Receiving the Sacraments After Divorce and Remarriage




I recently got a call at Catholic Answers from a woman who had fallen away from the Church many years ago but had come back home after watching EWTN and listening toCatholic Answers Live. Sadly, though, she had been told by a deacon at her parish that she could not receive the Eucharist or even go to confession because she had gotten remarried outside the Church after her first marriage ended in divorce. Before she could be fully reconciled with God and the Church, she would need to get an annulment and then have her second marriage convalidated. She was heartbroken to find out that the annulment process could take years to complete. I was happy to tell her that she had another option.

Tragically, the information the woman was given at her parish is the only information many people in her situation ever hear. She was told that she was living in the state of sin and that only an annulment and convalidation could fix that. What she wasn’t told is that she could return to the sacraments right away if she was sorry for her sins and was willing to stop sinning. I explained to her that if she would commit to abstaining from conjugal relations (e.g., live as brother and sister) until her marriage was convalidated—and there is no guarantee that it ever will be—she could go to confession and receive the Eucharist today! I then read to her from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ—”Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”—the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence (CCC 1650).

She was in tears as I read that last line. She said that making such a commitment would be only a small sacrifice compared to being unable to receive the sacraments. It was such a relief for her to know that she could hear the joyous words of absolution and receive her Lord again at Mass. She planned to do both that very evening.

I would like to see the above Catechism paragraph rearranged, moving the last sentence up near the top. After all, that is the only moral option in such a situation. Maybe then that would be the information people in invalid marriages would be given. Returning Catholics and others coming into the Church as adults are often quite serious about their faith, and it is a disservice to them to assume that they are not willing to do what is right

 

By Jim Blackburn





61 comments

  1. EH Reply

    ITS AWFUL TO HAVE COMMITED TO MARRYING INSIDE THE CHURCH BECOMING CRUSILLISTAS AND 18 YEARS LATER ENDING IN DIVORCE WITH THREE KIDS SHE WAS THE ONE WHO STEPPED OUT OUT ON US SO SHE REMARRIED DIVORCED AND IS INRELATIONSHIPS WITH OUT NO REMORSE AND I STAYED SINGLE PARENT WITH NO SOCIALIZING AND STAYED TRUE TO MY MARRIAGE AS ONE, AND THE CHURCH I,VE BEEN TEMPTED WITH GOOD LOOKING WOMEN BUT MY KIDS CAME FIRST. SO HERE I AM AN OLD MAN AND ALONE AND ABLE TO TAKE THE SACRAMENTS WITH JESUS AND THE CHURCH AMEN

    1. Sheng Reply

      How great you are and I wish I could be the same too.

  2. jeri rahill Reply

    Remember dear man that you made a choice to live like that. You sound like a honorable man, and perhaps God will bring the same kind of woman into your live for your twilight yrs. And being 60 -70 isn't old today! May God give you joy in your love for him and the choices you have knowingly made in your single journey! Peace Always, and keep looking up and within.

  3. joseph gitau Reply

    God forgive us.

    1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

      What do you mean Joe ?
      God forgives before we even trip up !

  4. Odile Lyllian Crensh Reply

    Some situations are very complicated:

    I was married 4 times…never in the Catholic Church, only civilly. the first three marriages were very brief…..then I married for the 4th time..always outside of the church, civilly…. the husbands were also married before me, never in the Catholic Church…

    I am now permanently separated from my last husband of 20 yrs marriage…I now live in another country, go to church, receive sacrament of reconciliation and Holy Communion…

    I have had a vocation for years and should never have been married… Vocation started when I was 15 until now (61 yrs)… I am looking into third orders..I feel a call to stay celibate for Jesus forever…But..even though I was never married in the Church and my husbands were married before they married me…never in the Church…it may be difficult for me to be in a third order… If I felt called to the Religious Life in a monastery I believe there would also be problems..yet..I was never married in the Church….

    The next step I will look into the possibility of having to have my marriages (the first three) annulled even though I never was married in the Church…

    We must all give our lives to God and do HIS Will in all…may God be Blessed forever…Amen!

