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It is important to note that at issue here is not only a Catholic’s own personal,, visible status in the Church, that may be known by other members of the faithful as well.

The Church is therefore concerned simultaneously with three different, although interrelated issues: (a) an individual Catholic’s personal spiritual wellbeing; (b) the need to maintain reverence toward the Most Holy Eucharist; and (c) the need to avoid public scandal.

Q: What does canon law really say about divorced people receiving Holy Communion?

–Sean A: The issue of who may, and who may not, receive the Eucharist lawfully is a canonical question with deep theological roots.

It is far too terrifying to be alone in that water when she does not know how to handle it.

Now fast forward a year or so and Sara has learned to hold her breath and kick her feet; she’s put on her floaties and is splashing merrily in the deep end.

After a few tears she doesn’t want to be left out and wants to go back into the pool—and that’s when you step in.

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Little Sara feels safe, secure, and enjoys the pool sitting on the steps or hanging onto the side.

But suddenly the rough-housing older boys in the pool have pushed her under, she’s gulping in water, and with her fear threatening to weigh her down she almost drowns.

Miraculously she makes her way to the steps, climbs out, and wraps herself in a towel.

A reader has asked the following question: How do you respond to someone who says he is excommunicated from the Church so he no longer attends because he’s divorced and did not receive an annulment? Answer: Some people believe that a Catholic who divorces is excommunicated. Divorced persons are full members of the Church and are encouraged to participate in its activities. Should a divorced Catholic wish to remarry in the Church he or she may need an annulment. Even if a Catholic has divorced and remarried civilly, the Church does not want them to be alienated.

Catholic Catechism for Adults says: “When divorce is the only possible recourse, the Church offers her support to those involved and encourages them to remain close to the Lord through frequent reception of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.” Read more about the Church’s teaching on divorce.

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