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Ron Noga wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Does the Catholic Church acknowledge a civil marriage from the state?
    i.e. Marriages performed by a Justice of the Peace only?

Neither one of the couples have never been married before, except by the Justice of the Peace.

  • Also, does the Catholic Church recognize all Protestant marriages, from all the thousands of sects of Protestant beliefs, to a person starting his own church with just a few members?
  • How about street shop churches, and street preachers, etc.?
  • Does the Church recognize their marriages?

Please keep answers as brief a possible.



  { Does the Church acknowledge: civil, Protestant or marriages done by the Justice of the Peace? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Ron —

The Catholic Church recognizes all marriages (lifelong exclusive unions between a man and a woman) by non-Catholics and non-Christians, however they are approved or licensed in a given culture or state.

Those with a non-baptized spouse are natural marriages, and those with two baptized spouses are sacramental marriages.

The Church has rules which govern the sacramental marriages of her members. If people who are coming into the Catholic Church have a previous natural marriage, they may renew it as a sacrament if they are still married, or they may have it examined by the Church for validity,
if they are divorced.

In rare cases, a valid natural marriage may be dissolved by the Church if one spouse refuses
to live in peace with another spouse with regard to the second spouse's conversion.

Mary Ann

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