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Why does the Church not see adultery as grounds for an annulment?

Full Question

My son is seeking an annulment through the Catholic Church. His ex-wife committed adultery. Why does the Church not see adultery as grounds for an annulment?


If your son’s marriage was valid on his wedding day, nothing that happened later in the marriage—not even adultery—nullified it. That said, adultery may be evidence that your son’s wife did not enter into the marriage with the proper commitment required for a valid marriage to come into existence. If such is the case, an annulment may be possible.

On the other hand, if your son’s marriage is determined to be valid, the reality of the situation may be that he is married to a woman who is, tragically, not a good wife. Separation and civil divorce can protect him, his children, and his assets, but it cannot free him to remarry.

Remarriage in such a case will only be possible after the death of his wife or, if your son’s marriage is not sacramental (i.e., one or both spouses are not baptized), it might be possible to have the marriage dissolved.


1 comment

  1. Hope Love Reply

    This is the problem with the catholic church. A marriage is only valid if both parties agree to the vows. Once one party is fraudulent the vows are broken. It happened to me many times and I honored my vows until I learned he was lying about me. The marriage was annulled but not by my action by his request. He remarried to one of the women he committed adultery with during our marriage. She is now a deacon in the catholic church.
    I love the catholic liturgy but this rule is biased. I still go to Mass however this is situation is still quite bothersome. Why are they allowed to continue but I cannot go to communion because my new husband was married and divorced prior to becoming a catholic. HIs wife also had multiple adultery episodes.
    There needs to be a better way. I have suffered three times- once through the marriage, then the annulment so he could marry her and now by not being able to receive communion in my new marriage.

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