Non-Catholic Marriage Annulment

I really don’t understand the purpose of the rule below and would like a better understanding as well as where I can find this rule.

A previous civil marraige (non-catholic person) requiring a catholic annulment for a catholic marriage to take place.

Thank You,

I’m not sure what you don’t understand?

God created marriage and Christ confirms that marriage is for life. He declares that remarriage is not allowed. This law is for all people, not just for Catholics or Christians.

The Church distinguishes between divine law impediments to marriage-- for example, prior marriages, close kinship, etc-- and ecclesial law impediments-- things like who has to witness the marriage, etc.

Divine law impediments apply to all people as they are derived from God’s law. Ecclesial laws apply only to Catholics as they are adminstrative laws of the Church.

The impediment of a prior bond is a divine law impediment. Therefore, a person with a prior valid marriage cannot attempt another marriage.

So, a non-Catholic with a prior marriage would have present evidence that there was an impediment to a valid marraige if they want to enter a marriage with a Catholic. The tribunal would have to make a declaration of nullity. If they cannot do so, the person is bound to their first marriage and cannot marry.

not enough info
I assume you mean a person, not Catholic, who is married and has obtained a civil divorce now wishes to marry a Catholic. The Catholic Church does not recognize civil divorce as ending a marriage, so this individual is not free to marry. Period. Christ’s own words. No power on earth can end a valid marriage. the only way he could hope to marry again is to find out if, indeed, his first marriage was in fact valid. To do that he would apply to the canon law tribunal of the diocese for an investigation and judgment.

That’s an easy one. Marriage is supposed to be permanent. The Church defends this idea because it was handed down from Christ. Unfortunately we are sinful creatures and divorce happens. Our church which respects the capacity of people catholic or non catholic to enter into a marriage also respects the rights of people who wish to have their marriage looked into for validity.

Now of course you haven’t given enough information regarding that marriage and in reality the info should really be brought to a priest so he can advise the couple. Also, a Catholic should not be dating anyone who is not free to marry.

Thank you very much for your answers.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit