Gwen Stefani won’t marry Blake Shelton until the church annuls her her first marriage


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Gwen Stefani is very Catholic. She was raised in the church. She goes to church with her children most Sundays. She and her ex-husband Gavin Rossdale needed a day-long mediation session about how much Gwen was exposing the kids to the Catholic church, and how Gavin wanted their sons to be raised with less Christianity in their lives. And now it looks like Gwen wants the church to annul her marriage to Gavin completely, and until she gets an annullment, she won’t be marrying Blake Shelton. Huh.

On hold! Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton have been ready to say “I do” for quite some time — but now they want to make sure they have God on their side before they walk down the aisle, a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly.

The former No Doubt front woman, 49, “began the formal process” to have her marriage to ex-husband Gavin Rossdale annulled by Catholic church officials “so she can marry Blake and have it be recognized by the church,” says the source. “Gwen’s religion has always been extremely important to her, and Blake is completely supportive of this.”

Even though Stefani and the country singer, 42, have been ready to get married for a while, “there are obstacles they have to deal with” first, an insider revealed in February. One of the issues is their living arrangement. The Voice coach currently splits his time between his native Oklahoma and Los Angeles, while Stefani is based in L.A. with her three sons, Kingston, 12, Zuma, 10, and Apollo, 4. But in the meantime, the couple are happier than ever. Adds the source, “they’re willing to wait.”

[From Us Weekly]

Blake has wanted to hold off on marriage for a while now, and I think that’s a bigger part of this. Blake is gun-shy about marriage after his disastrous marriage to Miranda Lambert. As for the annulment… I honestly don’t know much about Catholic doctrine and all of the rules the church has about which marriages are eligible for annulment. It seems to me like a thirteen-year marriage which resulted in three children would be one of those marriages ineligible for annulment. Then again, Gavin clearly was not and is not a Catholic, so maybe that’s what will be used to annul. Your guess is as good as mine.

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149 Responses to “Gwen Stefani won’t marry Blake Shelton until the church annuls her her first marriage”

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  1. Mitzy says:

    So…………………………….correct me if I am wrong here…………………………….sex before marriage is a sin according to the Catholic Church. Using contraception is regarded as sinful too………………..so what I don’t understand is the convenience of taking or leaving what bits suit you depending on how you feel that day. I really cannot be bothered by it all.

    • BookOwl says:

      This. All day, every day.

    • Milla says:

      Literally my 1st thought. What a stupid couple.

    • SM says:

      Yes! I get the need to believe in something, a bigger picture as well as struggle with death and believe in immortality in the face of loss. So yeah, I get why humans are believers and have faith. But this selective clinging to dogmas you find convenient and rejection of other that do not go along with your lifestyle is just plain stupid. Annulment of a marriage that resulted in 3 kids….yeah, right. Then you get an annulment and what, go on and marry in a church pretending your as well as your new husband’s life before the marriage never happened? Also this annulment is a great way of messing with your kids by sort of showing them that they were born not in a family.

      • manda says:

        this was my thought–what a horrible thing to do to your kids!

      • Still_Sarah says:

        I’m not sure but I believe the annulment makes the children from that marriage illegitimate in the eyes of the church. It may not amount to much now but there it is.

      • Paleokifaru says:

        Born, raised and schooled Catholic and know several people with annulled marriages (many less justifiable than others and WAY too many discrepancies in the ease of that process) and I can confidently say that it does NOT make your children illegitimate in the eyes of the Church. However your own family dynamics shake out with it is entirely different. I have known adult and teen children very hurt by the process.

      • dogmom says:

        Am I the only person who thinks this could be paving the way for a breakup story? She could use the “the church wouldn’t approve an annulment” or “I didn’t want to annul my first marriage and turn my kids into bastards” excuse. I never bought this relationship from the start so I could have a dirty lens, but I think this annulment issue (why did this only come up now when they’ve been “together” for several years) could be a prelude to a split.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Annulment does not make the children illegitimate.

        A bigger problem here that Gwen seems to be missing is that if either one of Blake’s marriages were performed by a minister/pastor of any other faith, he would need to get annulments too before the Catholic Church would recognize her marriage to him. If he just had a JP, no problem.

      • BeanieBean says:

        RFK, Jr. did that, if I’m not mistaken. His wife (the one he divorced) was devoutly Catholic and hated the annulment.

    • Eliza says:

      You can confess the other two and be absolved. But you can’t confess divorce and then go take communion – although technically as she’s still married in the church’s eye, she’s committing adultry.

      She can’t marry him in the church without it. And for some people it matters to have a “valid” church marriage.

      But yes, she’s practicing the ask for forgiveness later type of Catholicism.

      • Svea says:

        I suspect not being able to take communion after divorcing and remarrying is the big issue here. Communion or the Eucharist is the heart of the Catholic and many protestant church rituals. It is important to a lot of people. The Catholic church policy on this is idiotic IMO. I much prefer churches that make the ritual available to all, including those not baptised.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ Svea : What churches give communion to people who aren’t baptized?? I’ve never heard of any that do that.

      • Fanny says:

        Pope Francis said priests who still withhold communion from divorcees should stop doing so. That was always been a pastoral issue up to the discretion of local priests and most of them stopped penalizing divorcees a long time ago.

        While it puzzles me why some Catholics strictly adhere to some rules and not others, I don’t really know anyone who adheres to a religion 100%. You can participate in the religion that makes most sense to you or is part of your heritage and not agree with every last teaching.

      • Wilma says:

        @still_sarah Our priest gives the Eucharist to anyone believing it to be the body of Christ. It’s up to the discretion of the priest I guess. When our daughter was baptized I asked him about it as lots of family members and friends aren’t Catholic and I didn’t know what his policy was. He just wanted people to know what it meant to take the Eucharist and to be respectful of the significance of it to Roman Catholics and so he did a little explanation and instruction and left it up to the people attending.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Every Protestant church I have ever been in gives communion to everyone who wants it, baptized or not. Even little kids. I don’t know about any Catholic church that deviates from official policy.

