The Catholic Church recognizes the pain and trauma of a lost marriage. Divorce affects more than just the couples ending their marriage. Children in the family are affected. In-laws on both sides are experiencing the loss, too, as are neighbors and friends. Expect to mourn the end of the marriage.
There are often misunderstandings about the Church's teaching on divorce. Here are few facts:
- Divorced Catholics are full members of the Catholic Church and can participate fully in the life of the Church.
- Divorced Catholics may receive Eucharist and Reconciliation.
- Children will not be illegitimate if a divorced Catholic is granted an annulment.
- Before a divorced Catholic can remarry in the Church, an annulment must be granted on the previous marriage.
What is an Annulment?
Through the annulment process, the Church seeks to offer the reconciling presence of the Lord to those who feel alienated because of a broken marriage that has ended in civil divorce.
Reach out and Remember
If someone you know is suffering through the pain of divorce, you can help by:
- Listening well and with understanding.
- Showing the care you still have for them
- Suspending judgments.
- Supporting and comforting children as they adjust to the changes.
- Welcoming all members of the family at public and social gatherings
- Being mindful that there are no “ex” parents, only “ex” spouses.
- Praying for the entire family