Divorce/communion


#1

I have a sister who is divorced after being married in the Catholic Church. She has not re-married. He has. Can she go to confession and then receive communion or is there more to it. She has not been in Church in years and I think this may be why. I want to discuss it with her but I was unsure if I was telling her the right thing.


#2

Has she tried to annul the marriage? I always thought that if you received a civil divorce and no annulment that you are still obligated to attend mass but could not receive Holy Communion. I’m not sure about that completely.


#3

My original information was incorrect and I apologize. I checked on different Catholic websites and I believe that as long as your sister does not remarry she can indeed RECEIVE Holy Communion. A Civil divorce has not separated your sister nor broken your sister’s communion with the Catholic Church.
Once again I apologize for the incorrect information I gave in my first post. :o


#4

[quote=lachie]I have a sister who is divorced after being married in the Catholic Church. She has not re-married. He has. Can she go to confession and then receive communion or is there more to it. She has not been in Church in years and I think this may be why. I want to discuss it with her but I was unsure if I was telling her the right thing.
[/quote]

yes of course, and she should be encouraged to do so. Pursuing an annulment would be a good idea if she has reason to believe in her conscience the marriage may have been invalid. This will leave her free to marry (or to someday enter a religious order) should either of those two possibilities arise in the future. but it is not required in order for her to enjoy the blessing of the sacraments.

as a general rule I would like to add, especially when you are in a position to counsel friends or family members, please urge them to bring up these problems to a priest, whose job it is to impart this pastoral counselling and teaching on the situation.


#5

Oh, yes please tell her to go to confession so she can be in the state of grace before she receives.Communion. I think you are a very noble person in helping her get closer with Jesus. :thumbsup:


#6

Thank you for answering my questions reguarding this matter. :slight_smile:


#7

[list]
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[/list]Can some one provide official Church documents (CCC, Canon law, etc) supporting this answer?

I know of an individual who is divorced, not remarried, and was told that he is barred from receiving communion. I told him that he could but he says that he was told that he couldn’t and that he wasn’t going to get into a he said/she said type of situation and wants official proof that he can receive communion.


#8

the “official proof” as I said so long ago should come from her priest, whom she should have consulted as soon as she heard this false information

a quick search yields dozens of threads answering this question such as this one
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=5833&highlight=divorce

including recent threads, no need to revive an old one


#9

I’m pretty sure someone answered you in one of the other threads but just in case you open this one first .

ewtn.com/expert/answers/communion_of_divorced_and_remarr.htm


#10

And what should she do if this false information comes from her priest?

Thank you for that link. It was exactly what I was looking for :thumbsup:


#11

**
My uneducated opinion would be to take it above the parish priest. If he is giving harmful false information to his parishoners someone above him needs to know.**


#12

Absolutely. Divorce is not a hindrance to receiving communion.
There may be other things that she needs to confess. As a person who unexpectedly found myself in the same situation I understand the confusion, bitterness, resentment, and other emotions that surround the dissolution of a marriage.
It is only remarriage that would keep a divorced person from receiving communion. Many spouses are innocent victims of the divorce process. The Church does not condemn the innocent.
What she needs to know is that God “is close to the broken hearted.” When a husband cannot love his wife (or vice versa), He is there to pull the one who has been left behind into His loving arms. Words cannot express what this truth has meant to me.
She will still need to talk to a priest as she returns to the Church and once more happily receives the Body and Blood of our Savior in the Eucharist.

An annulment is not required to receive Communion. The way divorce was explained to me is as a division of property. It in no way determines the validity of the Sacrament. There are many reasons that a person may choose not to pursue an annulment. I still love my husband and that is what I am called to do regardless of any decisions he may choose to make.


#13

So if you are divorced after 9 years and the spouce requested the annulment which was granted, but you remarried by a judge, is that ok then to receive communion? I still attend church on a regular basis.

Sandy


#14

not sure I entirely understand your situation but if one party petitions for a decree of nullity and receives it that means no valid marriage happened, so both parties are free to marry, but the Catholic party must still abide by the laws of the Church when he does marry. don’t know what remarried by the judge means. who remarried?


#15

If your spouse was granted an annulment, then the marriage was never valid, and you are free to remarry someone else who is in the single state. If you were married by a judge, than you are only civilly married. The church does not recognize this marriage and any conjugal relations would be considered sinful, thus not allowing you to receive holy communion. If the person you were married to by the judge has never been married or has an annulment from a previous marriage, you should talk to the priest about getting your marriage blessed in the church. Once your marriage has been blessed in the church and you go to confession, you are free to receive communion.

I hope this helps.


