Cohabitation


#1

Hey everyone. My boyfriend and I are having a child together. I am 13 weeks pregnant with his child. Therefore we are living together so that way we can care for our child together. We have definite plans to get married in the future. Is it a mortal sin to cohabitate in this situation?


#2

Not sure, but interested to find out.


#3

I’m afraid it is, my dear. In fact, getting married merely because the woman is pregnant can be grounds for annulment later on. Weddings don’t have to be huge affairs with gowns and tux and a lot of hoopla. You and your bf can contact the priest at your local parish and say your vows before him in a simple ceremony with a couple of witnesses. If you want to have a party/reception later, that’s fine, of course, but you should talk to your priest about this situation and if he agrees that marriage is right for you two, get married. You may have to go through Cana classes first. It all depends on what your priest decides is the best thing for you to do. In the meantime you should separate if possible.

Others here might be quite strict and come down on you, but I know that many Catholics have not received proper instruction in their faith for many reasons. God understands your situation, and if you need to separate for a while at the direction of your priest, in the long run, and after years of marriage, it will seem like nothing at all. For the sake of your baby and yourselves you should go to confession, attend Mass (without receiving communion until you have this all ironed out) and demonstrate to your priest that you mean to live your faith and raise your child in the faith. That will go a long way towards him trusting that you are serious about regularizing your situation. All the best to you. You have my prayers.


#4

I don’t think a man and a woman living together is a sin in and of itself. However, playing “Married” by sleeping together and acting like everything is fine and you are practically married makes a mockery of the sacrament of Marriage.

Assuming you and your boyfriend are living like brother and sister and not having relations, it still can cause the sin of “scandal” by living together while not married. You are pregnant and people are going to assume you two are still sleeping together. THAT, if it cause another to sin is “scandal” and it helps others sin by you and your boyfriend co-habituating because you are helping to perpetuate the secular thinking that it is perfectly acceptable for a man and woman to live together, have sex before marriage and even have a litter of children out of wedlock. And, as we know, these things are not acceptable behavior from someone who is supposed to be Catholic. What about when a friend says “I have a friend who is Catholic and she lives with her boyfriend” that makes The Church look bad to non-Catholics. It is not being a representative of Christ that we are kind of supposed to do by imitating him and letting our light shine. Causing “scandal” is a grave matter and if done with all three conditions met (fully knowledge, grave matter and 100% consent) it is a mortal sin.

I would definitely talk to a priest. I know life is not easy, so you may not be able to just move out like I am sure some people will tell you that you must do. But if you can, I would. If you cannot, you must live like brother and sister with your boyfriend. But you definitely need to talk to a priest. Like if you cannot find him today, at least call your parish and leave a message. Talk to a Deacon if you can find him. Good luck and God bless.


#5

It sounds as though you are contemplating an unmarried cohabitation of some years? Why?

If you have plans to marry, you have time to to complete marriage preparation and marry before the child is born.


#6

Thanx for the frankness of your admission.
There are many grey areas you can get away with, but
this is NOT one of them. Irreverence for the sacrament
of marriage will hurt other areas of your life, like the
other sacraments(Eucharist, Reconciliation, Baptism)
You are not honoring only the Church’s teaching, But
God’s clear commandments!


#7

You knew it was before you ever asked !! Just because you have committed sin in the past, doesn’t give you permission to keep on sinning ! God Bless, Memaw


#8

Bad idea. You will be focused on each other instead of the baby. If you really intend to marry, then you should make an appointment with a priest ASAP to get the process going and ask HIM about living together beforehand.


#9

You already know that a man and woman, living together as man and wife without a sacramental marriage, is defined as a sin by the Church. As already noted, you should go to confession as soon as possible and work out your plans for the future with your child. If that includes getting married to the father, then fine but don’t think that you can just live together, unmarried and consider yourself to be in a objectively “safe” situation. You have been here at CAF long enough to know the answer to your question.


#10

Fornication is a sin of grave matter and living together after finding out about the pregnancy is also a sin. You should live separately until married in the Church.


#11

Hey everyone. I want you all to know that my boyfriend and I decided to live separately until we are married. I also went to Confession and Mass for the first time in 3 months on Sunday.


#12

While avoiding sin is paramount, true care of the baby’s and your own needs would seem to take precedence over the possibility of causing scandal. Scandal is low in this case anyway because anything you do will already likely be overshadowed by the potential scandal of the prior sin.

What you should do is make sure you have sufficient support networks for the baby. If you don’t have any other options (no pregnancy resource center in Evansville?), I think it might be possible that to live as brother and sister is best. But that’s a huge “if”. As always, discuss this with your pastor.

Hopefully any of this won’t compromise your discernment of your relationship and vocation with your boyfriend. Try to mitigate against that as much as possible. If and when you make your marriage vows, you and the Church both want them to be as free from external influence as possible. Still, the upcoming baby, conceived in some capacity of love (even if lust was a strong element too) is probably not a mere non-indicator of God’s call for you here, but rather a sign that God wants you to marry. But discern fully as best you can.

Hopefully, you will soon fully discern with the agreement of all parties, and the pastor will work with you to normalize your situation within the Church.

Thank you for agreeing to raise and nurture that future brother or sister in Christ for us. I can’t imagine how hard it is, but I wish and pray for you the best.


#13

Praise God. You did the right thing. God bless, sister in Christ :slight_smile:


#14

That’s great, Holly! I’ll be praying for you!


#15

The solution is clear and very easy. Just go down to the church and get married, it’ll only take a few minutes, make everything right, and clear up all of your apprehensions. Just do it!


#16

It won’t make anything right if this man isn’t ready to be a husband. Discernment is necessary, here.


#17

As well as the fact that most parishes now require couples to go through Cana classes first. :slight_smile:


#18

According to Bishop Sheehan, it is.
institute.catholicmatch.com/2011/04/bishop-sheehan-cohabitating-couples-live-in-mortal-sin/


#19

From the document that article references:

People in the above three situations [the first situation involves couples who cahabit] cannot receive the Sacraments, with the important exception of those who agree to live chastely (“as brother and sister”) until their situation is regularized.

Cohabiting couples who live chastely, who avoid scandal, and who are seeking marriage in the Church, are by no means considered to be living in mortal sin.

Moreover, there are situations in which it is impossible or highly difficult for a couple to separate, and even causing some form of minor scandal is almost impossible to avoid, even if sincere sacrifices are made.

Such a couple, who are genuinely not living in a constant near occasion of sexual sin by being in the same house together, and who are genuinely living chastely, *are *able to receive Christ in the Eucharist as they await marriage.

The key is whether or not a couple can live together as brother and sister without falling into sin together – and while only barely resisting temptations to fornicate – and whether or not they can, within reason, avoid giving scandal to others.

Living under the same roof as someone who is not a relative of yours, but who is of the opposite sex, is not a mortal sin; causing scandal and fornication are the mortal sins involved in such circumstances.


#20

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