My wife and I were born and raised Catholic; she got married in the Catholic Church to her first husband. After a few years of marriage they got divorced because of his infidelity. After this happened she decided to start going to a Protestant church. I met her and we eventually got married in that Protestant church. We have come back to the Catholic Church and she is currently going through an annulment of that first marriage so that we can have ours approved in the Catholic Church. My question is this: When my wife was meeting with our Pastor and they went over her annulment paperwork that she had to write up, he felt that this annulment was going to most likely happen because of the many circumstances and he told her that while this process was going on that we could go to confession and then receive communion. Is this a correct statement? Does he have the right to tell us this if the annulment isn’t complete and our marriage isn’t approved fully yet?
Your marriage will be considered null when the marriage tribunal declares it null and not a moment sooner. You may go to Confession and receive Holy Communion only if you live as brother and sister until you are validly married in the Catholic Church. If you do this, I suggest that you receive Holy Communion in a parish where you are not known so that you will not give scandal.
Since the Church does not currenlty recognize you marriage as valid, every time you have marrital relations you commit a mortal sin. Nothing is worth a mortal sin. The Lord will give you the strength to remain in the state of grace. I will be praying for that.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.