Have I been living in sin?

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,
My question is this. I was married by a Justice of The Peace 35 years ago. The Marriage failed and we divorced. I married my second wife in the Catholic Church. We are still married and now have a son, who was baptized in the Church.

Q: Have I been living in sin in the eyes of the Church?

Dear friend,

I can’t say. Were you a Catholic when you attempted marriage the first time? If so, the Church would not recognize such a marriage, but the your diocese’s marriage tribunal would still have to verify the facts. Did the priest who officiated at the Catholic marriage know about that marriage? You need to talk about this with your parish priest.

The fact that you seem to not be aware of the Church’s teaching on all this could mean that you were not culpable. Do see your priest.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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