I am asking this because my cousin wants to know if they can marry someone who is divorced. Thank you for your big help.
Your question requires some clarification to be answered correctly. I will answer it as follows:
1) If the person was married by the Church, the civil divorce does not annul or undo such a marriage; therefore, such a person is disqualified from remarrying.It is an impediment to remarriage. Only a declaration of nullity by the competent ecclesiastical authority can allow a new marriage (that is, a declaration stating that the given marriage was not valid: it did not exist). Concerning this, you can read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: nn. 2382-2386.
2) If the person was only civilly married and divorced civilly, we are dealing with a different case. Civil marriage, when one of the two persons is Catholic, is not a valid marriage (except when the bishop has authorized the civil ceremony to be substituted for the ecclesiastical one); therefore, there is no true marriage. When the ecclesiastical authority judges that there are no human commitments to which the divorced person should attend in reason of justice (children from the previous marriage; wife unjustly abandoned, etc.), it can authorize the canonical marriage of that person with another unmarried individual or someone in equal conditions.
Fr. Miguel A. Fuentes, IVE
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