Does the Roman Catholic Church recognize marriages outside the church?

If a couple married in an Anglican Church and later divorced would one of them be able remarry in the RCC without getting an annulment (ie would the first marriage be considered valid)? What about other Protestant denominations? Civil marriages? Non-Christian marriages?

I can tell you that apparently civil, non-religious marriages are not recognized for religious purposes, since Letizia Ortiz had previously been civilly married and then divorced but was still allowed to have a religious wedding with the Prince of Asturias.

To my knowledge, no. The Church does not recognize any marriages not performed under its requirements.

There is a distinction here between sacramental marriage and civil marriage, not to be mistaken with church wedding and civil wedding. The marriage is the partnership, not the paperwork.

The RCC recognizes that a marriage can be sacramental without having involved a “church wedding” (or even a formal wedding at all) and without both partners being RCC. At the same time, a marriage can be non-sacramental while having all the bells (and that’s where annulment comes in). Letizia Ortiz’ first marriage was evidently not sacramental, as it had dissolved quite quickly.

New converts may want to have a ceremony to “get married in the church” sort of, but it’s treated as a renewal of vows similar to what someone can have to celebrate an anniversary, it’s not “creating the marriage.”

When Airman and I were planning our wedding, he talked to the priest on base. The priest wasn’t willing to perform the marriage because I’m not Catholic and have no intention of converting to Catholicism. However, if we had a civil wedding, attended marriage classes and waited six months, he would perform a church wedding. Since Airman wasn’t going to be stationed there long, and since I was living in Texas, which made classes unworkable, we didn’t go through with that. It’s been almost seven years, and we still have not had a religious ceremony, not that it matters. We’re married, and that’s all that counts.

A friend of mine was married in the Greek Orthodox chuch and subsequently divorced. Apparently, the RCC recognized this marriage because he had to get it annulled before he could marry his current wife, who is Catholic.

That priest wasn’t paying attention when he went through his own sacrament courses, but that would be a matter for another rant. :smack:

That’s a contradiction in terms. An annulment is a certification by the church that the “marriage” was never valid in the first place. So in your friend’s case, the RCC couldn’t have recognized that the marriage was valid; only that it was putative.

I’m reasonably sure he was willing to be flexible (or more so, anyway) because he’s a military chaplain, so he’s probably used to being approached to perform weddings where only partner is Catholic. Also, as I understand it, the classes are supposed to be a sales pitch for Catholicism, including raising the sprog Catholic.

Uh, no.

The Catholic Church is perfectly fine with “interfaith” marriages (as long as one of the two is Catholic, obviously). Sure, they’ll ask if you want to/would consider converting because, well, why wouldn’t they want to increase their membership if they could? It’s not a requirement and any priest who says otherwise is wrong.

And, having just gotten back from the marriage classes, you’re definitely wrong. Nothing was said about “raising the sprog Catholic”. The classes were on Marriage as a Sacrament, dealing with family/inlaw issues, keeping lines of communication open with your spouse, praying together as a couple, a panel of married couples (one married 2 years, one for 14 years and one for 31 years) who would answer any questions that we had, a class on Natural Family Planning (which is not “the rhythm method” anymore) and a class on handling finances as a married couple.

Obviously the classes will have a Catholic “slant” to them; they’re held by parishes/dioceses for couples marrying within the Catholic Church. But the majority of the information presented didn’t have anything to do with religion and focussed more on what you need to be aware of to keep your marriage strong.

Too late to edit: I meant that the church is fine with “interfaith” marriages, as long as one of the two is Catholic, for being married within the church itself.

You should do a quick read-through of your upcoming ceremony:

You should do a quick read-thruogh of her post. Nowhere in the classes are you lectured on how to raise your child Catholic, which is what was being argued.

Yes, you have to agree to raise the children Catholic in order to marry in the Catholic church. I’m not sure why that should surprise anyone, or even be considered odd. If you beleive your religion to be the one true way, why would you allow for raising your children outside of the one true way?

You should do a quick read-through of my post and tell me where I said differently. I brought it up merely because it hadn’t been mentioned, and was probably where MsRobyn got it confused from. ISTM that zweisamkeit was under the impression that the raising-kids-Catholic issue itself wasn’t an issue when it clearly is, otherwise it wouldn’t be included in the ceremony.

Because it’s not as common as that? Because asking a couple this question is, as far as my limited experience has been, absent from non-Catholic ceremonies?

We were instructed in marriage preparation classes that this was to indicate that we would raise children to be *Christian *(I was RC, intended husband was Presbyterian). There was a time when the non-Catholic half had to agree to make RC sprog, but that is no longer the case.

Well, I’m glad I have you here to tell me what my impression was. Silly me, I was responding to

Classes. Not “wedding ceremony”. I was speaking with regards to the classes. As I specified in my own post.

No, I understand that. But if someone who knows absolutely nothing about Catholic weddings (or their classes) read this thread, don’t you think they’d come out of it thinking that this isn’t a requirement?

Also - isn’t reading the ceremony part of the classes? If not, that’s surprising.

Are you just completely aware that by quoting a post and responding in the manner you did, you appear to be contradicting or refuting it?

Reading the ceremony is not part of the classes. It is part of the initial meetings you will have with the presider.

If a non-Catholic read this thread and did anything other than decide to find out the actual facts, I’d say they got a raw deal. There is more than enough ignorance being spread here.

In an exercise to best prepare a couple for marriage, they don’t go through the actual ceremony, complete with what promises and vows that ceremony entails? I really find that hard to believe - but I’ll take your word on it since I’m not married.

Certainly not an authoritative source, but from:

Bolding mine.

I know that Pre-Cana classes vary by diocese. I’m sure there are some out there that wouldn’t mention the small detail of promising to raise your kids within the Catholic Church - a promise that certainly gets lost in the extremely long list of promises you make before a couple exchanges their vows during the ceremony. (And by “extremely long” I mean “three”.) My brother and his wife teach Pre-Cana - I’ll give him a call tonight to see how they did it in his parish.

The organization of material will vary from place to place. In my area, covering the issues/areas that we didn’t cover in the classes are covered with face-to-face meetings with the priest who will be performing the ceremony. In other places, some of this might be covered in classes.