CICLSAL, Dispensation from Impediment of Marriage Bond to Enter a Novitiate and Decree of Permanent Separation for Innocent Spouse, 1991. Private.

A woman married twenty-five years and divorced was unable to procure an annulment in order to enter religious life. She petitioned CICLSAL for a

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dispensation from the impediment of the marriage bond in order to enter the novitiate of an apostolic religious institute. A supporting statement from the superior general of the religious institute, a brief account of the marriage, copies of the decree of divorce, marriage certificate and baptismal certificates of the petitioner, spouse and children were sent to Rome.

CICLSAL replied that while the marriage has been terminated civilly through divorce, it continues to exist in the eyes of the Church. Before the Holy See could grant such a request, it would be necessary to have a decree of permanent separation from the bishop of the place where the petitioner resides, stating that the separation of the spouses was legitimate according to c. 1153, §1.

The marriage tribunal of the place where the petitioner was married and residing conducted an investigative process which indicated that the husband committed adultery and insisted on the breakup of the marriage. He refused the petitioner’s attempts to reconcile and initiated the separation and divorce. Since the petitioner did not spontaneously sever conjugal living, nor bring a suit for separation (c. 1152, §3), she was granted the decree of permanent separation by the local ordinary. She then resubmitted her petition to CICLSAL with a copy of the same decree.

The second reply from CICLSAL was in the affirmative, the congresso having met, the dispensation from the impediment of the existing marriage bond was granted in order that she might enter the novitiate of the religious institute.

CICLSAL, Impediment of Marriage Bond to Enter Novitiate and Permanent Separation, RRAO (1991): 7.