- If (and only if) I'm prepared to remain alone until the day I die, I can remain a member in full communion with the church; or
- If I can't endure lifelong solitariness and repartner, I can remain part of the church as long as I'm content to be restricted to sweeping the church, making the tea, running the errands, and keeping my eyes on the floor during Communion.
When I posed this dilemma in a Catholic group on GooglePlus, a commenter pointed out that the way I've worded (1) is a little unfair. Rather than being alone for the next fifty years (or until I get hit by lightning; whichever happens first), I'm called to live in chastity and continence. The commenter was perfectly correct, but I still think my wording was justifiable. Everyone over the age of about 15 knows that the unique bond of love between man and woman is something different from the love one has for one's friends or family. The latter is at best an ersatz when it's used to replace the former, and it's deception to pretend otherwise.
The second item is more complex. No less a figure than Pope John Paul II said
I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God's grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.However, this help and care always looks the same: Integrating those who are divorced and repartner into the life of the parish means giving them other roles than being a communicant. It's unlikely those roles can include being on a church committee, or teaching, or being a eucharistic minister or a lector*. It does mean that priests should "involve them in the charitable works of the Christian community for the poor and needy, and ... awaken the spirit of repentance by acts of penance that prepare their hearts to accept God's grace". As I said above: making the tea, sweeping the church and running errands. It's terribly hard not to take this as being told "you really do have a place in our community - just don't forget that it is and always will be right at the bottom".
Probably I'm guilty of the sin of pride, but this is why I'm very close to leaving the Church I was so happy to enter. If I stay, I hate the thought of what I'll become after 50 years of negativity and bitterness.
* "However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.": John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, at para 84