I know that divorced Catholics should not receive the sacraments but what about sacramentals? The question occurred to me when leaving mass yesterday as I made the sign of the cross with holy water. Holy water is a sacramental but so are ashes on Ash Wednesday. What is the teaching of the Church on this matter? I can’t find a clear answer, only lots of opinions. I’m the divorced person in question just so you know that I’m not looking to throw anyone under the bus.
Let’s be accurate here. Divorced Catholics may receive the sacraments if they haven’t attempted marriage outside of the Church. Only those divorced Catholics, who without an annulment, attempt marriage may not receive the sacraments. A person simply cannot be validly married to two people at the same time. The state does not have the authority to dissolve a valid marriage. Catholics living in an invalid marriage may receive the sacraments if they live in a celibate way.
Holy water, ashes and other sacramentals are not sacraments and do not require that the user be in the state of grace. But they also do not give sanctifying grace as sacraments do
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.