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I'm a christian, but not Roman Catholic (RC). My FWW and children are. We are not regular churchgoers, but we do go at least 6-12 times a year, particularly Easter, Christmas, etc. I join her at the local RC church, but I do not take part in the Communion.

Recently, someone posted a comment here that indicated that RCs should not take part in Communion if they have knowingly committed a very grave sin and have not taken part in the Sacrament of Confession. I did some quick research online and confirmed this to be the case.

AFAIK, my FWW has never done the Sacrament of Confession. I mentioned what I'd found out to her, and asked her what she planned to do about it.

After trying and failing to involve me in the "Well-tell-me-what-YOU-would-do-if-I-decide-to-do-this-or-decide-to-do-that" dance (her way of passing on responsibility for choices like this), she made a comment along the lines of "well, I guess I can't attend church any longer". I left it at that, knowing that it was likely an off-the-cuff remark rather than an actual decision.

This morning, I asked her if she was planning to attend church on Christmas Day. She replied "probably". I asked her what she planned to do concerning the question I raised about Confession and Communion. She replied that she hasn't decided yet.

While I'm hoping that she chooses to do the "right" thing, I suspect that one of following situations will likely arise:

1. She doesn't go, and blames me for bringing up the issue and making her feel guilty about taking Communion

2. She does go, takes Communion, but blames me for making her feel guilty about doing it.

Also, if she just choose to go, I'm not sure what the "right" response would be. Should I go along as normal, pretending that everything is all right? Should I refuse to go, knowing that she's breaking one of the fundamental practices of her religion? Do I just drop this and pretend that it never came up?

I will say that I have a somewhat ulterior motive here. I do feel that she needs to talk to *someone* about what she chose to do, and perhaps this might be an opportunity for her to do so.

Advice please.


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My wife flat out denied having an affair to our preacher even after I played him the tapes and showed him the evidence.

Affair aliens will lie to themselves, others around them and most of all God himself.

In the eyes of the catholic church, your Marriage was never valid, so what she did wasn't adultery, but fornication, which is what they will consider your whole marriage.

She can merely request an annullment and be free from sin scott free.

The man who my wife was having the affair was rc and his wife clued me in on what they would do for him to get him out of trouble with God.


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In the eyes of the catholic church, your Marriage was never valid, so what she did wasn't adultery, but fornication, which is what they will consider your whole marriage.

That's an interesting twist, if true. We did discuss our plans to M with her priest, and the issue our of M not being valid never came up. He in fact presided over our wedding.


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She can merely request an annullment and be free from sin scott free.

Even if that option was available, I doubt that she would choose it. I doubt God would accept such technical shennanigans as an escape from sin either <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.


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MIM..

The answer to this question.. for your wife is a simple one.

It is given in the response just prior to the procession towards the altar for communion.

"My LORD, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the WORD, and I shall be healed."

We are all sinners, and God knows this.. that is why He became flesh in the body of His son Jesus Christ.. If we confess our sins to Him, and show remorse and a desire for repentance.. then we can have faith that He has forgiven us. Jesus was born in order to give us the Grace of salvation through His sacrifice, rather than living a life only through WORKS according to the old law..

Keeping God's law, given to Moses is what we -ought- to do, and in no way enables us to 'make up' for the times in our lives we succumbed to temptation and broke faith with the covenant with our creator. Jesus, the lamb of God was born as one of us, and through the persecution, passion, and sacrifice of his innocent life.. his blood.. his body.. we are reunited with God in a new covenant through forgiveness and reconciliation.

Her transgressions.. if they still weigh on her heart are between her and God. But do not presume to think for a moment, even through reading the rites and traditions of the Church that God does not -want- to have that close personal relationship with your wife... instead of confronting her with what she is doing wrong, shouldn't you instead be encouraging her to -have- that closeness of faith with God? Shouldn't you be leading her to Church and to take the body and blood of Christ into her body (and by doing so, into yours as you are one flesh) so that she -can- be clensed of her sin, and live rightly in the eyes of God?

It sounds to me.. and please forgive me if I'm misreading this, as if you -want- your wife to continue to live in guilt and shame for her decision.. God will forgive her, regardless of whether she accomplishes the rite of Confession.. and while it is good to do so.. God's requirement is to confess to -HIM- and offer Him penance.. Does she feel she has done that? Have -you- completely forgiven her?


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I actually had an email exchange with a Roman Catholic priest about this matter. If you are interested in our exchange I will post it for you.

No she should not be taking communion until she confesses and is absolved of the sin.

I realize I'm not actually answering your question, but perhaps if she reads what she should be doing from an actual priest she will make her choice wisely.

