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Kristin Miller wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a couple questions.

  • First, how many times can you get married in a Catholic Church?
    My husband's ex has been married twice in a Catholic Church; is she able to get married again?

  • Second, why do you have to get an annulment?

The Church says you have to get a divorce first, then the annulment. It's like the Church wants to keep the two people together, but sometimes people just don't work together.

I was upset because my husband never got an annulment and in the eyes of the Catholic Church he's still married to her and our marriage is invalid. I am not a Catholic and I was not getting married in a Catholic Church.

I just don't understand who they think they are by looking down on us! I believe that there is only one true judge and that's GOD, not them. 

  • Who are they to judge me, while all this time you see Catholic priests that think they are all high and mighty, molesting these young boys.
  • So why don't I be the judge?

Do you really think they'll be going to heaven, or hell!

Let GOD be the judge!

Thank you!


  { How many times can you get married in a Catholic Church and why annulments? }

Mary Ann replied:

Kristin —

If your husband's ex truly got married in a Catholic Church, then she has an annulment, which means he does also.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Kristin —

You can only be validly married once in the Catholic Church.  The reason behind this is because the Church protects and safeguards Our Lord's teaching on marriage being:

  1. a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman
  2. that is focused on [being open to|bringing] new life into the world

If your ex got married twice in the Catholic Church, one of his marriages must have been invalid and therefore annulled. When a marriage gets annulled both parties are able to re-marry in the Church.

The purpose of the annulment process is to ensure the Church is not blessing polygamy, where a man is married to multiple wives OR a wife is married to multiple husbands.

As to your unique situation, I would seek out a priest known for his faithfulness to the Church and make an appointment with him.  Tell him you have no interest in joining the Church but you want to understand how to handle your current situation and you are looking for good pastoral advice.

You said:
I just don't understand who they think they are by looking down on us!

Using part of an answer my colleague Paul gave in another posting:

The Church isn't looking down on you, just the opposite, she recognizes your dignity as God's child and the dignity of your decisions in creating, what you had once seen as, a marriage.

The Church is staying true to the words of Jesus that all valid marriages are permanent by nature — even those outside of the Church.

Hope this helps,

[Related Posting]

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