Who can apply for an annulment?


Just curious. Say a couple gets married in the Church because of a pregnancy. The bride is Catholic, the groom is Russian Orthodox. Later they divorce and the now xH meets another Catholic woman, a widow, who he wants to marry. He’s told that he can’t apply for an annulment because he’s not RCC and his xW won’t do it because she’s bitter about the Church. Is there another remedy for him?


It seems to me that the ex-husband got some incorrect information. He will have to seek a declaration of nullity if he wishes to marry. You don’t have to be Catholic to do this, and there is no other way around it unless the ex-wife initiates the process.


Tribunals are competent to hear the case of a non Catholic, whether married to a Catholic or not, when the freedom of that non Catholic to marry in the Catholic Church must be investigated.


anyone even a non-Catholic can apply to the Canon Law Tribunal of the Catholic diocese in which they reside, or in which the marriage was contracted, to apply for an annulment. In fact, if the non-Catholic has been married before and now wishes to marry a Catholic, he must do so before he is free to marry or even become engaged.


Something that you might want to consider is that if you are not Catholic, you don’t have to have your case heard by a tribunal for a Latin rite diocese. I heard this from the judicial vicar of the Maronite rite tribunal. He suggested that might be a good choice for a quicker decision as they do not have the backlog of cases.

You could look into it here:



You know…rethinkng about the advice that I gave there since the bride was Catholic. If she was a Latin rite, I think the case would still need to be heard by a Latin rite tribunal.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to the Maronite church, because the judicial vicar there is actually on the tribunal for three different rites and is very knowledgeable.


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