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Frequently Asked Questions

See Pope Francis changes to the annulment process here

Q. 1. It is my understanding that if someone has an annulment, he/she can remarry. How can that be when the Bible, according to Mark 10:11, forbids marriage after divorce as long as one's spouse is alive?

A. 1. First of all, it should be said that an annulment and a divorce are not the same. An annulment does not disolve a valid marriage.

An annulment declares that at the time of the marriage, a condition was lacking in order for the marriage to be considered valid. In the words of the Catholic Church, by reason of some impediment at the time the ceremony was performed, no real marriage took place."

Examples of impediment are:

- Misrepresentation or fraud (concealing the truth about capacity or desire to have children for example, or about an preexisting marriage, drug addiction, felony convictions, sexual preference or having reached the age of consent)

- Refusal or inability to consummate the marriage (inability or refusal to have sex),

- Bigamy, incest (being married to someone else, or close relatives),

- Duress (being forced or coerced into marriage against one's will or serious external pressure, for example a pregnancy),

- Mental incapacity (considered unable to understand the nature and expectations of marriage),

- Lack of knowledge or understanding of the full implications of marriage as a life-long commitment in faithfulness and love, with priority to spouse and children,

- Psychological inability to live the marriage commitment as described above,

- Illegal "Form of Marriage" (ceremony was not performed according to Catholic Canon Law),

- One/both partners was under the influence of drugs, or addicted to a chemical substance,

- a marriage forced by parents,

- a person received an automatic excommunicated for taking part in an abortion and then married in the Catholic Church without having the excommunication lifted by the Church.

More information is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1625-1632.

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