June 26, 2006, - 11:58 am

Celeb Absolution?: Divorced Nicole Kidman Allowed to Marry in Catholic Church

By Debbie Schlussel
We couldn’t care less about movie star Nicole Kidman’s marriage to country singer Keith Urban. But there’s an interesting twist to the story that leaves us wondering. Perhaps our Catholic friends and readers can say whether this common or just special treatment for a celeb.
Since Kidman is a divorcee (from first “husband” Tom Cruise), it is our understanding that she would not be able to get married in the Catholic Church unless that marriage was annulled by a Bishop (it wasn’t).
But reports say that, this past weekend, Kidman was, indeed, allowed to marry in a Catholic Church in a Catholic ceremony in her native Australia because the Church did not consider her marriage to Cruise to be a real marriage, since he was a Scientologist.
Is that the general rule or the exception in the Catholic Church? More discussion in this BBC News article (which asks the same questions as we do).


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14 Responses

As long as her first marriage did not take place in the Catholic church and therefore not sanctioned by them to begin with, then she’s fine with this second marriage in the church.

AirborneVet on June 26, 2006 at 1:27 pm

Airborne Vet is correct – the marriage is not a marriage in the eyes of the Roman Catholic church unless an RC priest does the ceremony and the not-Catholic agrees to raise the children as Catholics. Tom renounced the Catholic church just before he met Nicole -they were married in a Scientology “church.” I am sure that Nicole had her fingers crossed when she said I do…I know I would have. Scientology is more very evil.

Sioux on June 26, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Both AirborneVet and Sioux are correct. However, the Catholic Church does respect other religious marriages just not Scientology. For example Debbie, if you are married by a Rabbi, and get divorced and then want to marry a Catholic, the Church cannot marry you until you obtain the annulment for your Jewish marriage form your “council”.
In the case of Nicole, well we all know Tom’s religion and that is not one whose marriages are recognized by the CC.

La Ventanita on June 26, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Mind if I offer a few corrections on the first thre comments — and a hearty condemnation of the fourth?
The above three are correct in noting that the Church will not recognize a marriage entered into by a baptized Catholic unless it is witnessed by a priest or a dispensation is given. I would assume that Nicole and Tom did not obtain those dispensations — therefore the question of validity are clear and a sacramental marriage did not exist. On the other hand, marriages between non-Catholics — even non-Christians — are recognized by the Church and considered valid (and therefore would need a dispensation). However, La Ventanita has one point wrong — not only would it require a get from the Jewish authorities, but also a Catholic annulment for Debbie to divorce and seek to marry a Catholic.
As for what is required for a marriage to a non-Catholic (Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Scientologist, Jedi Knight, etc.), the Catholic party is, under current canon law, required to promise to make every effort to raise the kids Catholic — but the non-Catholic party is not required to make such a promise. The non-Catholic party is, on the other had, informed of that promise. The reason is simple — diffeent situations may require different courses of action. Take my own example — my wife was the pastor of a small Protestant congregation when we married (I met her while I was on a leave of absence from the Catholic seminary). She insisted that she would baptize our children, but readily accepted that I would take them with me to mass and that she would make no effort to hinder my passing on of Catholic teachings or their decision to become Catholic once they reached the age of reason. That satisfied the requirements of canon law to permit the marriage — though our eventual inablility to have children rendered the point moot.
As for danny, statistics show that the Catholic Church has no greater instance of child abuse than any other religious group (and lower than the rate among public school teachers). The Catholic Church has been a target primarily because of size, wealth, and the legacy of anti-Catholicism in the United States and a number of other countries.

Rhymes With Right on June 26, 2006 at 6:39 pm

I disagree with the last commenter. With all the money at stake you can be sure that any institution with assets is subject to litigation. The Catholic Church is being targeted because of its long and well documented history of child abuse. If it were my Church, I wouldn’t bury my head in the sand and blame others.

shleppy on June 26, 2006 at 7:49 pm

Have to agree with shleppy but for different reasons. There are VERY good reasons the overwhelming majority of Christians in our country are NOT Catholics. They place far too much emphasis on man-made traditions. There are also good reasons why it is Protestants NOT Catholics who are so adamantly pro-Israel.
It is telling though why this is the very first time I have seen danny condemned!!

