Divorced and Separated Catholics

I should also like to address a word to the faithful who, even though they agree with the Church’s teachings on the family, have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation. I want you to know that the Pope and the Church support you in your struggle. I encourage you to remain united to your communities, and I earnestly hope that your dioceses are developing suitable initiatives to welcome and accompany you.

Pope Benedict XVI, Milan, June 2012

Initiatives to care for Catholics who have experienced the breakdown of a marriage include counselling, peer support groups, bereavement support for children of separation and divorce and the annulment process. On 15th August 2015 Pope Francis issued two papal documents in which he set out reforms to the legal structures of the Church, which deal with questions of marital nullity.

Click here to read Pope Francis' Motu Proprio 'Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus'

Individuals as well as couples can approach Marriage Care for counselling. Rainbows is a peer-support programme for children to help them cope with the loss of a parent through death, marital breakdown or imprisonment. For some Catholics the opportunity to review their marriage through the annulment process can be very healing. There are of course other services available locally which diocesan coordinators of family ministry would be able to signpost.

Contact your local Diocesan Coordinator for more information

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