The Vancouver Regional Marriage Tribunal serves the ecclesiastical juridic needs of the faithful for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, the dioceses of Prince George and Whitehorse, and the Ukrainian Eparchy of New Westminster, overseeing cases of annulment.
What is Marriage?
A Christian marriage is a sacramental relationship in which a couple establishes a partnership for the entire life. It is a holy covenant of life and love, demanding a mature commitment and conscious decision to love from the partners – one that should not be entered into lightly. Sadly, the reality is that not all marriages succeed. People have entered marriages without sufficient readiness. Some other factors may also have existed which mar the commitment, resulting in breakdown and failure. Subsequently, divorce and remarriage may occur, excluding affected persons from full participation in the Church’s sacramental life.
Find out more about Catholic teaching regarding marriage from New Advent.
Valid Until Proven Otherwise
The Church presumes that every marriage is valid unless proven otherwise. If there has been a marriage of any kind (religious or civil) ended by a divorce, some Church process is required before a previously married person is recognized as free to marry in the Catholic Church. This applies even if the partners in the former marriage were not Catholic. The Church considers a marriage entered into by two non-Catholics, Christian or other, to be true marriages. Therefore, any previous marriage is an obstacle to a new marriage with a Catholic ceremony. (Not every marriage needs the same kind of process. What is needed depends upon the unique circumstances of each marriage.)
If you have questions regarding the validity of your marriage, contact The Marriage Tribunal.