QUESTION FROM A BLOGGER: My fiance and I want to get married in the Catholic Church. I have never been married before. However he is a divorced Methodist. He was previously married to a woman whom was a Lutheran. They were married by the Justice of Peace. In order for us to be married in the Catholic church does he have to have his first marriage annulled?
Yes. Let me explain…
This question is often asked regarding a divorced non-Catholic. The Catholic Church recognizes your fiance's marriage as a valid marriage and Catholic Church law, even though it did not take place in the Catholic Church. Indeed, how odd it would be if the Catholic Church only recognized Catholics as being able to marry in the "sight of God."
So, if you and your fiancé want to have your wedding in the Catholic Church, he needs to apply for an annulment of his first marriage.
A good percentage of marriages that are annulled at a catholic tribunal are marriages of non-Catholics.
There is a good explanation of this in Fr. Michael Foster's book entitled: "Annulment: The Wedding that Was."