Marriage in different places


#1

Hello! I am asking for a male friend. He is NOT Catholic, but was baptized Christian (he thinks) when he was a baby. He has been going to mass with me for about a year now. He hasn't made any formal decisions whether or not he wants to become Catholic.

He has been married and divorced TWICE before. The first time he was married, he was married in a Christian Church (not Catholic). They divorced 5 years later. Then he was married many years later on a beach in Hawaii. That marriage ended after 12 years (and a son).

My question for him is: Are those marriages valid in the eyes of the Church / God? I always thought that a Catholic HAD to be married inside a Catholic church otherwise they were not REALLY married in the eyes of the church.

Another question: Would he need an anullment for those marriages if he wanted to get married again?

He is asking me this stuff and this cradle Catholic doesn't know what to say!! :eek:

Thank you!! :)


#2

[quote="OscarsMama, post:1, topic:312435"]

My question for him is: Are those marriages valid in the eyes of the Church / God?

[/quote]

Well, **both **cannot be valid. Either the first marriage was valid and the second invalid. The first invalid and the second valid. Or neither valid.

But the essence of the question is whether or not a non-Catholic marriage can be valid. The answer to that is: YES.

[quote="OscarsMama, post:1, topic:312435"]

I always thought that a Catholic HAD to be married inside a Catholic church otherwise they were not REALLY married in the eyes of the church.

[/quote]

This is not correct.

A non-Catholic is not bound by Catholic canon law. It is not even possible for two non-Catholics to marry in the Catholic Church.

Catholics must be married in Catholic form-- or receive a dispensation from their bishop from form (which is possible)-- for their marriage to be valid.

[quote="OscarsMama, post:1, topic:312435"]

Another question: Would he need an anullment for those marriages if he wanted to get married again?

[/quote]

Each marriage would need to be investigated. Whether or not a decree of nullity is granted, or even needed, depend on many factors too numerous to go into here. It depends upon whether or not either of those spouses were married before, the baptismal status of each party, whether or not any of them were baptized as Catholics, etc.

The best course of action would be for this person to make an appointment to talk to the pastor in his local Catholic Church.


#3

Without further evidence (you have only provided a very basic sketch) the first marriage would have to be assumed to Valid unless it can be proven otherwise.
The second mariage would therefore have to be presumed Null and Void until the first marriage was annulled.

A third attempt at marriage would be statistically unlikely to succeed. Consideration of any such attempt would need to be preceded by suitable declaration of nulity of both previous attempts at marriage.


#4

[quote="OscarsMama, post:1, topic:312435"]
Another question: Would he need an anullment for those marriages if he wanted to get married again?

[/quote]

He could apply to the tribunal to examine his past marriages only if he actually becomes Catholic or wants to marry a Catholic. If neither of these circumstances apply, the concept of a Catholic annulment has no meaning for him. (And in fact, is not available to him.)


#5

Thank you very much everybody for all the information! Here is the follow up question regarding marriage and such:

Is a non-Catholic allowed (or able to) marry a Catholic? Or does the person have to become Catholic first? Would this make a marriage with a "little m" ie. NOT a sacarment? As opposed to a Marriage (with a big M)?

Is a non-Catholic and a Catholic allowed to be married inside the church?

Thank you!! :)


#6

[quote="OscarsMama, post:5, topic:312435"]
Thank you very much everybody for all the information! Here is the follow up question regarding marriage and such:

Is a non-Catholic allowed (or able to) marry a Catholic? Or does the person have to become Catholic first? Would this make a marriage with a "little m" ie. NOT a sacarment? As opposed to a Marriage (with a big M)?

[/quote]

Yes, a Catholic can marry a non-catholic or even non-christian. The non-catholic is not required to convert first. This would be considered either a mixed marriage (if the other was baptized) or disparity of worship (if they were not baptized). These both require a dispensation for validity, but I'd say the a huge number of Catholic marriages now fall under this category.

All marriages between two baptized persons are sacramental regardless if those people consider it a sacrament. In other words even two baptized Presbyterians that are married are in a sacramental marriage even though the Presbyterian church does not recognize it as a sacarament.

[quote="OscarsMama, post:5, topic:312435"]
Is a non-Catholic and a Catholic allowed to be married inside the church?

[/quote]

Yes, the major difference would be that they would not have a nuptial mass.


#7

[quote="OscarsMama, post:5, topic:312435"]

Is a non-Catholic allowed (or able to) marry a Catholic?

[/quote]

Mixed marriage should not be taken lightly. It creates numerous perils for the Catholic and the raising of children in the Catholic Faith.

The Church does allow Catholics to marry a non-Catholic, presuming they are otherwise free to marry (no impediments such as prior marriage). The Catholic must have permision of the bishop to marry a baptized non-Catholic and a dispensation from disparity of cult if the non-Catholic is unbaptized. To receive permission or dispensation the Catholic must show they are not in danger of defecting from the faith, and the Catholic must promise to raise the children Catholic and the non-Catholic must be informed of this promise.

[quote="OscarsMama, post:5, topic:312435"]

Or does the person have to become Catholic first?

[/quote]

No. There is no requirement to convert. That is a free choice on the part of the non-Catholic.

[quote="OscarsMama, post:5, topic:312435"]
Would this make a marriage with a "little m" ie. NOT a sacarment? As opposed to a Marriage (with a big M)?

[/quote]

The Church does not refer to "little m" or "big m" marriage.

A marriage is valid or invalid.

Further, a valid marriage between the baptized is a sacrament. A valid marriage involving one or both parties that are unbaptized is called a natural marriage.

[quote="OscarsMama, post:5, topic:312435"]

Is a non-Catholic and a Catholic allowed to be married inside the church?

[/quote]

Yes.

Perhaps it is time to talk to your pastor if you have so many questions about such a serious topic as who you might marry.


#8

Once again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all the information!! I appreciate it! :slight_smile:


#9

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