What should be done in this case?


#1

Mr A (Catholic) marries Miss B (Catholic) in the Church when they were very young.

One year later, they broke up without annulment. They don't have children yet.

A few years later, Mr A remarried with Miss C (non-Catholic) and has some children.

Miss B remarried with Mr D (non-Catholic) and has some children.

Both couples live happily with their new families.

Later at some point in their life, A and B look back to their first marriage and they realized that they were wrong to break up the marriage. They repend and wish to go back to Church to have communion.

What should they do now? Leave their current spouse and children to get back together?

Thank you for your opinion.


#2

They should make an appointment with their pastor to discuss their situation.

We cannot give any answer to this question here on CAF. There are a number of ways to resolve their irregular marriage situation and resume the sacraments.


#3

They should, out of charity, not continue to live in sin with their new 'spouses', tidy up the legal requirements of the (presumably) civil marriages they entered into subsequently, make the appropriate restitution as required financially, seek confession and re-marry civilly (to keep the law happy) and continue as the man and wife they always were.

They cannot continue to live with the new spouses and also receive communion as they would most likely be giving scandal by doing so, even if both couples were simply living as 'brother and sister' since the outward appearance of the two relationships would look like marriage.

In any case, if A and B realised they were better together, it would be entirely unfair to keep C and D hanging on with no hope of love or affection. C and D should be freed from the civil marriage so that they could seek happiness elsewhere.


#4

Dex,

I know that strictly following the Church's rules, A and B must get back together to have communion. However, have we ever thought how much emotional damages this choice can result in, especially to the kids if their parents fall apart?

Kids need to grow up with an intact family having both mother and father. The broken up of a family may result in long-term disastrous effects on them, psychologically and spiritually.


#5

[quote="mayxanh, post:4, topic:315708"]

Dex,

I know that strictly following the Church's rules, A and B must get back together to have communion.

[/quote]

From my understanding A and B are not required to resume their marriage.


#6

Bezant,

A and B do not get annulment, therefore, their current marriages are invalid and they cannot receive communion.


#7

[quote="mayxanh, post:6, topic:315708"]
Bezant,

A and B do not get annulment, therefore, their current marriages are invalid and they cannot receive communion.

[/quote]

Yes, as far as that goes. Their current marriages are certainly invalid, because of lack of form (if not for other reasons), and so they cannot receive communion while continuing to live in those marriages.

However, if they divorced C and D, and received proper reconciliation for their sins, that would suffice to be readmitted to communion. I'm not sure whether the "second marriages" should be annulled or not--I'd have to consult our diocesan Judicial Vicar. (If they were, it would be a simple process).

I would probably also suggest they get some form of counseling or help to come to a better understanding of marriage and what it entails, since their actions reveal that they were not well instructed on these matters, and may well need some help to make their (resumed) marriage successful.

On the other hand, it may be that their first marriage was invalid. This would take some effort to establish--but it might provide a better solution, humanly speaking. If they could get an annulment, they would then be free to get their current marriages (with children) rectified and blessed, and then the way would also be clear for their return to the sacraments.


#8

[quote="mayxanh, post:4, topic:315708"]
Dex,

I know that strictly following the Church's rules, A and B must get back together to have communion.

[/quote]

There is no such Church rule.


#9

[quote="1ke, post:8, topic:315708"]
There is no such Church rule.

[/quote]

Then according to the Church's teaching, what A and B should do in order to receive Communion?


#10

[quote="mayxanh, post:4, topic:315708"]
I know that strictly following the Church's rules, A and B must get back together to have communion.

[/quote]

I don't think that's correct but somebody better informed in these matters can advise more appropriately.

[quote="bmonk, post:7, topic:315708"]
If they could get an annulment,

[/quote]

I'm not sure that's a relevant solution as the OP seems to be stating they realized they made a mistake by separating in the first place, which would indicate they don't think there was anything wrong with their first marriage.

Sarah x :)


#11

If they didn't get an annulment the first time around, then their current isn't valid. This should have been brought up before the second wedding. After all, wouldn't someone at least suggest it? But, here is the rub, on the "civil" side, their current marriage is valid. It just isn't according to Church teaching.


#12

[quote="mayxanh, post:9, topic:315708"]
Then according to the Church's teaching, what A and B should do in order to receive Communion?

[/quote]

They should not live as spouses of C and D and they should go to Confession. After that, the slate is clean at least in respect of their States of Grace, even if the domestic arrangements would inevitably be messy for a while.


#13

[quote="mayxanh, post:9, topic:315708"]
Then according to the Church's teaching, what A and B should do in order to receive Communion?

[/quote]

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_14091994_rec-holy-comm-by-divorced_en.html

The choices would be:

a) Pursue a decree of nullity and convalidation of current marriage(s) if there are grounds.

b) Separate from their current spouse(s) and return to their original spouse.

c) Separate from their current spouse(s) and remain single.

d) Remain with their current spouse(s) and remain continent (see paragraph 4 of the document linked above) for the good of the children.


closed #14

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