top of page


Pauline Privilege (Can 1143) – dissolved by the law itself, no need for recourse CDF 30 April 2001


This process may be applicable to a marriage involving two unbaptized people. It is based on the writings of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:12-15. The marriage may be set aside in favor of the faith for the person who receives Catholic baptism and wishes to marry in the Church. Thus, this privilege may not be granted until the person receives the sacrament of baptism and enters marriage.



A marriage entered into by two unbaptized persons may be dissolved by means of the Pauline Privilege when one of the parties receives Christian baptism and then enters a subsequent marriage while the other person remains non baptized. It must be clear that the other party does not wish to receive baptism and wishes to depart from marital life. The party who has been baptized may not be the cause of the separation after the baptism has taken place.

  1. X, an unbaptized person, marries Y, also an unbaptized person.

  2. The non-baptism of both X and Y can be proven.

  3. The marriage ends in civil divorce.

  4. X, desiring a Catholic marriage, must be baptized as a Catholic.



The privilege takes place at the time of the new marriage.

It will be necessary to obtain the names and addresses of the former spouse and two witnesses who can answer questions regarding the non-baptism of each party. The tribunal can determine if the requirements to complete this process are present.


(This process can be done by the parish priest.)

Click           to download the form.

bottom of page