Bear with me on this one, but I’m going to think out loud for a bit.
It seems to me that the Church’s teaching on divorce is really a teaching on infidelity. In other words, people who receive a civil divorce, but not a Church annulment should not enter into new romantic relationships. But a divorce itself is not a sinful act.
I looked at the Catechism, 1650-1651, and it quotes Christ’s words: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and is she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10-11-12) [emphasis added] Note that it is the divorce and remarriage that is the problem. I’ll grant that divorce is not a good thing and should be considered a last resort, but in some cases good people can end up in divorce for whatever reason—infidelity of the spouse, abuse, et al.
The problem, as I see it, is that a stigma has been attached to divorced people in some circles and saddens me to hear divorced people—who have not remarried—tell me that they don’t go to Communion becuase of a mistaken notion that they sinned by divorcing.
What do you all think?