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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was brought up Catholic — attended parochial elementary and High Schools, went to a Catholic college and Graduate Schools and always partook of the Eucharist however I met a gal (a Catholic divorcee).

We had a child out of wedlock and have been living together for the past 18 years still unmarried. Since we've been together, I haven't received the Eucharist, feeling it would not be in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Am I correct on this?
  • Am I able to receive the Eucharist?

Your response would be appreciated.

Thank you, and bless you,


  { Although we had a child out of wedlock and have been living together can I receive the Eucharist? }

Mike replied:

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your question.

It WOULD be inappropriate for you to receive Communion based on two counts:

  • having a child out of wedlock
  • with a Catholic divorcee who may not have received an annulment

On this second point, the Church, as well as Christ Himself, teaches against remarriage without an assessment any previous marriage. Nevertheless, the Church does understand that there are times were divorce is necessary. That said, if either a man or woman receives a divorce, they are still able to receive the Eucharist, as long as they do not remarry without the Church's permission. So your feelings ARE correct.

Continuing on the second point:

  • How does the Church determine whether a marriage actually happened?

This is the purpose of a Church tribunal. The Archdiocese of Boston has written an excellent piece on this issue.

In your situation, I recommend you seek out counsel with an priest who is faithful to the Church, the Holy Father and Church's Magisterium.

I also recommend you pray the rosary daily asking for Our Lady's help and attend Eucharistic Adoration.

As Catholics we believe that being obedient to the Church IS being obedient to Christ himself. Explain this to your female "friend". I will pray that she will understand.

If she doesn't, you may have to make a choice:

your "friend" or Christ and the Church.

I obviously recommend you choose the Christ and His Church.

Hope this helps,


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