Is divorce and “remarriage” outside of the Catholic Church held to the same degree as in the Church, before God?


#1

Hi,

Is divorce and “remarriage” outside of the Catholic Church held to the same degree as in the Church, before God? I mean since annulments aren’t recognized, does God still call it a mortal sin, even if the divorced Christian couple believes that adultery is an exception, or even other issues?

Also, had they believed in annulments as a Catholic, they might have gotten one? So, we cannot know for sure if it is a mortal or venial or any kind of sin right?

God Bless You,
Brian


#2

Matrimony is indissoluble, unless a grave defect was present when the spouses took their vows (ex. one of the spouses was not open to procreation, et cetera). I am no expert, but in this case there was no Matrimony. This is what we call "annulment". It is in no way a divorce.

A Catholic, of course, cannot marry outside of the Church unless he has a proper dispensation, etc. If he does, he is in a state of mortal sin, in my understanding.

The good news is that often a marriage can be validated in the Church with a simple ceremony. Often.


#3

I'm not sure I fully understand your question.

The Church recognizes marriages among non-Catholics and holds them to the same standard as Catholic marriages -- "til death do us part." The Church does not recognize civil divorce and remarriage.

If non-Catholics wish to become Catholic, previous marriages would have to be examined for validity.


#4

Thanks for the posts.

We'll, I am asking if two non-Catholic Christian people divorce and remarry, because of adultery of one of the spouses (they believe this is permissible), are they living in sin since they don't believe in annulments? Is it a valid remarriage or not?

Perhaps if they were Catholic and believed in the annulment process and qualified for the annulment based on the adultery and or? (not sure if adultery alone qualifies) in combination of other things, they would have gotten the annulment.

I am just trying to find out if Christian brothers and sisters are living in mortal sin and don't even know it. Or perhaps, before God the first "marriage" never took place in the first place and is somehow annulled without even ever going through the process or having to believed in the process?

I am saying this is a possibility if that is the case. It could also be God's mercy on them. But I guess the Catholic Church cannot judge without the details. I am more or less looking for generalizations.

Thank you. Hope that makes sense.


#5

[quote="GodHeals, post:4, topic:314380"]
We'll, I am asking if two non-Catholic Christian people divorce and remarry, because of adultery of one of the spouses (they believe this is permissible), are they living in sin since they don't believe in annulments? Is it a valid remarriage or not?

[/quote]

The Catholic Church doesn't recognize civil divorce and remarriage. The assumption is that the first marriage is valid unless proven otherwise. The way we show it not to be valid is to submit it to a Tribunal for their judgment.

Perhaps if they were Catholic and believed in the annulment process and qualified for the annulment based on the adultery and or? (not sure if adultery alone qualifies) in combination of other things, they would have gotten the annulment.

Adultery is not itself a basis for an annulment. "Annulment" is actually not the right term since the Church does not annul a valid marriage. The couple would seek a declaration of nullity -- in other words, a judgment that a valid marriage never took place. The Tribunal looks at the situation at the time of the marriage. Adultery later in the marriage might be an indication that the adulterous spouse never intended to be faithful, so it might play a part.

I am just trying to find out if Christian brothers and sisters are living in mortal sin and don't even know it. Or perhaps, before God the first "marriage" never took place in the first place and is somehow annulled without even ever going through the process or having to believed in the process?

They might be in an objectively sinful situation, but they can't commit a mortal sin without knowing it.

The requirements for committing a mortal sin are grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent (see the Catechism 1857).


#6

I don't think God will hold people responsible for sins they didn't realize were sins because they were taught those sinful actions were OK.

If the Church you have put your faith in teaches you that divorce and remarriage is OK, why would you be punished for following that teaching if you didn't know any better.


#7

[quote="GodHeals, post:4, topic:314380"]
Thanks for the posts.

We'll, I am asking if two non-Catholic Christian people divorce and remarry, because of adultery of one of the spouses (they believe this is permissible), are they living in sin since they don't believe in annulments? Is it a valid remarriage or not?

[/quote]

No. They would not be permitted to join the Catholic Church without first having their marriages investigated by the Marriage Tribunal, and receiving Declarations of Nullity for all previous marriages. They would then be required to marry for the first time in the Church through a process known as "convalidation."

If they didn't think of joining the Catholic Church, and they were totally unaware that they were in an adulterous affair, I have no idea how God would see the matter - however He did say, "What ye bind on earth is bound in Heaven," so Church law is in force up there, too - the question is, how would it be applied? :shrug:


#8

What they have done is grave matter against the sixth commandment. If they do know it is a sin, then they may not be culpable for mortal sin.

No. It is not valid, presuming the former spouse is still alive.

Adultery is not grounds for a decree of nullity.

One cannot sin without knowing something is wrong and choosing to do it anyway. It is grave matter. We cannot say whether or not it is a sin, subjectively, since many non-Catholics have been taught divorce and remarriage are OK, even by their own pastors.

No, this is not the case.


#9

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:5, topic:314380"]
Adultery later in the marriage might be an indication that the adulterous spouse never intended to be faithful, so it might play a part.

