Post-Marriage Dilemma


Before I was confirmed in the Catholic Church, I had been married and divorced, and married and civilly annulled, and the priest was aware of this history.
Since my conversion, I married a non-Catholic in a Protestant ceremony because I hadn’t obtained an annulment through the Church, and the priest was aware of that as well, and didn’t say anything about not receiving the sacraments.
My husband abandoned me three years after our marriage, and that was over 5 years ago now. I have continued to receive the sacraments, but in reading here, I am wondering if I am entitled to do so.
Can anyone help me with this question? I also intend to ask my parish priest, who is a different priest than the one I had previously.
Thanks for any help.


He could have/should have suggested you work on nullity paperwork at this time. However, since you were not in an invalid marriage at the time (if I understand you correctly you were married/divorced/married/civilly annulled and single at the time of your conversion) there was no impediment to you joining the Church.

I am sorry that your priest did you such a disservice.

I’m not clear on why you would choose to be married outside the Church instead of completing the nullity process first. You were clearly aware you could not marry in the Catholic Church. Did you not understand what this meant?

You should certainly go to Confession regarding receiving the Sacraments while in an invalid marriage and for going outside the Church and marrying knowing you should not have done so.

But, since you are now currently single, you can indeed resume receiving the Sacraments once you’ve been to Confession.

When you talk to this other priest, ask for his help in getting all of this sorted out through the nullity process.


Thank you very much for your reply.
I was unable to seek a Church annulment for my first marriage, because I have been divorced since 1974 and I don’t know anyone who can attest to the facts of the marriage, which should never have taken place.
Now that I am again living singly, and have no interest in being married again, I don’t think an annulment is crucial at this time.
I have spoken to my parish priest, and explained all the facts, and he has granted me permission to carry on receiving the sacraments in my current situation.
Thank you again for your detailed response to my question!


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