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Divorce, remarriage and communion

A Xt3 Member asked at 10:13am on May 5th 2018
A friend who is Catholic has been divorced and remarried. The first marriage was not annulled or dissolved other than by divorce. There are children of the first marriage. The second marriage was in a registry office, not a church. Her understanding of Catholic teaching is that if she is remarried following divorce she cannot take communion unless she refrains from a sexual relationship with her new husband. Is this true? Since she actually DOES take communion is she putting a priest at risk? Or is her second marriage simply not recognised so she can just carry on?

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Hi Karen, your friend's understanding of Catholic teaching is quite right - since her first marriage wasn't annulled (of course I don't know if an annulment might be possible, it's something she might look into), from the viewpoint of the Church she's not married to the man she's now civilly married to. So she shouldn't receive Communion unless they are, as the Church puts it, living as brother and sister.

Still, there are many ways other than in the Eucharist where she can meet Jesus, including by attendance at Mass - where she can make a spiritual communion, in each neighbour she meets, in her children, in her present partner, in the various sufferings that come her way, in the Word of scripture, in her prayer, and so on. Keeping her in my prayers, in what's a very difficult situation, very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 3:43pm on May 8th 2018 reply

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