      • Lightpurple says:

        If either one of his previous marriages was performed by a minister/pastor/rabbi of another faith, he would also need to get an annulment before the Catholic Church would recognize Gwen’s marriage to him.

      • Fanny says:

        @Amy along with recognizing the authority of the pope, this is the #1 issue that distinguishes Catholicism from Protestantism. Protestant religions view communion as symbolic and will welcome any Christians who want to participate. Catholicism believes that the priest transforms the wine and wafers into the actual body and blood of Christ and that only baptized Catholics who share in the belief in the true presence should receive it.

        I know a lot of protestants who visit Catholic churches find it very unwelcoming to be told they shouldn’t take communion because they aren’t aware there is a fundamental difference in beliefs. It looks the same, but it’s not.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Yes, I’m aware of the Eucharist and the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Thanks! I was responding to Sarah. I wasn’t sure if her request for information was specifically referring to Catholic churches or churches of any Christian denomination. (I do not find it unwelcoming at a Catholic church not to be offered the host). By the way, my very Catholic friend says (take this with a grain of salt, because I do not know) that most Catholics do not believe in literal transubstantiation anymore. I had friends in college who definitely did though.

      • FutureCatLady says:

        So, slightly different, but in the Greek orthodox Church, you also have to seek annulment before you can remarry. And there are technically only several reasons that an annulment should be granted, infidelity being one of them. The other thing is that no one can partake in communion unless they are properly prepared and baptized Orthodox Christian. By properly prepared they mean that you have fasted from any meat and Dairy for the week prior and nothing has touched your lips the morning of communion. Now, the Orthodox Church is much stricter than the current Catholic Church, but pretty similar to the Catholic Church before Vatican II. So, depending on what type of Catholic Church she goes to, they may not even allow remarriage prior to the technical annulment from the church because they still consider her to be married. But I don’t think that the church looks at it as cheating, just that she is in the process of annulment. Now I have a friend who had to go through this process, in the Greek Orthodox Church and basically all she had to do was say that her husband cheated on her and the annulment was granted. In the past used to be is that the only reason official annulments were granted was for abuse or infidelity. These days, the church is much more lax in what they grant annulments for. If she goes to a more traditional catholic church, it would make sense that she would need to go through this process before marrying Blake.

      • Aotearovian says:

        @Still_Sarah: I took communion at chapel services at my Anglican private high school in New Zealand. I was raised by atheists (am one myself) so was never baptised. No one ever actually asked me about my faith or lack of it, but it was explicit that admission to the school meant participating in the religious life of the school. Which was fine with me – I was there for the education and the religious element came with it but was a small part.

      • TabithaStevens says:

        “Our priest gives the Eucharist to anyone believing it to be the body of Christ. It’s up to the discretion of the priest I guess.” My Priest will announce that non-Catholics are not invited to participate in communion. My friend went up anyway and became violently ill. Served her right. Your Priest should be put out on the sidewalk. Rules are rules.

        How can a Protestant be unaware there are fundamental differences between faiths?

    • Joy says:

      Most if not all people pick and choose things that are more important to them. My country is super catholic and I don’t know anyone who was a virgin before marriage. People just view some things as more important than others. You have.to or.you wouldn.t be able.to live in the modern world.

      • Snappyfish says:

        It’s called being a cafeteria Catholic (pick & choose) the church is a bit archaic & extremely misogynistic so it’s truly the only way to survive. We refer to our selves as such & also mention we are recovering Catholics for if you are raised in the religion it can be traumatic. There are some beautiful traditions & charity but some awful judgmental behavior & exclusions. You just have to find your way around those land minds. However, as long as Blake wasn’t married in the Catholic Church he is considered unmarried in the eyes of thr Catholic Church. There is a difference between a Catholic annulment & a legal one.? Sadly while I miss some of the rituals of mass we have stayed away as most churches we have found have lent towards the judgemental & hypocritical & sadly that isn’t very Christ like. We practice the Do unto other variation of religion

    • Muffy says:

      Almost no American Catholics follow the churches teaching on contraception. There was a Vatican II era conference where the church asked married couples if contraception should be allowed, and the couples said yes, contraception could be acceptable within a valid marriage. The church overruled the couples.

      As for the annulment, entering into a marriage without the intention of fidelity invalidates the marriage. She can say Gavin never intended to be faithful (and if she can get the right witnesses and pay enough money for the investigation) the annulment will be granted. It has nothing to do with how many children she has.

    • CES says:

      Same! That’s why I can’t with religion. I think one can have a relationship with God without all the mumbo jumbo that is clearly man created.

    • MamaT says:

      Known as Cafeteria Catholic…pick and choose which doctrines you want to follow.

      I’m pretty much like this as I still consider myself Catholic (I mean it’s hard to shake 50+ years of anything) but there is so much that I don’t follow because I believe they’re man made BS. I also rarely attend mass anymore because of the pedophilia. Not that it actually happened, because it happens across ALL religions and areas, but because of the massive cover ups and moving these creeps to other parishes to hurt more children. To me, that is the more unforgivable crime.

    • Lynn says:

      YES! I do not understand the whole a la carte approach to religion. Of course I’m an atheist so what do I know?

    • SNAP says:

      Wouldn’t it be easier if Gwen just told Blake she ain’t marrying him anytime soon??? LOL…if i was Blake i’d get the strange feeling she is giving me a lame excuse not to marry me…lol…can’t stop laughing at this thing…like out of a sitcom…🤣🤣🤣

  2. Skittlebrau says:

    On what grounds? I have family members who wanted marriages annulled by the church and it’s pretty difficult and none were approved. It’s not just a way to “erase” a divorce.

    • Darla says:

      If you have the bucks you can get an annulment. The church, like all businesses, will do anything for the right price.

