Divorce is a devastating personal and spiritual experience under the best of circumstances. The Catholic parishes in Waterloo are eager to support our sisters and brothers who are separated, divorced and remarried.
If you are a divorced Catholic, the most important thing you should know is that divorced persons are not excommunicated from the Church.
A Catholic who is divorced and not remarried is a Catholic in good standing, and is entitled to participate fully in all aspects of the spiritual and sacramental life of the Church. So is a Catholic who is divorced, has obtained a Decree of Invalidity (an "annulment"), and has validly remarried in the Church.
A Catholic who is divorced and remarried without a Decree of Invalidity is still a member of the Church and may participate in a limited way in the spiritual and sacramental life of the Church.
For example, a Catholic who is divorced and remarried without a Decree of Invalidity may attend Mass; participate in communal celebrations of Reconciliation; be anointed when in danger of death; have a Catholic funeral and be buried in a Catholic cemetery; have their children baptized and enrolled in a Catholic school or religious education program. They may not receive Holy Communion at Mass; be absolved in confession; serve as a catechist, teacher, Godparent or Confirmation sponsor; or serve in other public ministries or leadership positions.
• If you are a Catholic who is divorced and remarried or planning to remarry outside the Church, visit with a pastor, a parish staff person or a confessor about your status in the parish community and/or the possibility of obtaining an annulment. (See also “How do I Petition for a Decree of Invalidity?”)
• Information for Divorced Catholics