Question about joining the Church

What is the process for someone wanting to join the Catholic Church who has been divorced and remarried?

My husband and I were both married previously, outside the Church. We joined the Catholic Church last year so I can tell you what we did. We had to show when we were baptized and married. We took RCIA, through that program we had our first confession set up prior to the Easter Vigil. At the Vigil we were confirmed and took our first Holy Communion. Its a process but its a painless one :slight_smile: we are now looking into having our marriage blessed.

My wife just came into the Church this Easter and I made confirmation a couple years ago.

To fully participate (i.e. Receive communion) you’ll need to seek an annulment for your first marriage. Failing that (or until that comes through) you can choose to live as “brother and sister” (i.e. Not have marital relations) and still receive Eucharist.

Of course, first you’ll go through RCIA (which usually starts in the fall around here).

God bless you on your journey!

The best thing to do is set up an appointment with your local priest and discuss your circumstances to get the ball rolling, joining RCIA, and all the different documentation you will need but Fr. will advice you on what to get.

God Bless walk with the Lord, and May we give each other the sign of peace in the same Church.

Well I’m just wondering if there would need to be an annulment.

Yes, there would. If you were just divorced, it would not be necessary, but because of the remarriage, you will need to seek an annulment of the first marriage. I think the best thing to do is to call the church and ask for guidance.

Best to talk to Father , make an appointment, as he will know best, plus after you tell him your circumstances he can judge and advise, “Be not Afraid” put your hand in the Lord and go for it, set up the appointment with Father and go from there.

There is great Joy awaiting you, so much to learn, RCIA will be a wonder of wonders.

Go for it, and let us know how you get on . Will be praying for you :thumbsup::signofcross:

I would enter into the situation assuming that yes, there would be a need for an annulment.

In some instances, you may be denied full entry into the Church until the first marriage has been annulled. Now, it is true that a couple who refrain from the marital act whilst living together, and who avoid scandal to others, are certainly not living in adultery and therefore mortal sin. However, it is also true that there may be a pastoral decision made that someone in your circumstance should be entirely free to enter the Church.

Obviously, at this point, 3 million questions will come up, and the fact is that the issues that surround all of this are very, very complicated. You should certainly start by visiting a priest, and entering the situation with open eyes, assuming annulment is necessary, and also considering that you may need the help of your Diocese’s Marriage Tribunal to sort out most of the details.

There is a show on EWTN radio called Open Line, and recently, a very similar situation was discussed. You can listen to the audio of the program here:

The specific question begins at about 13 minutes and 15 seconds.

There was also a sort of follow up to this question on the following week’s program:

That questions begins at 45 minutes and 10 seconds.

Ask this very same question to any parish priest :slight_smile: This is a very personal process. There’s no clean-cut answer that can be given to an anonymous forum user.

“If you want to be my disciple, renounce self, pick up the cross, and follow me. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

I don’t think you need an annulment if you were not Catholic when married the first time. My husband and I were not Catholic when we married our first spouses and divorced. We just came in to the church last year, we never had to go through the annulment process. Nor do we live celibate.

The Church presumes marriages are valid until proven otherwise. They need not be in a Catholic church (for non-Catholics) and could have been witnessed only by a civil authority. They would be considered natural marriages in the least and sacramental if the parties were baptized. Entering into a new marriage is not possible when already married (civil divorce can not change this).

Shelly, if I were you I would make an appointment with your pastor to discuss this in depth. If he is aware of all the details and sees no issue, double check with the diocese. It is possible that your circumstances are unique (e.g. both of your first spouses are deceased). This is a very serious matter.

I have talked to our priest about this more then once actually :slight_smile:

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