Can a Catholic confess and receive Communion if she is not married by the church? : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

I have a serious problem. I am an agnostic, and my wife is Catholic. We are married under Mexican civil law, but have not held a religious ceremony. My wife is currently being denied Communion and absolution because of this. Are the Mexican priests who do this correct in doing so from a canonical point of view, and is there a way for my wife to continue practicing her religion even though she is married to a non-Catholic?

-- Hans Averdung (, August 01, 2004


Your marriage is not valid in the eyes of the Church. Your wife could go to confession but it wouldn't do any good unless you and she agreed to live as brother and sister until you got married in the Church. Yes, the priests are right to deny her absolution and communion until then.

-- Disillusioned Catholic (, August 01, 2004.

Why not look into havign the Marriage Cenated? Or recognised by the Chruch, that shoudl really be simple.

-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), August 01, 2004.

I think that a radical sanation is possible only if the poster, Hans, refuses to be married in the Catholic Church. I don't think that that is the case here.

-- DC (, August 01, 2004.

As it would happen, that IS the case. I will not marry Catholic (or any other religion). Civil marriage in itself was a concession to both families (which backfired rather spectacularly), and I would rather not have submitted to the system that way.

As for Cenation or Sanation (sp?), what is this procedure and how would it be carried out? What canonical basis does it have? I would need some deep details because the majority of the Mexican Church is very conservative and quite backward in its practices. My wife knows a priest who has worked in Rome, and he may agree to the procedure if it's soundly based on Church law.

-- Hans Averdung (, August 02, 2004.

Wow. OK. It's in the Code of Canon Law 1161-1165. Here's a website:

Do an internet search using the following words: radical sanation marriage. You'll come up with more info on it. It must be approved by the bishop of the diocese where you live.

-- Disillusioned Catholic (, August 02, 2004.

Hello Hans:

For Convalidation: http://www.vat

For Radical Sanation: http://www.vat

Para Convalidacion: http://www.vat

Para Sanacion en Raiz: http://www.vat

-- Emily (", August 02, 2004.

My wife is allowed to receive communion and go to confession even though we have not been married in the church. We had both been Roman Catholic since birth. I had stopped practicing my faith in my twenties, I am now 54 yrs old, and my wife had stopped active participation for 20 yrs. We were married civily and by a non- denomonational minister 15 years ago.

She was given permission by one of the priests at her old parish. The permission was granted pending her ability to persuade me to return to the church.

I have returned, and we are in the process of going thru the pre- nuptual precepts to renew our vows and receive the sacrament of Matrimony.

Again, as noted in a previous topic, we are living as brother and sister until that time of the sacrament.

So, depending on the priest, or the circumstance, the church MAY allow those sacraments in special dispensation.

-- Bruce M. Eberhard (, August 02, 2004.

The Church doesn't allow anything "depending on the priest". The Church did not give your wife permission to receive the sacraments. A particular priest did so, and I doubt that he had the authority to do so. It is always sad when a priest, out of compassion for those in need, leads them away from the truth by making unauthorized concessions contrary to Church teaching.

-- Paul M. (, August 02, 2004.

hold the buck, paul, i think we should ask a few questions before condemning this priest.

i note, particularly, the fact that these two are living as brother and sister until such time as they can be have their marraige validated. assuming that the priest has given them confession, and that they are indeed following that lifestyle for the time being, there is no reason they couldnt recieve communion in the interim.

-- paul h (, August 02, 2004.

I understood Bruce to say they are now living as brother and sister, since his return to the Church, which is admirable. But I didn't understand him to say they were living that way when his wife got permission from a priest in her old parish. Perhaps I was mistaken.

-- Paul M. (, August 02, 2004.

bruce, you're the one whos gonna clear this up, because Paul is quite right that if you have not recieved confession or are not actually living as brother and sister, that you should not be taking communion. I would like to believe that your priest granted absolutioin in the sacrament of confession prior to giving his advice, but if not, then he is incorrect.

-- paul h (, August 02, 2004.

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