Is a Catholic who married a devorced Protestant still a Catholic?


#1

I didn't get married until I was 59 years old. I met and married a Presbyterian girl who had formerly been married. Twelve years before I met her, she devorced her first husband. Since we were both in our late 50's we certainly didn't want to go through all of the rigamarole involved in being married in the Catholic church so we opted to be married in the Presbyterian church. I really don't want to be a Presbyterian as I was raised Catholic. Am I still a Catholic? Am I allowed to receive the sacriments? Can we both be burried in a Catholic cemetery? Am I going to go to hell on a technicality; that my wife didn't have her first marriage annuled by the Presbyterian church?

Thanks


#2

Yes, you are still Catholic. Once someone is baptized Catholic he or she remains a Catholic for life. As a Catholic you were required by canon law to be married according to the canons of the Catholic Church. Since you did not do so you should not receive communion. You may receive the sacrament of the sick if you are near death and may be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
Your wife would need to apply to your local Catholic diocese for an annulment (if her ex husband is still living) and then the two of you would have to exchange vows in your local parish in order for you to receive communion and act in a role of public ministry in the Church.
I cannot say who is or isn't going to hell. On that one you'll have to search your conscience in light of Catholic teaching.

God bless.


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