Catholics question why Boris Johnson was able to marry in church 5 months ago

Catholics question why Boris Johnson was able to marry in church

The religion doesn't recognise divorce.

Catholics have questioned why prime minister Boris Johnson was allowed to be married in a Catholic church despite the fact that he has twice been divorced.


The PM married fiancee Carrie Symonds at Westminster Cathedral in a private ceremony on Saturday that was carried out in strict secrecy.

Symonds has spoken publicly before of her Catholic faith, while Johnson was baptised a Catholic but renounced it for Anglicanism whilst at Eton, according to biographers.

However, Catholic law does not recognise divorce, a practice that Boris is quite familiar with, and does not permit the remarriage of those whose former spouse or spouses are still alive.

The Guardian reports that some members of the congregation at Westminster Cathedral, along with other figures from Catholicism in the UK, have also voiced their displeasure at Johnson being allowed to get married there.

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?"

The rector of St Paul's in Deptford, Father Paul Butler, tweeted: "Always one canon law for the rich and one for the poor."

The Rome correspondent for Catholic magazine The Tablet said that "there will be a feeling that, why are some people who are divorced allowed to be married in the church and others not?"

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Christopher Lamb said: "And I think that's where the church can look at its current rules and see how it can become more welcoming. It has been welcoming to Boris Johnson, why not to others?"

However, papal biographer Austen Ivereigh has suggested that Johnson's previous two marriages were unlikely to have been recognised in Catholic law as neither of his former wives were Catholics themselves and the weddings were not Catholic ceremonies. This means that a "simple administrative process" was likely to have been used to declare his previous marriages invalid.