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In a situation in which a non-Catholic, previously married to a non-Catholic, subsequently marries a Catholic outside the Catholic Church, is it possible to have a Catholic marriage for the latest marriage - or recognition of that marriage - without obtaining an decree of nullity for the prior marriage?

  • We do not feel that we are qualified to give pastoral advice, that is something which requires some personal contact. Please consult your Pastor. – BYE Nov 28 '14 at 13:01
  • @MattGutting and Bye - Usually I'm quick to vote to close, but this could be interpreted as asking what the official Catholic doctrine is, which would be on-topic. Although it would be far simpler to talk to a Priest in the Catholic Church, particularly the Priest of the Church you'd like to get married in. There may be some flexibility that varies from Priest to priest... – David Stratton Nov 28 '14 at 13:41
  • This question appears to be be two separate questions: "Can the Church judge a marriage between two non-Catholics invalid?" and, if so, "Does the Church allow mixed (Catholic & non-Catholic) marriages?" – Geremia Nov 28 '14 at 18:57
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(Answering having read the original post prior to the edit)

  1. The marriage of a Catholic who marries outside the Church is invalid [cf. Can. 1108 §1.]. Such a Catholic ought to contact their priest for the steps required for their reconciliation to the Church.
  2. Another complication to address with the priest is that the Catholic is in a relationship with a person the Catholic Church considers married.
  3. For a non-Catholic previously married and divorced and now wishing to marry a Catholic, they are to note from my answer linked below:

a. No marriage can occur until their prior marriage that ended in divorce is examined by the Church and a decree of nullity issued (i.e. in the eyes of the Church, that marriage never existed to begin with).

b. Once that decree has been issued, the requirements for a mixed marriage must be met for there to be a valid marriage in the Catholic Church.


Endnote

My answer to Do divorced non-Catholics need an annulment to marry in the Catholic Church? stated:

Thus the Church recognizes the marriages of non-Catholics as well and considers them valid until proven otherwise.

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