What are the implications of divorce and being a practicing Catholic.


My wife and I are considering getting a divorce after a long and unloving period of our relationship. She considers us roommates. The reason why we haven’t divorced sooner is that she couldn’t live alone on her salary plus trying to raise our son. She has been unwilling to actively participate in counseling sessions.

  1. I know that Catholics get divorced all the time for a variety of reasons. What are the implications of divorce and being a practicing Catholic? Can we still recieve the sacraments?

  2. What are some resources to learn about the anullment process?
    How long is the process?


Dear Mark,

The loser here, of course, is your son. I would think long and hard before inflicting such a divorce on him. You and your wife chose to marry each other. He didn’t choose to be born. He deserves a home with a mother and a father. I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on you. These are simply the facts. If it is absolutely impossible for the two of you to remain together, then the Church allows divorce for the equitable division of goods that have been held in common.

I know of an instance where the child remained in the home and the parents would alternate every other week living there so that the child wouldn’t be shuttled here and there for the rest of his childhood. I commend the parents for obviously being more concerned about him than about themselves.

If you do separate you may both receive the sacraments so long as you are in the state of grace. But you are still married and dating other people is out of the question unless and until you are able to have the marriage annulled.

This book will give you all that you need to know about annulments: “Annulments and the Catholic Church” by Edward Peters available on shopcatholic.com or by phone: 888 291 8000. I will remember the three of you during my daily hour before the Blessed Sacrament. I encourage you to do the same.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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