|Why does the Catholic church teach that
Marriage is until "death do you part"?
This is what is taught in the Bible: "What God has joined
together let no man cast asunder"
Jesus also strongly advises against divorce in the New Testament.
The Catholic church is an orthodox church meaning if Jesus said it,
we do it.
So can Catholics divorce each other?
To understand the teaching on this, it must be understood that at a
Catholic marriage, there are 2 events taking place.
- A legal binding of a couple by state law
- The Sacrament of Matrimony
So the answer to this is yes, Catholics can divorce or break the
legal contract but the church may STILL consider them married.
I've heard that 'Annulment' is "Catholic divorce" - is this true?
Certainly NOT! Annulment has little to do with the act of
divorce. Annulment is the process of determining whether the
Sacrament of Matrimony was validly received by the couple at the
In a situation when a marriage breaks up, it has
been found that the couple often did not receive the Sacrament of
Matrimony validly. If this is so, then the couple has never
received this Sacrament and both individuals are free to marry again in
Things which make the Sacrament of Matrimony invalidly received are
actions like "cohabiting before marriage" and/or consummating the marriage
before the wedding.
It should be noted that there are some very difficult marriages in
which the couple DID validly receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.
In this case, the church considers the couple still married whether they
live together or not and if one or the other individual indulges in an
intimate relationship (including sex) with a third party, they are
considered to be committing adultery.
The research involved in the annulment process takes about two years
- there is also a fee involved.
So if my marriage is annulled does that mean my children were born "out
Absolutely not. It just means the parents did not receive the
Sacrament of Matrimony validly, but they WERE, never-the-less, married
legally through the state, the latter which determines the state of the
children as far as "in wedlock".
That being said, I have always felt that there ARE NO "illegitimate
children" but only possibly some "illegitimate parents". But then, even
IF God allows a pregnancy out of wedlock, it is NOT by chance. Every
pregnancy is a Direct and Planned Act of God REGARDLESS of the
circumstances of the parents and it should be received as such.
Remember, God's timing is different from OUR timing!
Is it OK to marry a non Catholic?
Certainly but the church asks that your marriage be witnessed by a
Priest and that you raise your children in the Catholic Faith.
Mixed marriages are mixed blessings. They are the means of a high
rate of people switching to the Catholic faith but also, the means of
lots of people leaving the Catholic faith.
If the non Catholic party wants to remain in their own faith, respect
for both faiths should be taught to the children. With Mass on
Saturday night, it is quite easy to attend the Catholic church as a
family on Saturday night and attend the spouse's church as a family on
Sunday morning. Teaching a love of Jesus and a close relationship
with Him is always the most important thing.
Why does the church put us through so much now to get married in the
This is really the greatest thing for you! It helps you to
strengthen your love, to get to know each other, to prepare for a
lifetime together and in some cases, to prevent a mistake from
happening. Embrace this special time together with you and the
church - it is enriching in every way!
Do I have to be a member of the parish in which I get married?
Usually although not always. Maintaining membership in a parish
is always very handy for the times of "hatched, matched and dispatched".
If my marriage was NOT annulled but I am divorced, can I receive
Yes if you are NOT in a sexual relationship with an individual who is
NOT your husband.
But that's not fair. I married a loser but we received the
Sacrament validly so does that mean I am doomed to a life alone or no sex?
Well, yes and no. Sex is only available to less than 25 percent
of the population (without committing sin) so although you can have an
intimate relationship with another person, you should abstain from sex.
However, you can love another person without sex being involved.
This is in fact, what those folks do in marriages where the male has
The most important type of love - that which lasts beyond sex, is "agape
love". (or love within God)
(some of this is written from Catholic layperson's point of view)