Marriage after Divorce

There is this guy in our area who is a faithful Catholic and has previously been divorced from his wife, from what i see, their relationship just lost their ‘spark’ so to speak. Anyway he’s found a new girlfriend and now after a few years of dating they want to get married. He went to a priest and asked for him to marry them but he declined. I don’t know why and for what reasons.
So my questions are:

  1. Does the Catholic Church have a ‘NO GO’ policy on wedding people who have had a previous marriage?
    2)Are Priests allowed to ,for **personal ** beliefs allowed to decline marriage to some people?
    3)Is the Catholic Church, forcing **good **people away from the Church for matters that aren’t very important when compared to things like abortion and rape and stuff like that?

Thanks for replying and sorry if i souind confusing…

Contrary to secular marriage, divorce does not end a valid marriage from God’s perspective. Someone who is civilly divorced is actually still married and thus the Church will not marry such a person. It’s not that the Church **won’t **marry those previously married. It’s that she lacks the power to marry such people.

If a priest believes that two people are unable to marry then he can’t marry them. If he believes two people ought not to marry because they lack the proper disposition then he can delay such a marriage to give the couple a chance to rectify the problems.

But it isn’t the Church who forces people away. She can only do what Christ gives her the authority to do. If She went through the motions of “marrying” a couple who She knows is unable to marry then the couple will still not be validly married.

The Church will not all an adulterous second marriage.

Pastors can decline to marry someone if it is shown that they are not free to marry or that there are other impediments.

People are free to choose to follow Christ or follow their own ways.

The guy will need to get an annulment of his prior marriage before the Catholic Church will marry him again.

Thanks to those who pelied as qickly as you did. What all of you said has cleared a lot up for me.THANKS HEAPS :thumbsup:

I would make one more comment; your assumption that remarrying as described is not as important as say rape or abortion. The premise of your question is wrong. First, if they are still married in the eyes of the church then they are committing adultry and bigomy and as you know adultry is one of the big ten, equal to abortion (murder) and rape (which is a type of adultry, pre-marital sex, and assault).

In our current divorce on demand, pre-marital sex culture we have lost the knowledge of the true importance of marriage. Remember that a Sacrament as marriage is, calls on the Name of the Lord. To do so wrongly is to take the name of the Lord in a false oath. It also bears false witness to the truth of the Sacrament. So a marriage without an annulment in fact breaks a variety of commandments.

I see what you are getting at but when i was asking the question i was only focused on marriage without thinking about all the other sins that could arise. Of course in essence, a sin is a sin,and no sin is better to cause over others.I guess sinning is like a domino effect.

Breaking your marriage vows and getting divorced just because a marriage has lost its spark doesn’t affect how God sees that marriage. The couple is still married in God’s eyes.

But you only see the marriage from the outside. Maybe there was an impediment to the marriage at the time the vows were made. Since the man is a faithful Catholic, he should ask the church to examine the marriage and determine if there is cause for an annulment (saying a sacramental union didn’t exist from the beginning). If that was true, the man and his former wife would be free to marry someone else.

There is a real possibility that you are poking your nose where you have insufficient knowledge and no business. Be very careful, as that is a dangerous habit, with little good to recommend it.

No. Catholic couples who are free from impediment have a right to marry in the Church. Their pastor has a duty to marry them, unless he is aware of a possible impediment, in which case he may not marry them. If there is an impediment which cannot be rectified, their marriage cannot be accomplished. While there are issues that might be subject to his judgement, this only requires that the couple apply to a tribunal for a binding judgement on the matter. He cannot overrule the tribunal’s decision.

Matrimony is a Sacrament. It is therefore indissoluble.
The Catholic Church uses Jesus’ words regarding its teaching on marriage, as found in all four gospels. When asked about divorce, Jesus said that Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of men’s hearts. A man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery and forces his wife to commit adultery. Women in those days were dependent on their husbands for their financial welfare.
The OT states that God hates divorce. The Book of Malachi which ends the OT talks about the people being unfaithful to God and to one another, and breaking the marriage covenant.

Civil divorce is a legal division of property.
Divorce triggers a whole chain of reactions. It involves rejection of another person. This more often than not leads to resentment and bitterness. Many children in today’s society lack the roots that a family provides as they are shuttled between parents. It is easy to see that divorce opens the door to more problems than it solves. The remarriage is only possible because of the rejection of the love promised to another.

While this may seem like a tangent away from the OP, it may also shed light on the question of whether or not a priest can refuse to marry a couple. I read the story of an African priest who would ask each couple who came to him, “Have you had a fight.” If the answer was “No, we love each other so much,” he would send them away until after their first argument. It is not that the Church encourages discord. Did the couple know how to reconcile their differences after a major dispute?

Re-marriage is only possible because the first marriage was not valid. If a Catholic couple marries validly and then refuses to love each other, neither is free to marry again, even with a civil divorce.

I know someone whose husband abandoned her, but who told the tribunal during the investigation that though he fully intended to keep his vows, he had just gotten tired of the marriage and left. For him, “the spark went out.”

The request for a decree of nullity was denied.

You and I are in agreement. A civil divorce, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, is merely a division of property. Remarriage is adultery unless an annulment has been granted.
A “spark” that went out is not sufficient grounds.

Yes…although it is my understanding that a civil divorce or civil annulment is also required before the Church will investigate nullity. Apparently, there is a desire that the investigation process itself not bring about any alienation of affection.

A divorce is required before nullity can be investigated. I recently read that only 15% of all divorced couples complete this process, and of those only half (7% total) are granted.
The objective of my post #10 was to follow other posts that point to how one sin leads to another.
Malachi spoke out against the infidelity of the people to God and to one another. This infidelity was shown primarily in the breaking of the marriage covenant. God hates divorce.
Couples need to work through the dry periods in their marriages. While civil marriages take place after a divorce, the Church cannot be party to the adultery of remarriage, thereby rewarding the infidelity.
God is close to the broken hearted, to the person who has remained faithful regardless of the actions of the other spouse. I find solace in the verse, "Like a maiden married in youth and then cast out, the Lord your maker will become your husband."
There is no sin in being on the receiving end of a divorce. Those who remarry outside the Church, however, are not to receive Communion. This is how strongly the Church views this infidelity.

The catechism (not suprisingly) gives an excellent summary of when a civil divorce is and is not morally permissible, and why. Those who don’t have the official catechism or compendium may be pleased to know that the Vatican has posted the text online.

A decree of nullity is a finding by a Church tribunal that a putative marriage was not validly ratified, consumated, or both. Marriages are all presumed to be valid until shown to be otherwise; tribunals do not investigate marriages still held to be binding by the state. There is also such a thing as a civil decree of nullity, but secular law differs on what constitutes a ratified and consumated marriage and the process and evidence required differs from that required for a civil divorce. Sometimes, a civil divorce accomplishes the same civil end in a more expedient manner. Therefore, the Church may rightly issue a decree of nullity when the state would not. The Church does not require couples to apply for civil annulments instead of a civil divorces, even where an annulment might have been possible.

The Church does not hold that civil divorce is always permissible, even in the absence of outside sexual relationships by the divorced spouses. Rather, marriage is a positive good to which the spouses must apply themselves to the best of their ability for their entire lives, where possible.


2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.173 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.174

Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death."175

2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176

If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.177

2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

2386 *It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. *There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.178

2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.

The expression “free union” is fallacious: what can “union” mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?

The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments.182 All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. *The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion. *

2391 Some today claim a “right to a trial marriage” where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim."183 Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate “trial marriages.” It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.184 **

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