LC





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Hi ManInMotion ~

Because we Catholics believe that Communion is the REAL presence of Jesus Christ - we also believe that it is wrong to receive Communion while under the influence of grave sin.

Is adultery a mortal sin in the eyes of the Church?

Yes. However....

It's more complicated than that.

In order to be in a state of grave sin, one has to committ the act with the full knowledge and understanding and choice to do so.

How can any of us know this about someone else?

We can't - the state of your wife's soul is between herself, God, and your parish priest if she includes him.

I do have to ask you - what is your motivation here? Are you angry at her hypocrisy, or are you truely concerned about the offense to Jesus Christ?

If you like, make an appointment with your parish priest and discuss with him. I sincerely doubt he will turn your wife away from the sacraments, unless he feels that she knows what she does.

For many Catholics these days, they do not understand and don't know the gravity of their acts...this is why it is so incredibly important to avoid judging.


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Well, this is interesting.

First, let me explain that I'm an athiest (in case you didn't know) and I've engaged in many, many long winded, sometimes high spirited conversations with believers on this site (which I am NOT inviting, by the way). And, though they think I haven't listened - I have. So, I'll offer you these thoughts.

My sister is a devout RC and very involved with her church. She married a man who was married once in the church and then divorced - he promised her he'd get an annulment then reneged <insert long story here>.

Since then, she has withheld herself from the sacrament of communion as she is considered to be 'out of grace' because of her situation. This is very painful for her.

So, here is my take on it (as an outsider looking in, if you will).

Let's assume for the sake of this that God exists and he sanctifies these sacraments. If someone who should not take the sacrament takes it - do you think God would bless it? Consistency would suggest that, perhaps, if God exists then he would not bless it and might try to find an agent to bring his errant flock back to the fold. Perhaps you are that agent and perhaps you are not.

Either way, I don't think you have to worry about it. Sacraments/blessings are between the God and the believer. If all that is true, then from everything I've heard from those who believe (FH, Mortorman, and others) then He will take care of it in his own time.

If not, as I believe, then it won't matter either way.

Do as your conscience directs you - not out of revenge or manipulation - but out of love and I think you'll find the answer no matter what the "truth" of God/no God really is.

Mys

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MIM:

If your marriage was presided over by a RC priest, then you can assume its valid in the eyes of the church.

I assume that you are raising the issue of confession in regards to your wife's formard wayward behavior. Your wife may not know this, but you state that you only attend church about 6-12 times a year. For Catholics, attending Mass on Sundays is an obligation, and purposely missing this would also require confession before communion.

I am thinking that you want to support your wife's faith as much as possible, is that right? If so, this can be touchy. You brought up the matter of confession, so you don't need to bring it up again, especially on Christmas.

In my experience, confession can be a very healing experience. Why not attend a penance service together next time they offer it? She can go to confession and you can offer your prayers in private.

Best wishes,


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The answer to this question.. for your wife is a simple one.

Unfortunately it's not all that simple. There are very specific guidelines that need to be followed re the Sacrament of Confession. From another site:

[color:"blue"] [/color] "What Is Required?:
Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins." [/color]


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Her transgressions.. if they still weigh on her heart are between her and God. But do not presume to think for a moment, even through reading the rites and traditions of the Church that God does not -want- to have that close personal relationship with your wife...

The thought never entered my mind.


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instead of confronting her with what she is doing wrong, shouldn't you instead be encouraging her to -have- that closeness of faith with God? Shouldn't you be leading her to Church and to take the body and blood of Christ into her body (and by doing so, into yours as you are one flesh) so that she -can- be clensed of her sin, and live rightly in the eyes of God?

I don't see this as an either-or situation. Thing is, she always came across as the more "religous" of the two of us, with her regular church attendance prior to us getting M'd and moving here. However, I asked her about this at the same time we talked about Communion / Confession, and she replied that she wasn't all that religious, mostly attended only because she felt she had to, and didn't understand much of the practices. To be honest, I'm not sure how much of that to believe, because it could have been just a defensive response from her when I brought up the issue.


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It sounds to me.. and please forgive me if I'm misreading this, as if you -want- your wife to continue to live in guilt and shame for her decision.

I don't know if I can agree that my FWWs lives in guilt and shame over her A. No-one knows about her A apart from OM, myself and one or two other people that are never in contact with us. Her approach to her post-A recovery is to try to forget about it and pretend it never happened, and reacting to any issues I might bring up.


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God will forgive her, regardless of whether she accomplishes the rite of Confession.. and while it is good to do so.. God's requirement is to confess to -HIM- and offer Him penance.

Agreed.


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Does she feel she has done that?

I think she does but, but I suspect her prime focus is not getting "forgiveness", but ensuring that she doesn't have to tell anyone else about her choices.


