Understanding divorce


so the catechism says that divorce is a grave offense except for certain scenarios.

so let’s say a cahtolic is divorces but nont for the most serious reason, realized they were wrong and went to confession, how can they still receive communion after? even if they have confessed it, if they don’t reconcile with their spouse, they’re still in a divorced state aren’t they? or am i misunderstanding something. i’m just thinking of someone who is remarried, even if they confess it, they are still in a state of sin. what would be the difference?


Divorce is a legal separation where a governmental body no longer recognizes the marriage of two people, thereby foregoing certain benefits (i.e. tax breaks) for those who are married.

If a Catholic validly marries there spouse and then seek divorce, that means that while they have separated and are no longer married (per the government), their marriage is still valid in the eyes of God.

Therefore, because they are still validly married in the eyes of God, even though separated, they must remain chaste. Continuing a relationship with someone who is not your valid spouse is considered adultery, and can be a mortal sin (depending upon the activity).

Generally speaking, there are two ways to validly remarry someone after marrying another person. The first is the death of the spouse - marriage vows are only until death. The second, which is discussed frequently on these forms, is annulment. Because I have not been through the process, and my current understanding could be vague enough to lead you to error, I will not comment further on what that truly means/entails.


Being “in a divorced state” is not a sin. The act of breaking up your marriage is a sin. And the sin can be forgiven. There are lot of sins that, once forgiven, don’t put things back the way they were. An example might be getting a sterilization. You can repent and be forgiven, but you don’t have to have another surgery.

If you truly regret breaking up the marriage and want to try to reconcile, that’s great but it’s not a sin if you can’t.


is it also because civil divorce doesn’t technically end the marriage by church standards? you are sitll seen as married to your spouse, even if you dont’ live together and have separated possessions


Does not really end the marriage.


But obtaining a civil divorce is still grave matter. The Church calls this “severing conjugal living” and it is only supposed to be done with grave cause. Also when the cause ceases, the spouses are supposed to restore conjugal living unless there are other circumstances. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible.

There’s a common misconception that the Church doesn’t have a problem with divorce, only with remarriage. But the Church **does **have a problem with divorce, even if it’s just a civil recognition, unless there is a grave reason.


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