Faith/Spirituality Forum: failed to disclose previous marriage
failed to disclose previous marriage QUESTION from Millie September 19, 2001 My husband and I are both Catholic. He was previously married twice. He was first married in the Catholic church and that marriage was annulled. He then married a woman in the Luthern church and was divorced. He was not a practicing Catholic at the time. He and I met later and were wed in the Catholic church. We didn't mention the second marriage because it did not take place in the Catholic church. Is our marriage considered valid by the Church? Is it a legal marriage if it is not considered valid by the church? What should we do?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 28, 2001 Dear Mrs. Millie:
This is critical information which may indeed make your marriage invalid. You need to go to your pastor and tell him this situation. If he thinks there is no problem, then you need to call the diocese Marriage Tribunal office.
Although your husband's marriage with the Lutheran was not in the Catholic Church an annulment is still necessary, I believe. Marriages CAN be sacramental even if illicit. Thus he needs an annulment. You need to double-check this with the Marriage Tribunal office.
This being the case, I believe that you need to not take communion until this is resolved, and you may have to live and brother and sister until the annulment comes through. Talk to the Marriage Tribunal about this and what you may need to do while waiting for the annulment.
Once the annulment is approved, then you can have your marriage blessed and continue your Catholic life as usual.
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