What evidence needed that a divorced spouse is deceased?

I am trying to be reconciled with the Catholic Church after having divorced and remarried 3 years ago. My first wife passed away two years ago. My parish priest says my current marriage could be convalidated but I must produce a document proving my first wife is deceased. The state I live in will not provide me a copy of the death certificate because we were not married (under civil law) at the time of her death. My first wife lived and passed away in the town in which I reside and her passing was publicly announced in obituaries. Besides this her funeral Mass took place in a local Catholic church and she was interred in a local Catholic cemetery. I cannot seem to get around this documentation problem to satisfy the Diocese’s requirements. Would you have any suggestions? Thank you.


If her body was interred in a local Catholic cemetery, the cemetery will have documentation to that effect. I’m sure they could provide you with a copy. This should not be the problem that it seems to be. I suspect that someone with obsessive compulsive leanings is involved.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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