Mel Gibson is not supposed to take Communion in his own church

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People Magazine has a good overview of how Catholic law might apply to Mel Gibson’s sticky religious situation. The thing is, Mel Gibson isn’t your standard Roman Catholic church-goer. He founded a Traditionalist Catholic church. The Traditionalist Catholics split from the Vatican and don’t recognize any changes in Catholicism after 1962, which was when Vatican II stepped in and made reforms. In turn, the Vatican doesn’t recognize Traditionalist Catholicism as part of the Catholic Church.

Yesterday we reported that Mel made an awkward angry speech on the stage at his church on Sunday, telling parishioners not to gossip about him. Mel has publicly acknowledged that he’s having a baby with his 39 year-old mistress, Russian singer Oksana Grigorieva. He’s been married for 28 years to his wife, Robyn, with whom he has seven children. The two only filed for divorce in April, but Mel claims they’ve been separated for three years. Under Traditionalist Catholic doctrine, Mel is still committing adultery and should not even be taking Communion. People explains this well, but does not mention if Mel has been seen taking Communion or not.

What’s more is that People sort-of confirms what we mentioned yesterday – that Traditionalists don’t grant annulments at all and that Mel can’t get re-married to Oksana in his own church.

PEOPLE turned to experts in traditionalist Catholicism, the breakaway group from mainstream Roman Catholicism to which Gibson, 53, has long adhered:

Can Gibson take Communion? A traditionalist Catholic who is married to one woman but is conducting a romance with another is considered an adulterer, and in violation of one of the Ten Commandments. Until he turns away from that violation by ending the offending activity, and confessing his sin, he would remain ineligible for Communion.

“It would be heartbreaking for Gibson,” says a traditionalist Catholic priest who has celebrated Mass at Gibson’s chapel but prefers not to be named. “We have sympathy for a person in that situation.”

Can Gibson annul his marriage? The Catholic Church grants many annulments. Previously, an annulment was allowed when a marriage was not consummated, when it was forced on one of the parties or when the vows were judged illegitimate for reasons such as mental illness. Today, church tribunals are more lenient and help find ways to keep divorced Catholics hoping to remarry in the fold. But Gibson, who was married in the mainstream Catholic church, has another problem to contend with. He would have to apply to an authority, the Vatican, that doesn’t recognize his own congregation. That would make for an awkward request, experts say, but the official church might still decide to consider it.

Can Gibson re-marry in a non-Catholic church? Perhaps, but his own congregation would not likely recognize it as legitimate

Can Gibson marry a non-Catholic? Yes. Before he married, he would need a dispensation from a Catholic bishop to marry someone outside his church. These are often granted.

Can the child of an unmarried couple be baptized in the traditionalist Catholic Church? A child is not considered at fault for the circumstances of his or her birth. The child could be baptized and brought up in the church.

[From People]

The reality of the situation for Mel sounds worse that I was imagining. Of course the congregation is going to talk about him. These are people who are so hardcore they think the current Catholic church is too liberal. I wonder how many “adulterers” Gibson judged before he ended up in that same situation. It looks like he doesn’t have a lot of options. He can break with his church and pick one that’s more tolerant, break with his girlfriend, or continue going to a church that strongly condemns his actions and considers him ineligible to receive Communion. He’s not going to change anyone’s mind by bitching and complaining about it. The people who go to his church are obviously set in their beliefs and purposely chose a church that doesn’t give people much leeway. Mel went that route too, and he’s feeling the consequences of veering so far from what he once believed was the only right way.

Mel and Oksana are shown on 4/28/09. Credit:
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25 Responses to “Mel Gibson is not supposed to take Communion in his own church”

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  1. Nony says:

    is it bad that this made me smile?

  2. Because I Say So says:

    I’m not going to bash anyone’s religion, but Mel clearly doesn’t understand rules or morality. And yet, he considers himself a religious man. His narcissism (and the fact that he’s batsh*t crazy) is really, really disgusting in someone of his age and reputation in Hollywood. Grow up, a-hole. The rules DO apply to you, too

  3. annie says:

    this is why mel never pushed for a divorce(before oksana got pregnant) he denied his affair with her, kept her out of the spotlight(for the most part) he would have had an affair with her or someone else for however long it lasted and stayed married to robyn, he wanted it both ways. now his back is against the wall and he has some hard decisions to make.what goes around, comes around

  4. RuBy kAUr says:

    She has horrible hair!

  5. CathyT says:

    The Traditionalist Catholics split from the Vatican and don’t recognize any changes in Catholicism after 1962, which was when Vatican II stepped in and made reforms. In turn, the Vatican doesn’t recognize Traditionalist Catholicism as part of the Catholic Church.
    This is incorrect. Read the wikipedia article. Traditionalists come in all flavors. And not all object to Vatican II. The disputed liturgical changes came later in 1968.

    Under Traditionalist Catholic doctrine, Mel is still committing adultery and should not even be taking Communion.
    Garden-variety Catholicism says the same thing. And the People article DOES say that Mel has been abstaining from communion.

    Traditionalists don’t grant annulments at all and that Mel can’t get re-married to Oksana in his own church.
    The criteria depends on the Traditionalist, but all recognize annulments in theory. Mel and Robyn Gibson’s shotgun marriage might fall under the category of “coersion.”

