Question on divorce and Holy Eucharist


I’m new to the site and have found it very helpful so far. I’m Catholic, but I have a friend who isn’t and she wants to know why Catholics who are divorced (but not annulled) are not allowed to receive Holy Communion. I’m sorry to say I don’t know if this is true, so can you tell me, is it true, and what does the church say about it?
Belle10 :slight_smile:


as has been discussed many times on the liturgy and sacraments forum, and also answered on AAA, there is no reason a divorced person who is in a state of grace cannot receive communion. A divorced person who remarries without an annulment, or who cohabits or enters into any kind of immoral relationship is prohibited from receiving communion until they rectify the situation and confess. if you are new (I haven’t been around a while and missed some of the new people) welcome to the forums. take a sec to read the rules, how to post, and how to search, because some of these FAQs have many threads with good info and links


**The psychological pain of loss of a relationship is great and deep-seated. During a separation or divorce there are many emotions inside your head and heart – confusion, anger, sadness, and fear, to name a few. **

Faith and courage are needed to rebuild life after the end of a marriage. Those who have “been there” are able to offer strength and hope to newcomers. Through a network of peer support, every person is encouraged to rebuild life in the style they prefer. [/LEFT]
[LEFT]If you are a single parent, seek help from other single parents. Attend parent education opportunities in your community, school and church. Ask for help when you need it.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]If you are co-parenting, learn to share the children in a kind way. Do not punish the other parent. Only the children suffer with that behavior. Each time you diminish the other parent, you diminish half of your child. For your sake and the sake of the children – it’s better to be kind than to be right.[/LEFT]
If you are divorced, **attend peer self-help groups (brochure in pdf file), seek effective, professional counseling to help you manage the changes in your life; get plenty of rest and exercise, eat smart, do not drink alcohol. Pray on a daily basis.
** **Catholic Divorce Facts **

[LEFT]**† Divorced Catholics are not ex-communicated.
† Divorced Catholics may receive Eucharist and Reconciliation.
† Divorced Catholics are full members of the Catholic church and can participate fully in the life of the church.
† Children will not be illegitimate if a divorced Catholic is granted an annulment.
† Before a divorced Catholic can remarry in the Church, an annulment must be granted on the previous marriage. [/LEFT]


The answer to this is: it depends.

What is not addressed too often is why the marriage broke up, and what part each spouse played in the breakup. There is never a fight but there are at least two parties to it. In other words, try to fight with someone who won’t respond in kind; it is not possible. From that, it is possible that both parties have some responsiblity (and therefore guilt) for the breakup.

There may or may not be moral issues on the part of each spouse when a marriage ends up in divorce; one may truly be an innocent party and the other the guilty one; or it may be that both share some guilt in the breakup.

The above presumes that the marriage is valid, as the Church does unless and until there is a decree of nullity by a tribunal, and agreed to by a second tribunal.

However, there is also a widespread misperception that if one gets a divorce, one is automatically barred from the Eucharist; that is not necessarily so. If one has seriously harmed the marriage, as in, committed serious moral wrong, then one would be barred from Communion as they would had they committed any other serious sin; and that can be lifted by the Sacrament of Reconcilliation. If one has left a marriage without just cause, then one might not be forgiven until one has attempted, at least, to reconcile with the other partner, although the Church does not withhold forgiveness until a reconcilliation has been accomplished if it is not possible. If one has left for just cause, then there is no guilt; nor is there guilt if one has been divorced by the other party and has done all they could to keep the marriage together.

So the bottom line is that if one has no fault, one is just as rfree to receive as anyone else; and if one is guilty of wrong, one needs to be reconcilled with the Church (go to confession). Then one is free to receive (and obviously we assume they have not remarried without a decree of nullity).


Thank you everyone who responded to my question. Sorry I didn’t check out FAQs first, but I really appreciate your help! I look forward to being part of the community here. :slight_smile:


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