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Caroline Melletier wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am very in love with a ex-Jehovah Witness but have concerns about his past marriage.

He was baptized a Catholic but never practiced or received any of the sacraments because his parents had converted to the Jehovah Witnesses, along with their son. He was very active as a Jehovah Witness and rejected all teachings of the Catholic Church. He was previously married to a Catholic lady, when he was still a Jehovah Witness, in the Catholic Church. After a year, his marriage fell apart.

My questions are:

  • Was his marriage even a valid Catholic marriage? and,
  • If so, does he need to file for an annulment to remarry me in a Catholic Church?

My primary concern is that I will not do anything that will disallow me to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, no matter how much I love him. I cannot find any answers to this question anywhere but I am very sure that a disposition was never granted to his Catholic ex-wife to marry in the Catholic Church.

If anyone could please help me with the requirements necessary so that I can marry and still receive the Eucharist, I would appreciate it so much.

Thanks so much,


  { Is the marriage of a lapsed Catholic who joined the Jehovah Witness valid and what can I do? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:


The key thing she said was that the past marriage was in the Catholic Church therefore it was presumably valid. This means most likely he needs an Annulment.

That is the canonical answer. Obviously, there are also pastoral concerns as well.

Fr. Jonathan

Mike replied:

Hi, Caroline —

I'm sure Fr. Jonathan would also recommend you get things rectified by making an appointment with either the pastor or a priest at your local Catholic parish.


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