      • Kelly says:

        Darla, this. When my parents got married, my mom had to get her previous marriage annulled before they could have a church wedding. My dad said they had to jump through what seemed like endless hoops until he paid what seemed like an acceptable amount of money. He said if they had just told him up front what they wanted, he would have paid it all in one lump sum so they could get married sooner.

      • Ravensdaughter says:

        The Kennedys, right?

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Ravensdaughter, the Catholic Church denied Joe Kennedy II’s annulment from Sheila Rauch.

      • Bishg says:

        This is nonsense. You can get ANY marriage annulled by the Catholic Church as long as you’re willing to pay a fee. It’s about 5000-6000 euro, based on what some acquaintances told me. You don’t need any valid reason and even so, you’d just be required to recite from a script.

      • Elise says:

        Myth #2. An Annulment Costs Thousands of Dollars

        Truth: The truth is that no Tribunal anywhere in the world asks for “thousands of dollars,” although the fee requested for an annulment process does vary from one Tribunal to another. In the Diocese of Harrisburg, the requested fees range from one hundred dollars to five hundred dollars, depending on the type of case, but the fee the Petitioner pays is only about one-half of the Tribunal’s actual cost for a case. It is a myth that the process costs thousands of dollars, and in fact no one is ever turned away from a Tribunal because of their inability to pay a fee.

        https://www.hbgdiocese.org/tribunal/divorce-and-remarriage/12-myths-about-marriage-annulments/

        Note that “no one is ever turned away from a Tribunal” does NOT mean “an annulment is automatically granted.”

    • GreenQueen says:

      I was raised Catholic but left the church. She could probably argue that he knew he wasn’t hetero and withheld that from her. To be honest if she shared with the church that he had sex with a man during their marriage that would probably buy her a lot of leeway. My aunt had her first marriage annulled and she had a child from that marriage. I’m not sure why they allowed it but I think it was along the lines of him lying to her about something major.

    • Eliza says:

      I know one Catholic annullment approved. But no children and a very short marriage. But it was a long painful process.

      In a similar not catholic church, a guy who cheated on his wife and left her for another got one because she wanted a big church wedding, so he annulled the first on grounds of never consummating but just was like ‘yeah none of the categories fit but she was awful to me’ to the priests and they’re like sure sounds good, annulled.

    • Kerfuffle says:

      My mom received one when I was a kid (and this was before divorce was particularly common). Just a regular, non-wealthy person. No one pretends that her first marriage and divorce didn’t happen, but it was important to her to be able to re-marry in a Church.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      She’s rich – if you have money, you can get an annulment even if the ex-spouse is contesting (just ask the Kennedys)

      For regular people, you must have legitimate grounds and/or the former spouse must agree. My guess is that Gavin may not agree to an annulment given the need for mediation about religion, not to mention the fact that the children are then considered illegitimate in the eyes of the church

      • Perplexed says:

        As @lightpurple commented earlier, the Catholic Church denied Joe Kennedy II’s annulment from Sheila Rauch.

  3. boobo says:

    I don’t think it matters if Gavin is not Catholic. But did they get married in the Catholic church?

    • Skittlebrau says:

      If they get an annulment, yes. My husband wasn’t Catholic when we married in the Church. If they do not get the annulment, they cannot get married by the Church.

    • Lightpurple says:

      If they got married by any type of minister of any faith, she would need an annulment before she could remarry in the Catholic Church. Somebody needs to tell her that Blake might need one too.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      they will annul a marriage of two people who weren’t Catholic (so def not married in the Catholic church)

      Blake will also need to get both of his marriages annulled to be able to marry in the Catholic church

  4. asdfa says:

    how the hell does she justify an ANNULMENT??? THey were together for ten years and had a bunch of kids!!! I saw her awesome wedding dress at the V&A!!!

    • MamaT says:

      An annulment does NOT mean that the first marriage never existed. There is specific list in when a Catholic marriage can be annulled.

      It means that there was something at the time of the marriage vows, one (or both) partners hid a trait/s which nullifies their vows or you lacked sufficient judgement at the time of the marriage.

      Agreed to marry under fraudulent conditions….

      You or your spouse were affected by some serious circumstances or factors that
      made you unable to judge or evaluate either the decision to marry or the ability to
      create a true marital relationship (mental illness, alcoholism etc..)

      You or your spouse did not intend to contract marriage as the law of the Catholic
      Church understands marriage.

      My only issue is that it costs so much money. That’s when I said screw it and got married outside the church.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        the annulment invalidates the marriage in the eyes of the church

        and the church does not limit to the reasons you list above. My friend is Catholic, her husband was married previously. He and his first wife were Protestant, married legally & in their Protestant church. There was no fraud or other reasons to, legitimately, annul the marriage – nor did they make the case that the annulment was being requested for any reason other than for him to marry my friend in the Catholic church. The Catholic church annulled his first marriage

    • Snappyfish says:

      That dress is one of my all time favorites. Truly brilliant and one that ONLY she could wear. They really were a pretty couple

  5. Redgrl says:

    I find the notion of annulment offensive. As though the marriage that brought them three children never happened. I’m not Catholic, but I grew up in Montreal just after the Quiet Revolution so was in a largely catholic environment. And if I remember correctly it makes your kids “illegitimate” to the church (another lovely, antiquated Catholic Church promoted shaming term..) It’s attitudes like these that led to the ongoing slow death of Catholicism in Quebec – and Quebec has been the better for it…

    • Josephine says:

      No, an annulment doesn’t make the children illegitimate in the church’s eyes. Kids from an annulled marriage are full members of the church, can get baptized, married in the church, etc.. I agree that an annulment is bs in most situations, but I think that whole thing about the kids is an urban myth.

    • Arpeggi says:

      It also really depends on the church/priest you’re going to. As you mentioned, most churches in Qc are now empty. I can guarantee you that in such a situation, priests don’t really mind how christian you are, they’re just happy when you say you’d like to fet married or have your kid baptized and they don’t ask much questions.

