May a person who is divorced but not remarried receive Communion?

While Church teaching recognizes the seriousness of divorce, it understands that:

1. There are situations in which civil divorce may be necessary: “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense” (CCC 2383), and

2. Divorce may occur due to no fault of an innocent spouse: “It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.” (CCC 2386)

In such cases, divorce is not sinful for that person and he or she may continue to receive Communion. However, in other cases—as with all serious sin—a divorced person should go to confession immediately, prior to receiving Communion.