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Sorenna wrote:

Hi, guys —

I live on the East Coast and am exploring the Catholic religion.

I am curious to know more about the mandate that divorced people may not receive the sacraments.

  • Could you explain the reasoning behind this in detail?
  • If the person is not re-married may they receive the sacraments?
  • Can the party who files for a divorce still receive the sacraments?

Thank you,


  { Why does the Church forbid the Eucharist to divorced people? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Sorenna,

I am afraid you have been misinformed. The Catholic Church has never forbidden the Eucharist to divorced people.

She does forbid the Eucharist to people who have divorced a valid marriage and remarried outside the Church while the former spouse is still living.

In that case, the people are living in an objective state of adultery, and hence, in order to receive the sacrament, they would need to forswear sexual intercourse and live as brother and sister,
or have the Church look at the first marriage to see if it was valid.

Whether a person is filing for divorce or not, has no effect on the worthiness of the person to receive the sacraments.

Hope this helped.

Mary Ann

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