They might be in an objectively sinful situation, but they can't commit a mortal sin without knowing it.

The requirements for committing a mortal sin are grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent (see the Catechism 1857).

[/quote]

Thank you so much for sharing... the above helps. I forgot about the requirements of Mortal sin. So even if they heard about the term Annulment in general, they might not truly know what it is and also don't believe in it, since they aren't Catholic, so, it seems they aren't in mortal sin.


#10

[quote="1ke, post:8, topic:314380"]
One cannot sin without knowing something is wrong and choosing to do it anyway. It is grave matter. We cannot say whether or not it is a sin, subjectively, since many non-Catholics have been taught divorce and remarriage are OK, even by their own pastors.

[/quote]

Seems knowing less is better sometimes? Or no? Knowing is equal to living in the Truth which is living in freedom? Freewill to choose love for which freewill was given to us in the first place.


#11

[quote="GodHeals, post:10, topic:314380"]
Seems knowing less is better sometimes? Or no? Knowing is equal to living in the Truth which is living in freedom? Freewill to choose love for which freewill was given to us in the first place.

[/quote]

Ignorance is not a Sacrament. It is by means of the Sacraments that we receive the grace necessary to get to Heaven. Someone might have sufficient ignorance to stay out of Hell, but if he hasn't got grace from God to go to Heaven, then what happens to him? :shrug:


#12

[quote="jmcrae, post:7, topic:314380"]

If they didn't think of joining the Catholic Church, and they were totally unaware that they were in an adulterous affair, I have no idea how God would see the matter - however He did say, "What ye bind on earth is bound in Heaven," so Church law is in force up there, too - the question is, how would it be applied? :shrug:

[/quote]

Grave matter or not seems to answer this questions?


#13

[quote="jmcrae, post:11, topic:314380"]
Ignorance is not a Sacrament. It is by means of the Sacraments that we receive the grace necessary to get to Heaven. Someone might have sufficient ignorance to stay out of Hell, but if he hasn't got grace from God to go to Heaven, then what happens to him? :shrug:

[/quote]

The grace of invincible ignorance? There's got to be a place where we learn something is a sin... but maybe not.


#14

Probably good get theologically? messy if those two remarried non-Catholic Christians have children in the second marriage. I think if they became Catholic at that point they would have to stop having sexual relations, if they don’t get an annulment from their first marriage?


#15

[quote="GodHeals, post:14, topic:314380"]
Probably good get theologically? messy if those two remarried non-Catholic Christians have children in the second marriage. I think if they became Catholic at that point they would have to stop having sexual relations, if they don't get an annulment from their first marriage?

[/quote]

That is most likely the advice that they would receive, I think. (The advice is given in private, so I really have no idea, never having been through it.)


#16

[quote="GodHeals, post:14, topic:314380"]
Probably good get theologically? messy if those two remarried non-Catholic Christians have children in the second marriage. I think if they became Catholic at that point they would have to stop having sexual relations, if they don't get an annulment from their first marriage?

[/quote]

Yes they would have to stop having sexual relations if they did not get a declaration of nullity for the first marriage as it is presumed to be valid.

Getting a nullity granted is no easy matter even for those who are not Catholic at the time of the first marriage. It is a very serious matter and can be complex and difficult.

All marriages are presumed to be valid, even those between unbaptized persons. So these individuals are seen by the Church to be still married to their first spouse.


#17

A Catholic that marries without approval of the Catholic Church has not celebrated matrimony and there is no presumption of validity. In judicial annulment cases there is a presumption of validity, but not in the administrative case of lack of form.


#18

[quote="Vico, post:17, topic:314380"]
A Catholic that marries without approval of the Catholic Church has not celebrated matrimony and there is no presumption of validity. In judicial annulment cases there is a presumption of validity, but not in the administrative case of lack of form.

[/quote]

All marriages are presumed to be valid. A lack of form case overcomes the presumption of validity due to the lack of form. I know this seems like nit picking but it is not. I am both a lawyer and someone who has been through the nullity process. The presumption of validity can make for some very odd results when it comes to people who where not Catholic at the time of their marriage. Which is the situation in the original question. Lack of form will not be an issue for them.


#19

[quote="Aesq, post:18, topic:314380"]
All marriages are presumed to be valid. A lack of form case overcomes the presumption of validity due to the lack of form. I know this seems like nit picking but it is not. I am both a lawyer and someone who has been through the nullity process. The presumption of validity can make for some very odd results when it comes to people who where not Catholic at the time of their marriage. Which is the situation in the original question. Lack of form will not be an issue for them.

[/quote]

The presumption is that a properly celebrated marriage is valid.


#20

[quote="Vico, post:19, topic:314380"]
The presumption is that a properly celebrated marriage is valid.

[/quote]

The presumption is that all marriages are valid. If only properly celebrated marriages are presumed valid, then no marriage outside of the church would be presumed valid even those among non Catholics. This is not true.

I had to get a nullity. I was married while not even baptized to a non Catholic outside of her church and my marriage was presumed to be valid.


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