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SorrySusanDesiringReconciliation wrote:

Hi, guys —

In 2007, I married a Roman Catholic priest in a civil ceremony. I am deeply and desperately sorry for what I have done. I never wanted to marry but I was pregnant and scared and stupid.

I want to reconcile with the Church. We tried to pursue laicization for him but a canon lawyer told us this would not be possible because he is still so young and because he is now a priest in the Anglican Communion.

CatholicsComeHome.org told me we must divorce if I wish to return and receive the Eucharist however we have a six-year-old son and I think divorce would be terribly destructive and harmful for him.

I know I am living in sin now but breaking up my family and hurting my child would be a sin too.

  • Is there anything I can do?

It seems laicization should be an option in order to regularize my situation, and that of my son, within the Church.

  • Would living as brother and sister allow me to return to the Sacraments?

Blessings,

Sorry Susan

  { What should I do if I married a Catholic priest but now wish to reconcile with the Church? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Susan,

In my experience, the Vatican drops the age requirement for cases such as yours, so I think the priest gave him the wrong advice as to filing to be laicized.

The fastest way for this to happen is for your husband to work with his Chancery and be penitent and also ask that it be done as soon as possible for the good of the Church.

I have seen these come back fairly fast, i.e. within a few months. It is unclear to me as to whether you want to remain civilly married to him.

  • If you do, then get him laicized as soon as possible. Until you do and get the marriage validated, you should refrain from going to Holy Communion (or else live as brother and sister and speak to the priest in Confession as to whether you can receive Communion).
  • If you do not, then when you get divorced and return to Confession, you can begin to receive Holy Communion again.

I assume that the answer from CatholicsComeHome was trying to say this second point without encouraging divorce as the only situation.

Fr. Jonathan

Bob replied:

Susan,

How sad your story is. I deeply empathize with you and can sense the pain you must be feeling. Living as brother and sister would be a good solution given the circumstance. I have friends that lived this way for five years when they found out that they needed an annulment.

I would try to meet with a bishop who may be able to grant a dispensation (if possible) for such a commitment to remain in that state post-Confession.

That may be the easiest path to returning and receiving the Eucharist. Ultimately, your heart is sincere and God knows that. He will always find a way to bring you close; trust Him.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Susan replied:

Thank you so much for your help with this matter.

I have two follow-up questions. I will type them here:

The questioner asked that these questions be kept private.

Thank you for your ministry.

Susan

Fr. Jonathan:


Answered Susan's remaining questions.

Susan replied:

Hi, Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to help me with these additional questions.

Please give my thanks to Father Jonathan and Bob as well.

In Humility,

Susan

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