CAN A DIVORCED CATHOLIC RECEIVE THE SACRAMENTS?
Yes. There is nothing in itself that prevents a divorced Catholic from receiving the Eucharist and other sacraments of the Church. A divorced person is fully and completely a member of the Church.
DOES THAT MEAN THAT A DIVORCED CATHOLIC REMARRIED OUTSIDE THE CHURCH MAY RECEIVE COMMUNION?
No. A Catholic who remarries without a declaration of invalidity for any prior marriage may not receive Communion, since the reception of Communion is a public statement to the faith community that one adheres to the laws of the Church. If a Catholic is not remarried according to Church law, this would be a contradiction. Also, until an annulment is received, a remarried Catholic normally is not a Eucharistic Minister or a Lector.
WHAT IS A MARRIAGE TRIBUNAL?
A Marriage Tribunal is a diocesan office staffed by persons who are appointed by the Bishop and who have received special education and preparation to represent the Bishop and the faith community in Church proceedings for marriage cases.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE MARRIAGE TRIBUNAL?
The Marriage Tribunal helps divorced people who ask for an investigation of the binding nature of their prior marriages. After gathering as much information as possible, the judge makes a human decision in the name of the Church community as to whether the couple is still bound to the former marriage or may be free to enter into another marital relationship. The twofold ministry of the Marriage Tribunal involves protecting the exercise of rights given in Church law for those seeking closure or possible remarriage in the Catholic Church, and helping them experience healing and reconciliation with their faith community.
HOW DO I BEGIN THE ANNULMENT PROCESS?
Those seeking information about an annulment can contact Kris Larkey in the parish office. She is a trained advocate and can walk you through the process. We also have other trained advocates in the parish that could help you through this process.