Getting divorced can be a big deal, if you’re Catholic, not just because of potential fights over assets and children but also because divorcing Catholics can be forbidden from receiving the sacraments of the Church.
Per the teachings of the Church – e.g. “what God has joined, let no one separate” – Catholics believe that people who split up and then remarry — without first getting an “annulment” — should not be allowed to take the sacraments. But a gathering of the world’s cardinals on February 20 to 21 may lead to new Church rules, which could offer hope for many millions of Catholics caught in spiritual limbo. These people got divorced and remarried, but because their first marriage has not been annulled, they can’t take the sacraments.
In the United States, the number of “in limbo” Catholics is huge. A study from 2007 found that 1 out of 10 Catholics divorces and remarries within 10 years of the first marriage. Over a 20-year period, that figure rises almost to 20 percent.
For years, leaders of the Church have tried to figure out a solution to help these folks receive the sacraments, but some senior conservative officials in the Church don’t want to change the doctrine. More liberal members of the church have suggested a compromise: relax the rules for annulment, so more people can get annulments and thus qualify to receive the sacraments again.
One lesson here is that getting divorced can touch on many facets of our lives – economic, emotional, and spiritual/religious. For help coming up with a plan that respects your rights and needs, call the Toussaint Law Firm, PC today for a free consultation.