      I think Gwen is trying to act hollier than the Pope, it’d be fairly easy to have the church overlook the 1st wedding.

    • Sunnyjyl says:

      I don’t know any Catholic women, with children, who would have their marriage annulled.

      • lucy says:

        One of my best friends was married for over 20 years, 2 kids. She got divorced, wanted to get remarried in the Catholic Church and went for the annulment. She basically paid the money and poof, she was annuled! I could not understand since in my mind, that means the children are illegitimate. I was raised Catholic, am still Catholic (as there is such a feeling of guilt if I think of leaving) but this is only one of the things I can’t handle. Money will pay for anything, while abusive spouses can do what they want since you should have known before marriage or stupid stuff like that. No issue with annulment, just how some can get with the right money!

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I have a good friend, very Catholic, with three kids. Her ex, also very Catholic, got an annulment so he could get married again. It seemed to be a quick process. My friend was sad about it. She had not wanted the divorce or the annulment either one and had been trying for years to keep the marriage together. By the way, they are far from rich, but I guess he could afford whatever it cost.

      • Coco says:

        My Mom looked into annulling her marriage with my Dad after he left her (while pregnant with my sister) for his mistress. She had grounds but didn’t go through with it because she felt weird annulling a marriage when they had six kids together. None of us kids cared at all. My Mom has been with my stepdad for 20+ years and they had my brother together. He proposed years ago but my Mom can’t get married in the Church and it’s a big deal to her. I think it’s ridiculous, especially since my Mom didn’t want a divorce and wanted to work on her marriage. She’s not allowed to remarry in the Church through no fault of her own and she feels major guilt about everything. Seeing my Mom cry about it is one of the many, many reasons I personally despise organized religion.

    • lucy2 says:

      I just looked it up, as I don’t have much knowledge of Catholicism. It does not make the children illegitimate.

      But it does sound like Blake’s first marriage would also have to be annulled, regardless of what kind of service it was! I don’t see ol’ Miranda cooperating with that.

    • Lightpurple says:

      It does NOT make the children illegitimate.

  6. Josephine says:

    There are 20 or so grounds for annulment. I suspect that she will allege that Gavin was somehow not truthful entering into the marriage, etc. One of the grounds is as easy as claiming that you had a civil ceremony so you didn’t think the Catholic ceremony had any real effect, or something like that.

    I think it’s absurd to get a marriage with three kids annulled when both spouses are competent people and there was no force or coercion involved in the marriage, but the rules seem to be different for wealthy or famous people who want an annulment. There truly isn’t anything money can’t buy these days.

    • WingKingdom says:

      She’ll pay a high price for an annulment I’m sure. And it will be entirely meaningless. Her marriage was obviously valid. She can call it annulled all she wants, but it won’t change reality. She was married before, Blake would be her second husband, and that is the truth.

      I wonder if there’s any truth to this story, anyway. I’ve also seen headlines that they are pregnant with twins, who should probably be born by now.

      • Kerfuffle says:

        A Catholic annulment doesn’t mean that she’s going to pretend that the first marriage never happened. It is however the step that she needs to take if she wants to get married in the church when she marries a second time.

    • TabithaStevens says:

      One of Gavin’s friends told Gwen about Gavin’s “experiments” but she would not listen. So, she knew.

  7. Ariel says:

    This is one of a billion reasons the catholic which is a sham.
    She will get her annulment- which is not what an annulment is meant for.
    And by doing this she says her first marriage never existed and her three sons are bastards.
    Does that matter in today’s society- certainly not.
    Her annulment is nonsensical, fact-discounting bullshit to make her feel better- which sums up the way our culture uses religion as a whole.
    To discount science and embrace bigotry. It also stokes the fear that amplifies the bigotry.
    It’s all part of the same sickness of our world.

    • Fanny says:

      That’s not what annulment means at all. Catholic annulment means the marriage did not meet the very strict requirements that make Catholic wedding vows binding and permanent. That’s all.

      “Legitimacy” of children has absolutely no meaning in the Catholic church. That has always been a societal construct having to do with handing down property and people’s general desire to shame others who step out line.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Annulment of that marriage would NOT make the children bastards in the view of the church.

    • glor says:

      ‘Illegitimate’ is an outdated term and status, but ‘bastards’ is downright Mediaeval and offensive.

      Edit: damn, this appeared in the wrong reply space, sorry

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake.

  9. Swack says:

    Kaiser, I was married in the Catholic church for 25 years, 3 children and my ex wanted an annulment and got it. The women he eventually married was Catholic, married at least 2 other times (am assuming annulled also). So yeah, annulment happens no matter what. The irony of it was they did not marry in the Catholic church or by a Catholic priest. I also refused to cooperate with the annulment because I felt it should not be granted.

  10. Relli80 says:

    Yeah, I kind of doubt this because it would make her illegitimate in the eyes of the church. I think Blake and Gwen should just admit they are happy they way they are and are not interested in getting married. But I get there is a certain majority they have to play to.

  11. Paperclip468 says:

    Kennedy did it. Agreed…sham!

  12. Ainsley7 says:

    I’m not sure what grounds they would use. Maybe something about Gavin trying to limit how Catholic the kids are? They always make you swear that you will raise your kids Catholic and she can claim that Gavin mislead her. He would have to admit that he lied and didn’t just change his mind later though. I really don’t see her being able to get an annulment.

  13. redheadwriter says:

    People. It does NOT mean her kids are considered bastards by the church. That’s ridiculous.

    An annulment simply means one or both of the parties did not have a true understanding of the sacrament of marriage. There are criteria it follows and does not — repeat does not — change the legitimacy of the children involved. It basically dissolves the marriage in the eyes of the church so the person can be married again and receive all the sacraments in good standing.

    • megs283 says:

      YUP.

