General question: I was wondering if there are any catholic rules regarding being engaged while your waiting for your annulment. My girlfriend has been divorced for over 5 years and just recently went through the process of an annulment and I was wondering what the rules are for getting engaged? Can we get engaged while she waits for the annulment to go through?
Based on the fact that there has been no decision on her marital status, she is currently still married. Therefore, you cannot be engaged to her.
To become engaged before you know for sure her canonical status is very unwise. It is also scandalous since she is currently married in the eyes of the church.
You should not commit yourself in this way, because you may have to retract the proposal if her decree of nullity is denied. Guard your heart and do not make any plans until you know her status with certainty.
You can’t get engaged to a married person. Waiting for an annulment is not the same as being free. You should wait as friends until it is granted. Only then are you allowed to date and get engaged.
I know it’s hard, but you have to be aware that the Tribunal may rule that her first marriage was valid. What will you do then? Until you receive their decision, it’s best to hold off making any plans.
While there are officially no canons that involve engagement in such situations, I think pastorally the answer would be “no” in that, like the pp said, I think that you would be setting yourself up in case things didn’t work out.
There could be a lot of tough decisions that would have to be made… like are you going to choose her or your faith (and your eternal soul)… stuff like that… not fun, to be honest.
So, personally I would wait… and I did. My then boyfriend was waiting on his annulment to be completed. The day he got his second affirmative decision, he proposed. It was so wonderful to not have that hanging over our heads! We could set a date right away. We could make all of the plans! We could do all that we wanted to do and there was nothing standing in our way. There was no worry that some axe would fall and we wouldn’t be able to get married.
So, I highly suggest that you wait… as soon as her second affirmative decision comes through, propose! And then be free to plan the wedding you both want and deserve! Don’t settle for anything less.
the Church considers that she is still married, so obviously, in etiquette as well as in morality, you cannot become engaged to or even date a married woman. You have a friendship unless and until her first marriage is declared null. Annulment is not automatic and there are no guarantees. The heartbreak potential for moving too fast is immense, not to mention the near occasion of sin.
a friend of mine is currently engaged, still waiting for her annullment, and plans to be married this summer. Her reasoning is that God wants her to be happy and how unchristian it would be if the Catholic church didn’t want her to be.
some ppl can be so stubborn. I’ve tried to witness to her many times but she gave me the silent treatment for a yr. so I’ve been praying for her and concentrating on other aspects of my life.
Yes, God wants her to be happy…so He doesn’t want her committing adultery. Your friend is sorely misguided. Keep praying for her!