Married civil, now daughter cannot receive communion


My daughter was not married in the Church. So she talked to her local Priest, set up some time to speak with him with her husband, he is a trucker and kept missing appointments. The Priest allowed her to go to Communion and confession. Now she moved out of state and her new Priest 0shattered her faith by not allowing her confession to be heard and cannot receive communion.

Her husband is gone anywhere between two weeks to three months at a time to provide for the family.

Question; why are Priest so different when they are suppose to be the same in rules of Our Church??

Now her husband is made that she is hurt, crying, and confused. Her husband is willing to go talk to Priest when he is home…how does my daughter cope with this heartbreak. She knows it’s the rules, still hurts.


I don’t understand why faith is shattered. Proper disposition requires some action. Perhaps the first priest understood the situation to be different than the second priest.


I can only imagine how difficult this is for your daughter. I hope that she will be able to work with both her husband and priest to resolve the situation so that it won’t ever be a problem in the future.


It sounds as if there has been some miscommunication or misunderstanding along the way. It could be that your daughter and her husband had agreed to live as brother and sister prior to the move, and her pastor made a pastoral decision. The next pastor may not be aware or may feel that the situation has changed (I know I’d not discuss the details of my sex life with my mom, so, she may not want to talk to you about those details).

Best that your daughter sit down and speak with her Priest after Christmas (marathon mass schedule, offices are not open).

She can begin to regularize her marriage.


Following Christ is indeed painful at times.

Is there some reason her husband is not willing to regularize the marriage?


He is willing to get married in the church, has to work around his trucking job. To be able to go to meetings with Father is the hard part but very willing…


Thank you and she plans on doing just that…she wants to be right in the eyes of Our Lord.


Shattering her faith due to communication of the right way in handling her situation. She listen to her Parish Priest, followed what he said to do and she moves and it changes. She talks with new Priest and gets told totally different walk in fixing it. Would your faith not be shaken? She cried for hours, then we wonder why young people leave the church. Even our Priests misguide!! Dont go having a bang up party on me… things have changed in the way things are happening in our Catholic Church.

She told the truth the same to first Priest and second. Please have some compassion on her young soul.


To be honest, I don’t think your daughter’s first priest did her any favors by allowing her to continue to receive Holy Communion when she wasn’t disposed to do so. I understand he was probably trying to keep her in the church and maybe encourage her and her husband to take the necessary steps to make their marriage valid in the church. ( Either that, or he didn’t fully understand the situation or there is some piece of information being left out of this story.)

However, the vast majority of Catholics do move at some point during their life and/or the priest gets transferred and a new one comes in, and as you have seen, priests can have differing notions about how to handle these irregular marriage situations.

it was a lot easier when the rule was consistent that you had to address making the marital situation right with the Church and until you did that, you couldn’t be absolved and you couldn’t receive Communion.

I also don’t see why your daughter’s faith would be “shattered” from all of this when she clearly understood she had entered into a marriage that was not valid in the eyes of the Church and that she and her husband had done nothing to fix the situation despite the first priest trying hard to get them to do so (it sounds like he tried, anyway).

If her husband is now willing all of a sudden to go meet with the priest, when he kept missing the appointments before, it sounds like the second priest’s strategy had the desired effect of getting the couple to understand this is serious business and make it a priority to resolve the situation. I wish them the best and hope they are able to have their marriage recognized by the Church soon.



As painful as it is to your daughter, the priest has the authority to deny her Holy Communion. But I don’t understand how he can deny your daughter access to the Sacrament of Confession. What was his basis for denying her that rite? And can’t she go to another confessor?

Can. 991 Every member of the Christian faithful is free to confess sins to a legitimately approved confessor of his or her choice, even to one of another rite.


Thank you for your comment. I can only tell you what I have witnessed myself. If anything has been left out, I am not aware of it.

And as you say, it has brought about ACTION.

Thank you


The Father said because she was not married in the church. He would not even finish in the confessional…she came out crying. I dont understand it…I understand about Communion as well…but this has knock me out of my socks to.

But I do believe God’s plan is in place and He will help her get this taken care of …


It is the teaching of the Church that reception of the sacrament of penance requires proper disposition. The priest will not give absolution if he believes the disposition is not correct. The norm is to not allow absolution for a Catholic in civil marriage only (and Catholic at the time) if there are marital relations occurring. Also the danger of giving scandal through reception of communion later must be avoided. See Familaris consortio, 1981, St. Pope John Paul II. The reason is that one must be willing to not repeat the sin of willful marital relations while unmarried.

I can see where giving absolution in that situation could lead to the faith being tested. The person should understand that repentance is required.


Right. In order for the priest to absolve someone, they have to be repentant of the sin and not plan to sin again.

If your daughter was planning to continue living as husband and wife with the man she was civilly married to, then she cannot, according to the rules, be absolved of the sin of engaging in marital relations when not properly married in the view of the Church + causing public scandal. He did not “deny her confession”, he denied her absolution. Which then means she’s not in a state of grace to receive the Eucharist.

As Vico said, this approach appears to be consistent with Church teaching. Since we are not privy to exactly what was said in the confessional, we don’t know on what basis the first priest seems to have bent the rules/ made an exception.

I know you love your daughter as her mom, and it’s hard for you as a mom to see your daughter suffer, but please understand your daughter made a bad mistake, morally, and the first priest really seems from your account to have bent the rules a lot trying to make an exception for her. It’s really not right to blame the priests when your daughter brought the consequences on herself by marrying her husband outside the Church rather than going about things in the way the Church directs faithful Catholics to do it. Actions, and sins, do have consequences.

Like I said, I hope this can be all sorted out soon by the marriage being properly made valid in the Church, so your daughter can receive absolution and Holy Communion again. In the meantime, she can still go to Mass.


First of all, it’s great that your daughter wants to renew her relationship with Jesus :slightly_smiling_face:
Faith is “shattered”?
Because she’s now experiencing the consequences of her own decisions?
Part of growing up is owning your own actions and whatever results from it.


As I get old, I have seen more and more that each person has a breaking point. It is different for every person, and often what shatters someone today simply needs some time and prayer to get back in perspective.

I have skin 12 miles thick and hard as a rhino, but, what would roll off my back one day will suddenly drop me to my knees tomorrow. Because of that, I don’t question when people tell me that they are devastated or shattered or crushed by something. That is their response at that moment in time. It is subjective and not my place to determine the pain that was caused.

Sort of like physical pain, we all have a different tolerance and that tolerance can be impacted by other things. I live with constant severe pain. There has not been a day without pain for more years than I can count. Then I get a paper cut and it knocks me over.

There is a reason we have the old adage about the “straw that broke the camel’s back” not the cement block that boke the camel’s back, just a straw. There is always a tipping point.

As Christians let us not stand back and say “really, one straw broke your back? A straw does not break backs. You must not have had much of a back to begin with! Toughen up, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, etc.” Let’s comfort those who mourn, be kind to the brokenhearted, know that one day we were broken and we will likely break again sometime.


Fair enough. :slightly_smiling_face:


Confessing every week to receive communion with no intention to fix the problem is problematic. It would demonstrate a lack of true remorse. Are she and her husband in the process of scheduling a priest to do their vows for them? It doesn’t need to be a full wedding that costs a ton of money.


There is usually more than a simple scheduling. There is a process for regularizing a marriage.

Your Diocese will have this process on their website, here is a random Diocese document, page 14 covers Convalidation:


Perhaps, I over-simplified in calling it scheduling as I did not feel the details of the process were necessary given the priest will guide their steps.

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