Should civil marriages be listed in baptismal records?

I was married for 25 years which ended in divorce. My second marriage was performed by a JP and my first request for annulment was denied. My second wife died of cancer before I could resubmit my annulment. Her first marriage ended in death and second marriage in divorce. My** third** marriage I had received my annulment and the parish also had my wife submit annulments for her previous marriages that were by a JP. We finally had our marriage con-validated. My wife died of sudden death less than a year later.

When I received my Baptismal certificate for my current upcoming wedding , the annulment was listed, however my previous marriages were not. The last one being an admin error as the paperwork was sent. My question is whether the second marriage, performed by a JP, that ended with death should also be listed on the Baptismal certificate. My young parish priest is saying no because we were not married in the church and therefore it was not recognized. If that was the case why would my last wife have to have annulments from her previous marriages that were performed by a JP

I would think that if my second marriage ended in divorce vice death, that I would have had to have an annulment and would not be free to marry in the church.

Pleas correct my confusion. Thank-you and Peace.

Only valid marriages are listed on the Baptismal record. A Catholic is required to be married in the Church or receive a dispensation to be married elsewhere. Failure to fulfill those requirements results in an invalid marriage.

There are two possible answers to your question depending upon the circumstances:

  1. If your wife was a Catholic, then you are correct that her two marriages by a JP are considered invalid. However the Church still asks to see the paperwork from the marriage and divorce to be sure of the situation. In such situations a “decree of nullity” (i.e. annulment) is issued. But because the marriage was never recorded as a valid marriage there is no reason to record that it is not valid.

  2. **If you wife was not a Catholic, then her marriages were indeed presumed to be valid. Only Catholics are required to be married in the Church, non-Catholics are free to marry anywhere. When two non-Catholics exchange marital consent it is presumed valid until proven otherwise, thus the need for a full annulment investigation.

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