• Our Blogger

    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Larry on Ask a Priest
    Marianne on Ask a Priest
    Nithin varghese on Ask a Priest
    Diane on Ask a Priest
    brett on Ask a Priest

Married Outside the Church & Holy Communion

downloadQuestion

I have had this discussion with several ladies at work and we all seem to have different answers. I am in the process of getting a convalidation. My husband and I were married in Las Vegas seven years ago. I told my co-workers that I do not receive Holy Communion because I am living in sin. One (Catholic) co-worker had a civil marriage (nothing in church) over twenty-five ago and receives Holy Communion. Another co-worker lives with her Jewish boyfriend and also receives Holy Communion. Which one of us is wrong?

Response

Some people receive the sacrament even though they are not morally disposed to do so. Priests are often criticized for administering the sacrament in these cases; however, the priest can do nothing externally that would violate the seal of confession, professional secrecy or the internal forum. While there is currently some debate about the discipline, nothing of Catholic doctrine has changed. The marriages of Catholics should be witnessed by a priest or deacon. Catholics who are only civilly married or cohabitating and sharing sexual intimacy are not invited to come forward for Holy Communion. Marriage outside the Church is a serious sin. Fornication is also serious, indeed sexual activity outside of marriage constitutes mortal sin. If we receive Holy Communion while aware of ourselves in a state of mortal sin (not spiritually prepared) then we commit the mortal sin of sacrilege. In other words, while one person receives grace and eternal life with the Eucharist, others receive their own condemnation or judgment. Thus, the long-and-short of it is this, YOU are RIGHT and THEY are WRONG. The couple that is living together should see a priest and receive the sacrament of marriage. If there be any prior bonds, then we are also talking about adultery. The other civilly married couple should follow your lead and seek out a convalidation.

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. Wanted to add a comment. I am in a mixed marriage myself. I was married by a justice of the peace in 1999, I became a Catholic in 2004. My wife is Japanese and a nominal or cultural Shin Buddhist and for the most part does not practice unless in Japan visiting family. There is no way a convalidation ceremony possible in my case so there is “radical sanation” which I wrote a letter to the diocese bishop with help from my parish priest. I got a response back that a radical sanation was blnot necessary due to own conversion after my natural marriage. Just wanted to clarify this point as some can make an assumption without knowing full circumstances about others in mixed marriages. A Catholic in good standing who marries outside the Church would need a convalidation ceremony with those willing Christian spouses that agree to their children being raised Catholic and if they don’t consent a radical sanation would be the next step. I don’t know about Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox in terms of the same circumstances but the process may be different if not similar in some degree. Pax Et Bonum. Stephen Brace, OFS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s