I called to talk to Tim Staples about this on the radio today, but we got cut off so I wanted to follow up here.
What is the difference morally and in Church teaching between the following scenarios:
A catholic couple who decides with full knowledge to contracept by Vasectomy and after a while and feeling convicted, they confess this sin and are forgiven with no penalty or requirement to change the vasectomy back. They go on living in a state of permanent contraception without any sort of penalty from the church (i.e.: barred from communion)
A protestant couple is brought into a second marriage in a protestant church. The marriage is blessed and condoned and it is taught to them that they are free to divorce and remarry. They had no kids in their brief first marriages. 4 kids later they decide to convert to Catholicism only to find out they are barred from the sacraments because they are in a permanent state of adultery. For whatever reason an annulment is not granted to them.
Why is it that the first couple, can go on their way as if nothing had happened even though they were fully culpable and clearly engaging in mortal sin, and the second couple had absolutely zero culpability in the act of remarriage, and now they have to live as brother and sister, divide their family up, or not receive the sacraments.
It seems to me I am either missing a major moral principle, or the second couple should have some other recourse than the Catholic who knowingly engages in mortal sin by remarriage.
Thanks for your help!