Divorce and Separation

Separated and civilly divorced Catholics who “remarry” without an annulment are not separated from the Church. They are encouraged to listen to the Word of God, attend Mass, persevere in prayer, participate in works of charity, bring up their children in the Faith, and cultivate a spirit of penance, thus receiving God’s grace on a daily basis.

In faithfulness to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”- the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. This is why the divorced who remarry civilly may not receive communion or be eligible for certain responsibilities in the Church, such as having official roles in liturgical or catechetical services. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1650-1651)

Your Catholic Faith is the very key to your healing after a divorce and is vital to living a life filled with promise, peace, and joy. Please call 314.792.7173 to speak with someone in the archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life. If you would like information about annulments, please call 314.792.7400 to speak with someone in the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal Office.

Learn more about help and healing after divorce.