#16

You “remarried” by a judge even though there was a decree of nullity granted? This is a sinful situation. You need to go make an appointment with the priest to arrange for confession and a convalidation of that civil marriage.I’m so glad you attend Mass on a regular basis. The Holy Spirit must be really working in you to bring up this question for you. That’s awesome. Make that appointment. I hope regular basis means every Sunday and additional Holy Day of Obligation as we Catholics are required to do.


#17

For those who are seeking Truth with a sincere heart and open mind please consider…

There is a terrible lie from the father of all lies going around that a divorced person may partake of the Holy Eucharist if they have not remarried PERIOD.

Although this may be true in some cases, it is not true in all cases. Please condsider the following pulled from Mary’s Advocates.com

"Any Catholic must be in the state of grace to receive Communion. Thus, if by divorcing, a spouse is not in the state of grace, he or she does not have a right to communion.

The Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that divorce, which goes against the indissolubility of marriage, is a grave sin opposed to the sacrament of Matrimony; and the physical separation of spouses is allowed when for serious reasons their living together becomes practically impossible (Sec, 347: Sec. 348). The Catechism of the Catholic Church, describes divorce as immoral and a grave offense against nature. It also makes a clear distinction between a spouse who has been faithful to one’s marriage and is unjustly abandoned compared to a spouse who “through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage” (par. 2384-2386). Canon 1060 in the Catholic Code of Canon Law requires that all marriages shall be presumed valid until proven otherwise. In Pope John Paul II’s 2004 address to the Roman Rota, he explained how sin can be the cause for family breakup and he cautioned that a marriage is not assumed to be invalid because one or both spouses failed to uphold their duty; “… in accordance with human experience marked by sin, a valid marriage can fail because of the spouses’ own misuse of freedom” (Sec. 5).

Catechism section 1649 teaches in some cases, living together becomes practically impossible and in these situations “the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation.”

To understand if a divorced Catholic is in the state of grace, it must be determined whether one has a legitimate reason to separate. When the Catechism describes cases in which living together is practically impossible; it reference sections 1151-1155 of the Catholic Code of Canon Law (CCC par 2383, Canon enclosed). The code specifies licit reason for separation: if an innocent spouse is betrayed by an adulterous partner; if an innocent spouse is in grave danger of soul or body caused by the other partner; if children need to be protected from a parent who puts the children in grave danger of soul or body; or if an abusive spouse makes the common life unduly difficult. The Exegetical Commentary of the Code of Canon Law, which is recommended by the President of the Pontifical Council of Legislative Texts, defines the conditions in which “grave danger of soul or body” and “unduly difficult” situations provide licit reasons to separate:

For separation due to physical or moral cruelty to be lawful, the following conditions are necessary:

  • it must be grave, such that it makes common life dangerous for the spouse or children;
  • it must be repeated, because if it were merely occasional, it would not create the fear for future common life, which justifies the separation;
  • and separation must constitute the only means of avoiding the danger involved in common life (canon 1153, p.1585).

Most divorces in the United States do not occur because of these moral reasons described in the canon law. According to a 1988 Gallup poll cited by Mike McManus’s work, Marriage Savers, 5% of divorce plaintiffs seek divorce because their spouse is physically abusive, 16% seek divorce because their spouse is a substance abuser, and 17% seek divorce because their spouse committed adultery (McManus 123). The remaining majority of divorces are sought for other reasons, and people seeking divorces for these other reasons have no moral grounds to be separating from their spouse.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: ‘Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent’” (par. 1857). Canon 915 teaches, “Those … who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.” A spouse who chooses to separate with no licit reason is named a “malicious abandoner” in the Exegetical Commentary Code of Canon Law (1585).

The Catholic Code of Canon Law, Section 1692, limits the circumstances in which it is allowable to even approach the civil court. The canon describes an ecclesiastic process that considers the “particular” circumstances of every couple, and describes when one can approach a civil court for the “merely civil effects of marriage.” The Code of Canon Law Annotated, which is recommended by the President of the Pontifical Council of Legislative Texts, explains how canon 1692 specifies the ecclesiastic process that is a “necessary precaution, which prevents the fostering of [government] trials whose judgments violate precepts of divine law, to the detriment of the spouses and with the risk of scandal to others” (Instituto Martin 1324)."

Now, I realize most priests and offices at the dioceses will not go into all of this.

Bryan

LOVE SO AMAZING


#18

Bryan, I just want to clarify that being left by one’s spouse is not a mortal sin for the person who is left behind. If your spouse decides to leave your marriage for poor reasons, then you, the one left behind, are not thereby guilty of mortal sin. I think that is where a lot of confusion comes in among Catholics. I am divorced but have never felt pushed away by the Church. I have not remarried, but my ex-husband has, and I can assure you that he is not in the least concerned with how the Church feels about it. It’s usually the one who is left behind who is left believing, due to bad advice or false assumptions, that being divorced automatically keeps all parties from full communion with the Church. The person then feels shunned by the Church and it breaks my heart to see that, because it isn’t true.


