And since adultery constitutes a grave moral evil, a Catholic who is living in this situation is not permitted to receive the Eucharist.
To quote the Catechism yet again, “The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage.
The code states that Catholics are not to be allowed to receive Holy Communion if they are under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, or obstinately persist in manifest grave sin (c. Canon 916 notes that as a rule, anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass (in the case of a priest) or receive the Eucharist without previously having been to sacramental confession.
The fact is, the Church does not teach that Catholics are forbidden to receive Holy Communion if they are divorced.
Rather, it teaches that a Catholic who has been divorced , without having first obtained an annulment of the first marriage, is not permitted to receive the Eucharist.
The Catechism makes a very clear and necessary distinction: 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 (2386).
Therefore one can and certainly does encounter sincerely devout, practicing Catholics who happen to be divorced.
Such persons are hardly excluded from the sacraments simply because their spouses chose to divorce them.
Similarly, a divorce may be civilly necessary if one spouse is bankrupting the family with compulsive gambling.
In such a case a Catholic might need to obtain a divorce in order to safeguard the financial wellbeing of the rest of the family.
If a Catholic obtains a civil divorce, but does not have a declaration from the Church that his marriage was null, he is still married in the eyes of the Church—even if civil law asserts that his marriage has ended.