  5. lhyn Reply

    I got married before at ones then I got live in partner at this time he's British nationality and we're never married yet.. my husband he's already died, but every Sunday I attend the mass and receive the holly communion, but I often confess for my sins specially before good Friday,, my question is did I commit the sins since I have live in part without married to the church? Have a blessed day for everyone <3

    1. Lea Leger Reply

      yes, u commit sins, you are living together without marriage. dont you know that marriage outside theChurch ( Civil) also not allow to receive Holy Communion. Pre-marital sex is sin therefore not allow to receive Holy Communion. When you confess your sins , meaning you dont sin anymore thats why u can take Communion but in your case its useless for you to go for confession because you are sinning. Get married in Church so that u can receive Communion. Read the article.

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        Les , you say ” Yes, you commit sins” . I don’t believe any human being has the right to say that to someone else! Only God judges whether we sin or not . Circumstances can mean a non sacramental Union is good, loving , virtuous, shows others what true love is, it can be far from sinful ! Look at all the so called ‘sacramental, valid Catholic marriages’ that are false , destructive and abusive, such ‘marriages’ are not life-giving. So I think we have to be very careful when we speak about sinful marriages and sin in general . Where there is loving kindness there is God , says Christ and Pope Francis and me ! Lol !

  6. Karl Reply

    I ceased attending Mass over these issues and will not return until the Catholic Church is purged of Francis and his ilk.

    Faithful to a long abandoned marriage. I will die considering myself a Catholic and believe that God will be merciful even if I die without the sacraments. His Church has long been unfaithful to Him. If He is not merciful to me under these circumstances than, so be it!

    1. sleepy Reply

      the Catholic Church says ”Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”—the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence (CCC 1650)", as it has been saying for millennia – not Pope Francis or his "ilk".

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        We know what the church teaches ! But Kasper and others are forging ahead with the development of doctrine re marriage . The Law of Love which Jesus taught is inscribed in our hearts not in a book of canon law ! Mercy, forgiveness, compassion and love are the new rules, (ancient ones actually) many valid marriages are empty, full of pain and loneliness . And yet many cohabiting couples are very harmonious, God-filled , loving ….because it's all about love in our hearts . God lives within us …not in a book of rules or commandments . Pope Francis and cardinal Kasper know there has to be a paradigm shift in Christian consciousness . …

        1. Lea Leger Reply

          Do you read the Bible or not, Read your bible and you will find the Truth. The truth will set you free. Marriage is God’s law and you can not Change it. The Church is the pillar of foundation of Truth.

  7. John M. McDonough Reply

    In 2001my than pastor told me after a legal divorce, that my marriage never took place, even tho married inCatholic Church. We Never took classes, never even showed baptism certificate. My than Pastor said the priest was "a renegade" now at 49 with 1st child due next next month. The deacon told me have to refile for annulment, 6months!! I am confused and I don't do well when confused. Speaking soon to monsieur, I need (want) 2 do right. Friends say deacon isn't priest, an doesn't have same authority as priest but I can't be disrespectful. Need advice b4 I see

    1. sleepy Reply

      please see your priest – if you aren't comfortable, go to your diocese…

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        Sleepy

        'See your priest or your diocese' is hardly an adult , mature thing to recommend ! Surely if we have Christ living within us we need to spend more time listening to God in our hearts . This neurotic running to a priest for the answers is not what almighty God wants us to do surely ! The church is not an end itself . One day the church will be redundant , at the end of time . In heaven there is no church as such . So to prepare for that state of soul , God actually grants individuals the grace to live out the Kingdom here and now ! Whow !

        1. aidan rogers (@longjonsilver70) Reply

          It is the mature thing to do! If you were Catholic you’d know this. Your rant about the Church being redundant is anti Catholic propaganda! Christ promised His Church will never fall. “In heaven there is no Church as such” are you for real? The Catholic Church is His Church! where are you getting your info from because it’s not from a Catholic source! sounds more like a free love hippie style protestant sect than any church iv’e heard of!

          1. pilgrimdj1

            Dear Aidan
            The Church is not an end in itself . It is the Kingom of God that we seek and have here if we want it .

          2. pilgrimdj1

            Aidan, you sound a bit like you belong to the ‘There is no salvation outside the Church’ brigade . Do you believe the Church’s teaching that there is indeed salvation outside the Church ?

