Suppose I was an older single man or woman with no inclination to marry. And I know an illegal immigrant who came to the USA as a child with their parents and is now in college but is always afraid of being deported. Would it be a sin to civilly marry that person BUT not consummate nor cohabit in any way so that person could stay in this country legally. Then when he/she meets the person with whom they want to sacramentally marry, we would be quietly divorced. There would be no sexual sin. Would there be any sin at all in trying to help this person stay in the USA legally in this way?
They can be deported anyway. And, since the “marriage” was a sham made only to continue disobedience to lawful authority, it is much closer to sin than I would dare to go.
I see it as deception, and kind of a mockery of marriage to do that.
There are lots of options for getting that girl citizenship or at least a visa. Student visas are very easy to get, and there are lots of other options toward citizenship.
Besides, I have a friend who married a woman who was not a citizen, and the paperwork and interviews they make you go through is horrendous. The system is very carefully designed to make sure people aren’t doing exactly what you describe. They make sure that you love each other, they monitor your interactions, they check in on you to be sure that you are living together and show all signs of a typical couple. Are all her clothes there? Are overnight toiletries there? If there is any rental or separate housing under your name or her name, it’s suspicious, and if they catch you committing fraud the penalties are severe. They look at how long you’ve known each other, how long you’ve been together, and how long you’ve been engaged. In some cases they even talk to families. Not to mention background checks.
There are better ways to get someone like your hypothetical girl help. Talk to a lawyer, they are always willing to offer help, I am sure! You also have to bear in mind that the very process of exposing her as an person not properly documented to live here, and they think you are getting married to make her a citizen and they deny your applications, she can be deported because you just uncovered her. There is, of course, a very hefty fee associated with all of this. It’s just NOT worth it to defraud the system in this way. There are far safer ways to get citizenship. I am not saying I agree with the system, but it’s too risky and it’s a form of lying and shows badly on the institution of marriage.
To use the sacrament of marriage in that way is to abuse it and that can only be a sin.
I may be wrong, but the person would still be considered divorced and not be allowed to marry in the church.
Yes, it would be a sin. Since such a scenario is illegal, it is fraud. Fraud is a sin.
Also, abusing the sacrament of marriage in such a way violates Church law. Catholics are required to marry according to the laws of the Church, no matter what. To marry civilly for fraudulent purposes mocks the sacrament, commits a crime, and is very wrongheaded.
If Immigration determines that it was a marriage of convenience, the alien will be deported an could possibly be prevented from entering the country for 10 years or more.
It is fraudulent to marry for the sole purpose of immigration.
My oldest brother met and married a woman from Taiwan when they were both students at KU. She was in the country on a student visa. Even after they were married she was not allowed to work because she had a student visa - not a work visa.
They were going through the process to make her a US citizen when my brother died from cancer. It took nearly two more years for a college educated woman married to a US citizen to become a citizen and was reduced living with my mother because she wasn’t allowed to work to support herself. She was afraid to visit her parents (in Taiwan) for fear she wouldn’t be allowed to re-enter the US.
This would not be a sacramental marriage because a Roman Catholic married outside of a Catholic Church without the spiritual benefit of the dispensation from the Form of Marriage (marriage before two witnesses and before a Local Ordinary, Pastor, duly delegated priest, deacon or lay person) and this marriage was never subsequently recognized by the Catholic Church (Convalidation), the marriage is invalid due to the Lack of Form/Absence of marriage for a Roman Catholic.
I agree it would be a sin because it is illegal but I was thinking about the greater good. However it would not be a marriage in any real way since it would not be consumated.
Divorced persons are certainly allowed to be married in the Catholic Church provided the previous attempted marriage was invalid. This would not be a sacramental marriage anyway because a Roman Catholic person married outside of a Catholic Church without the spiritual benefit of the dispensation from the Form of Marriage (marriage before two witnesses and before a Local Ordinary, Pastor, duly delegated priest, deacon or lay person) and this marriage was never subsequently recognized by the Catholic Church (Convalidation), the marriage is invalid due to the Lack of Form/Absence of marriage for a Roman Catholic.
But after reading all the posts, I agree it probably would work anyway and would be sinful because it is a fraud against the government - even if I believe the government is wrong in this case.
How is it wrong for a government to protect itself and its assets from people who want to remain here illegally? To enter into a contract (that’s what civil marriage is) for the purposes of something other than its intended purpose is FRAUD. Defrauding the government is ILLEGAL.
There are ways to enter the country legally. We have immigration laws, and they are not unjust. As Catholics we are expected to not live a fraudulent illegal life.
Let the person become a citizen if they want to stay here. Be legal.
(I get the feeling this is not the hypothetical you said it was).
Assuming this person is a young woman, she is here illegally because her parents brought here to the USA illegally when they came here illegally. However she grew up here and is now in college, but is still an illegal immigrant. The only way for her to get a student vise is to go back to her country of origen and wait there 7 to 10 years before she can apply BECAUSE she entered the USA illegally even though it wasn’t her choice at the time. I do agree that exposing her as an undocumented person would be too dangerous and the whole scheme wouldn’t work. Thanks for your reply.
Well, there are other options. It’s too dangerous to do what you describe, not to mention it’s highly illegal and fraudulent, so yes. It is a pretty serious sin for a Catholic to defraud the government.
I also am getting the feeling that this situation isn’t hypothetical. If you are thinking of doing this - don’t. It can only end in misery and possible prison/deportation. The government aren’t idiots. People do this all the time and are caught all the time.
What about adopting her? :shrug:
Not before marriage of course!!!