You are probably here because you are thinking of marrying a divorced person or maybe just curious, regardless of your reason, you are in the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss one of the most frequently asked questions about marriage, Can a Catholic Marry a Divorced Person?
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
Before diving into the details of our topic question, let’s discuss first the concept of marriage in the Catholic Church.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
CCC 1601 The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
Marriage is a Sacrament, an unbreakable union between a man and a woman.
Being married is a vocation that requires lifelong commitment reflecting the love God has for the Church.
Divorce as a means to dissolve a marriage is not in line with the Church’s teaching of an unbreakable and sacred bond.
Based on the Catechism,
CCC 2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery: If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.
An annulment is a declaration by the Church that a marriage was never valid in the first place, meaning that it never truly existed in the eyes of God. The Catholic Church recognizes that some marriages may have been entered into without full consent or understanding, rendering them invalid.
Instead of divorce, the Church allows annulment. However, this procedure requires a thorough investigation. Scrutinizing into the circumstances surrounding the marriage to determine whether it meets the criteria for annulment. This investigation can take several months or even years and involves testimony from both parties and witnesses. It’s important to note that the process of annulment is not intended to be a quick fix or a way to end a marriage, but rather a way to clarify and heal past marriages that may have been entered into incorrectly.
Once a marriage has been annulled, individuals are free to pursue Catholic marriage with a clean slate. But, it’s important to be know of the requirements and guidelines set forth by the Church. For a Catholic marriage to be recognized by the Church, it must take place in a Catholic Church and be officiated by a Catholic priest. Both individuals must also be baptized Catholics and must have completed pre-marital counseling.
Marrying a Divorced Person
Now, let’s answer the topic question.
Can a Catholic Marry a Divorced Person?
No. The Catholic Church does not allow its faithful to marry a divorced person. In order to be formally married to the Church, the previous marriage of the divorced individual must be annulled.
The Catholic Church has strict teachings on divorce and matrimony. It has standard guidelines that are in place to promote the sanctity of marriage. It values the importance of commitment and lifelong love. Marrying a divorced individual equates to promoting adultery which is a grave sin that must be confessed.
The Catholic Church has specific teachings on divorce, marriage requirements, wedding guidelines, and annulment that one must follow to ensure a successful union.
The Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament that has to be holy.
As Catholics, it is our duty to defend this sacred union because it is the foundation of saintly families.
To have a strong and lasting relationship, couples must be understanding, patient, and humble. Helping each other to grow in faith. Lifting up each other to be holy.
May the couples stay true to their promises at the Holy Matrimony, Loving Mother, pray for us.