  8. Martha allan Reply

    I was married for thirty years suffered abuse all that time but I stayed with it then he walked away with someone else I thanked god. There would be no more and my kids who by this time were grown up.I stopped going to mass because I couldn't get holy communion and now I can go to mass and receive the body of christening I can't explain. The feeling thank you a

  9. Mike CROGNALE Reply

    Ask your priest about the Resolution on the internal forum.

  10. Denis Jackson Reply

    It is unbelievable that so many ordinary Catholics are so ignorant about Gods love and Mercy ! Does he really want us to be caught up in legalism and man made rules . What about ‘conscience’ ?

    It’s whats,in a mans heart that’s important . Many so called ‘valid , sacrament marriages’ are false and unhappy . Surely it’s more important to love God and follow your conscience .

  11. pilgrimdj1 Reply

    I find it unbelievable that so many Catholics are so ignorant about Gods Love and Mercy !
    Instead they seem intent on observing and being neurotic about church laws and regulations . Have they not heard of having a conscience and trusting in Gods immense Love for us . Is their notion of God a judgemental , harsh God ? A false god whom they worship !

    1. Bobbi Reply

      God's love and mercy is what it is about. God gave us the Church, and the sacraments in order to help us walk the path of holiness. That path is not an easy one.

      Obedience to God, and the Church, is love for God. God is both judgmental and merciful. He is perfect in both. We cannot escape judgment, but instead we offer ourselves before him and ask for mercy. However, in asking for his mercy, we cannot hold our sinfulness up as moral and our right.

      Our conscience is fallen, just as our nature is. We cannot tell God that our conscience is divine. If God has said something is wrong, we cannot make it right by justifying it. Divorce is wrong. If we choose to divorce and remarry outside the sacrament of marriage, we have chosen to do something immoral. We cannot justify it by saying our conscience has deemed the act moral. That is pride.

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        Who told you Bobbi that your conscience is fallen ?

        Didn't Christ on the Cross etc set us free. .
        The trouble is we baptised dualistic Catholics don't really believe we are Free and graced !
        So we crawl along speaking the words of freedom and yet not living them !

  12. Bobbi Reply

    Our "conscience" is not perfect, or divine. We are sinful and our conscience can be slanted in that direction. The Church, and God, do not tell us to follow our conscience. This would indicate that our conscience is God-like and can be trusted to know good from evil. We know from the Garden of Eden, that man cannot decide what is good and what is evil.

    Yes it is more important to love God, but understand that in loving God we should desire to be obedient. Loving God does not mean projecting onto God a "fairy Godfather" like quality in which we believe he only wants us to be happy in this life. Jesus said "if you love me keep my commandments." Jesus gave the Church his own authority. So obedience to the Church is obedience to Christ, and therefore the greatest love we can offer God.

    We are to employ our conscience, but our conscience needs to be properly informed. I may think that contraception is okay, and my conscience may tell me that I've got good valid reasons for using it. But that doesn't make it moral. If it did, then we would be gods ourselves and not need a Savior at all. If I believe that contraception is moral, and after praying, researching and learning all that I can about Church teaching, I still feel that I am right and God is wrong, then I should defer to God and bend my own will to that of God's. If I refuse to do that, then I should abstain from receiving the Eucharist.

    Entering into an invalid marriage is a choice, no one is forced to remarry after a divorce. An annulment can be applied for an in many cases is granted. In which case a couple can enter into a valid marriage. From what I've seen many people divorce and remarry without thought to God or the Church, relying instead on their own conscience as if that is in itself divine. To say that we are Catholics and then to insist that we are the masters of our own lives, is a contradiction. As Catholics we are supposed to have given ourselves to Christ, and defer to him on how we live our lives.

    I was raised Methodist. I became Catholic after I divorced. I did receive an annulment. I remarried a divorced man in a civil ceremony and then found out I was living in sin. I stopped receiving the Eucharist in obedience to God, and my husband applied for an annulment. I waited 4 years to receive the Eucharist again. Once he had his annulment, I went to confession, abstained from sexual relations until the day our marriage could be validated. My time of waiting to receive the Lord, was a great blessing to me. I grew spiritually, and God gave me a great deal of grace. Had I snubbed Church teaching, and God, I would never have come to be as close and in love with Christ as I am today.

