parish priest knew she had been attending the church from a young age. She said the deacon at the time said her first marriage wasn’t valid and she didn’t need to worry about it before getting her sacraments.
-Age 21- Remarried and had marriage convalidated in Catholic Church.

I found a great answer here!!


Basically-her new marriage is still valid–but she should still seek to get the first one declared null. :thumbsup:

She needs to bring this matter to the Church*…and needs it seems to seek a decree of nullity. She was not a Catholic…and if the other person was not a Catholic (and thus in need of getting a dispensation to marry outside of the Church)… that marriage is presumed to be valid…so it needs to be looked at and found to be not valid before she can get married in the Church…

It seems that the Priest and deacon should have acted differently. This needs to be addressed with the Chancery of the Diocese. And if she is thus not yet married … even though they went through the convalidation (the Church did not know of the first marriage!) …she would need to act accordingly…til this gets sorted out…

But she really needs to bring this to the Church…and the first marriage needs to be examined etc… it may very well have been invalid…but this is something that must be investigated and presumption stands with validity.

Of course all this needs to be delivered with both truth and charity…

I would not jump to that conclusion.

Presumption stands with the first marriage.

Jimmy is not addressing this situation…

She was not a Baptized Catholic at the time (or received into the Church at that time)…and I presume neither was the other person. So there would not be any defect in form…

§1. A person bound by the bond of a prior marriage, even if it was not consummated, invalidly attempts marriage.

The safe thing for he if she contacts the parish which convalidated the marriage, with the problem. The question had to resolved by appropriate judge, and that is the diocese.

Yes this needs to be done.

From my understanding if a Catholic marries outside of the Church, it is considered invalid and there is a Form of Defect for this type of situation. It is much easier than going through an annulment.

If neither is Catholic and are married in a protestant church, then the Church considers the marriage valid.

If I am incorrect please correct my information.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


She needs to see her priest immediately and above all she needs to tell her husband and really they should both go see their priest immediately and we should all pray for them both because regardless of the outcome lying to a priest is a heck of a way to start a marriage. :frowning:

**Not it’s not… she is still considered married to her ex husband in the Catholic Church…my first marriage was brief also…but I had to through the entire Marriage Tribunal…not to do it would of been lying to Christ and God…I wouldn’t do that…and I also had to do it to convert to Catholicism…and yes I could just not mentioned it…but who wants to have such a huge lie while being confirmed…She has made a huge mistake and needs to tell the priest exactly what she has done and then go through the entire process of having her first marriage declared invalid by the Tribunal…which they may or may not decide to do…it’s along process and you also pay for it…


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