A Catholic who believes that his or her marriage that has ended in divorce is not a sacramental marriage may pursue a Church annulment. This procedure places the marriage on "trial" in an ecclesiastical Church court. If there is enough evidence supplied through the written testimony of the parties involved and their witnesses, the Church can declare the marriage null and void as a Sacrament from the very beginning due to a variety of reasons. However, the relationshp during the time of the marriage is considered a "sacred and legal union" thus legitimizing the marital relationships and any children born of this union. Once an annulment is granted, it may be possible to celebrate another Catholic wedding in the Church.
The marriages of Christians of Protestant denominations are considered sacrament marriages as well. If a Protestant divorces and then desires to marry a Catholic, the Protestant cannot marry in the Catholic Church until he or she is granted a Catholic annulment.
Divorced Catholics who have not remarried outside the Church are still considered to be Catholics in good standing and are allowed to celebrate the Sacraments of the Church, especially the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Most Holy Eucharist. Those Catholics who are married outside the Church are not excommunicated. However, a censure is placed against them. They are encouraged to participate in the life of the Church, especially Sunday and holy days of obligation Masses, but may not receive the Most Holy Eucharist. Please contact one of the priests if there are any questions concerning your status in the Church.
No Catholic priest or deacon may take part in any ceremony where a Catholic is not free to marry in the eyes of the Church. (The priest or deacon is not allowed even to attend such a ceremony as clergy.)
Those Catholics married outside the Church are urged to consult with one of the priests to determine if their current marriage can be validated in the Catholic Church by presenting their case to a Catholic tribunal for review.