Questions about marriage, divorce, remarriage and annulments are often faced by those considering becoming Catholic. This page is for you.
We at the Coming Home Network frequently encounter people on the journey who are struggling with balancing their interest in the Catholic Church with a spouse who doesn’t share their same faith journey. Or, sometimes, those on the journey have questions about why they have been told they need to pursue a decree of nullity (annulment) for a previous marriage. Others have a hard time understanding Catholic moral teachings regarding the Sacrament of Marriage. To help answer some of these concerns, we have compiled some resources on common topics that people struggle with in relation to the Catholic Church and marriage. We hope they are helpful to you!
Hear Our Stories
Here are a collection of testimonies from converts for whom issues related to marriage were central to their journey’s to the Catholic Church.
There are many, many great resources available to help those with questions about the Church’s teaching on Marriage. Here are some of our favorites.
Recommended Articles & Documents
The Catholic Church Saved My Marriage
by Dr. David Anders
“The Catholic Church saved my marriage
and, quite possibly, my life.” So begins David Anders in this remarkably forthright book. In it, David reports that by the early 2000s, his marriage was so painful that he and his wife had just one thing in common: contempt for each other. Today, he and his wife are extremely happy together not because of marriage therapy, but because they came to know and fully embraced the Catholic Church s teachings on marriage. Here Dr. Anders shares his personal discovery and offers a robust defense of the Church s teaching on marriage even the most controversial topics of divorce, remarriage, gay marriage, and contraception.
When Only One Converts
by Lynn Nordhagen
What happens when the two most important relationships in your life seem to be on a collision course? How can you be odedient to God when obedience threatens your marriage vows? Can you love God if it means hurting the one you love most on earth? Many couples have walked this pash. Fifteen of them share their stories in ‘When Only One Converts’. Author Lynn Nordhagen offers stories, not only to the Catholic (or soon-to-be Catholic), but also to the spouses who are not not becoming Catholic, praying that they may gain insight and hope, recognizing that this can be, for them also, a time of discovery and growth in the Christian life.
Annulments and the Catholic Church: Straight Answers to Tough Questions
by Edward N. Peters
According to Catholic Apologist Jimmy Akin, “This is the ‘must-read’ book on annulments. It is the best book on the subject, bar none.” Dr. Edward N. Peters received his civil law degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia and his doctoral degree in canon law from the Catholic University of America. He has held a number of teaching and administrative posts, including Director of the Office for Canonical Affairs for the Diocese of San Diego as well as Defender of the Bond and collegiate judge on diocesan and archdiocesan appellate tribunals. If you want to read an authoritative work on the Church’s teaching about annulments, this is it.
How to Understand and Petition for Your Decree of Nullity: A Little Book with Big Help
by Rose Sweet
You never wanted this to happen, but now you’re civilly divorced. There’s no such thing as Catholic divorce because in God’s eyes a valid marriage can never be broken. But sometimes what looks like a marriage from the outside can be fatally flawed from the beginning. Only God can see deeply into the human heart. He knows how human frailty and weakness, and inabilities of some people to enter into marriage freely and fully despite their best attempts. After careful study of such an attempted union, the Church may be able to declare that no valid marriage bond was created. And this book will help you understand the process. This little book with big help dispels the common myths and misunderstandings about marriage, divorce, and annulments.
Remaining in the Truth of Christ
edited by Robert Dodaro
In this volume five Cardinals of the Church, and four other scholars, respond to the call issued by Cardinal Walter Kasper for the Church to harmonize “fidelity and mercy in its pastoral practice with civilly remarried, divorced people”. The first part of the book is dedicated to the primary biblical texts pertaining to divorce and remarriage, and the second part is an examination of the teaching and practice prevalent in the early Church. In neither of these cases, biblical or patristic, do these scholars find support for the kind of “toleration” of civil marriages following divorce advocated by Cardinal Kasper. In the second part of the book, the authors argue in favor of retaining the theological and canonical rationale for the intrinsic connection between traditional Catholic doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning marriage and communion.
The Hope of the Family
by Gerhard Cardinal Muller
Today, the family is in crisis–it is in crisis worldwide”, Pope Francis has said. “Young people don’t want to get married, they don’t get married, or they live together. Marriage is in crisis, and so the family is in crisis.” The main problem with the family in the Church today, contends Cardinal Gerhard Müller, is not the small number of civilly remarried divorced Catholics who want to received Holy Communion. It is the large number of Catholics who live together before marriage, who marry civilly, or who do not even bother with marriage, as if these choices were sound options for Catholic living. It is also a failure of many who marry “in the Church” to understand marriage as part of their Christian discipleship. In this engaging conversation, Cardinal Müller, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers in the Vatican, addresses the challenges facing marriage and family life today.