My first marriage was performed by a minister at city hall. I was unable to conceive, and we adopted two children. Does the Catholic church consider this first marriage valid? My first husband and I divorced, I married a Catholic (in a private ceremony) who was divorced by his wife, and we have had a baby. How does the church view a man whose wife divorced him? Are there any circumstances under which we could have a wedding in the Catholic church?
the children have nothing to do with the validity of the marriage. every situation is different, talk to your priest.
We just had an annulment seminar in our parish last week, and it was very informative. I sit on our parish’s CAFE (Catholic Adult Formation and Education) commitee and we try and bring programs to the parish that will enrich and help the faith journey of parishoners.
We had a tribunal judge that came and gave a wonderful talk. Your first question is was your first marriage valid? Well, that will be determined by the Church. The question might have been, does the Church recognize that marriage? God instituted marriage, and the Church recognizes that, even though it may be two non-Christians at the justice of the peace. You were still married. As to whether or not it was a valid marriage is what would be determined through the annulment process. Your current husband would have to apply for an annulment too. My husband and I went through this too.
Please go see your parish priest. Do not be afraid or concerned. Many people that came to the seminar had put off doing this out of fear for years. Everyone was encourage after the program. This should be a healing process for you and your husband. Talk to the priest, and yes, if you are granted the annulments needed, you and your husband may be married in the Church.
[quote=Janh] My first marriage was performed by a minister at city hall. I was unable to conceive, and we adopted two children. Does the Catholic church consider this first marriage valid?
If you and your first husband were both baptized Christians, then your marriage is presumed to be valid and Sacramental.
If one or both of you were not baptized, and remained unbaptized, then you had what is called a “good and natural” marriage. This is not the same as a Sacramental marriage, but it does not mean you were free to divorce and remarry either.
To determine the validity of your first marriage and whether you were free to contract another marriage, your first marriage would have to be examined by a Catholic marriage tribunal.
[quote=Janh] My first husband and I divorced, I married a Catholic (in a private ceremony) who was divorced by his wife, and we have had a baby. How does the church view a man whose wife divorced him?
Not enough information. Again, if both were baptized, and presuming the Catholic followed the required form of marriage then the marriage is presumed to be valid and Sacramental. The fact that his wife left him is not relevant to the Sacramentality of the marriage and whether he would be free to contract another marriage. His marriage must be examined by the tribunal.
[quote=Janh] Are there any circumstances under which we could have a wedding in the Catholic church?
Both of your prior marriages need to be examined by the Catholic marriage tribunal. If both are found to be invalid, then and only then would you be free to marry each other in the Church. At this time, you are both in a state of adultery.
Your first step should be to make an appointment with a priest in your local area, talk to him about the details, and then get the ball rolling to have both marriages examined. The priest can guide you.