Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

John Matsons wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How much time needs to elapse for a Catholic to obtain absolution for the forgiveness of sin?

My wife, a Catholic, is worried about her soul because she is in a marital relationship with me, a non-Catholic, who has a non-annulled Christian marriage in his past.

My thinking is that if after my death, which is highly likely to occur before hers, she can gain absolution before her death, then she should be much less concerned.

  • Is my thinking on target?


  { Can a Catholic receive absolution later for marrying a Protestant with a non-annulled marriage? }

Paul replied:

Dear John,

Your thinking is wrong. Relationship with God is not a magical formula, but one of loving God above all things and seeking always to follow His Will. Holding off repentance so that one may continue in a sinful lifestyle does not illustrate true sorrow.

Here is the problem:

  1. Jesus clearly taught that marriage is indissoluble, until the death of one of the spouses.
  2. Since divorce from a valid marriage is impossible, civil divorce would mean separation from each other with the marital bond remaining in tact.
  3. Therefore, civil marriage to another after civil divorce would obviously mean perpetual adultery.
  • Does it display true sorrow for sin by saying to God,

      "I will continue violating your Law until it is convenient for me not to"?

Another avenue that would be reasonable to explore is obtaining an annulment for your marriage.

Receiving an official declaration of nullity would make you free to marry. During the process you would have to move out or at least resolve to live as brother and sister.

If it is granted you, you may get your partnership validated as a marriage and then resume living a marital relationship.



Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.