Divorced couple originally married in the Church living with each other: Sin?

Catholic couple lived together for 1 year after their marriage (to each other). Then separated, later divorced. No anullment was sought. Years later, they started dating each other, taking vacations together and having relations with each other but they do not live under the same roof. [Marital relations without the responsibility of marriage]

Currently, they are considering getting remarried but still live seprately and continue to have relations.

This begs a few questions:

  1. Do they need to get re-married or are they still married in the eyes of the church?
  2. If they just continue this way, are they living in a sinful manor?
  3. If they need to get remarried in the eyes of the church, do they need an anullment before they remarry


Dear Gerry,

As far as the Church is concerned they are still validly married. Until death is until death regardless of any attempts at divorce. So they are entitled to have sexual relations with each other. It’s even a sacred thing—so long as such relations are open to the creation of new life. There is no reason for them to remarry in the Church. In fact, they cannot re-due what is already in place. However, they do need to be civilly married for legal reasons, i.e., matters of joint ownerership, etc.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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