When it comes to a divorce, the Church’s position is clear : it is impossible to remarry religiously, and forbidden to remarry civilly. By the divorce, the sacred bond created by the sacrament of marriage is not broken : divorce is the dissolution of the only civil wedding. As a result, the Church is called not to engage in a second marriage while the first is not dissolved. Those who, being divorced, will not enter into a second civil marriage, have access to all the sacraments of the Church, and therefore may receive communion. On the other hand, people who remarried civilly cannot receive eucharistic communion, while remaining a full member of the Church.

At the mass for the solemn closing of the world Meeting of families, celebrated near Milan in June 2012, in front of hundreds of thousands of faithful, pope Benedict XVI referred to this question of the divorced and remarried who, because they have broken the promise contracted in the sacrament of marriage, can no longer participate in the communion. To “the faithful who, while sharing the teachings of the Church on the family, are marked by painful experiences of failure and separation, the pope and the Church support you”, he said. In a gesture of openness, it is desired in practice that “the dioceses are taking initiatives to welcome and close proximity adequate” to them.

Leave a Reply