Is there any way for someone in an invalid marriage to receive communion?

I have a Lutheran friend who married a Catholic woman. They were not married in the Church as there were problems with an annulment of his previous marriage. They agreed to persue the annulment after they were married in his Lutheran Church.

I go to the same Catholic church as his wife, and she is currently unable to take communion. It kills me that she can’t and to make matters worse her husband has been deployed to Iraq. This means that at a time in her life when she needs it most, she is unable to take communion. WHat if he were never to return? Isn’t there some kind of dispensation, or something that she can do to recieve communion? She really needs it, as do we all.

This woman chose to marry invalidly and then live as a validly married woman – this is a grave situation. She will not be allowed to receive communion as long as she ignores this. I can only recommend that she repent, go to confession, and commit to living as brother and sister until the situation is rectified (annulment and convalidation). If she does this she can receive communion.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains, “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).

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