Have any of my fellow divorced Catholics had a particularly positive experience with their parish? The more I look at my situation, as the 'abandoned spouse', the more bitter I become. It seems to me that for all the episcopal blather about pastoral kindness, my options remain basically unpalatable: (1) If (and only if) I'm prepared to remain alone until the day I die, I can remain a member in full communion with the church; or (2) If I can't endure lifelong solitariness, I can remain part of the church as long as I know my place, and that place is sweeping the church, making the tea, running the errands, and keeping my f*ing head down during Communion. I have the strong impression that the church from the parish priests upwards views divorcees not as real Catholics but as nuisances who are there on sufferance.
no plus ones
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- Thanks. There's no doubt in my mind about the validity of the marriage, so an annulment isn't an option. Thanks for your prayers - I'm genuinely glad things are going smoother at your end!May 23, 2017
- Thanks for your sound comments. I certainly appreciate the difficult situation that doctrinal logic throws up, but that doesn't honestly help. The thing is that the unique bond of love between man and woman IS something different from the love one has for one's friends or family: the second is at best an ersatz when it's used to replace the first.
I've asked myself whether loving the ex simply has to change form but not nature now we're apart, rather like your analogy of her being under a disability. I can't really embrace that: it's a very different thing to love someone who can't love you back than it is to love someone who will consciously never love you back and who views you with contempt. The first is noble and honourable; the second is rather pathetic and makes a one look less like a man and more like a dog desperate for a pat. I'm now aged 39 years; I don't have it in me to live like that for the next fifty or so.May 23, 2017
- In a nutshell, a divorced Catholic remains a member in good standing with the church and can receive the sacraments. However, forming any new romantic attachment including marriage except with the (former) spouse is prohibited: a Catholic who does so is automatically excommunicated.May 23, 2017
- ThanksThe core paragraph in that article is really this: "The Church—the institution as well as the individuals—needs to minister to the millions of divorced Catholics by both changing ingrained attitudes and reaching out in love. Yes, the Church is and should be pro-marriage, but, like its Lord, it must also love and support those whose marriages have failed. It’s a fine line to walk, but it is necessary."
The problem is, the support always looks the same: Integrating those who are divorced (and certainly any who repartner) into the life of the parish means giving them other roles than being a communicant. As those roles can't include being on a church committee, or teaching, or being a eucharistic minister or a lector, it means (as I said above) making the tea and sweeping the church. It's terribly hard not to take this as being told "you have a place in our community - just don't forget that it is and always will be right at the bottom"
Probably I'm guilty of the sin of pride, but this is why I'm very close to leaving the Church. I just don't think there's anything here for me, and I hate the thought of what I'll become after 50 years of negativity and bitterness.May 23, 2017
- I am sorry that you are experiencing that type of treatment. We have several Divorced members in our Church and as a Church community we do not allow anyone to be treated any differently. As I said earlier I am a Divorced and remerried and as me I am a Eucharist Minister, I am on the Parish council and my wife is the youth ministry for 4 Churches. We also have others Divorced members that remerried that also work in and with the Church. I can not speak for the entire Catholic community but as for us, Every one is included in God's work. I Pray that you can and do continue to to be a part of the Catholic Church and that your Church home can and does accept you for who you are and for what you have to offer. God's Blessings my Friend.May 24, 2017
- Boy that's pretty severe from a Catholic perspective.May 24, 2017
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