Potential convert question

Hi All, I have a question if you could help me, if I was to convert in future. Its a way off admittedly as I’m happy for the time being an Anglican.

I was married in my 20s in a civil ceremony, that was long before I was a Christian, and was divorced several years later.

I became a Christian a few years ago and got married to my lovely wife :heart: in a traditional Anglican chuch service, which was the best day of my life :slight_smile: The vicar fortunately agreed to marry us after a gruelling interview :smiley: as its at their discretion whether to marry a divorced person.

My question is if I was to convert to the CC at any point in the future, would being divorced exclude me from the sacraments. And would my marriage count as a valid sacrament, from the CC point of view.

Would we need to renew our vows before converting or receive a blessing, or is this optional. I am a church regular and my wife not at all religious, dont know if has a bearing as well. Im sure she would say something like, they all suppose to believe in the same God so whats the big deal :eek: Thanks very much

Interesting senerio, call the nearest CC[or one of your choice] and make an appointment to speak with the Father about this. You can google and read from 2382-foward of the Catechism or CCC which will give some insight to your situation from a Catholic perspective.

Others will also come along who may have more experience in a similar situation, don’t know. Ultimately you’ll have to talk to the Priest first anyway.

ATTENTION, my view.
My view is that only Catholic Marriages are Catholic Marriages. Only they fulfill the conditions of being a Catholic Marriages.
If you are a Calvinist, for instance, you marry with the pressuposition of being able to divorce on the conditions set by Calvinist Churches. That is different from Catholic Conditions.
My view…

To my knowledge yes your divorce would exclude you from the sacrements.But if neither of you were baptised (first marriage) then you should be free to partake in the sacraments. No your current marriage is not sacramental.

Again to my knowledge you would need to convalidate your current marriage in the CC.

The Church recognizes the marriages of other non Catholic Christians. If you were both non Catholic Christians, and went through your Church, your marriage is valid.

Dave, you would need to resolve your marriage situation before entering full communion with the Church. This would involve the examination of the first marriage for nullity or for the possibility of dissolution of the bond.

Very early on in the process of RCIA, there are interviews with inquirers. Those with irregular marriage situations are referred to the pastor to begin discussions on the particular circumstances of their situation and guidance on possible solutions.

This chart might help you:


And I also suggest the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster to help you understand the Church’s teaching on marriage validity, sacramentality, nullity, etc.

And, I can see that there are already inaccurate responses on this thread. So, beware.

Your “view” is not compatible with Church teaching. I suggest you get the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster and study the chart I linked to in my other post.

Not accurate. The first marriage (regardless of baptismal status of the parties) is a valid marriage. Therefore, the impediment of prior bond existed at the time of the second (attempted) marriage.

The Church will have to examine the first marriage for either nullity or dissolution of the bond.

That can only be done if and after the first marriage is found to be invalid or qualifies for and receives a dissolution of the bond.

This is ambiguous. If you are referring ot his first marriage, you are correct that the Church would view it as valid. If you are referring to his current marriage, this is off the mark. The OP has a prior marriage; therefore, the current marriage had an impediment of prior bond and is not a valid marriage at this time.

See the chart I linked to.

His first marriage seems to have been a civil one–I don’t know if that makes a difference.

But overall, Dave would be better off discussing this with a priest than with us, as the whole thing is handled by specialists and we are just lay people on a forum… :slight_smile:

I’m with those refuting Pfaffenhoffen’s “view.”

Remember… if you’re in most areas, there can be slight differences between parishes.

One Deacon/RCIA Leader/Pastor etc may give the look down from their on perfect Catholic soapbox. What I call being the ugly Catholic. It’s one thing to explain potential outcomes after listening respectfully to someone’s situation quite another to be a jerk & send the Protestant back to their Protestant church with a bad Catholic experience to tell 50 Protestants.

Let them them stay there & give the another parish a call.

Ike’s response is spot on…The first marriage would need to be looked at and resolved.

If you ARE considering this step in the future I DO recommend that you talk to someone in the Church about your particular circumstance. It would be wise to have an idea now as to whether you have a legitimate case for nullity of the first marriage.

Assuming all goes well and a decree of nullity is granted, you would have your marriage blessed, or convalidated, in the Church. In my case we simply renewed our vows in an “informal” ceremony.


The linked document is great…Thanks.
There seems to be links to (I assume) descriptions of the various processes mentioned, but the links don’t seem to work.
Could you post links to the pages that explain (hopefully briefly) the descriptions of the different processes? I would like to save these for future reference and posting here when people ask these questions.



. Its a way off admittedly as I’m happy for the time being an Anglican.

I was married in my 20s in a civil ceremony, that was long before I was ahttp://www.datasea.info/avatar4.jpg

The document does not contain links. It simply places some terms in bold. It is not my document, nor am I affiliated with the diocese of Colorado Springs. I just happened across this chart a few years ago and link to it frequently b/c it is so useful

Many diocesan websites explain the nullity processes. Here are a couple of good ones:

A decision tree flow chart:






Formal Case:




Lack of Form:


Privilege of the Faith (Petrine)



Pauline Privilege:


No, it does not make a difference provided his first wife was not a Catholic. There are many variables, but in general non-Catholics marry validly when they marry civilly.

Thanks Ike…

It’s funny - but when I passed my curser over some of the bolded parts it changed, indicating (I thought) some sort of link and when I clicked I got the old - “page not found” error…hhmmm

I’ll look into the other links you provided…


Thank you all for your responses, especially 1ke for the chart - very interesting. Just theoretical for me at the moment, but thanks once again.

It would depend on many things. And every situation is unique. But I believe, but don’t quote me, but I am pretty sure that if you are not married in the CC you probally could.

Simply because when you get married in the CC we acknowledge marriage as a Sacrament that cannot be broken, I am not sure you could be held to it in a Non- Catholic marriage because I don’t think it is taught that way. But I am not sure.

OH, I never even tried to hover over anything on that PDF. Interesting. I guess you could contact that diocese.

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