I married a Catholic divorcee in a non-Catholic church.

Can I have my marriage blessed in the Catholic Church?

  • 2
    Have you spoken with the local Catholic priest? That seems the best place to start.
    – bradimus
    Sep 21, 2017 at 17:45
  • 1
    Mike, this really depends on a number of factors that you don't specify. Have you searched the site? There are numerous Catholic marriage and divorce questions and answers. Sep 22, 2017 at 20:07
  • Thanks for the response. Let me provide more background:
    – Mike
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:52
  • Thanks for the response. Let me provide more background: My wife was previously married in a CoE church. After we met she became a RC not having previously been baptised. We applied to get married following her divorce in our local RC church. The parish priest at the time investigated and advised that a nullity would not be possible and therefore we would be unable to marry in a RC church. We subsequently married in a local evangelist church and our local parish priest attended the wedding.
    – Mike
    Sep 23, 2017 at 10:01
  • At the time our priest offered to conduct a blessing in our RC church - however we never followed through with this. He has since long moved on and I was wondering if this would be possible. If I am interpreting Matt's answer correctly it seems as though securing a nullity is a precondition - one which we failed previously
    – Mike
    Sep 23, 2017 at 10:02

2 Answers 2


If you have already married this Catholic in a non-Catholic church, then if you wish for the Church to recognize your marriage as valid(and thus sacramental) she first needs to apply for and receive a declaration of nullity regarding the previous marriage, and then you both need to go through a process called convalidation. (Code of Canon Law 1156-1160).

  • Note: As far as the Church is concerned, the Catholic is the one upon whom the responsibility of "doing it right" is placed when marrying a non Catholic, but that's water under the bridge at this point in your case. My wife (my then fiancé, Catholic, while I was not) took the trouble to get our "doing it right" process begun before we were married, to include various dispensations requested, our pastoral counselling together with the priest, pre cana, and all that. (I later came into the Church).

The first step to arriving at a convalidation of your marriage is to meet with a local Catholic priest, or someone in the chancery at the nearest Catholic diocese, and discuss the details of the previous marriage(s) and your current marriage to see what the process is. Each situation has its own nuances.

  • Important Note: a declaration of nullity is not the same thing as a divorce.

If the Catholic's previous marriage was already annulled ("declaration of nullity" was issued for that marriage), then efforts at convalidation will take a different course and a lot less time.

How do I know this?

Six years in the RCIA ministry working with this issue, among others.

Related question here

See also this question

What is an annulment?

"Annulment" is an unfortunate word that is sometimes used to refer to a Catholic "declaration of nullity." Actually, nothing is made null through the process. Rather, a Church tribunal (a Catholic Church court) declares that a marriage thought to be valid according to Church law actually fell short of at least one of the essential elements required for a binding union.


Sure! A Catholic Wedding Ceremony Without Mass is what you need.

There are many reasons why a Catholic Wedding Ceremony happens without Mass. One of the main reasons is that the Catholic person marries a non-Catholic Christian than the wedding takes place without a mass. However, the couple can marry within Mass if they request this from the bishop, and if the bishop gives permission.
Also, if the several members on the guest list are not Catholic, then also the Catholic Wedding can take place without a Mass. If a deacon, rather than a priest, is doing the wedding then it won't be a Mass. More Info.

  • You appear to have missed the rather important point that one of the parties is a divorcee. Sep 26, 2017 at 9:36
  • Please take more care in crafting your answer(s) . (1) read the whole question (the title and the whole text) (2) Don't use all capital letters, as that's considered shouting on the internet (3) Proof read your answer and make corrections to provide clear writing. (See the editing I did to help with that-click on 'edited x time ago' above the notation for an edit). (4) Answer the question. Welcome to Christianity.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to see how SE Q&A sites work. This in particular may be helpful. Sep 26, 2017 at 13:47
  • Also, welcome to Christianity.SE! Please be sure to take the tour, and find out how we differ from other sites.
    – Wtrmute
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:09

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