- I would like to know what the Church says about remarriage.
I am in love with a woman who has been married and divorced three
times. That was all in her past,she had turned her life around and is
now a divout Christian. I would like to marry her but am not shure what
the Church would say. Can anyone answer this for me?
It's a difficult question to answer, even for an expert... and I'm no
expert! But I've seen this issue come up in our RCIA group (many times)
so I'll share what I know.
First and foremost, the Church views the teaching of Christ as very
clear on this subject. When you are married before God, that's a
lifelong committment. If you divorce your wife and marry again, or if
you marry a woman who divorced her husband, you are committing adultery
(Matt 5:31-32, Matt 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18). If you read these
gospel passages you'll see Jesus is clear and direct about it.
That said, the Church teaches that a marriage must meet certain
requirements to be considered "valid" in the eyes of the Church. In
particular, both parties must freely express their consent to the
marriage - which means no coercion or pressure applied to either party.
It is this consent which brings two into one, the "becoming one flesh".
Without it there can be no marriage.
A Church tribunal will look at the previous marriages to determine if
they were valid. If it rules they were not, the previous marriage can
be annulled which would then free you to marry her in the eyes of the
Church. (It should be noted that any children born of that previous
marriage are NOT considered illegitimate in the eyes of the Church so
that is not an issue.)
There are lots of factors that go into the process of determing the
validity of a marriage - the form of the marriage, the presence of a
church minister, the presence of witnesses, etc.
To take an extreme example, if two teenagers are pressured by their
parents to get married in a chapel in Las Vegas without any witnesses
or church minister present, there would be a good possibility that
marriage would be ruled "invalid".
Your best bet would be to speak to your priest and learn exactly what
the process would involve. You'll need a lot of patience... the process
is not "quick and easy" in any sense. The Church takes the Sacrament of
Marriage very seriously and will carefully investigate these previous
marriages to determine their validity - to the point of interviewing
witnesses, talking to the ex-spouse, etc.
This link from the Catechism might also be helpful:
Good luck and God bless!
--- In email@example.com, "Sam" <bowfus2@...> wrote:
> I would like to know what the Church says about remarriage.
> I am in love with a woman who has been married and divorced three
> times. That was all in her past,she had turned her life around and is
> now a divout Christian. I would like to marry her but am not shure
> the Church would say. Can anyone answer this for me?