I’m nervous about posting here so I’m going to try to explain briefly…
My fiance and I are recently engaged and would like to be married in April of next year. We have been in touch with the wonderful priest at the parish we most frequently attend on Sundays, and we were given a registration form for marriage prep that asks whether either of us were previously married. I have never been married.
My fiance WAS previously married - civilly, at a courthouse, with only a justice of the peace present. They were divorced two years later, civilly. No religious ceremony, no later convalidation, blessing, anything. His ex wife was not religious or even baptized. I explained this clearly in an e-mail to the priest as I had a question about how to complete the registration form.
He replied yesterday with a great deal of helpful information and answered my questions, but he said in his e-mail that he will now need to help us apply for an annulment (and that we will need to produce the marriage certificate and divorce decree).
I do not see any reason why an annulment would be needed as the marriage was never recognized by the Church or later made valid. We’ve been advised by priests in the past that no annulment would be needed.
My question: we have a meeting with the parish priest next week. Should I reply to his e-mail to explain that I’m confused as to why we need an annulment, and further explain our situation? Or should I simply leave our correspondence as it is, and wait to speak to him in person, in case it was a simple misunderstanding?
I do not want to appear disrespectful to him in any way. He has often been our confessor and amazingly supportive, and he is a wonderful priest. I simply don’t know how to be polite and emphatic that we shouldn’t need an annulment, or whether I should speak directly to the diocese regarding this.
I know that I’m overthinking this, but I think for anyone in my situation it might seem like a big deal. I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure who the authority would end up being in this matter.