Father Answers Your Questions

Question Can I become Catholic if I was previously married?

Answer Yes you can but you will have to have your first marriage annulled.

If the person you married was a baptized Catholic and you were married outside of the church you would file for a Lack of Form annulment which means the Catholic party failed to follow the church laws on marrying in the Catholic church.  This type of annulment requires three documents.  The Catholic person's baptismal record from the church of baptism, a copy of the marriage license, and a copy of the divorce decree. 

If you were not married to a Catholic, then you will have to file for a formal annulment.  This is a longer process requiring the above documents plus statements from witnesses concerning the marriage.  The annulment can have many reasons but one of the most common is called a lack of due discretion.  These are common especially if the couple did not know each other for a long period of time an rushed into getting married. E ven though you may have been married civilly or by a non-Catholic minister the Catholic Church views itself as the competent authority on marriage and still will have to grant an annulment.

Some diocese will allow a person to enter the pre-catechumenate or inquiry period of the RCIA.  This means that you will not be able to come into the Catholic Church until after an annulment has been granted.

You may be in this period for some time but for many who want to be Catholic it is worth the effort and wait.  Other diocese require that you be granted an annulment before you can enter the RCIA process.

Check with your local priest for guidance.

Fr. Tom

St. Patrick's Church at Moody Air Force Base