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Chris Matheson wrote:

Hi, guys —

As a young man I married a Protestant girl in a Protestant church. At the time, we were in love and in spite of being advised by my mother not to, I went ahead with the marriage.

Sadly, like so many young people, the marriage failed and we divorced. I met my wife Linda later and we have spent 25 wonderful years together. Although Linda is not a Catholic, she has raised both her daughters as Catholics. Both are now married and have three children between them. We all attend Mass on a regular basis and they, apart from Linda, receive the Holy sacrament of Communion, which breaks my heart as I cannot take part.

  • Am I to spend the rest of my life like this for a foolish mistake that I so regret, or
  • Is there any way that I will be forgiven and allowed to practice my faith properly?

Please help me.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Matheson

  { Did I renounce my right to receive Holy Communion when I got married in a Protestant church? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi Chris,

When you got married for the first time did you have a dispensation from the Catholic Church.

This assumes you were a Catholic at the time. If not, you are free now. If you were, you need an annulment.

  • Why wait?

Fr. Jonathan

Chris replied:

Thank-you for replying Fr. Jonathan.

  • Are you saying that though I married in a Protestant church and subsequently divorced I can continue to practice my faith?

I don't understand because for years I have been led to believe that I renounced my right to receive Holy Communion when I got married in this way.

I did not receive any dispensation from the Catholic Church.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Matheson

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Chris —

Since you are I longer married to her and it sounds like a manifestly invalid marriage, go to a priest and sort it out.

From what you have told me it sounds like the process will be easy.

Fr. Jonathan

Bob replied:


Seek an annulment and you can quite possibly overcome this sad situation. God will get you through this if you trust in Him.


Bob Kirby

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