  6. Cindy Kennedy says:

    Wowza. His girlfriend is gorgeous….

    As far as Mel goes, I thought premarital sex was against the rules for Catholics?

  7. Gloaming says:

    Mel’s wife left him after his DUI. That’s nearly 3 years ago.
    He probably met Oksana during the time in which he was separated from his wife – (you know,the one that left him)
    Jebus, it’s not like he’s murdering people…….

  8. Alecto says:

    His wife and mother of his 8 kids was gorgeous too.

  9. Giz says:

    She looks like a skinny version of the Octomom in the photo above.

    As far as the Gibson and religion goes, ahh, the beauty (or not) of cherry picking.

    Good luck to the child.

  10. Anoneemouse says:

    The REAL question here is: When did he STOP taking communion? I bet $1000 that he only JUST stopped when the media came out with the pregnancy and girlfriend stories, NOT when he started committing adultery.

  11. Samantha says:

    I do believe adultery is a no-no in most religions, even the more lenient christian settings…

    But hell, he is famous, so that means he can do whatever he wants…right?

  12. judy says:

    He is an adulterer and cannot receive communion and he should be excommunicated while they are at it for thinking he can buy his way into heaven LOL He is an imposter. He is NOT a good catholic. He thinks he is because he doesnt use birth control and now is having an illegitiment child by his mistress who is also guilty of breaking the commandments.
    He feels if he runs to confession on friday and gets absolution and he doesnt have sex with the tramp until after he goes to chruch and communion of sunday then he is ok, but he doesnt realize that being absloved from sin means you ahve to be sorry for it and NOT do it AGAIN lol..his money has fried his brain right along with the booze and drugs. He is a straight out liar and phoney. He likes his women pregnant and tied down with kids while he parties and screws anything that is still watm and by looking at the mistress he must take her pulse to see if she is still breathing lol She looks like something out of the Adams family ..

  13. CeeJay says:

    Funny thing happens when you create the rules and then break them!! Mel wanted his ideal of a perfect Catholic Church but then his wife wasn’t willing to play along with a continued long term marriage with a pregnant girlfriend on the side. She blew his cover and now he has to play by the rules he created and has broken. Oh well…he can always create another church.

  14. czarina says:

    @CeeJay–you just mentioned what I consider to be one of the most obnoxious things about Mel Gibson (and there are SO many..!)
    I don’t know much (if anything) about Traditionalist Catholicism, but in mainstream Catholicism a church is not supposed to be built by one person for that person’s benefit. A church is meant to be for a community worshipping together, which is a cornerstone of Christianity (of all types).
    Sure, a person can donate money for a church to be built, or even land, etc. But by his actions at the service where he harangued the congregation (upstanding the priest and the entire Mass), Gibson shows his essential vanity and egomania. He clearly considers the church “his” and like some self-aggrandizing medieval overlord, thinks his own personal agenda is more important than the true purpose of the church.
    I think Mel is a terrible example of a religious person (of ANY religion!). Someone who proseletyzes (sp?) his religious convictions quite loudly to the world and does all kinds of big, flashy, look-at-me things (like building a church or making a movie), but at the same time considers himself above and beyond the basic day-to-day moral expectations of those who genuinely believe. (Does Mr. Lohan attend Mel’s church, too?)

  15. mE says:

    His being a hypocrite started way before any of this stuff. It is called “causing scandal” (the Church’s understanding of the term is a little different from the regular use of the term).

    Honestly, I don’t know what he could do to make this situation right. I hope that he does have some intention of doing so. I believe he should be abstaining from communion and sexual activity if and until he has an annullment granted and he has made a full and sincere confession while taking care of his whole family (including his mistress and his child with her).

    I hate to sound judgemental, I wonder how likely any of that is.

  16. annie says:

    #that would be exactly the right thing to do

  17. linda k says:

    i just wonder how many of us would be allowed to do as he did in church..he sounds like he owns it and dictated what he wants to the people there..wonder if it will survive after all this. he did this..if he wanted a divorce he should have gotten one

  18. annie says:

    linda k., I agree. He keeps saying their marriage ended 3 yrs. ago so why did,nt he get a divorce and then seek and annulment (he has grounds for one-shotgun wedding)And then what really upsets me is that he commits adultery right in front of his kids and lets his sons bring their gf’s to costa rica. I would imagine he let them sleep together since he’s doing the same thing right in front of them.

  19. linda k says:

    that’s why all this is so weird. all his kids were down there except tom. they knew what was going on. then this picture shows up of the two of them, on the beach…something is not right here.either all this was set up or it sure was a coincidence. we never saw him with any of his other girlfriends.

  20. linda k says:

    i think nothing would have happened if she hadn’t gotten pregnant. i think mel would have had his girls and all would have been right with the world. as far as being talented, who puts pictures of themselves in lingerie on their cd’s?

  21. annie says:

    Absolutely agree linda k. Mel wanted to keep his fortune,image and reputation intact, if it’s not broke why fix it? But then I don’t think Mel fully realized who he was dealing with. She got pregnant, so everything is unraveling.

  22. Ruby Elliott says:


  23. ssoldie says:

    The word is ADULTRY,the act is ADULTRY clear and simple.

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