Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Divorced Catholics Must be Welcomed in Parishes, Pope tells Priests

CNS STORY: Divorced Catholics must be welcomed in parishes, pope tells priests

The crux of the problem, beautifully enunciated:

"I would say that a particularly painful situation is that of those who were married in the church, but were not really believers and did so just for tradition, and then finding themselves in a new, nonvalid marriage, convert, find the faith and feel excluded from the sacrament," he said.


  1. I work with these types of situation all the time in my parish ministry. It brings me great pain when there isn't some way we can help them to find reconciliation with the church. I try to do everything I can to help them feel welcome.


  2. Why wasn't the idea of annulment for such cases brought up?

  3. My story: I lapsed, and some time later married another lapsed in a Unitarian ceremony (!), then (again, some time later) civilly divorced.

    She reverted, and got a decree of nullity so she could marry another revert. So far, so good.

    Then I got engaged to a lapsed, divorced Catholic. I thought she had been married in a civil ceremony, NOT sacramentally.

    Then I reverted. She has not. I insisted on our getting married sacramentally. (We hadn't married yet at all.) Turns out she WAS married sacramentally the first time. And she refuses to seek an annulment.

    So we married civilly. My spiritual director says that it would give tremendous scandal to her to say "Well, I'm leaving you, honey, because I want to be a good Catholic" or "We must live 'as brother and sister' until you come around and help normalize our relationship."

    I contracted an illicit marriage at a time when I didn't know it was illicit. And now I must live with it. I pray constantly for my wife's conversion.

    And, since I'm anonymous here, I may as well admit that I do receive Communion from time to time. I pray that it will not add to my guilt for punishment, but instead be my salvation.

    So I am keenly aware of the painfulness of this situation, and it gives me comfort--even great comfort--that the Holy Father is thinking about it.

  4. I was an evangelical who married a divorced Catholic. I joined the Church and was honest in telling our priest about the situation and was recieved at a Easter Vigil. 5 months later we got a new priest and through further reading/ study found out I shouldn't recieve communion. So I feel like my membership in the Church doesn't count and it's hard sit in the pews and watch eveyone else go forward for communion. I AM UNWORTHY takes on a whole new meaning. So I've stopped going and am going back to my old church.