So how was Nicole Kidman able to wed Keith Urban in a Catholic church?

Kidman, baptized and raised Catholic, is one of the most famous divorcees in filmdom these days, her 1990 marriage to fellow actor and former Catholic Tom Cruise having collapsed in 2001. In the Catholic Church, marriage is for life, no matter what a civil divorce court might rule, unless the couple can obtain an annulment from a Catholic marriage tribunal, a process that typically takes several years. Kidman and country singer Urban announced their engagement only two months before their wedding ceremony, which was performed by a Catholic priest last weekend at the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel in Kidman’s native Sydney, Australia.

Here is the lucky break that enabled the couple to proceed speedily to the altar despite Kidman’s divorce: Her marriage to Cruise took place in a Church of Scientology ceremony (both were practicing Scientologists back then, and Cruise still is).

The Catholic Church requires its members to be married by a Catholic priest in a Catholic sacramental ceremony, so the Cruise-Kidman marriage was what the church calls “invalid as to form.” Proving a defect of form is relatively easy. The rules of diocesan marriage tribunals vary, but typically, the Catholic party or parties simply have to file copies of their baptismal certificates along with their marriage certificate (which would show who performed the ceremony) and a copy of their divorce decree. The process takes at most a couple of months–after which the marriage is declared null and void.

Thus, in the eyes of the church, Kidman, who returned to her childhood Catholic faith after her divorce from Cruise, has been married only once: to Keith Urban.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Denzel Washington recently appeared on Instagram Live with Brooklyn Pastor A.R. Bernard of Christian Cultural Center to talk about his relationship with God and his faith journey. Washington, who is devout Christian, shared that he had given his life to Christ three times when he was younger, Fox News reported. The Academy Award-winning actor described […]

In a recent appearance on the Canadian radio show “Q on CBC,” Katy Perry spoke candidly about her mental health issues. The American Idol judge shared that she went through a breakdown in which she considered taking her own life following her 2017 split from Orlando Bloom and poor album sales. Perry felt like she […]

The Passion of the Christ 2 screenwriter Randall Wallace shared an important update on Mel Gibson’s biblical sequel, which will focus on the events that occurred three days between the crucifixion and the Resurrection. In an interview with Polygon, Wallace said that the movie is something they are discussing. “We both consider that the Mount […]

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been an outspoken Christian football player for years. This year at a virtual conference for Christian men, the Pittsburgh player shared the personal fights he has faced, including addiction to pornography and alcohol. “It’s not always easy,” Roethlisberger said, talking to Tunch Ilkin, a former Steelers player and one of […]