Petrine Privilege Experience?

Hello all,

I am considering applying for the Petrine Privilege. I am seeing if anyone else out there has done this? Was it successful? How long did it take?Was it difficult? Also, can you remarry in the Catholic Church if your previous marriage was “dissolved” under the Privilege but not “anulled” with a Declaration of Nullity?

I am concerned however because my ex is rather hostile and blames the dissolution of our marriage on me (which is a requirement that the petitioner did not cause the divorce to fail). I can provide a lot of information stating otherwise, but im wondering if anyone else has had that experience as well? Also, does the result of the civil divorce decree (no fault) weigh in on the decision?


Anyone? :slight_smile:

Hello there, I too am seeking advice on the process of the Petrine Privilege and am yet to find a response from anyone who has experienced this. I am Catholic and my partner is divorced. We would like to marry and my parish priest has recommended that we do this but I gather he has no experience of this either and I really would like some advice from anyone who has been through it. Can anybody help?

These are very rare and are granted by the Pope himself. This should be discussed with the Tribunal, they are likely the only source of experience with this in your diocese.

I have an appointment with my Deacon, but I am still looking for experience outside of my parish.

Go to a search engine like Google or Bing. Type in the name of your city and state then “Catholic Diocese”. This will bring you to the Diocese website. On that website is a contact number for the Marriage Tribunal. Call the secretary there, explain what you are looking for and they will put you in contact with anyone they have who has gone through the process and is willing to talk about it.


We have an appoinment with our priest next week. It looks as though we may be the only members of this forum going through this so I’ll keep you updated…

I just received an affirmative response on my Petrine Privilege case and was married almost 4 weeks ago (tomorrow is our one month anniversary).

You cannot apply for it until there is someone that you want to marry in the Catholic Church, it will not be granted if you do not have someone you wish to marry, and my diocese wouldn’t even submit it until I was engaged. My tribunal told me it was taking almost the entire 6 months that they say it will once it was received in Rome. I submitted the first paperwork in March, it was in Rome by May 15th and my affirmative response was given on Sept 15th-ish. I don’t have the paperwork here with me so the exact days are off.

It is not specific to WHO caused the marriage to fail, but more what caused it to fail. There also seemed to be a lot of questions regarding if scandal would be caused were it dissolved. I think this is especially the case if one party were Catholic and the unbaptized wants to become Catholic and they are still members of the same parish. If the marriage was consummated after the unbaptized party became Christian, then you need a decree of nullity because it became a Sacramental marriage at that point.

I guess I’m not sure what else to say. It was expensive in my diocese, but it was 100% worth it, not to mention that I know a lot goes into it. I had to have 4 blood relative witnesses (I was the unbaptized one), answer a litany of questions and he also had to respond to a questionnaire.

Any other questions?

I finally called in to the Catholic Answers Live Ask a Canon Lawyer because a lot of priests don’t have experience with it and they want to suggest you try a “regular” path (i.e, decree of nullity). But that is actually hugely inaccurate as it doesn’t apply at all to a natural marriage. The Favor of the Faith dissolves a natural marriage, it does not look into whether there was a marriage there at all as a decree of nullity is. Be firm and don’t let a priest tell you to go the other route. I thought that since the priests didn’t know how to do them, they were rare, but they’re not as rare as one would think. I asked the tribunal and the secretary said they do several each year.

I am interested in the part about what caused it to fail, and you mentioned being asked about scandal.

If there was adultery involved would that cause them to deny a Petrine Privilege?

Thanks again

If the person seeking the Favor was the adulterer and that person now wants to marry the person with whom they committed adultery, I think that is cause for it to be denied. The fiance(e) will also receive a questionairre and be asked if they were the cause of the divorce. I don’t think they ever make blanket decisions though, each case is handled individually and the situations are investigated completely. I didn’t ask much about this though because adultery wasn’t the cause for mine, and I didn’t know my now husband at the time of the divorce.

Here is a link to an outline of the process. Not all diocesan tribunals process these kinds of cases. I have no personal experience with the process–just classroom experience. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the steps. It is not as bad as it might seem and is less time-consuming than a nullity process.


The priest that I had talked to at the time that I submitted my declaration of nullity mentioned the Petrine Privilege to me. It didn’t apply in my case, so we didn’t go that route. He did say that he had pursued this successfully in the past, with it taking approximately 6 months.

We saw our priest last night who handed over the form that we need to complete (well my fiance needs to complete). I was just wondering, in these circumstances is the former wife contacted at any stage or does the Tribunal and Rome continue without the need to contact her?

Yes, the former spouse is contacted. They mail them a questionnaire that is similar to the one that the person applying will fill out with the priest. One thing I will suggest is to contact the people that will be the witnesses and give them a heads up. Speak to them of the importance of this paperwork so that they know that it needs to be done right away. If your fiance knows someone in contact with his former spouse, it would be a good idea to give her a warning. I had a mutual friend contact mine and make sure he knew it was important to me, I was very blessed that he decided to handle it quickly for me.

Me, still waiting for the answer. It’s not easy to wait and it has been only 2 months :frowning: But I hope for the affirmative answer as soon as God wants it :wink:

Anyone else has an idea of the time frame? I have been waiting for over a year now and it still has not even gone to Rome. So frustrating :frowning:

Hi, I finally receive my answer, 5 and half months after…It was horrible to to wait but as soon as I got it I started my wedding preparations and today I am already a happy married woman!
In my case in was pretty straightforward, maybe that’s why I received it in the timeframe of 3-6 months.

Good luck 01Hope! Pray a lot for a pope, as I did during all that time, because he’s in danger now and only he can sign that for you.

I just wanted to let others know of my experience with the Petrine Privilege. It DOES happen and once ALL the proper paperwork was gathered (most important was my final decree of annulment), then the paperwork for the Petrine Privilege was sent to Rome. Ours was sent in Feb 2013 and we were granted the privilege on Apirl 5th! I must add… that was 23 days after Pope Francis took his role as Pope!!! I thought our paper work would get lost in the shuffle after Pope Benedict resigned…I was beside myself in worry!!

My fiancé is Jewish and as part of all the requirements, one of which is two witnesses stating he is not baptized, he had only ONE. His ex was contacted and although she stated the divorce was due to his infidelity, that was an absolute lie and he had the opportunity to tell his side. So, even though there were some setbacks, it still was granted.

There may not be a lot of priests that know all the ins and outs of this process but please don’t give up. Seek the help of your state’s diocese.

I hope this information is helpful.
God Bless,

My diocese mailed my paperwork to the Vatican at the beginning of Jan and received an email affirmative on March 24. The actual paperwork with the approval can take a couple weeks and this is why they emailed an affirmative to the diocese. They knew I wanted to be baptized this Easter and they put a rush on it. I was told it might not be enough time but the turn around was rather quick and I am so happy and grateful! My many many prayers have been answered.

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