    • Scal says:

      This. It also doesn’t mean the marriage ‘never existed’ just that it wasn’t one that fell under being a sacrament. It’s how some Catholics get divorced (which is a civil matter) and then never get a annulment (which is a sacramental one)

      I have one friend get a annulment after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids. It took another 5 years of trying to get an annulment with testimony from friends and family-the priest that married them etc. He basically had zero intention on honoring his vows from the get go or raising the kids catholic and she had to prove that to the bishops and the council.

      • Cee says:

        Yes, it means the religious marriage is gone, not the legal, lawful one. The church says that what God unites man can’t dissolve (paraphrasing as english is not my first language) therefore any catholic who gets a divorce is breaking apart what God made. An annulment makes the marriage go away and enables the person to remarry inside the church (once the civil/legal marriage is terminated by law).

        However, I don’t understand why children born out of a valid religious marriage are not considered bastards. If you ask for annulment you’re saying your marriage was never valid in the eyes of God, therefore your children were not born out of a religious union. It seems the Church can’t retroactively make this children illegitimate, especially once they’ve been baptized into the church.

      • Scal says:

        It’s because the church still recognizes the civil aspect of the marriage. Same way it recognizes that children who are born from civil marriages or from other religions aren’t bastards.

      • Fanny says:

        Exactly, @scal. Gavin would have had to promise that he wouldn’t stand in the way of Gwen teaching the children Catholicism. Now he’s standing in the way. Gwen would have to prove that Gavin never intended to keep that promise.

        Gavin also cheated. If Gwen can show that he didn’t intend to keep the promise to be faithful, that’s also grounds to show that their marriage vows were not valid.

        I don’t know what y’all think a “bastard” is. Do you think there is a separate area of the church where they make these alleged “bastards” sit? “Legitimacy” is not a thing in the Catholic church and never has been. Children are just children.

      • Cee says:

        @Fanny – bastard children are a thing of the Church. I have countless friends who were denied baptism because their parents weren’t married in a church. Granted, we’re 87/89s babies, so things now a days could be more lax.
        Edit to add – I also have friends whose parents never married lawfully or religiously. Same outcome.

        My own cousin in law was baptized once his parents were able to find one priest willing to do it.

        This is why some of us, as catholics, wonder why the Vatican deems children of annuled marriages are OK while children born out of no religious marriage are not OK. Once the annulment goes into effect, the religious marriage is void and had always been void. In my eyes, no child should be denied baptism and no child should be considered a bastard, but the Church does make that distinction.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Cee, a pastor can refuse to baptize the baby if it suspected that the parents are just doing it for show and have no intention of raising the child in the faith or if they don’t belong to that parish.

      • Fanny says:

        There are priests who will tell unmarried parents looking to receive the sacraments (baptism or marriage) that they should get extra sacramental preparation specialized to their circumstances.

        To deny a sacrament just because the parents are unmarried? That’s a priest making his own rules, and the couple should have taken their case to the Bishop because Catholics are entitled to the sacraments. Many people don’t realize they can do that; when they are given bad information by a crappy priest, they believe what he tells them.

        There are lots of bigoted priests on power trips out there who do what they want. In the late 80s, a priest being uptight about unmarried parents would have been a sign of the times rather than a reflection of actual church policy. Because it is absolutely not Catholic doctrine to classify children as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” and designate one group ineligible for sacraments or any other Catholic privileges.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      this

  14. Jen says:

    I was raised and confirmed Catholic and this stinks to high heaven. A friend of mine had her marriage annulled because her ex admitted to their priest that he didn’t ever want children. She did. When you’re married for over a decade and have kids, it seems fraudulent to even ask for an annulment. It’s saying the marriage never happened.

    OT- can we talk about her face? She looks like a completely different person.

  15. Adrien says:

    She’s rich and famous, she’ll get her annulment. In the Philippines where there is no divorce, Church annulment is granted to wealthy, influential people almost automatically. If you’re poor you will be hard pressed to get one so poor couples just opt to “live in sin” with their new partners.

  16. CooCooCatchoo says:

    Divorced Catholics are barred from receiving communion in the Catholic Church unless their marriage is annulled by the Church or their spouse dies. This applies only to Catholics whose marriages were performed by the Church. Gwen and Gavin were married in a Catholic ceremony. They (like all couples married in the Church, even those where one spouse is Catholic and the other is not), had to sign an agreement that they’d raise their children in the Church. If you don’t sign it, the Church will not marry you. Gavin has a problem with raising the kids Catholic, which is probably the basis of Gwen’s petition for annulment. It does not delegitimize the children; that’s a myth. Catholic annulments don’t cost the petitioner a penny. It isn’t any easier for a wealthy person to receive one than a poor one.

    • I WorkForTheCatholicChurch says:

      “Divorced Catholics are barred from receiving communion in the Catholic Church unless their marriage is annulled by the Church or their spouse dies.”

      This is incorrect. Divorced people are more than welcomed to receive Eucharist as long as they are a Catholic in good standing – same as anyone else.

      Divorce in and of itself is not a sin or wrong, because the Church recognizes that not all marriages are happy or healthy. Hench the need for an Annulment if you were married by Catholic Norms. The only reason a Divorced person would not be in a state to receive Eucharist is because they are living with a partner, having sex outside of marriage, or any other host of sins people commit without Reconciliation.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Really? Because my parents married in the Catholic Church despite my dad not being Catholic and my best friend and her husband married in the Catholic Church despite her husband not being Catholic and neither man signed anything about raising the children in any faith whatsoever. My mom has always been quick to point that out whenever she hears anyone say that.

      • Fanny says:

        Some parishes don’t require an actual signature and are ok with verbal confirmation. The non-Catholic spouse has to swear that they won’t stand in the way of the Catholic spouse teaching the children Catholicism, and the Catholic spouse has to “reaffirm” their faith. It is one of the non-negotiable requirements.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Fanny, no, it is not.

