May I receive Holy Communion in my present situation?

Dear Sirs,

My husband and I have been married 35 years. He was married before in the Church but was divorced by his wife in less than 2 years of marriage. I am a convert to the Faith. Years ago our marriage was blessed by a priest in our parish so that we could receive the sacraments, even though we did not go through an annulment process. Since then my husband and I left the Church to attend a Protestant assembly. I have come back to the Church (5 years ago). I made an appointment to see the parish priest and explained the situation. He told me he wished the former priest had not blessed our marriage but since he had he would hear my confession and give me absolution so I could return to the sacraments. I have been faithfully practicing my faith ever since. My husband has not returned to the faith and refuses to go through the annulment process. Also, in the past 10 years we have been living as brother and sister due to a health problem with my husband. We have a good marriage in spite of the situation. I have been receiving the sacraments on a regular basis. I want to know that I am okay to do so.

Thank you.

Hi,

The first priest did not have the authority to validly bless your marriage because your husband had not obtained an annulment and the Church still considers him to be married to his first wife. The second priest did not have the authority to accept that your marriage was validly blessed. It remains invalid. However, since you and your husband are living as brother and sister, you may indeed receive the sacraments.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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