Julia on June 26, 2006 at 8:18 pm

Also, Mr. Rhymes With Right, Catholic priests are by far more involved in child abuse than in either the Jewish or Protestant religions.
“The survey, to be released February 27, found that children made more than 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The 4,450 accused priests represent about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests who served during the 52 years covered by the study.”
And danny was condemned???? I HATE political Correctness!!!!!!!!

Julia on June 26, 2006 at 8:50 pm

Rhymes with Right, why would a Jew seeking a get from Jewish authorities – I was assuming this marriage was both partners Jewish – need an annullment from the RCC to marry a Catholic? If the Jewish authorities annulled the previous marriage with the Jewish partner the person is free to marry within RCC provided there is no previous RCC marriage.
And as I’m sure you know, the required promise from the Catholic party, is a signed document.
I wholeheartedly agree with you on your last point.

La Ventanita on June 26, 2006 at 9:06 pm

And why is it again, Rhymes With Right, that women cant be priests? I should know this already since I used to be Catholic. Maybe senor La Ventanita (the cuban who calls white people racists) can tell us. (BTW DS got her earlier cuban story RIGHT except for the numbers involved)
I left the Catholic church when my own son was abused by a priest.

Julia on June 27, 2006 at 12:10 am

DEBBIE+Rhymes With Right:What about The Catholic Church moving the priest from one place to another once made known of the abuse . Does the school system do that?Of course I have the highest respect for a religious Catholic.

danny on June 27, 2006 at 7:06 am

Of course I have respect for a religious Catholic-But not the ones that help to move the priest(s)and the cover-up’s and all that

danny on June 27, 2006 at 7:13 am

Thank you danny!! nuff said! I also disagree with Catholic teaching on birth-control for women. But there are many Catholics I do respect so dont get me wrong. Buh bye.

Julia on June 27, 2006 at 9:22 am

See, this is what is wrong with “religion”. Most of it is man-made. That’s why Jesus removed the yoke of religion (including Judaism), as well as, the burden of sin. Please, look to Jesus. The One who fulfilled the Law (not destroyed) and saves us from eternal damnation. Also, all questions asked are answered in the Bible.

Blayne on June 27, 2006 at 9:54 am

BLAYNEÖyou have no idea what youíre talking aboutÖChristianity is not so SIMPLISTIC as your local Pastor Dzaster has led you to believe~
Your version of the Christian faith is ìman-madeî because it is only one of MANY that have sprouted up and IS NOT the one started by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Where is your Apostolic succession?
Your evangelical church LACKS an oral tradition that the Catholic Church has had right from the BEGINNING of the Church, which helps to accurately interpret the Bible among other things through the Magisterium (official teaching authority) of the Church.
GODís work of REDEMPTION continues today through His Church located in Rome!
Whether you believe it or not!!
And God is not going to stop the world because you have failed to understand EVEN the basics of the Faith~
Thatís why you have servicesÖand we have a Mass!
The Mass completes the Passover.
JESUS CHRIST is our Passover lamb. If you didnít eat the Passover lamb in the Old Testament, you would have died by the hand of the Destroying Angel at that time.
If you donít eat the new Passover Lamb found in the EucharistÖhow then can you be saved now?
@JuliaÖ.leaving the Church has never been the solution. One does not throw ìthe baby out with the bathwaterî as they say.
As I said beforeÖ.REALITY and SOCIAL EVOLUTION caught up with the Church and other organizations who were VICTIMS of these types of ìpredatory pervsî. These defrocked pervs are NOW going to jailÖexactly where they belong~~
How come nobody mentioned the Petrine Privilege?

The Canadien on June 28, 2006 at 10:39 pm

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