    Obedience is love. We must remember that. Doing the right, but difficult thing, is not legalism, but true love.

  13. Ronnie Reply

    I have been married for almost 48 years – it is a valid Sacramental marriage. Thirteen yrs ago my husband (who is an alcoholic and in rather poor health) began living with a pre-marriage “girlfriend” who also drinks a lot. I am not saintly but do continue to respect my marriage vows and receive the sacraments. Since our three sons are grown it can be at times a very lonely painful life. Most people, including some Catholic clergy think I am foolish for holding on to my vows??? The secular world says move on, date … My husband while living in adultery receives communion sometimes daily. He jokingly calls it his guarantee. He refuses to accept that what Christ taught about fornication and adultery is important – refuses to think about his immortal soul. With the latest emphasis on pulling re-married people back to the sacraments he told me a priest said he was probably “ok”. Did he tell the priest he is not even divorced and living in adultery – I doubt it. I worry about his soul and pray for him all the time . I also wonder why the church seems to reach out more to the sinners who divorced and remarried – without an annulment. What about the frequent cases where the ex spouse and children were dumped for someone else? Marriage laws were set by Christ and sins have to be repented for and restitution made where possible. I still believe that my husband’s soul is in great jeopardy and that when we marry we are supposed to help each other get to heaven.

  14. Ronnie Reply

    I just wrote a comment and don't see it here. Filled out my name etc. where did it go?

  15. Donna Reply

    I have two children, never married, went away from the Church as a teenager. God called me back with tears and repentance and I am bringing the faith to my children's lives. When I experienced this conversion I was living with a 'boyfriend' not my children's father. I felt strongly that it would be horrible of me to say to this man "I have God now you can go away I don't care about you anymore" We immediately stopped having 'relations' and live now as brother and sister. I feel comfortable with that until God directs me to be alone or marry. Jesus is calling us all the time and it's a journey with everyone at different stages. Let us love and encourage each other and put God first in our choices remembering sometimes we have to be patient as He reveals His will

  16. pilgrimdj1 Reply

    Dear Bobbie
    The Church is not an end in its self .
    God made us for Himself . The only Law that works now is the Law of Love ., Rahner said the Christian of the future will either be a mystic or nothing . That global paradigm shift in Christ consciousness is now taking place …the old order is fast disappear ing. Many good , God fearing people see the Church as totally irrelevant .
    I used to talk like you ! Trad catholic, intent on keeping all the rules ! Every Christian is now called to be a mystic and to move on , develop. Prayer and contemplation help this process. I haven't left the church , but now my eyes and ears have been opened . The churchi is a means to an end . But many people outside the church are discovering the real presence of the living God in their lives . This new way of looking at the Kingdom here on earth makes one realise how narrow we have been , legalistic, neurotically obsessed with rules and rubrics …putting God in a box . Do not think for one minute that I am a dissenter or heretic ! Ha . I am still a daily mass participant , but I no longer rely on an outmoded Church. The shift in consciousness is well expressed by the writings of Fr Richard Rohr .

    1. martin hughes Reply

      Pilgrimdj1 stated “Many good , God fearing people see the Church as totally irrelevant ” if that is the case why do you still attend? Are you covering all bases just in case your new philosophy is not quite correct? Our obedience is to God and His Church . Being a Catholic Christian is tough, there is now easy way, eye of the needle teaching, unfortunately Catholicism is not a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose those piece’s that fit our lifestyle. Being lukewarm is something that Christ warned against!

      Pilgrimdj1 you may well be right that many people do not see the relevance or even the need of the Church today but that does not make it right. It is because of God’s mercy that we have the Church. He knew that without it we would revert to paganism and idolatry. Your contention that His Church is outmoded may well suit you but please reconsider. God’s Love is infinite but we should never try and second guess Him! GLU

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        Thank you Martin .
        I don't believe in cafeteria Catholicism .
        It's more the mystical way that I am attracted to . The Kingdom of God is within. For too long many Catholics have relied too much on what Father says etc…rules and regulations have their place , but there comes a time to move on and process a truly adult response to Gods gift of Love . To develop a truly Christ Consciousness is not to leave the Catholic Church, but to stay and recognise that God is much bigger than the Church. I just find that much of Catholicism here in the UK , same all over Europe and I presume USA …is petty , parochial, obsessed with contraception, abortion, remarriage , etc …weak catechetics, endless church politics , blind obedience to male clericalism .
        Many of my non catholic friends practice a morality in their day to day lives which is most Christlike and admirable .

