divorce2Some time ago I was meeting with a Catholic woman who had been divorced and re-married.

I welcomed her to our church and was having a new parishioner meeting with her when the subject of her marital situation came up.

“I hope you’re going to be welcoming over this.” she said rather defensively.

“Of course!” I smiled. “You and your family are very welcome.”

After a bit more discussion we decided that she could very probably receive a decree of nullity and that we would work with her to move that application forward.

Finally I said, “Until that decision is completed, however, you should live by the teaching of the church and not present yourself to receive communion.”

Her face clouded over, “I thought this would be welcoming church….” then came the kicker–“Like the one Pope Francis wants us to have…”

It was not the first time.

So I explained that the discipline of the church still remained and that while she could certainly be welcomed and forgiven that part of the forgiveness process was to work through the annulment procedure ad then have her present relationship validated by marriage in the church.

“So you’re telling me that I should not receive communion?”


Now she was angry. “That’s a matter of opinion Father.” Continue Reading