Options for remarried people?


what are current options for people who are divorced and remarried who wish to reconcile with the church?

I’ve heard living as brother and sister, but isn’t that kind of like cohabitation?

would they need to separate then, for the best option?

also, is this 'internal forum" proposal from the synod actually in accordance with church teaching? I foresee a lot of abuses stemming from it because us humans try to rationalize and justify all kinds of things.

what is the next step now that the synod has concluded? I guess pope Francis still hasn’t officially approved anything, right?


They would first need to stop committing adultery and then talk to their priest to see if their first marriage has any valid grounds for a decree of nullity. It would be preferred if they separated however for the sake of children or finances they could remain living together but they would live as brother and sister. If there are no grounds for an annulment then they separate and go to confession. It is not an easy decision but in the eyes of the Church they never should have been remarried in the first place.

They synod had no power. None. Nada. Zip. All the synod did was discuss issues and give the Pope their opinions on some issues. Unless and until the Pope formally changes something (which he could have done without the Synod by the way) nothing changes.


Separating gets complicated when the couple has children together, which is often the case. Living together as brother and sister can be a way for the children to live with their mom and dad. Sometimes it’s further complicated with children from prior marriages too. Divorce and separation are hard on innocent children. These situations are often messy with no easy solution. Staying together but living chastely is an option that helps provide a stable home for the children.

Seeking an annulment to the prior marriages is an option. I’ve also seen the situation where the first spouse passed away, thus leaving a widow or widower who’s able to marry in the Church.


If that were true, none of us could live with anyone we weren’t married to.

Cohabitation is living together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. “Playing” marriage, if you will.

Living together as brother and sister is similar to a roommate situation. Same roof, different sleeping quarters (separate beds at a minimum), no sexual activity.

Hope that helps.


See below.

Normally two person who are unrelated but of the opposite sex do not live together…that would be problematic …etc.

But in the case mentioned we are discussing two persons who had say been legally married (though not in a valid marriage) in civil society who now want to repent and return to the Sacraments and yet who have children who need their mom and dad. So there is the possibility for them to recognize that yes they are not married but that they have little children need their mom and dad - so it is possible to remain under the same roof ‘as brother and sister’ (and seeking of course to avoid scandal etc).


Understood. I was trying to address the correlation made by the OP between “living as brother and sister” and cohabitation, but perhaps my understanding of the term “cohabitation” is lacking or misguided. If so, I apologize.

(I also shouldn’t post so early in day [before the mental fog clears], so I apologize for that, too.)


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