Hello, Father! I was poking around the Catholic Answers website and found Chasity.com. There is a good article there about cohabitating before marriage. Sorry I don’t have techno brains to post it here, but you should be able to find it or maybe someone else can find it.
I am deeply ashamed of my fellow Catholics and posters who have addressed a priest so disrespectfully and not given him the benefit of the doubt. Those who criticized on this thread completely missed Father’s point. He knows cohabitation is wrong…he knows why it is wrong… he is simply asking for some good teen oriented material to share with his students! Don’t get why this seems so suspicious to some.
Father, as someone who long ago did seven years of theology alongside mostly priests and seminarians, I am refreshed by your down to earth honesty here. I understand perfectly why you ask here amongst the laity and not at the rectory.
For myself, I do not fully believe sex-less cohabitation is (to use an old philosophic term) “apriori” objectively wrong. Like Polygamy it is not against natural law in a primary way.
I would argue it is wrong in a derived “a posteriori” (ie in a prudential applied reasoning in a fallen world) secondary sort of way. Virgin boys will predictably be boys and sin objectively. That may be testing God…or even pride in one’s (untested) self-control?
OK we could go on about scandal but that argument isn’t terribly credible given the accepted flatting mores of teenagers at University etc these days. Also, if the Church can advise remarried couples with children to live together as brother and sister in order to go to Communion…that doesn’t exactly worry about the “scandal factor” does it :eek:.
The next question will be that even if they engage in sex in weak moments what’s the problem if contraception is used and there’s no (alleged) consequences…that’s a tough one too!
I have no texts for you sorry.
This sort of theology is written in live human-skins as St Dominic would say.
Or, as St Francis was want to say…preach at all times and if necessary even say a few words.
Good on you for trying to get a little further than the “God said so” credibility limit.
My approach to this issue is a little different.
First of all, to approach this question in a coherent manner, certain underlying principles must be understood and accepted. Principles such as the value of holding off sex until marriage, the purpose of relationships and marriage, the idea that humans and human relationships are inherently flawed. Basically the people you are presenting this idea to must already be on board with the idea of Christianity and dedicating your life towards a higher cause, or else it is not with discussing co-habitation that you will win over their hearts and minds, but baser, more central issues and questions.
So, lets assume we are at that point. Why should two people avoid cohabiting?
The problem is that both partners are wasting each others time, somewhat.
a) If they love each other completely and are a good match, then there is no good reason they should not be married. Such a union should be brought before God to bring out its full potential. The two will get to enjoy their sexual energies in an optimal environment, where they are fully committed to each other.
b) If they are still unsure about each other, then they should spend more time in the dating/courting stage figuring out if they are right for each other, rather than committing themselves to each other. Cohabiting will only exponentially increase sexual attraction to each other, which could be a big problem in a relationship like this. Sex is very powerful at creating emotional bonds to others, and introducing such influences into a relationship which you are not sure about, will only cloud the judgement of both partners and hinder their progress with working out if they should or shouldnt marry.
c) If they do not intend to get married, and are only living together for shared sexual satisfaction, or perhaps financial convenience, then all they are doing is using each other/enjoying themselves. Such a relationship has no purpose, and no destination of any value. It may be fun, but so is eating 10 Hershey Bars instead of a proper meal for dinner - fun, but ultimately shallow, and you’re only harming yourself. All they are doing is stopping each other from meeting proper marriage material.