I have a niece that got married last June 2008. She is
already seeking a divorce because her husband was getting
drunk very verbally abusive and violent toward
her. He was not physically abuse to her . . . yet . . . but she was
really scared because of the other violent things he was
Her parents spoke with a nun that is a pastoral administrator
at their church. She told them that their daughter could
not receive the Holy Eucharist for a year.
As my colleague pointed out, there is no reason
that, due to a divorce absent a remarriage, one
would be excluded from Holy Communion. Challenge
her to prove it by citing documents.
You also wrote:
She is having a very
hard time with this. She is also having trouble understanding
why it cost so much to get an annulment in the Catholic
Church and why money should be involved.
A reply would be very appreciative.
Well, many dioceses do annulments for free or
provide help for those who have trouble affording
them. That being said, there are a lot of professionals
involved in the annulment process and they need
to be paid. Some of them even have families to
feed. The annulment process is a legal one and
costs the diocese a lot of money (think of how
much money lawyers cost — an annulment
involves several canon lawyers).
Consider, for example, the cost of a divorce
in legal fees. The fees for an annulment, when
required, don't even begin to cover its cost.
Dioceses can't always afford to cover the full
cost of annulments themselves, and so sometimes
they charge a fee. Rest assured, this is not by
any means a source of profit for the diocese!
If it is a financial burden, I urge you to talk
to the tribunal about it to see what they can do. The point is not to put a burden on the petitioner
but to have them make a contribution, even if it
is small, to what is a very expensive process.