    • CharlotteLouise says:

      Not so. The catechism is clear that civil divorce is acceptable under some circumstances:

      “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.”

  17. Kerfuffle says:

    What it means is that if she gets married again she wants it to be in a Church and this is the only way to make that happen. She’s essentially going to argue that the first time, she married someone who had no intention of staying faithful (which is a ground for annulment). Her kids will still be “legitimate”, don’t know where people are getting that angle.

  18. Mia4s says:

    Sigh…yet another example of why I left the organized Catholic Church: non-stop hypocrisy and nonsense.

    -Divorce is a sin!!! A SIN!!…oh but we will totally say a marriage doesn’t exist if you make up something about “not really understanding” or…something.

    - Bith Control is a sin. A SIN!!! Abortion is a SIN!!! Against God!!!! Horrible! The sexual abuse of children? Well that’s a bit of a grey area, we will just move them to a new area and not disclose anything and tell them not to do it again…or something.

    Ugh.

    • Bryn says:

      The Catholic Church and its members just a big bunch of hypocrites. They cherry pick what they want to believe in from the bible to suit their own needs. Look at the southern states in the US, all so religious, so Christian but they all love the death penalty and throwing people in prison like it’s no biggie

      • Lady D says:

        I think every religion on the planet now, then, and in the future is going to cherry pick parts to suit their needs. There will always be those who use it to have their needs met.

      • Svea says:

        Really don’t know why you pick on Catholics. Everyone must make their own spiritual choices, which are their own business. Hypocrites abound in every religion. Islam, Judaism, Mormonism. Basically it’s human nature. PS am not a Catholic. Was raised agnostic. Because I didn’t have it, I like religion. I just never quibble over the details.

    • Kelly says:

      One of my very Catholic aunts finally found some hypocrisy with the Catholic Church when the parish her son’s family goes to wanted a $5k rental fee for her oldest grandson’s wedding last fall. This was the parish where the groom’s father volunteers as an usher, multiple kids had been confirmed and gotten first communion, and went to religious ed there. I wonder if part of the issue was that his now wife wasn’t willing to convert, as she was raised Lutheran. That shouldn’t have been an issue because one of her daughters married her Lutheran husband who never converted in a church ceremony and my Lutheran uncle never converted and routinely attends mass with her. All of the kids were raised as Catholics, though. She wrote a strongly worded letter to the bishop expressing her disappointment with the parish’s decision.

      The couple ended up getting married in a lovely outdoor ceremony by the bride’s Lutheran pastor. They had a tent with kegs of beer and cheese curds for guests to enjoy after the ceremony. I don’t think that the church would have allowed that to be set up outside the parish.

  19. Christy J says:

    Annullments in the Catholic church aren’t to erase the marriage or pretend it never existed. It’s a process to see what went wrong in the first marriage and work on those issues so that they don’t happen in the next marriage. She doesn’t need Gavin’s permission to complete the process and it wouldn’t make her children illegitimate like many people incorrectly assume. If she wants a Catholic wedding, she’ll need the annulment. I think her first marriage ceremony was not in the Catholic church.

    • Cee says:

      No, per the church itsel: “For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.”

      she’s asking for her first marriage to be erased, as if she had never married in the eyes of God.

      • Christy J says:

        A Catholic annulment deals only with the Sacrament of the marriage. It says that the Sacrament of marriage was never present in the union-not that the marriage never took place. It does not erase the legal, emotional or the history of the marriage.

      • Cee says:

        That’s not how the church sees it, since what I pasted came from them. The marriage was sanctioned by a catholic priest in a catholic church, meaning the marriage was catholic. An annulment takes it away – it says the marriage never existed.
        An annulment is religious – her civil marriage will always stand as valid until it was dissolved through divorce.

        My bet is that she wants to marry Blake in the catholic church, which she can’t at present time, ie asking for an annulment.

  20. Cee says:

    On what grounds? I’m Catholic and would never annul a lawful marriage, especially if it resulted in children! If she’s ashamed of being a divorcee, tough luck. The church is more flexible nowadays – she hasn’t been excommunicated. She can remarry whomever she wants and have a priest bless the union, just not formalize it.

    She spent 13 years married to her ex husband. This seems very hypocritical to me.

    • Christy J says:

      I read what you pasted, but that is what that means-that the Sacrament wasn’t present in the union. Cheers!

  21. Chef Grace says:

    Raised Catholic became Pagan 30 years ago.
    The church has beautiful ceremonies but it is not worth the lies and hidden sins the church perpetrates. All in the name of a god who needs money and fear to be worshipped. Oh. Hell. No.
    Worse thing that ever happened to humanity is organized religion.

  22. Valiantly Varnished says:

    If this story is true it would be a truly *sshole move on her part. The father of an old friend of mine’s did this to marry his second wife, her stepmother. When you have your marriage annulled in the eyes of the church any children born of that marriage are not seen as legitimate. They are considered “bastards” in the eyes of the church. It’s a REALLY *hitty thing to do – not to your ex-spouse. But to your kids. I truly hope this isn’t true because if it is I will lose all respect for Gwen. Who I have always liked (though she’s become a bit thirsty in the past few years)

    • Lightpurple says:

      The children are not bastardized by annulment.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        That’s not what my friend was told. And if that’s not the case – what a mixed and messed up message to send. You can annul a marriage and pretend like it never existed in the eyes of the church…despite the children created from it and walking around. They will recognize the kids but but no longer the marriage?? The Catholic Church is full of hypocrisy and mixed messages. I can see why so many people have left it.

  23. Birdie says:

    Well Gavin obviously wasn’t faithful and didn’t honor their vows over a long period of time. I think it’s great that she wants the Catholic Church to recognize her marriage with Blake and not the shame one with the cheater.

  24. NΞΞNΔ ZΞΞ says:

    The more I learn about Gwen Stefani, the stupider I think she is.

