Can a divorced person without a Church annulment participate in the sacraments?

By December 7, 2014 5 Comments

Full Question

Can a divorced person without a Church annulment participate in the sacraments?


A divorced person is generally not required to seek an annulment unless he plans to attempt marriage again. And unless a person has been excommunicated (divorce is not cause for excommunication), a Catholic always has access to confession. In fact, a divorced Catholic should go to confession as soon as possible if the divorce was an occasion of mortal sin. If the divorce was not an occasion of mortal sin, then confession is not necessary. Either way, the Catholic would be able to lead a normal sacramental life.


  • Well if they haven’t re-married then I would say they can. Divorce is not annulment by the Catholic Church.

  • Silvano Toso says:

    Exactly. That is what happened to me. After 27 years of marriage, we drifted apart, and my wife left me and after 2 years she presented me with divorce papers. I signed them and since 2002 I am divorced. I am catholic and nothing changed in my religious life. If I desire another woman, I committ a mortal sin, divorced or not. If I make love to another woman, I committ a mortal sin, divorced or not. But as soon as I go to confession, I am again a member of the Body of Christ, that is the Church, and as such I can go to the holy Communion, to confession and so on. Many of us, take another woman and marry her. Here is the situation, where as long as you are living day and night with that woman, you cannot take the sacraments. Because you are in a continuous state of mortal sin. If you go to confession and say you are sorry, the consequence is that when you go home, you have to tell your second wife, that that is it. You go or she goes, but you don’t want to be with her no longer. Are you ready to take that step? That is what makes many catholics wonder….. Unless you are prepared to separate yourself from your second wife , you are exluded from taking the sacrament. This is not an excomunication, but simply living in a permanent mortal sin status, till you leave your second wife for good.

    • Lydiah says:

      what happen if you have separated and you are yet to get divorce, can you partake the holy sacrament?

      • Silvano Toso says:

        Yes, as long as you don’t committ a mortal sin, like adultery in the flesh or in your thoughts. It is only a question of doing mortal sins, rather than being separated or divorced. The separation or divorce in itself, meaning the procedure, is not a mortal sin. You can leave your spouse to live alone, or your spouse can leave you (separation), in this case you still did not committ a mortal sin, thus you can take part in the sacraments. If the cause of the separation is or was a mortal sin (adultery), the confession is the remedy, you cannot force the other person to return to you, if you committed adultery. But you can ask God for forgiveness through the confession and He will forgive you, that is all what you need to return to the sacraments. Trust in God and in His Mercy, and you will be fine. But if during the separation you accept a man to come and live with you, or you go and live with another man, then you enter a permanent status of mortal sin, a continous adulterous life. If you go to confession for that, the priest is going to ask you to stop living with that man. And until you are not ready to do that, you cannot receive the absolution of your adulterous life. Until that moment, you cannot receive the sacraments, because of the mortal sin you are doing, not because you are separated.

  • Michael Schwartz says:

    If u get a divorce,it is not a sin..If u stay single,the sacrament is there for u also confession.Annulments,take a long time.If I were the person who got divorced should begin annulment ASAP……but the divorced person should take the time to reflect,about his life,and what went wrong to cause divorce.Also healing,time.

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