Does the Catholic Church recognize a marriage performed by a Justice of the Peace?

I (Kathy) am a widow and have met a Episcopalian man (Dana) who is divorced but never married in any Church. We were told, no problem...until tonight when we were told that if Dana's former wife was also Episcopalian that the Catholic church recognizes the marriage as valid even though it was performed by a Justice of the Peace ...BECAUSE....the Episcopalian Church recognizes marriages performed by a Justice of the Peace.

Then, to make it even more confusing, we were told that if Dana's former wife was Catholic then the Catholic Church would NOT recognize it...BUT...wouldn't the Episcopal Church recognize that marriage?

Following the logic, then the Catholic Church would equally recognize it? Now, the real kicker is that she never practised any religion and never did Dana as an adult. But he is a good man and he is in the RCIA program and we want to live a good Catholic life but, without him getting an annulment, we can't marry in the Church...according to what we have been told.

Please advise if what we have been told is true.

  • This is a confusing post. On the one hand, you have a question. On the other hand, you gave two answers. What is wrong with your answers? The answer depends on the religion of the ex-wife, according to your post.
    – Steve
    Oct 12, 2016 at 2:23
  • 2
    No, they are not recognized. You need to get a legal marriage convalidated. Oct 12, 2016 at 2:47
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for taking the site tour. However, your question is a rather complex personal issue, and this really isn't the best place to ask about it. This is really an issue that you'll need to work out with your priest, and perhaps with the Catholic hierarchy. Oct 12, 2016 at 3:25
  • Kathy, have you looked at the other questions here about Catholic marriage, remarriage, and annulment? Do any of them answer your question? If not, what's the remaining confusion? Oct 12, 2016 at 3:45
  • Welcome to our site. Please take the tour to see what kind of questions work best here. This question is based on an enquiry about Catholic doctrine, which would by itself probably be in scope for our site. But the question, in its entirety, deals with personal issues and then appears to become a request for pastoral advice, which we feel unable to offer. Oct 12, 2016 at 5:56


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