      2. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        What is GLU ?

  17. ANGELA BERHARD Reply

    HOW CAN YOU HELP A WOMWN WHO MARIEGE IN CIVIL BUT NOT IN THE CHURCH BECAUSE SHE IS A CATHOLIC AND HIS HUSBAND IS EVANGELICAL BELIEVER!
    DOES THIS WOMAN SIN AGAINT CATHOLIC FAITH?
    CAN THIS WOMAN CAN CONTINUE COMMUNIUN EVEN SHE IN NOT MARRIEGES IN CATHOLIC CHURCH?
    IA M ONE OF THE VICTIM OF THIS CASE..
    HOPEFULLY I WE CAN COME UP WITH THE RIGHT ANSWER OF OUR QUESTION…
    THIS IS NOT EASY FOR US DEVOTED CATHOLIC TO MARRY OTHER FAITH..
    PLEASE KINDLY ANSWER…

    HOPING FOR YOUR KIND AND CONSIDERATION REGARDING THIS MATTERS..
    ANTICIPATING YOUR VALID AND MOST AUTHENTIC REASON REGARDING CONCERNS!

    I BEG TO REMAIN I AM!

    RESPECTFULLY YOURS

    ANGELA BERNHARD
    SIGNED

    GERMANY

    1. Lisa Masterson Reply

      Andela, I feel your pain. I married a divorced Methodist. I had never been married. We couldn’t get married in the Catholic church and now I can’t recieve the sacriements. I am punished for my husbands past which was outside of the church. So many like us, I think.
      Perhaps next year the Synod will make some changes.
      I hope you get a reply!
      Lisa

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        Lisa, you just have to remember that the Church is not God !
        With all the man made rules and regulations there is a need for some basic honest clarity ! If your marriage feels blessed by God and is making you a better person then isn’t that enough. ? Marriage happens in the heart .

        Amen

        1. ncfjj Reply

          Not when Jesus himself called that adultery. He who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. Her husband is a baptized Christian who is divorced. Therefore according to Jesus (since pilgrimdj1, you have such a disregard for the church laws), they are both in a state of adultery.

          1. pilgrimdj1

            Ncfjj
            I am not advocating adultery ! As true, real marriage bond is for life . But even good Catholics make mistakes ! And some marriages are a sham and have within them grounds for annulment .

          2. Lea Leger

            @ Pilgrimdj1 If you dont believe the teachings of the Church then you are wasting your time. What for you go to church if you are against God’s word. You are a complete hypocrite! By his grace Jesus makes his Church Holy, just as he is holy. This doesnt mean that each member is always Holy. Jesus said there would be good and bad members in the Church (John 6 v 7) and not all the members would be go to Heaven ( Matt. 7 v 21-23 ). But the Church itself is holy because it is he source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace. Jesus established the sacraments (Eph 5 v 26 ) not Pope Francis.

          3. Oloamanu Faulio

            Thank you Lea. I too believe that Pilgrimd is a hypocrite and a non Catholic. Pilgrimd the Pope is the representative of Christ here on earth and what he agrees to with his Cardinals sealed and signed off is what all Catholics must follow. You are giving out false teaching that confuses a lot of people. I think you may need to go to confession more often and tell your local pries what your believes are about all these and I tell you your priest stop you right on your track and straighten you up.

          4. pilgrimdj1

            Please be very careful Oloamanu about your judging others …no one knows what is in the heart of ‘adulters’ or their very personal circumstances , only God . And isn’t it funny that Christ himself was friends with sinners…
            Godbless you.

  18. conscience Reply

    let us try to reflect and see the fact. Roman Catholic centre of faith is Rome,that is in Vatican the so called the smallest city in the world, the city that can lock its gate in night time. however, allowed divorce. second fact, their clergy is celebate meaning they were not allowed to marry. divorce and annulment is the relationship that only married couple experience. so how could you understand this problem and try embrace this people as Christ embraced them and care for them. not unless RCC clergy is hiding their wives. now the question is it moral that the Priest of God will continue to serve at the altar of God with illegitimate Child. my argument is this, the sacrament of God must be given to the people of God, despite of their past experiences. the manna in the dessert was given freely not only to the righteous but for everyone.

