The church teaches that anyone who is divorced and remarried commits a grave sin and is deprived of full communion and the priest cannot give absolution. The Church has taught that anyone who marries another person outside of wedlock is guilty of sacrilege – if such a union is not sealed by the sacrament of the Eucharist – and is “in grave scandal”.
Can divorced Catholics remarry?
If there is an annulment or dissolution of marriage between two married priests, the Church recognizes the Catholic candidate for Holy Communion as being valid for marriage in light of the first commandment. A number of factors are in play:
The divorced Catholic priest is free to remarry under the sacrament of Confession. This does not invalidate a previous relationship, and the priest’s free will is respected.
If the annulment or dissolution of marriage occurred prior to receiving the sacrament of Confession the Catholic candidate for Holy Communion is not automatically prohibited from receiving Holy Communion.
The Church has never condemned divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving Holy Communion. For this reason, Church authorities are not opposed to an option in cases of divorce or remarriage to receive Holy Communion in a private house where the divorced Catholic can live out the Sacraments of Penance; the Eucharist; and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Can I remarry under duress or to end a prior marriage?
While the Church recognizes two persons free to marry who are in extreme danger of separation or breakup from their former spouses, they are generally regarded as unfit to receive the full benefit of this sacrament. The two parties need to agree in accordance with the Church’s guidelines, but for the most part there is nothing preventing a divorcee from obtaining a decree of annulment or of divorce or remarriage.
Marriages performed outside marriage generally require the consent of the couple’s parents. For this reason, the divorced Catholic priest must ask permission of the divorced Catholic priest’s parent or legal guardian before granting a decree of annulment (decree to annul), to annul a divorce and to terminate a prior marriage.
Marriages are not invalidated simply because one partner is seeking the Sacrament of Penance.
For the same reason, the divorced Catholic priest cannot grant a decree of annulment.
Catholic remarried couples should have the grace to receive Holy Communion if they wish to do so.
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