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Thomas Johnson wrote:

Hi, guys —

My ex-wife and I were married by a Notary Public; it was not a sacramental marriage.

After 17 years of marriage she filed for divorce. I am a Catholic — although not a practicing Catholic. I attend Mass only on special occasions at which time I receive Communion. I wish to start going back to my Catholic parish but it has been brought to my attention that I may not be able to receive Communion because, although the state has granted me a divorce, it was not annulled by the Vatican.

We were not married in the eyes of God and the union did not last. Against my will, she forced the separation and divorce through the state. She has moved on and is currently married again to her third husband. I have missed the unity and comradery of Holy Mother Church. I do not wish to offend God any more than I have.

  • Am I allowed to receive Holy Communion when I attend Mass?

Thank you,


  { Can I receive Holy Communion at Mass if we were divorced, but only my ex— wife remarried? }

Bob replied:


You are free to receive Holy Communion provided that:

  • you have gone to Confession
  • having explained the matter to the priest, and
  • have not remarried.

Divorce doesn't exclude you from Communion, taking in a new wife when the former marriage has not been declared invalid is the problem — that would be a formal state of adultery.


Bob Kirby

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