Do I need an annulment?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I am a baptised Lutheran and I was previously married to a Jewish woman. We were married by a justice of the peace, we were divorced two years ago. I have not actively participated in any religious practices until I met my current fiance'. She was baptised and confirmed as Roman Catholic. The question is, do I need to get an annullment from my first wife to get married in the church.
-- David Foster (Daveguy71@hotmail.com), April 23, 2001
Please don't pay any attention to the reply you got from the troubled, fallen-away-Catholic youngster named Alex (who is banned from this site).
In response to a question similar to yours, a priest and canon lawyer of the Wheeling/Charleston marriage court (tribunal) gave the following answer, slightly amended by me to fit your situation:
"The Catholic Church, faithful to the teachings of both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, holds and professes that each marriage, whether natural (in which at least one of the parties is not baptized) or sacramental (in which both of the parties are baptized) is perpetual by it very nature. Further, each marriage is presumed to be valid until proven to be invalid. Since marriage is a creation of God the Almighty, in the Garden at the beginning of time, and is not merely a social reality or invention of the state, the Church, rather than the state, has the right and the duty to determine which marriages are valid (and, if valid, sacramental) and which are not. So you do need to approach your fiance's parish priest and ask for his assistance.
"The parish priest will be able to help you apply for a determination of the validity or nullity of your first union -- or he can lead you to the person to whom you should speak. Please know in advance that there is the possibility of your case being handled in a special manner (known as a Petrine Privilege) since your wife was not baptized and your marriage, though hopefully a grace filled union, was not a sacramental one."
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2001.