Is annulment necessary?


Hello…I recently met a woman online who is divorced. She and I are both Catholic. Her first marriage was to a man who had previously been married. He never applied for an annument for his first marriage. So, when she married him they weren’t allowed to get married in The Church of course. She asserts that because she wasn’t married in a Catholic church, The Church doesn’t recognize her marriage, therefore she doesn’t need to receive an annulment before getting married again in the future. What is The Church’s teaching on this type of situation? I want to know before I consider pursuing a relationship with her. I don’t want to commit adultery of course. Thanks for any help you can offer.



She would have to get an annulment, but it would be an easy one to obtain. Basically, the tribunal would ha;ve to make an objective assessment that the marriage was indeed invalid. However, I would be very cautious about dating someone who thought so little of the Church that she would marry outside of it. Also, I expect that she blames the demise of the marriage on her former husband, but I wonder. Her judgment doesn’t appear to be very sound. I would look elsewhere if I were you.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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