Mark Garren does not take communion when he goes to church. Sometimes he walks up to the priest, crosses his arms over his chest and touches his shoulders to signal that he is seeking a blessing. More often, mindful of his divorce years ago, Mr. Garren, a 64-year-old Illinoisan, remains in his pew, watching with slight embarrassment as the rest of the row moves to the front of the church.
Pamela Crawford, 46, of Virginia, is having none of that. Twice divorced, she, too, feels judged by her church, but when she does go to Mass, she walks up with the rest of the congregation. “If God has a problem with me taking communion, we’ll sort it out,” she said.