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June 8, 2015 | Volume 90 Number 16


Clarification on answer by Father Doyle


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In clarification of Father Doyle’s response to the twice-divorced woman who wished to enter the Church (May 25 issue), the facts offered suggest a different response than the one Father’s canonist gave.

The “manifest grave sin” which would have prevented the woman from entering the Church was her second marriage while the bond of her first marriage remained. Civil divorce didn’t change the situation of the first bond “until death.”

When the woman separated from, and later divorced, her second spouse, the manifest grave sin ceased. Unless the woman has attempted a third marriage or is living in an irregular relationship, there is no reason for her not to be received into the Church or to receive full initiation (as applies).

It is persistence in manifest grave sin which excludes, not the fact there was once sin. If both Father Doyle and his canonist-consultant are aware of other facts than those stated, it would have been helpful for your readers to know this.

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