Friday, September 12, 2014

Pope To Marry Cohabitating Couples? Really??

I know of a pastor who places in his bulletin a requirement for engaged couples going through his marriage prep program.  He requires that if they are cohabiting, that they live separately until their wedding day.  Why?  In his words, "it is sinful, causes scandal, and leads to greater likelihood of divorce".  Of course he's spot-on correct.

Here's another consideration.  Since fornication is objectively a mortal sin, would that not mean that at least some of these cohabitating people have mortally sinned?  Some, out of ignorance of Church teaching, may not be fully culpable, I realize.  But for those in the state of mortal sin, it is my understanding that no grace from any other sacrament will be of benefit to them until their mortal sin is absolved in the Sacrament of Confession.  Would that not include grace from the Sacrament of Matrimony?

The internet is now carrying the news that Pope Francis will marry twenty couples this coming Sunday including "those who are already cohabitating".  That is troubling.  It doesn't say "those who had been cohabitating".  The Telegraph speaks in present tense, not in past tense.

I suppose by now these couples have already been selected.  Have they been required to cease their mortal sin?  Have they been required to confess their mortal sins of fornication and receive absolution from a priest?  If not, they'll most likely not receive the sacramental grace that otherwise they might anticipate from Matrimony.  Moreover, they'll most likely receive Holy Communion at these weddings while in mortal sin, right?  That sounds like two sets of sacrilege right there!

As I read this article, I see no sign of these couples righting their relationships with God and the Church.  I hope I'm wrong in this, but if not, we're looking at scandal of breath-taking proportions with the potential of poor souls careening to hell due to bad example and poor teaching.


  1. I would expect the couples sought to wed in the Church and agreed to go to confession right before the wedding ceremony. It happened to us and we were able to get back in good grace with God and the Church by doing this.

    1. "Right before the wedding ceremony"? That raises a whole bevy of questions that I'll have to address in a separate post.

  2. Hmm.....where's my comment? I didn't think it was anything offensive

  3. We haven't read ANYWHERE in ANY online publication where these couples had been counseled and received the sacrament of reconciliation first. Now, by counseling I would have to at least anticipate that they were required to live chastely for the period of time of being counseled until their marriage, in whatever practical manner that would be carried out for the individual couples at the very least. In ANY write up about this 'marriage' this part is conspicuously absent. Not even a whisper. I would think (or I would at least hope) that the Vatican would, if not anticipate this glaring error, would be aware that no mention anywhere was given and would publicly CORRECT the missing information. Misunderstandings of a Pope's words or actions have, as far as I can recollect, always been CLARIFIED by the Vatican. Benedict comes to mind in a few instances. We hear only crickets chirping from this Papacy. Very disturbing.

    Oh and while I'm at it.......this comes only a few weeks before the upcoming 'Synod' on Marriage. Hopefully, this wasn't just a taste of what's coming. Not that they will formally change anything, they cannot. But exactly what do they mean by a 'Pastoral Approach'? The perception alone from this 'Marriage Ceremony' (not to speak of what goes on in the Synod) on Sunday by the Pope is enough to leave the barn door wide open to more progressive Bishops. Hmmm......didn't we see the exact same scenario play out after Vat ll with the 'Spirit' of Vat ll? We are all too painfully aware of how THAT worked out for us! At least SOME of us can. I LIVED through it to the detriment of some of my family members. In some Diocese the 'Spirit' stunk to the high heavens. Jesus Have Mercy on us....ALL of us!


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