#19

[quote="sammydog, post:17, topic:49072"]
For those who are seeking Truth with a sincere heart and open mind please consider...

*There is a terrible lie from the father of all lies going around that a divorced person may partake of the Holy Eucharist if they have not remarried PERIOD.
*

Although this may be true in some cases, it is not true in all cases. Please condsider the following pulled from Mary's Advocates.com...

"Any Catholic must be in the state of grace to receive Communion. Thus, if by divorcing, a spouse is not in the state of grace, he or she does not have a right to communion.

The Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that divorce, which goes against the indissolubility of marriage, is a grave sin opposed to the sacrament of Matrimony; and the physical separation of spouses is allowed when for serious reasons their living together becomes practically impossible (Sec, 347: Sec. 348). The Catechism of the Catholic Church, describes divorce as immoral and a grave offense against nature. It also makes a clear distinction between a spouse who has been faithful to one's marriage and is unjustly abandoned compared to a spouse who "through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage" (par. 2384-2386). Canon 1060 in the Catholic Code of Canon Law requires that all marriages shall be presumed valid until proven otherwise. In Pope John Paul II's 2004 address to the Roman Rota, he explained how sin can be the cause for family breakup and he cautioned that a marriage is not assumed to be invalid because one or both spouses failed to uphold their duty; "... in accordance with human experience marked by sin, a valid marriage can fail because of the spouses' own misuse of freedom" (Sec. 5).

Catechism section 1649 teaches in some cases, living together becomes practically impossible and in these situations "the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation."

To understand if a divorced Catholic is in the state of grace, it must be determined whether one has a legitimate reason to separate. When the Catechism describes cases in which living together is practically impossible; it reference sections 1151-1155 of the Catholic Code of Canon Law (CCC par 2383, Canon enclosed). The code specifies licit reason for separation: if an innocent spouse is betrayed by an adulterous partner; if an innocent spouse is in grave danger of soul or body caused by the other partner; if children need to be protected from a parent who puts the children in grave danger of soul or body; or if an abusive spouse makes the common life unduly difficult. The Exegetical Commentary of the Code of Canon Law, which is recommended by the President of the Pontifical Council of Legislative Texts, defines the conditions in which "grave danger of soul or body" and "unduly difficult" situations provide licit reasons to separate:

For separation due to physical or moral cruelty to be lawful, the following conditions are necessary:
- it must be grave, such that it makes common life dangerous for the spouse or children;
- it must be repeated, because if it were merely occasional, it would not create the fear for future common life, which justifies the separation;
- and separation must constitute the only means of avoiding the danger involved in common life (canon 1153, p.1585).

Most divorces in the United States do not occur because of these moral reasons described in the canon law. According to a 1988 Gallup poll cited by Mike McManus's work, Marriage Savers, 5% of divorce plaintiffs seek divorce because their spouse is physically abusive, 16% seek divorce because their spouse is a substance abuser, and 17% seek divorce because their spouse committed adultery (McManus 123). The remaining majority of divorces are sought for other reasons, and people seeking divorces for these other reasons have no moral grounds to be separating from their spouse.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: 'Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent'" (par. 1857). Canon 915 teaches, "Those ... who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion." A spouse who chooses to separate with no licit reason is named a "malicious abandoner" in the Exegetical Commentary Code of Canon Law (1585).

The Catholic Code of Canon Law, Section 1692, limits the circumstances in which it is allowable to even approach the civil court. The canon describes an ecclesiastic process that considers the "particular" circumstances of every couple, and describes when one can approach a civil court for the "merely civil effects of marriage." The Code of Canon Law Annotated, which is recommended by the President of the Pontifical Council of Legislative Texts, explains how canon 1692 specifies the ecclesiastic process that is a "necessary precaution, which prevents the fostering of [government] trials whose judgments violate precepts of divine law, to the detriment of the spouses and with the risk of scandal to others" (Instituto Martin 1324)."

Now, I realize most priests and offices at the dioceses will not go into all of this.

Bryan

LOVE SO AMAZING

[/quote]

So long as the divorced person is not in a new relationship involving sex** and** has been to confession, he or she may partake holy communion. Sometimes people have to leave marriages where the issues are subtle but still damaging to the relationship.


#20

God is close to the broken-hearted.

Scripture also says, "Like a maiden married in youth and then cast off, the Lord your God shall become your husband."
While these words describe the relationship of God to Israel,they also bring great solace to the innocent recipient of a divorce decree.


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