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Grants of Marital Dissolution and Remarriage

As part of our pastoral reforms, the Evangelical Catholic Church has revisited the issues preventing divorced and remarried Catholics from continuing to celebrate and partake in receiving the Catholic Sacraments. For many people, the fees charged for Annulments have disenfranchised many Catholics from making applications because they simply cannot afford to do so.

It is a reality that many marriages fail for valid reasons. The Evangelical Catholic Church does take the Sacrament of Marriage most seriously and grieves at the increasing number of failing marriages in our society. We also seriously believe that there are valid and compelling reasons to permit someone who has been in a failed marriage the opportunity to reenter the Sacrament of Marriage without undue financial hardships and undue personal and spiritual trauma.

Canon 11 of the Evangelical Catholic Church articulates our position on divorce and remarriage. After you have read Canon 10, you will read a copy of our application for a Grant of Dissolution.

If you are a divorced or remarried Catholic looking for a viable alternative to returning to the full Sacramental life of Catholicism, please consider returning to the Sacrament of Marriage through the Evangelical Catholic Church.

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Canon 11

Dissolution of the Marital Bond and Subsequent Marriage

11.1 Recognizing the reality that some marital bonds may dissolve and cannot be reconciled, the Church does not believe that the Sacramental Grace can remain present in a marital relationship in which there is emotional or physical violence, permanent abandonment, or the proven inability to maintain marital fidelity. The Grace of the Sacrament is not present in such relationships of pain and misery. Thus, the Church must allow persons the freedom to leave such relationships and to permit such persons the opportunity to invite Christ into a spirit-filled Marriage.

11.2 One may petition the Church to declare a Marriage non-binding and nullified for the following conditions:

1 Physical violence.

2 Psychological violence.

3 Permanent abandonment.

4 Proven inability to maintain marital fidelity.

5 Realization of true sexual orientation incompatible with the form of the Marriage.

11.3 One who wishes to enter into a subsequent Marriage must present documented evidence of such conditions from their previous Marriage to their pastor prior to attempting such a Marriage.

11.4 Upon obtaining all necessary information, evidence, and documentation related to a petition, the pastor will investigate and ascertain the weight of the evidence and submit a recommendation to the local ordinary that a Grant of Dissolution be issued.

1 A Grant of Dissolution cannot be issued prior to the finalization of a civil decree of divorce.

2 The local ordinary must respond to petitions for a Grant of Dissolution within one calendar month of receipt.

3 The local ordinary alone possesses faculties to issue a Grant of Dissolution.

11.5 Petitioners for a Grant of Dissolution who have had two or more previous Marriages, must make their petition directly to the local ordinary.

11.6 Petitioners who submit false or misleading information, or who omit relevant information on their applications, will have their petitions for a Grant of Dissolution summarily dismissed.

11.7 Candidates for a subsequent Marriage must be provided with extended pastoral counseling prior to entering into the Sacrament.

11.8 A dispensation from the provisions of Canon 10.2 can be given by the local ordinary only for a grave reason.

 


 

When an individual wishes to petition the Church for a Grant of Dissolution, the following documents will be required:

 

Baptismal Certificate of Applicant

Marriage Certificates from Previous Marriage(s)

Copy of Divorce Decree(s)

 

It is the goal of the Church to process applications within 60 business days. Depending on the volume of pending applications, this time frame may have to be adjusted.

Upon receipt of your application, it will be assigned to a member of the pastoral team, who will then phone you to make an appointment to visit with you to review the application and, if necessary, clarify any information submitted.

It is our intention to make this process positive and supportive. We hope that this will be your experience.

 

National Church Office
Post Office Box 178388  Chicago Illinois  60617-8388
(T)  773-721-5383   (F)  773-721-2581

evcathchurch@evangelicalcatholicchurch.org
2011