Following Boris Johnson’s marriage with Carrie Symonds at the cathedral on Saturday, Catholics, including members of the congregation at Westminster Cathedral, were quick to question why the UK Prime Minister was able to be married in a Catholic church following his two previous divorces.
Although Johnson was baptised into Catholicism, he renounced it for Anglicanism during his Eton schooldays, Guardian reported.
In Catholicism, divorce is not recognised and usually does not permit the remarriage of those whose former spouse, or spouses, are still alive. Johnson was divorced from his first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, in 1993, and finalised his divorce from his second wife, Marina Wheeler, in November last year.
Father Mark Drew, an assistant priest in Warrington, tweeted in response to the news: “Can anyone explain to me how ‘Boris’ Johnson, who left the Catholic church while at Eaton [sic] and is twice divorced, can be married at Westminster Cathedral, while I have to tell practising Catholics in good faith who want a second marriage in Church that it’s not possible?”
However, papal biographer Austen Ivereigh argued, the prime minister’s two previous marriages were unlikely to have been recognised in Catholic law, as his former spouses were not Catholic, nor were the weddings Catholic ceremonies. Therefore, a “simple administrative process” was likely to have been used to declare the previous marriages invalid.