This question is not about me - I’m not divorced - but it arises from a discussion elsewhere, where I wanted to know the Catholic position, so I’d be very grateful if somebody could explain to me.
Jane is a Catholic who has been divorced for many years. Her children are grown up and her former husband has remarried. She has been lonely for a long time when she meets a nice man called John and they become friends. He wants to be more than just friends. She has no intention of marrying him, or of having sex with him. He is not a Catholic, or even a Christian at all, but he understands and accepts this, and would still like to have a more than just platonic relationship. They begin a relationship in which they go places and do things as a couple, and enjoy some kissing and cuddling that stops well short of having sex. They continue to live separately in their own houses.
Jane wonders what implications this has for her as a Catholic. She is encouraged by the Pope’s comments a few months ago about divorced people. She finds something online about Catholics who are divorced and remarried who cannot separate without seriously hurting the children they have had together and are raising together. She reads that these people have been advised to live continently even if both in the same house with the children. She ponders her own situation and wonders if the fact that she is not having sex with John is what matters. Or is the kissing and cuddling with John sufficient to mean that she should not take Communion?
She goes to her priest for advice. She expects that he will tell her she should give up the relationship, or else eliminate all the physical aspects of it. She is not sure she is ready to do this, and she wants to know if she can take Communion if she does not end the relationship.
What should the priest say to Jane?
Thanks in advance for your help and information.