  19. Nancy Reply

    Does it mean that couples in second marriages though nt legal get a second divorce then ask for forgiveness?
    To me thats hypocricy. I may be wrong bt whats good to ve a second divorce from a loved one yet God has already forgiven all the future mistakes?

  20. Renata Gasior Reply

    My daughter has been married 3 years 2 month ago she found out he wants a divorce they had a church wedding he said he did not loved her that he dose not want to have kids the marriage is not for him my daughter is devastated she is going to counceling she married him for better or for worse. She is going to church and talking to priest for spiritual guidance. If he divorce her is she going to be able to have reconciliation and communion ?

    1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

      I’m sick to death of reading these ignorant questions from uneducated Catholics ! Divorced people who do not remarry can of course recieve Holy Communion . ! It indicates a deep seated ignorance of the Faith and how dualistic and legalistic Catholic teaching has become !

  21. Randy Reply

    Disclamer, I”m not Catholic. I’ve always heard that if you get divorced and a Catholic, you can’t recieve communion. I’m glad this article cleared this up. But my question, from outside looking in, is why there is such a penality for the sin of divorce but not others.
    The article correctly and accuratly quotes Jesus’s words about remariage commits adultry, and as such labels it a sin. However, are catholics prohibited from taking commuion unless they are sinless? Why does this sin disqualify but say, lying, cheating, stealing, etc not?
    Does it put Divorce as the “Unforgivable sin?”. Is their nuances to getting back on the right path that I don’t understand?
    Again, from the outside looking in, it seems that the act of divorce is seen as a “bigger Sin” than others, when in my opinon all sins are bad.
    And how does the church square the practice of refusal of communion for someone divorced with the Story in John when Jesus is brought an adulteress woman, and tells her that no one is left to condem her, and neither does he,and tells her to go and sin no more?
    These are just questions I have always wondered as a non-Catholic

    1. mary Reply

      Randy, as a Catholic you ca not receive the body and blood of our Lord if you have not confessed it with a humble heart and truly try to abide by the 10 Commandments the Lord has left us. For example if I lust, lie, steal, cheat ,I am not worthy of receiving our Lord because I am truly not walking the path of righteousness. Now if I know I am committing these sins and still decide to receive Jesus in the state if mortal sin then I am damming myself to hell. Our Lord is merciful but if he sees you truly aren’t making an effort to change your sinful life then we are hurting him.

      1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

        What is mortal sin? !
        Think about it ! Is it possible for anyone in their right mind to decide to walk away from God for ever ?
        Not possible .

  22. Tj Reply

    I was married at 19 in the Church . As a product of 12 years of Catholic school its what was expected , though I hadn’t been going to Church and receiving the sacraments for a long time. I was divorced 16 yrs later and my ex-husband has since remarried. I have been with the same man for 9 yrs and we both returned to the church 3 years ago. We would love to get married but we both want to get married in the church. I have been researching an annulment but it seems a very costly & lengthy process. What exactly does it entail but some human somewhere in the church receiving a hefty check and signing that the marriage is dissolved? I am willing to sit down with my Pastor and discuss and leave the decision to him but it seems a travesty that someone in Rome can decide our fate , sight unseen. I agree that marriage should not be taken lightly and that the motives of the people involved should be examined but the annulment procedure seems to be strictly a matter of money? Which we really don’t have … what to do?

