Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cohabitation - Evil to be Avoided

...Allow me to offer further thought on cohabitation [...].In the light of George Weigel’s book “The Courage to be Catholic," I feel we should assert better leadership regarding cohabitation.I recommend that pastors clarify that a preliminary requirement for public celebration of the sacrament of matrimony is an “acceptable Christian lifestyle."

Cohabitation is not acceptable. Living in mortal sin is a public declaration of disregard for God and the Church. It is a blatant contradiction of basic values manifested to the Christian community. In most situations cohabitation is compounded with other grave sins of contraception, rejection of reconciliation and receiving Communion unworthily. In a kind but firm way, the couple should be persuaded to separate and then receive the sacrament of matrimony in a proper and dignified way.

Another less desirable option would be to offer the rite of marriage after the sacrament of reconciliation, in a private rite without a public Church celebration.If the couple is concerned about celebrating, it is more fitting do so in a secular way since their living has been secular. After all, one half of all marriages today are civil marriages, followed by a reception. Let them follow that pattern after a private rite of marriage.[...]

From A letter of Fr. Tom Rudolph, pastor of St. Joseph Church, printed in Zenit.

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