The quote below is an excerpt from one of Lewis' letters to his friend Dorothy Sayers. The reason I am posting it is because it has given me a bit of information that I did not know about Lewis, and I am sharing it because it is something that everyone who loves Lewis needs to know.
25 June 1957
I ought to tell you my own news. On examination it turned out that Joy’s previous marriage, made in her pre-Christian days, was no marriage: the man had a wife still living. The Bishop of Oxford said it was not the present policy to approve re-marriage in such cases, but that his view did not bind the conscience of any individual priest. Then dear Father Bide (do you know him?) who had come to lay his hands on Joy—for he has on his record what looks very like one miracle—without being asked and merely on being told the situation at once said he would marry us. So we had a bedside marriage with a nuptial Mass.
The important thing to note here is that Lewis' marriage to Joy was completely valid! I had always thought that Lewis was ‘living in sin’ in his marriage because he had married Joy, who was divorced. This always bothered me because Lewis does not seem like the type that would do such a thing. Also, for such a prominent Christian apologist to do such a thing it would cause scandal by making others think that divorce and remarriage is OK, which it is not. But from his own writing in this letter it appears that he knew that Joy's first marriage was invalid because she had married a man who was already married and then civilly divorced. And, as Catholic teaching tells us, once you have entered into marriage any attempt to enter into another marriage is impossible until the death of the spouse. (And, by the way, this is a universal law – not just one for Catholics.)
Truly, I give thanks to God for having discovered this. Now my love and respect for Lewis has grown immensely. And now there only remains one thing about Lewis that makes me sad – that he was never able to see the full Truth of the Catholic faith and convert. But still – his witness to Christ has led many into the Catholic Church and I am grateful to be one of them.