Married - Divorced

Re-married - Apostate 

Back to the Church?


Subject: From JustAsking
a los MSC Misioneros del Sagrado orazón

Date sent: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 16:01:39 -0400

From: "known  address>

To: <>


I have several questions.


I was born to a catholic family and was raised in the church.  I was married in the church in 1983 to a non catholic and was divorced in 1995 by my husband.  It turns out he was in love with the next-door neighbor's wife, he married her in 1995, had two children and subsequently divorced in 2000.  He had now remarried for a third time.   He did not encourage our daughter's education in the church, in fact at one point, forbid religious materials in our home.  


I remarried myself in 1997 to a non catholic again.  In fact I began to go to his Baptist church and thinking that as a wife I should follow my husband so I joined the Baptist church and was baptized again.  Sadly, our marriage lasted only 2 years and we were divorced in 1999.  He turned out to be a non-Christian man, an alcoholic and drug addict. 

I have began to attend mass but am sad that I can not participate.  I have not approached the priest yet, but plan to make an appointment in the near future.


Question One:   What do I need to do to be able to participate in mass? 

Question Two:    Can I have my first marriage annulled?


I have been seeing a wonderful, practicing catholic gentleman.  The first single, catholic man I have ever dated and I can envision the possibility of a life with him.

Joanna Strickland



The joy of the Lord be in your heart.

The Catholic Church is merciful as her Founder, the Lord Jesus Christ. She welcomes back all those that repent.


In order to be able to participate in mass you have to ask to be admitted to the Church. Accepting baptism in an other faith means that in fact you discard your catholic faith and leave the Church. You apostate. So you have to be re-admitted professing the catholic faith. That means that you have to have the serious intention to stay faithful no matter what happens. Having completed this re-admittance you can participate in Mass. You can receive Holy Communion. The condition is that you are not committing any mortal sin (adultery, etc.).


Regarding you second question: you can initiate the procedure of annulment. The expression “annul” gives a false impression. It is not about a real marriage that is declared as dissolved. The annulment really means that the Church authority investigates the circumstances of your catholic marriage and after discovering the absence of essential elements of marriage, declares that the marriage doesn’t exist. There has been no sacrament.


May we offer a suggestion? We strongly recommend that the present relationship be chaste until marriage. ¿Do you want to be the motive that he commits mortal sin and cannot receive Holy Communion?

You daughter probably has serious problems regarding the Catholic Faith, a consequence of your decisions.


We pray for all involved.

God bless you

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Peru