You are here:

Lutherans/2 Divorced Catholics Remarrying in Lutheran Church


I am a cradle catholic that was married in the Catholic Church and have since been divorced.  The Catholic Church granted my annulment just recently.  For me the process was pretty quick and painless.  My ex-husband was an alcoholic and drug addict and pretty much chose not to participate in the annulment process.

My Fiance is a Catholic convert that was married to an Atheist.  He was told by the Catholic Church he needed and annulment as well.  His ex-wife has suspected Borderline Personality Disorder and was very abusive to him verbally, mentally and physically.  We first hesitated following through with his because we feared his ex-wife's involvement in the process and knew she would derail the annulment out of bitterness.

We were assured by the Catholic Church that should could not stop it so we went through with it.  As we suspected, she has derailed the annulment with the Church.  She provided a testimony  full of lies and stories.

To both our surprise in our Diocese, the judges are not Priests but ordinary people who have been educated on Cannon Law.  My Finace's Judge at the Tribunal is a female that seems to be very bitter against males.  We are struggling severely to get his annulment through and she said she will not approve his annulment already and has pretty much bought into his ex-wife's lies, who by the way is still an Atheist.  Our Parish church is fighting it based on their experience they feel his case more than meet the criteria of Cannon Law and at the last resort he does qualify for the Petrine Privilege since she was a Pagan at marriage.  

They have suggested moving the file to another Diocese for approval.  We are very sadden at the politics with the Diocese and feel this judge has no business practicing Cannon Law if she cannot check her personal agendas at the door.  very frustrated.

We really want to marry in a church and it seems that the Catholic Church is pushing us away.  Which is really hard for me since I have 3 children we are raising Catholic and attend Catholic School.

Is it possible that the Lutheran Church would marry us?


Thanks for your question, and I am sorry to hear of the trouble you are having regarding your desire to marry.  

A Lutheran approach will differ from what you might be familiar with from Catholicism, because there is no equivalent to Canon Law in Lutheranism.  All decisions regarding marriages to be performed are at the Local level.  Because there are several Lutheran organizations in the United States, it could vary depending on which one a given congregation and pastor are members of, but in general their approach is going to be one of individual pastoral care.  

The things that a Lutheran pastor will be interested in about a marriage he is asked to perform for people with a previous divorce are primarily going to center around whether the previous marriages were dissolved for Scripturally-sound reasons and the spiritual condition of the parties to the marriage at the present time.  It would be more conversational and less legal, however.  

Whether a pastor performs wedding for those outside of his regular congregation may vary, however.  Some pastors are only comfortable performing weddings for members of their own congregations or members of congregations within their denomination, and some congregations restrict the use of their church similarly.  If you are only interested in a wedding and not coming into fellowship with a Lutheran congregation, this could be an obstacle.  Other pastors policy varies, so the best way is to contact a local pastor and speak with him directly about any questions.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rev. Jason P. Peterson


I welcome the opportunity to answer questions regarding the beliefs and practices Lutheran Christians, especially questions comparing Lutherans with other Christian denominations or questions which contrast between various kinds of Lutherans. I am especially familiar with the more conservative Lutheran denominations (LCMS, ELS, WELS, etc.). I also take a great interest in examining new Christian movements and popular trends in Christianity from a Lutheran perspective. In addition, I can answer most questions about the original Greek text of the New Testament and its meaning, as well as questions regarding liturgy, evangelism, and preaching. A special area of interest in my ministry is race track chaplaincy/ministry, and I would love to provide information and guidance for anyone interested in this area.


I have been a pastor in the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod for the past six years at St. John's Lutheran Church in Burt, IA. I currently serve as chairman of the Commission on Ministerial Growth & Support of the Missouri Synod's Iowa District West and as Track Chaplain at Algona Raceway in Algona, IA. I also write as a religion columnist for two local newspapers.

Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Algona Upper Des Moines (newspaper) Bancroft Register (newspaper)

B.A. Concordia University - Ann Arbor, MI (Biblical Languages) M.Div. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (Exegetical Theology, Pastoral Ministry & Missions)

Past/Present Clients
Zion Lutheran Church (Columbia City, IN) Zion Lutheran Church (Altamont, IL) St. John's Lutheran Church (Burt, IA) Zion Lutheran Church (Lu Verne, IA) Algona Raceway (IA) Fairmont Raceway (MN) Hancock County Speedway (Britt, IA) Clay County Fairgrounds Raceway (Spencer, IA)

©2016 All rights reserved.