Is my marriage invalid because I'm not catholic?

My husband is catholic and I am not. We were married in a catholic church by a priest. I was baptised but not by a catholic priest but a minister of another christian church. I have been married for 6 years and my husband and I are in our 30-40s. We both went through the catholic premarital couseling and procedures. Neither of us was forced into this marriage and I believe we truly love each other at the time of our wedding and up until about one year ago. About one year ago, my husband declares he doesn’t like me anymore, he has been drinking everyday, watching pornography, and possibly unfaithful. He says he wants a divorce and that our marriage is easily invalidated because I am not catholic. He said it would be no problem for the marriage to be annulIed because I am not catholic. Is that true? If so, why does the catholic church allow this to happen if all catholic-noncatholic marriages are invalid?

Your husband is either lying or misinformed. You entered into a presumed valid sacramental marriage.

Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.

§2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.

Note that it doesn’t say that two Catholics are required for a marriage to be a sacrament but simply that two baptized persons when married always have a sacramental marriage.

Can. 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility, which in Christian marriage obtain a special firmness by reason of the sacrament.

Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Obviously your husband can apply for a declaration that the marriage was never valid (i.e. annulment), but he is not guaranteed to receive one. The burden of proof is on him to prove that the marriage lacked an essential element from the very beginning. The Catholic Church presumes you and your husband are validly in a sacramental marriage until proven otherwise. Your faith community affiliation has nothing to do with it…

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