  23. Maryann Maccini Reply

    So what happens if husband cannot obtain an annulment from wife # 1 ? She refused. After many years of trying it got very costly. Still not resolved. I am wife # 2. We cannot afford to try. We are losing savings, house etc. we have been together 20 years. !
    I was told the only option for me was internal forum. Basically sneaking in the back door being baptized and not able to tell anyone. Have to change parishes so no one knows us and won’t ask questions !
    My question is doesn’t that sound dis honest? Would nt that be lying to God?? I really don’t think Jesus would ask me for three character witnesses and take all our savings and then say no that’s not good enough you still must lie to your friends and we will let you in if you pay more and come in the back door

  24. Marianne Reply

    when my children does something bad whatever it is or will be, I will always love them and will not deny them from my love, food etc…and I am only a human beeing ! So as a remaried divorcee, I still take the Holy communion as I deeply think that I need the Body Of Christ and that Our Lord will not deny me of his love and from Spiritual food such as the Holy communion. I was very young when I got out of a violent mariage relation.I have now been remaried for more than 20 years and have a beatiful family thanks to Our Lord. AMEN

    1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

      Marianne. Thanks for posting this honest comment . You represent many , many people in similar situations . It is right anf just that you honour and apply the Law of Love. I don’t believe you are doing anything wrong . It’s why Pope Francis and Benedict want a change in the way we apply Church teaching . It’s the teaching of The compassionate Jesus .

  25. Donna Reply

    I was married in a Catholic Church which ended in divorce. I remarried and now widowed. Does this mean i May now receive communion?

    1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

      Of course you can Donna ! Please excuse my passion , but for the benefit of other badly educated Catholic christians , what a stupid question ! When I see naive questions like this it indicates how far ordinary Catholics have strayed from the truth of Jesus . Being a catholic should not be primarily about keeping a set of rules and regulations ! Being a catholic is surely about following , in a close relationship , the God-man : Jesus Christ . Jesus taught that marriage is sacred and that divorce harms the sacred , so His church tries to protect the sacredness of the marital bond by drawing up a set of guidelines etc . Unfortunately the Church adopted a culture of blame and sin , guilt which became pathalogical . Knowing God and the message of Jesus should set you free to love . Love of God, self and neighbour .
      Why , Donna could you NOT approach Jesus in the Mass and receive him in Holy Communion now. What heinous , huge Sin ! Could separate you from Gods overflowing and compassionate Love ? Go and receive Him and tell Him all .

  26. Dominic Vecchio Reply

    I go to Mass every day!!! Was married and annulled…every Saint has a past & and every sinner has a future … Have Faith in God and pray our hardest and try our hardest. All is made one in Christ!!! Never give up sisters and brothers. Amwn

  27. Marsha Hernoe Reply

    Jesus met the woman at the well
    WHO HAD BEEN MARRIED HOW MANY TIMES PLUS THE MAN SHE WAS WITH WASNT HER HUSBAND BUT HE FORGAVE HER AND TOLD HER TO GO AND SIN NO MORE.
    THIS can be interpreted in different ways
    Did he bless her marriage after he opened her eyes after the fact.
    He did not say go leave divorce her man
    HE SAID GO SIN NO MORE.

  28. Sincere Evacula Reply

    My son and her wife were wed in a civil ceremony in the Philippine Embassy in a Muslim country. They have not been married in the Church although they are both single and have not neen previously married. I was informed they could not receive Communion. If divorcees can be given the chance to receive the Eucharist, how come my son and his wife cannot?

    1. Denis Jackson Reply

      Although I agree in principle with much of what Jim says in this piece, he is speaking with the mind of a church, dogma, doctrinal mindset . I just simply ask : ‘ what would Our Lord Jesus say to individuals’ …person to person , because that’s what counts in the end , not dogmatic rigid rule following talk, but love talk , heart to heart . For a deacon to say virtually: Go away! Is not Christ like . Ok some rules may say that , but we do know that Jesus spoke with each person with words of utter kindness, love and compassion. So that’s how a reformed Catholic Church should speak too .
      If a person who is divorced and later remarries and that second relationship is more loving, kind and enriching then what would Jesus say ? Seriously …we have to move on from this sin based, judgemental, dualistic , guilt ridden, rigid, dogmatic church of yesterday .

  29. Marti Brooks Reply

    Dear Jim,

    I am a so-called divorced and remarried Catholic. I recently applied for an annulment through my diocese and my case has been accepted for what I believe is Lack of Form. Due mainly to health reasons I can no longer have sex. After reading some of these postings I was wondering whether I should notify The Tribunal to speed up the process. Is that the correct procedure under my circumstances? I want to do the right thing and not take short cuts.

    1. pilgrimdj1 Reply

      Why bother with the complication of annulment if you aren’t going to have sex . ?

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