Question from Carol on 2/21/2008:
My ex-husband died. Am I considered a widow in the eyes of the Catholic Church? (He committed adultery. Priest gave me permission to seek a civil divorce based on the adultery.)
Answer by Catholic Answers on 2/21/2008:
I'm very sorry for your loss. May God be with you during this difficult time.
The Church considers civil divorce the equivalent of legal separation and tolerates it when there is just cause to seek it in order to protect a spouse and children and to settle matters of estate and custody arrangements. Unless an annulment is later granted, the Church considers the couple still married. So, if you and your ex-husband did not have an annulment from the Church, then his death would mean that you are now a widow. God bless.