  25. TheOriginalMia says:

    The hypocrisy of asking for an annulment to marry a man who cheated on his first wife with his 2nd wife, who was better at the cheat game than him. This is why I’ve consistently rolled my eyes at the revisionist history of Blake & Gwen’s relationship.

  26. Teresa says:

    Here is how annulment works in the Catholic Church, if you have lots of money you can buy yourself an annulment! Joseph P Kennedy did this. She has three children with him, the rules of the church state there is no annulment if you’ve had sex and children. But, the Catholic Church isn’t about their so called tenets, it’s about money! Always has been, always will be. Yes I am an ex-Catholic.. I agree with Gavin, let’s do without all the churching.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Which Joseph P Kennedy? The one who had 9 kids with Rose? The one who died in a plane crash? The congressman whose annulment from Sheila Rauch was denied on appeal, the one currently serving in Congress who is still married to his only wife, or some guy you know?

  27. otaku fairy... says:

    I’m actually surprised their relationship has lasted this long.

  28. Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

    Are these two even engaged? It seems like Blake is cool with not getting married again. Kind of embarrassing and tacky of their PR to have all this Catholic wedding discussion while they aren’t even engaged. She must be so desperate to get married.

  29. NeoCleo says:

    An annulment for a thirteen year marriage that produced children is RIDICULOUS and the catholic church will be happy to provide one for a tidy sum. My cousin bribed the church to annul her marriage so she could marry her new millionaire husband in a catholic church.

    There are many reasons I left the Catholicism a LOOOOOONG time ago–this is one of them.

  30. Cee says:

    I’m amazed how easily it is for rich americans like the Kennedys to get an annulment for convenience while Henry VIII had to basically disown his wife, bastardize his only daughter, tear up English society and nobility, and take up a religion he had previously called out as heretic and denounced, just because he, a KING, could not get the Pope to annul his first marriage.

    Talk about IRONY.

    • Lightpurple says:

      The Church denied Joseph Kennedy II an annulment from Sheila Rausch because she appealed it. BTW, Sheila was the one who wanted out of the marriage.

  31. EM says:

    My husband is Catholic, but I am not. We got married in the Episcopal church, but we are raising our children as Catholics. The Catholic Church is fine with this. They recognize our civil marriage, but they do not consider it to be a Sacrament. Our kids are considered legitimate. After an annulment Gwen and Gavin will never have had a Catholic marriage. They will be like us. (Except, of course, divorced.)

    Even when you get married in the Catholic Church they require you to get a civil marriage license too. The Catholic Church knows civil marriage is a separate thing.

    • LT says:

      EM – are you American? Every church requires you to get a civil marriage license for the marriage to be legit. Otherwise, it’s basically a commitment ceremony, but not a legal marriage

  32. Nancypants says:

    I’m not Catholic but I married an Irish Catholic man.
    I call him a born again Catholic because he went to mass maybe once per year until recently when several family members passed away and then he got religion again.

    I did go to mass with my older sister sometimes when she converted in college but I don’t know how any of it really works.
    I know they make up new rules all the time.
    My husband just told me that the Pope says Catholics can be cremated now IF the ashes are all kept together. WTF?

    One of my workers was left by his wife of 20 years with 2 daughters last year and he went for an annulment and I asked, “How is that possible?” and he said it had to do with the fact that she was kind of ‘hoin’ around during the marriage and would admit it so he could be married by the church in the future if he wanted but the church denied it anyway. Well…

    In a million years, I would have never seen Gwen and Blake as a couple.
    Blake lives close to my family and I went to school with Garth and Blake is too country for me.

  33. MamaT says:

    For the record, it would have cost us $1500 to have my husband’s first marriage annulled

    • Amy Tennant says:

      Reminds me of the joke “Why are divorces so expensive? Because they’re worth it.” Thanks for the information! $1500 is probably not out of the question for the vast majority of people who really want it. Not a rich man’s game after all. That makes sense to me because I kept thinking of my friend whose husband got an annulment and how they’re not wealthy. Out of curiosity, if it’s not too personal, did you guys seriously consider it? What changed your mind?
      If it’s too personal, you don’t have to answer.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Never mind, I see you answered above. Thanks!

      • MamaT says:

        @Amy …. we considered, got the forms, but in the end we wanted to get married at a location that ward very special to his mother (who passed away before we married) and the church said no, you can only get married inside a church.

        But I said, isn’t God everywhere? And they stuck out their hand for more money and they might consider it….

        Yeah, I balked and walked away

        In the end, his mother’s brother in law is a minister who married us in one of the most personal and lovely ceremonies that might very catholic father even approved of.

        Our children were baptized and made their first communion, but not their confirmation. It’s up to them if they want to.

  34. HK9 says:

    Thank you fellow Celebitches for the education on Catholic annulment. I now have a clear grasp of what it is and what it isn’t. However, I think the whole thing is a racket-I mean it comes down to pay us enough money and we’ll give you what you want on top of already having to pay lawyers to get divorced. But hey, that’s just me.

  35. Deb says:

    My question is why doesn’t Blake have to get 2 annulments then? Will the Church marry a divorced man?

  36. Elisabeth says:

    How very Tudor

    • Amy Tennant says:

      LOL, I was just thinking from reading a lot of these comments that many people’s ideas of Catholicism and annulment come straight from their high school or college history classes and Henry VIII! Some things have changed, even in the Church. Some things sure haven’t, though (human nature).

  37. Vintage says:

    Fraud, spousal abuse and infidelity are causes for annulment.

  38. Sarah says:

    I was raised Catholic, and in my neck of the woods, annulments were kind of a “pay enough and you’ll get it” type of crap. 🤑

    That said, I’m pretty sure that’s not Gwen Stefani that Blake is with, anyway! ….not sure who it is, but those pics look nothing like the “real” Gwen. 😏 MAN, Hollywood does a number on women…this overuse of plastic surgery is sad.

