Anne asked:

I would like to receive communion again but I’m told I need to have my first marriage annulled. But that would mean my son is a bastard child. He was a planned pregnancy. I’m confused.


Jimmy Akin replied:

"Legitimacy is a legal concept. It’s not a stain on your child one way or another. Your child is either legitimate or not regardless of whether you get an annulment. An annulment has no effect whatsoever on the question of whether your child’s legitimate. Remember legitimacy is just a legal category. It’s used for determining things like inheritance rights. It’s not a moral judgment on your child in any fashion whatsoever.

... Under Canon law a child is legitimate if he was born to a putative valid marriage. That’s the technical term that means a marriage that was entered into good faith by at least one of the partners ... Even if by some chance you and your husband both knew that you were not entering a legitimate marriage ... then your child could simply be legitimized through a Canonical procedure ...

The reason that you can’t go to communion right now is because ... the Church needs to establish that you are free to marry the person you are presently civilly married to ... If you are leading a normal married life, not living as brother and sister with your present spouse and that marriage wasn’t properly contracted ... then you’re not actually married. Consequently to lead a normal sexual life in that situation with someone you’re not married to, that creates a barrier between you and Jesus. That barrier needs to be addressed."


Copyrights:

Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

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Show air date: September 19, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Jimmy Akin

Question appeared in show: 27:53


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