Divorce and remarriage


I’d like to revisit the Church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage. It seems to me that it discriminates against Catholics who decide in later life that they’ve just made a mistake marrying in the first place (a judgment with which the my own former spouse agreed).

It seems especially harsh that the Church denies the Eucharist to divorced and remarried Catholics. Why? Especially when the Eucharist in the most consoling sacrament and the one most demonstrative of Christ’s love.

As an aside, I might point out that the priest who “married” us (actulally we married each other) long ago left the Church, married, and has five grown children and 12 grandchildren! What makes Orders different from a first marriage?



you are not denied it if you divorce. it is remarriage without an annulment that is a grave sin and taking the Eucharist when in grave sin is another grave sin


Hi Bill. Welcome to the forum.
Have you discussed this with your Tribunal? Have you applied for a Decree of Nullity?


Hi Bill. The Church’s teaching on this is not just some arbitrary rule that makes things inconvenient for people. It is Jesus who gave us this teaching. It is the truth, and the truth does not change, even when we might find it inconvenient.

The priest who married you probably didn’t just wake up one day and decide to get married and the Church didn’t just say “OK”. There was a process of discernment. I am sure he probably had to reflect on how he had wrongly entered into holy orders, and surely he submitted himself to the authority of the Church as far as being bound by those orders and being free to marry.

There is a process for this for people who are divorced. You should contact your priest to investigate whether or not you have grounds to persue a declaration of nullity for your first marriage.



This is really quite simple actually.

No one who is in a state of mortal sin may receive Holy Communion. Ever. It is a compounded sin to do so.

If someone is divorced and remarried, but their first marriage was never investigated by the Tribunal to determine if it was valid or not, it is ASSUMED to be valid. Always - without exception. The person is then commiting adultery by being re-married and is in a state of mortal sin - therefore not able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

We can are not worth to receive Jesus if we are in a state of mortal sin.

If the divorced person receives a Declaration of Nullity (not always guaranteed), then they must have their current union blessed by the Church, receive the sacrament of Confession, THEN they may receive Holy Communion.

We can not accept the Body of Christ into us if we are in a state of mortal sin.

Hope this is helpful.



I think this is one of the most hardest rules of being a Catholic. But the problem with the Catholic Religion its not going to change, not untill Jesus comes down and does that. Our Priest, Pope, Bishops get accused of so much, even doing right. You have to look at it this way, if we do what we want and not what the Church says we wouldnt be the CC. That is why people leave the Church because it doesnt do what they want. I agree its pretty much impossible to be a good Catholic. But dont you think Jesus knows that. But point is you made that promise before God. You cant blame the Church for that. And to get an annulment is hard, and its unfair to some more than others i agree. But on the same token look how many people are in jail and really are inocent. It goes back to we dont have all the answers. But the Church is doing its job. The Clergy isnt perfect but they are doing the best they can.



I hope I’m responding to JRABS’s post. (I’m a novice at this.) At any rate, thank you all for the many welcomes to the Forum.

Though my divorce was 20 years ago, and 12 years has elapsed since my remarriage to a non-Catholic. I have not applied for an annulment. I thought it would be hypocritical. We had been married for 29 years and our children were grown (third and last graduating from college). I also still want my children not to feel like they’re illegitimate. I’ve read the posts on that subject and it still bothers me. But after your post I may try.

I’m not a neophyte at Church teaching. I wasn’t questioning what the teaching is, or how the early fathers arrived at their conclusions. What I question is the judgment of the 21st century Church which avoids revisiting the issue, and other issues of marriage and family.

St Paul said that the Letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. It’s not rocket science to punch a few rule books and come up with apt quotations from Tertullius and Origen, as well as Canon Law. But Jesus spoke with the woman at the well, and despite her sins welcomed her into His community. Isn’t that instructive? I hope so. Thanks.




DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.