Can a Catholic get married in a registry office, divorce and remarry?
QUESTION: if a Catholic gets married in a registry office, can he then divorce and get married in a church with another? Doesn’t this contradict the assertion that any marriage, even a civil marriage, is genuine?
ANSWER: a civil marriage entered into in the registry office or in any other public form between two unbaptized persons is a genuine and valid marriage, because marriage as such is a natural institution of human life. But if a baptized person enters into marriage only in the registry office, without performing the Church Sacrament of Marriage, then his marriage is invalid. Thus, he has the right to break this union and create a new marriage “in the Lord”, which is a Sacrament. But in this case, there is a debt of justice in relation to the previous common-law spouse and common children.