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
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 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... Commented Nov 28, 2014 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
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


(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.


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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