  39. Andrea says:

    My best friend has 4 children with his ex wife. He went through a terrible separation because she started lying to him and cheating on him with multiple men (prior to separation). I think he would have to pay 10-15k to the church to get it annulled, which is ridiculous since he was the one who pledged until death do us part, but his wife didn’t have the same view. Why does he have to pay? He has since left the church and is attending a Protestant one with his kids now.

  40. huckle says:

    Bit*%es be crazy

  41. Aren says:

    Annulment is not common in my (mostly Catholic) country. Really, not even the most corrupt politicians would ask for an annulment, no matter how much the church sucks or how bad the relationship was, annulment is deeply offensive.
    Asking for an annulment just so they can have another cute wedding should be considered some kind of sin, and I say that as an atheist.

  42. Sammi says:

    A friend got hers annulled in the eyes of the church because she proved her husband was unfaithful throughout the marriage and they had children. Another got an annulment when her and current fiancé proved they had been divorced for over twenty plus years each and had never been married by a preacher nor in another church but in fact got married by JOP. It really does depend on your priest and his viewpoint, because he wi be the one forwarding the request for annullment and how he writes it. But it does take a while to come back because it goes through different channels.

  43. Yes Doubtful says:

    My brother’s ex wife got their 15 year marriage with 2 kids annulled, so yes, it is definitely possible. Ridiculous, but possible. We all know Gwen wants to marry Blake in the worst way, but I get the feeling that he’s not as sure. There’s a reason why she doesn’t let him out of her sight… he’s a cheater just like Gavin. He’ll be out the door the next time a cute blonde catches his eye…just like he did to his first wife and his second wife.

  44. Lady L says:

    Canon lawyer here:

    Gwen’s first marriage is likely invalid for lack of form because she did not get married in the Catholic Church, provided she was a baptized Catholic at the time. If she received a dispensation to marry outside the Church, this becomes more difficult.

    Blake’s first marriage will also have to be annulled. The Church recognizes the validity of natural marriages, but these are often easier to have annulled, because intent is easier to show as lacking. His second marriage to Miranda is invalid IN THE EYES OF THE CHURCH because he didn’t have an annulment before marrying her.

    An annulment isn’t saying that a “marriage” never existed. Rather, it is saying that the attempt at a sacramental marriage was somehow lacking. This in no way means the children are illegitimate.

  45. sophieb9 says:

    I had a difficult brief marriage, in the Catholic church. Eight years after our civil divorce, my ex, with whom I had remained friendly, wanted an annulment in order to marry his girlfriend, who had a daughter who considered him her dad. He had become very involved in the Catholic Church in those years, and though he and his girlfriend lived in adjoining apartments, he said it was a celibate relationship (like my marriage!).
    I went through the annulment process with him—couching the language of a 2.5 year marriage between 2 people who were old enough to know what they were doing—in a way which would give him a get-out card. The process lasted another 2 years, at the end of which he ditched his devastated girlfriend and her daughter and went off to a Seminary in order to become a priest. The 7-year journey was fast-tracked to 5. There is a real shortage of Catholic priests! I visited him there, and went to his Inordination.
    Some years later, when I wished to remarry, I booked my Church wedding. At this point I discovered that my ex had put an undisclosed “something” in his annulment testimony which meant that I could not have a Catholic wedding unless I went to counseling with a recognized psychologist—in this case, a nun. No doubt this “something” paved the way for his annulment. Both the priest who had handled the annulment, as well as my very Catholic MIL, begged me to go for the counseling so I could get married before God. I called my ex, now a practicing priest, to find out what my secret vice was. He refused. I was stunned and angry for his self-serving action, for his cowardice and lack of candor in not owning up to what he had said behind my back. I reminded my ex of his behaviours that I had not mentioned during the annulment, and questioned his ability to minister to his parishioners, since he was now refusing to minister to me in a tone of superiority.
    I rue to this day that I met with that nun. We had a lovely chat, for which I had to make a ‘donation’ to the Church of $400. I left with no clue about my transgression. I got married in the Church. It felt like a cop out.
    I have never again spoken to my ex, but mutual acquaintances talk of his disillusionment with the Church, and that he has not ‘grown’ within the ranks of the institution. Surprise surprise.
    Annulments are given for chronic adultery, substance abuse, one side not wanting to have children, mental illness. Not one of these applied in my case. The first seems to have applied in Gwen’s. Any annulment does not cancel the legitimacy of her children, but could have a psychological effect. In my experience, what the Catholic Church wants, the Catholic Church gets, and collateral damage to other parties is of little consequence.

    • ChamomileLawn says:

      Sorry this happened to you Sophie.
      Stunning degree of duplicity and hypocrisy there on the part of your ex!

  46. Chaz says:

    That doesn’t even make any sense. An annulment of her first marriage would make her kids illegitemate. Not that being born out if wedlock is a bad thing nowadays, it’s actually more common, but why would a mother place a second marriage above her kids legal status.

    Bearing in mind that her faith is the most important thing to her, well it’s a contradiction.

  47. Marta says:

    I agree with Dogmom — this is probably paving the way for a breakup. It’s ridiculous to think about annulment for a marriage where 3 children are involved.

  48. Serena says:

    Oh please, this is the stupidiest thing I’ve read today. As far as I knew, there have to be good reasons for the Church to annul a marriage. And this is not one of those. Even if they allow it, it’s not like your marriage, which produced 3 kids, will disappear into thin air. How idiotic.

  49. Bubbly Cloud says:

    I went to Catholic School in the late eighties and early nineties. My teacher was an Italian Catholic priest who graduated from university in France with a psychology degree. I asked him about contraception one day after class. He told me use contraceptives that don’t allow the sperm and egg to meet because the Church believes that meeting is when the souls enters the zygote. For him that was the big deal. He didn’t want his parishioners to have an abortion based on their contraception choices but recognized Americans were going to use contraception. So I think Catholicism in practice deviates from official dogma quite a bit especially given the glacial pace of change in the Church.