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Have -you- completely forgiven her?

No. I think I will only be able to do so when she shows me by her actions that she's choosen to own and deal with her issues and her behaviours that led to the breakdown of our M and her involvement in an A, and she's prepared to own those issues that are as a result of her A, rather than avoiding them.


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In order to be in a state of grave sin, one has to committ the act with the full knowledge and understanding and choice to do so.

Her A lasted for 2 years. Her PA lasted for one year. I would find it very very difficult to believe that she did not continue it for so long without full knowledge, understanding and choice to do so.


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I do have to ask you - what is your motivation here? Are you angry at her hypocrisy, or are you truely concerned about the offense to Jesus Christ?

It's not an either/or situation.

I AM a bit angry at her hypocrisy. I agreed to our children being confirmed in her RC faith because I felt that this was more important to her than it was to me to have them confirmed in my faith (I'm a Christian, period, and whether that's celebrated as a RC, an AC, a protestant or otherwise makes very little difference to me). Only to discover recently that, according to her, it really didn't matter and she was only doing what she was told to do. I'm really not sure if I can believe that either - these types of responses from her are all part of her defensive behaviour when situations like this arise, and may not necessarily be true.

I am a bit concerned about her relationship with God now. She says that she prayed for guidance, etc. before, but based on her actions now I'm tending to believe that if any prayers were done at all, it was more out of rote than conviction.

Finally, and I think one of the things that really disturbs me, is if she will make the choice to deliberately break the rules of her church and continue to take the Sacrament without Confession, knowing that is wrong, in order to keep up appearances.


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If you like, make an appointment with your parish priest and discuss with him.

I'm not RC, so I'm not sure how that's going to work.


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If your marriage was presided over by a RC priest, then you can assume its valid in the eyes of the church.

** phew **


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I assume that you are raising the issue of confession in regards to your wife's formard wayward behavior.

Yes.


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Your wife may not know this, but you state that you only attend church about 6-12 times a year. For Catholics, attending Mass on Sundays is an obligation, and purposely missing this would also require confession before communion.

I think she knows. I certainly didn't know. Even then, I don't see this as as big a transgression as deliberately choosing to take part in Communion when you know that you haven't met the requirements to do so.


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I am thinking that you want to support your wife's faith as much as possible, is that right?

I want to support her as much as possible, faith and otherwise. I can't support her if she chooses to take part in any further deceit though.


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If so, this can be touchy. You brought up the matter of confession, so you don't need to bring it up again, especially on Christmas.

I will not bring it up again, apart from asking her what she plans to do for Christmas. What I'm looking for is advice on how I should handle any of the various scenarios that might arise.


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In my experience, confession can be a very healing experience. Why not attend a penance service together next time they offer it? She can go to confession and you can offer your prayers in private.

I'd thought about this before, and that would be my preferred choice as well. I did not tell this to her though. If she does choose to do Confession, I don't want to contribute to any thoughts she might be having along the lines of "I'm being forced to do this because my H wants me to."


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First, let me explain that I'm an athiest

Well, I'll try not to hold that against you <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.


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Let's assume for the sake of this that God exists and he sanctifies these sacraments. If someone who should not take the sacrament takes it - do you think God would bless it?

I will not presume to think how God would handle it. That's not the point I'm looking at anyway. I think what concerns me more is what it says about my FWW if she actually chooses to break this "rule" of her faith.


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Do as your conscience directs you - not out of revenge or manipulation - but out of love and I think you'll find the answer no matter what the "truth" of God/no God really is.

I don't think there's any revenge involved. Manipulation? I did mention earlier that I think her talking to *someone* about what happened would be beneficial. However I am trying to avoid manipulating her into taking the decision that I'd like her to take on the matter.


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Man - just because you are not RC doesn't mean that you can't go talk to your parish priest and tell him about your concerns. Why wouldn't he talk to you?

Honestly - I don't think you can judge her state of mind and her full understanding...however, I think that if your children are RC, that she is providing a very bad example.

The point was made earlier about Sunday obligation...

It is a grave sin to miss mass on Sunday. It is a grave sin to committ adultery. It is a grave sin to receive Communion in the state of sin.

This is all being done in front of children that are being raised as Catholic....this is certainly something to discuss with your priest.


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MiM,

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Well, I'll try not to hold that against you

Thanks <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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I will not presume to think how God would handle it. That's not the point I'm looking at anyway. I think what concerns me more is what it says about my FWW if she actually chooses to break this "rule" of her faith.

Uhm.... it means that your wife likes to live in denial. But, we've figured that out all ready, haven't we? I mean... this is news?

