I will rely primarily on the recommendation of the priests of our diocese in making judgments under the provisions of Title I, Canon 19, Section 3.
You should send at least 30 days prior to the date of the proposed marriage, a letter indicating:
- that the previous marriage was dissolved in a court of competent jurisdiction (do not send copies of the divorce decrees to the Office of the Bishop, you may wish to keep a copy with the parish records);
- that continuing concern for the well-being of a former spouse or children of a previous marriage is present and indicate how many marriages this will make for each partner;
- that all the provisions of the Marriage Canon, Title I, Canon 18 apply to this marriage;
- the actual or potential relationship that one or both of the parties has with your congregation and why the Church should bless this union.
In situations where one or both persons have been divorced two or more times, unless the priest is a trained counselor or therapist, I ask you to refer the couple to such trained persons for pre-marital counseling.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith
Bishop of Newark