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Sara wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was married in a civil ceremony three years ago. After less than a year of marriage my now
ex-husband said he wanted a divorce in order to be with another woman. Our divorce was finalized two years ago.

During my divorce I spoke with a priest who informed me my marriage was not valid in the eyes of the Church. He also told me to ask for forgiveness for my actions. I have not received Holy Communion since my divorce.

  • In order to receive Communion, do I have to ask for forgiveness for my divorce [and/or] marriage?
  • Should I choose to marry again, would my first marriage require an annulment?

Thanks!

Sara

  { In order to receive Communion, do I have to ask for forgiveness for my divorce and or marriage? }

Paul replied:

Dear Sara,

The reason you were directed to seek reconciliation through the sacrament of Confession is that you consented to a coupling outside of God's will, an invalid marriage. Living together and/or having any kind of sexual relationship with someone who is not a valid spouse is objectively sinful.

If you were ignorant of this, it might mitigate some of your personal guilt, but it is still important to bring this to Confession. Allow the priest to judge if you were personally guilty and give you absolution, if necessary. Then you may be able to receive Holy Communion again.

There would be no need for an annulment since it was never a valid marriage.

Paul

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Sarah —

Because your marriage was not valid there is nothing standing in your way to being married again but a little paperwork proving your situation (not an annulment).

You should go to Confession some time as any Catholic should who has committed a mortal sin, then go to Holy Communion.

Fr. Jonathan

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