EWTN Catholic Q&A
dating a divorced man
Question from Elizabeth Troncoso on 02-01-2018:

My mother in law is widowed, for 3 1/2 years. She recently found someone who she is dating. The issue is he is divorced. Her intentions are unknown but is hinting at a relationship. She said that she went to a priest. The priest told her it is ok to date as long as isn't intimate. My husband and I have an issue with it because it seems scandalous. In our eyes he is still married and is committing adultery. This would be the same way I would commit adultery if I were to go on lunch dates, coffee dates, movie dates with someone other than my spouse. This is causing concern for us because she lives with us and wants to bring him around our children. She stated that he is looking into the annulment process and has been legally divorced for 25 years. Is it ok for her to continue in dating him even though his annulment hasnít been started or finalized?

Answer by David Gregson on 02-02-2018:

It's less a sin than an occasion of sin. As long as they are not sexually intimate, they haven't committed adultery, but the more time they spend together in a dating context, the greater the likelihood of their crossing the line.

There is also the possibility of causing scandal for anyone who knows his marital status. You may want to encourage your mother-in-law to have her friend pursue an annulment with greater zeal. Meanwhile, they should spend time together only in the company of others.