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Mary Kay Moore wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If a Protestant divorces and remarries another Protestant are they committing adultery?

Mary Kay

  { If a Protestant divorces and remarries another Protestant are they committing adultery? }

Mike and Fr. Jonathan gave the following team reply:

Dear Mary,

Thanks for the question.

From what you have told us we don't know whether you are a Catholic or not so the question is outside of our jurisdiction. No one in it is a Catholic or attempting to marry a Catholic so none of them are bound by Catholic law or theology. We don't think we should be making a judgment in a case like this.

Fr. Jonathan has addressed issues where someone wants to marry a Catholic and so comes into our law by the fact that a Catholic wants to marry them.

We therefore hesitate to answer this question canonically.

Now clearly Catholic teaching concerning Marriage is a Universal theology. We do think there are still ties to the first spouse, and we recommend that as a Christian they study Scripture and perhaps talk to their own Minister, but again, we refuse to judge them.

Mike and Fr. Jonathan

Mary Kay replied:

Dear Mike and Fr. Jonathan,

Thank you. I very much appreciate your response. I am a Catholic, surrounded by Protestants.

I understand our teaching about divorce and annulment. I'm just beginning to learn how to defend our faith. I have so much to learn. But yes, I must remember not to judge.

Mary Kay

Mike replied:

Hi Mary,

I don't think Fr. Jonathan was saying you shouldn't judge. We make judgments all the time, discerning good, (behavior, people, and entertainment), from bad.

Even Jesus said, "Do not throw pearls before swine." Therefore we have to discern what are pearls and what are swine.

He was just saying that on issues related to the Catholic sacrament of marriage, it's not his place to judge because no one, based on your original question, was Catholic or interested in married a Catholic.

One thing I've learned from reading Fr. Jonathan's answers on marriage issues is that you have to take each case one at a time. You can't make sweeping generalities.

If you have Protestant friends who are interested in marrying a Catholic, they should talk to their future mate's priest to discuss any nuances of their marital history that may be an issue prior to marriage.

The Church isn't trying to be a pain but does this to protect the sanctity of Marriage. We are safeguarding what Jesus said about marriage being between one man and one woman for a life time.

If the Church did not look into any previous marriages and review each party's marital history, it could end up blessing bigamy which of course Jesus would not approve of at all.

I hope this makes sense.


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