Re: Does my fiancée need an annulment?

I saw an earlier post with a similar situation. The people were married in a civil not religious marriage and was not recognized as a valid sacramental marriage in the eyses of the Church. Here is the link: I do not understand what is different between this situation and that of my fiance, since my fiance was also in a civil ceremony and neither my fiance nor her ex are Catholic. Thank you.

Dear R,

If a Catholic is married outside the church whether it’s before a judge or clergy the marriage is automatically invalid. This does not apply to non-Catholics. The Church does recognize the marriages of non-Catholics. It holds Catholics to a higher standard because we have a more exalted understanding of marriage. For us it is a sacrament.

Since your fiancé is not a Catholic, her first marriage must be investigated to see if it can be annulled. You both are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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