In a period of ill- advised dating after a divorce ( a short marriage that produced no children),
I met a woman and got her pregnant almost immediately.
Very grateful for the gift of a child, I moved in with her to be of help to her, and continue dating her. As I got to know her, I realized I would never marry her.
The first priest I spoke to said it is grounds for annulment to marry because of a child.
In any case, after a time I stopped being intimate with her, and now I usually sleep on the couch ( unless I am very tired and fall asleep in the bedroom).
We are raising our child together, he is baptized, I continue my faith practice, regular confession and so on. We love him very much and I am a very involved dad.
My question is; even if I have gone to confession, confessed all my sins ( as I do about twice a month) can I still take communion while I’m in the same house with her, even though we are not a ‘couple’ and never intimate?
Or, because of the possible scandal of a kind of ‘pretend marriage’ just the appearance and lack of integrity constitute grounds not to receive communion?
I would like to separate and end the sham, but right now there are financial pressures, child raising and so on.
If we publicly told acquaintances and others that we were not really married, and I moved to basement, would that mitigate matters somewhat?
So long as you are in the state of grace, you may receive the Eucharist. But I advise you to do so in a parish where you are not known so that you do not risk giving scandal. Eventually, it would be good for you to live separately, but near-by. You are in my prayers.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.