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I don't think there's any revenge involved. Manipulation? I did mention earlier that I think her talking to *someone* about what happened would be beneficial. However I am trying to avoid manipulating her into taking the decision that I'd like her to take on the matter.

It would only be beneficial if the conversation had some meaning to her. Uhm..... many years ago I was in charge of training people to do techinical support for software over the phones. One of the things I always told my students was "It's no good memorizing questions to ask if the answers are meaningless to you. Whatever you do, ask questions that mean something to you -- otherwise what on earth do you plan to do with the answer?"

There's no point in your wife having a conversation with anyone until the answers have meaning for her. I understand you didn't want to give her a list of questions or anything (truly, I do) but until she's ready to let go of her denial, there's not much point in engaging in conversations which will likely have no meaning. Ya know?

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MIM:

I have a family full of mixed marriages, and relatives that practice their faith sporadically, so I know that this can be a touchy situation.

I am in a mixed marriage myself, but I am the RC. I support my wife's faith, and am of the opinion that her faith is her road to the Lord, and though I may be on a slightly different road, we are both traveling to the same place.

The issue of confession can be extremely difficult for Catholics, particularly if they have had a bad experience, or if they feel extremely guilty about something. If you do feel inclined to encourage her to go, I would suggest it as a preparation for Christams or Easter, rather than associating it with the actions that may be the reason she is scared to go. I can assure you that if she does go, it will be part of the healing process.

In the mean-time, I think it is ok to support her less than perfect practice of the faith, with the hope that someday it be fuller. I know that there are some other RC Christians out there who would probably say that it is better to not go to church at all until she confesses, but one of the times she is going just might be the day she has the insight about her faith and her actions that she needs.

Best wishes,


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Jamesus,

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"My LORD, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the WORD, and I shall be healed."

It's not that simple when it comes to the big sins. Here is what a RC priest told me when I inquired if adultery is a forgivable sin. This is a quote from our email exchange.

"""It's wonderful that you are going to Mass, but until you go to confession, I hope you are not receiving Communion.

If you've committed a serious sin like adultery, it's important to go to confession and humbly be reconciled to God and the Church before receiving Communion again.

If we receive Holy Communion with serious sin in our soul, it could do us more harm than good. As St. Paul said: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord...That is why many of you are weak and ill" (1 Corinthians 11: 27, 30)

In a way none of us are worthy, but in another way we can be made worthy by God's grace if we ask him to forgive us.

That's why we have the penitential rite at the beginning of Mass, to ask God to forgive us. Less serious sins are forgiven at Mass. For serious sins, this asking forgiveness should be in the context of the sacrament of reconciliation."""

His words gave me a lot to think about.

LC





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ManInMotion:

I'm a practicing RC. Everything said in this thread is spot on with regards to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receiving Communion. It also is relatively unimportant to the issue at hand.

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I will say that I have a somewhat ulterior motive here. I do feel that she needs to talk to *someone* about what she chose to do, and perhaps this might be an opportunity for her to do so.

Don't try to do this stuff around your wife's back. It violates the policy of complete honesty. If you think your wife needs to talk with someone---be prepared to address her respectfully and say so. And have a reason for why you feel this way. And also listen respecfully when she declines to do so---which she is very likely to do...

Your wife is certainly aware of the 'rules'. She needs to get to a point where she feels safe to confess this. It's unlikely that you will get her there by shoving her in the back with rules. You'll have to lead by example...

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Don't try to do this stuff around your wife's back. It violates the policy of complete honesty. If you think your wife needs to talk with someone---be prepared to address her respectfully and say so. And have a reason for why you feel this way.

I've already expressed this to her.


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And also listen respecfully when she declines to do so---which she is very likely to do...

She's certainly done so.


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Your wife is certainly aware of the 'rules'.

No, she was aware of this particular rule until I brought it to her attention. Either that or she is still continuing to lie to me.


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She needs to get to a point where she feels safe to confess this. It's unlikely that you will get her there by shoving her in the back with rules. You'll have to lead by example...

I'm not a RC, so I'm not sure how "leading by example" is going to work here.

I've let her know about the rule concerning Confession and Communion. It's up to her to decide what to do about it.


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MIM, would you care to hear any comments and thoughts on this from a Protestant? I will not intrude on this very sensitive topic without first asking you what sort of comments/discussion you want to have.

FWIW, Myschae is partialy correct in what she referred to as "FH's" thoughts on this subject, but not correct enough to be "accurate."

God bless.

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FH,

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FWIW, Myschae is partialy correct in what she referred to as "FH's" thoughts on this subject, but not correct enough to be "accurate."

I certainly wasn't trying to put words into your mouth or misrepresent you - I was just summarizing my perspective on some of our conversations.

Now, I'll step out and let those who know more discuss this topic.

Mys

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