How do Catholics admit divorced people?


Thankyou Phemie.


Keep in in mind that I was just giving an example that I personally know about. I would say the same thing if the spouse came home one day and said I’m in love with someone else and I’m leaving you. My advice to someone in that situation would be to fight for his/her marriage and do everything possible to restore the relationship. However, if it becomes clear that the unfaithful spouse has no intentions or desire to repent and be reconciled then I would tell to him/her to accept the divorce and move on with their life.


Both are fair in the context of the story presented. If there is more info to be added, we can review that question.


Probably good advice.


Yep. And, although it doesn’t sound very pastoral, that’s precisely why a vow “till death do us part” is such a sublime and terrifying thing.

I would submit that “till it gets too difficult” is what people mean, even though that’s not what they promise.

(Incidentally, in your first example, the Church would likely say that she’s in the right if she leaves the relationship for the safety of herself and her children. Yet, that doesn’t mean that the marriage is ‘dissolved’. The bond continues to exist, even though they’re well into the “for worse” side of “for better or for worse.” At its heart, I suppose, this is indicative of society’s distaste for making (and keeping) permanent commitments.

So, at that point, what’s the value of the commitment made at the wedding, then?

However, I’d ask a different question, in that circumstance: if the spouse came home one day and said “I’m done”, would you presume that he’d really meant “till death do us part” when he promised it? And, if he didn’t, then how would one go about proving it? That’s the work of a nullity proceeding – one would have to presume that a person who truly intended permanence in marriage doesn’t just change their mind suddenly (unless they were kidding themselves that they meant it).


I dont understand this one.
An illicit action by the priest does not make the marriage illicit. A valid Catholic marriage is always a licit one as far as I know.
Perhaps the Eucharist is a clearer example. A laicised priest may not licitly say mass. But if he did the transubstantiation would be valid. … but then the illicitness doesnt really refer to the transubstantiation but the act of celebrating of the mass.


The marriage could be valid, however. It’s just that the ceremony would have been illicit.

Nope. Can’t have it both ways.

Either you’re claiming that ‘marriages’ aren’t licit (that is, that ceremonies are either licit or not, but that liceity doesn’t apply to the marriage itself, per se), or else you’re claiming that marriages can be described in terms of liceity. If you’re saying the former, then your statement doesn’t make sense (“liceity doesn’t apply” means “liceity doesn’t apply”, not “licit if valid”). If you’re saying the latter, then no – not all valid sacraments are licit by virtue of their validity. (Your Eucharist example demonstrates this point.)

(For the record, it seems you’re saying the former, since you distinguish between ‘transubstantiation’ (i.e., Eucharist) and ‘act of celebrating’ (i.e., liceity of the act).)


Would you be able to have another go?

The small point I am making is that validity and licitness refer to different things…perhaps trading on the ambiguity of the word “marriage”.

When people speak about a valid marriage they seem to mean a valid marriage bond being confected by the marriage ceremony.

Yes I suppose a valid bond can be established by the illegal ceremony…but as it would still be legal re the State would it matter to anybody but the bishop?
It would still be recorded acceptably in the Church Register as well presumably as it is valid. So really, if the ceremony was conducted illicitly, it seems to have no real consequences or meaning…or have I got that wrong somehow?


My point was that simply that licit and valid are not interchangeable terms.

I can baptize my grandson against his parents’ wishes by pouring water over his head while giving him a bath, using the proper formula, and intending to do what the Church does. It would be an illicit but valid Baptism because I can only licitly do this if he was in danger of death.


Seeing as the reason you cannot receive communion in this situation is because it is objectively adultery, I would not recommend this.


I can see denying communion to the spouse who cheats, is abusive or just leaves. I can see denying communion to both if they just get tired of each other or “fall out of love”.

However, when one spouse is wanting and willing to stay married but the other just leaves or if a spouse is in danger because of abuse and feels they must leave to protect themselves or their children then it is a different situation. It takes two people to keep a marriage commitment. When one of them either by choice or action betrays and breaks that commitment then the church needs to make allowances to the one who has been wronged.

All I’m saying is that the Church needs to be understanding and compassionate up to and including authorizing a different marriage for the spouse who has been wronged.


Do you expect the Church to disregard the teachings of Christ on marriage?


… that nullifies the promise that the “willing to stay married” spouse made?

Again, the vow is “till death do us part”, not “till my spouse gets tired of the marriage”. (I agree, “till I get tired of the marriage” isn’t praiseworthy; but, it doesn’t absolve the other spouse from their responsibility to the vow… does it?)

Agreed. And, as it currently stands, that’s what the “separation with the bond remaining” solution is.

Now, the other situation is the one in which the ‘wronged’ spouse perceives the need to remarry in order to care for the children of the failed marriage. However, the “internal forum” solution attempts to address this scenario.

Let’s look at this situation in the secular world. (Marriage is more than a contract – it’s a covenant – but it’s a contract, too.) Let’s suppose a couple makes a commitment, together, to buy a house. A few years down the line, one of the pair decides he’s had enough of that contract, and runs off and abandons it. What is the “wronged” person’s commitment to that contract, then? Does he get to abandon it, too, simply because his spouse did?

Does that create hardship? Yes, it does. Does it remove the commitment that the “wronged spouse” made? No… it doesn’t.

I think that the Church is “understanding and compassionate”; however, “authorizing a different marriage” isn’t within the scope of the Church’s authority. After all, it was Jesus himself that set the rule…


You would not recommend not receiving Communion if she cannot abstain??


The impression I got from the post I replied to was it was fine to seek out a new relationship provided you either abstained or did not receive Holy Communion. That is what I would not recommend. Seeking out a new relationship should be discouraged.


Most cases are what they are and come to the Church’s attention well after the event. The Church often encourages such couples to rightly not split up the 2nd happy marriage if children are involved. It does encourage abstention but that is not a condition of the toleration and they are still full members of the Church…unlike Canon Law before 1983.


So forgive me for my ignorance but I thought that it was mandatory for Catholics to participate by partaking of Communion. The Mass obligations then are only to attend Mass not necessarily ever partake of the Eucharist? If the Eucharist is the summit of the Catholic faith and experience, how can one find fulfillment in their Christian life if they can’t participate?

Is there something I am missing?


Catholics are only required to receive Holy Communion once a year.


Yeah. It’s not like you are ex-communicated because you did something wrong. A lot of people don’t take communion. Go to a Mass someday and have a look. It used to be a lot more before Vatican II and the relaxing of the fasting rules (used to be from midnight on). Think of it like this: you like to go sailing. Your friend owns a boat and lets you steer. But let’s say you get sick and are unable to steer. Would you stop going sailing? It’s not “the summit of experience” to be a passenger and not steer, but it beats not sailing at all!


I think I agree with most of your posts in this thread.

However, I think the inability to receive His Eucharist in a worthy manner is a huge consequence of refusing to resolve to live according to His commands.

We all fall short… but we all must stand up, with His help, and stop actively sinning.

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