Catholic dating a divorced non catholic

No clear guidance emerged from last fall’s Synod of Bishops on the Family for divorced and remarried Catholics who wish to receive holy Communion. Over the course of 40 years as a priest, I have helped many couples pursue an annulment in order to be free to validate their current marriage in the eyes of the church. While this may be appropriate in some cases, even a streamlined process will not address the real pastoral questions that the annulment process raises.For those who are contemplating a second marriage, the challenges posed by the annulment process are equally daunting.It takes time for a divorced person to regain his or her self-confidence and composure once the divorce is final.

Initially it requires the petitioner, the person seeking the annulment, to write an autobiographical essay, beginning with childhood and continuing through adolescence, assessing his or her relationship with parents, the history of dating, sexual activity, courtship, proposal, marriage and significant events in the marriage.

Cap., among others, has suggested that streamlining the annulment process may be the best way to provide relief for couples whose second marriages are considered invalid by the Catholic Church because of a prior valid marriage that has not been annulled.

I usually begin by explaining in simple terms the reason why their current marriage is considered invalid by church standards.

When true love finally comes along and marriage is the next step, it is very disheartening to learn that it is impossible even to set a date for a church wedding until an annulment has been granted.

Given the fact that weddings are often planned a year in advance and that the annulment process may take 18 months, two and a half years seems like an awfully long time to wait.

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