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Jake Carson wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was married to a Mormon woman and have been divorced for 7 years. I was not baptized Mormon.

  • I was advised that the Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon baptism, therefore, why is the Church requiring me to complete a Favor of the Faith form and wait for a process that takes six months?

Jake

  { If Mormon baptism is not recognized why am I required to complete this form and wait 6 months? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Jake,

Whomever is advising you to do a Favor of the Faith case is giving you good advice. If they can be accomplished, they are less intrusive and faster than filing for an annulment.

Whether your marriage was a Sacrament or not, what is important to the Catholic Church is whether we consider it a valid marriage or not. If it is a valid marriage then our theology believes the marriage did not end with the divorce but is a permanent union until proven invalid or until your new Catholic spouse is given a Favor by the Church.

What must be surprising to you is that the Catholic Church recognizes all marriages — not just Catholic marriages. Since you and your first wife were both Mormon, we recognize that you were validly married before God and thus the marital process was valid.

If I did not answer your question let me know.

Fr. Jonathan

Jake replied:

Thanks Fr. Jonathan!

There are two things I would like to clarify.

I was not Mormon before or after the marriage. The only way to be truly married in the Mormon Church is for both persons to be Mormon and be sealed in a Mormon Temple. Anything else would be a civil wedding.

  • Do you have any thoughts?

Jake

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Jake —

No matter what religion you were at the time of the Marriage, if it involved two non-Catholics (or if neither was Orthodox; i.e. Greek Orthodox) then the Catholic Church considers it a valid union from God and therefore you are not free to marry in the Catholic Church without some type of process.

Having a Favor of the Faith case is the way to go if one of you were unbaptized, as it seems in this case.

Fr. Jonathan

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