FSSP Priest vs. Boyfriend - Unabsolved


A little background: My boyfriend and I have been together well over 5 years now, we’re both in our mid to late 20’s. We have been living together nearly the whole time of our relationship. He was Catholic when I met him, and I just entered the church this Easter. He really started practicing Catholicism more seriously when I was going through RCIA at an ordinary form parish that was nearby (and where I received my Baptism, etc…). During my time in RCIA we had been trying not to sleep in the same bed together and not fornicate - which is hard to do while cohabiting…A few months ago I found out that there was an FSSP parish not too far away - so we went to try it out; I absolutely loved it - and he hated it!

Fast forward: This Saturday I really wanted to go to daily mass at the FSSP parish and he went also - we decided to go to confession together; and I was first. Well…I confessed to fornication and soon the priest got out of me that we were living together and that he would not absolve me until we move apart (which up until this point I did not realize it was so horrible and mortal to be in occasion of sin). Let’s just say my confession made him nearly late to say mass and unable to hear others.

My boyfriend is so angry about me trying to move out. He says that I’m only doing it because the Priest told me to and that I should seek out a Priest that will absolve me - but I feel that is the wrong thing to do. It feels like he wants me to be Catholic…but not THAT Catholic…haha…He also tells me that he will never step foot in that parish again saying “IT’S NOT 1962 ANYMORE”

I just don’t know what to say to explain to him why I am doing this. I tell him that it is for us and that it could only improve our relationship - he says otherwise and won’t even listen to me on the subject.

I am at a loss for words - I called to make an appointment to speak with the Priest more about this, but haven’t scheduled anything yet…

Any good advice out there as to ways I can explain this to my boyfriend? Has anyone else gone through this?:shrug:

Well sorry for your situation. You are doing the right thing and whether it was a FSSP parish or another regular parish, the priest was right in telling you that fornication and living together is mortal sin. Your soul is endangered by living in mortal sin. I would explain that to your b/f and if he truly cared about you he would respect your wish to be under the graces of God and not be cut off from that by living in sin. There is no such thing as levels of being Catholic. You either are or are not. Speak with your priest about how to approach your b/f and if he is unwilling to work with you, it may be best to separate in order to focus on reconciling yourself with God.

What the priest told you isn’t a “1962” thingee. The Church has defined situations like yours as a sin ever since, and still holds true up to now.

I can understand your feelings but I would follow your FSSP priest’s advise and move out. Doing so will do two things that are important to your future;
1 - You can go back to confession and tell the priest that you are no longer in an intimate relationship and are truely sorry for your sins.

2 - Your boy-friend will have to “man-up” and prove his love for you and for God. This will be a big test for him.

By all means follow your priests advise.

God Bless

I agree with this. Maybe you could invite your b/f with you when you consult with the priest.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not against the canons to refuse Absolution to a penitent? As in, “You are forgiven; but you must now rectify the situation, lest you continue to live in sin.”

Another alternative. You have been together for five years and should by know whether marriage is in the cards. If so, then maybe it’s time. If not, then it’s time to cut bait and move on. Think about it.

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Yeah, I guess I can try to invite him to meet with the priest and I; but I doubt he will. I think I will have a hard time ever getting him back in the building.

I feel so heartbroken over this - the feeling of not being able to be absolved until I am able to move or participate in the sacraments of confession and Eucharist and the feeling of leaving someone I love that I have been with for so long…

Any other advice is much appreciated!

We’ve talked marriage. But I just don’t think the time is right - especially now. But regardless I’ve gotta move out.

yep, if he loves you he will honor you by professing his fidelity by the sacrament of Holy matrimony.If not, well…that may be painful, but time to move on?

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Here is a link from the USCCB ( United States Conferencec for Catholic Bishops)


I hope it is helpful! At the very least it might help to show your boyfriend that this is not some outdated idea.

Take it from someone old enough to be your grandma, There is NO MAN worth loosing your soul!! I married out of the faith & “lived in sin” with my divorced husband for 17 1/2 years until he died in a car accident. What if I had died within those 17 1/2 years?? My soul would not have had a chance!! By the Grace of God, I am back in the church. I loved my husband so very much but I wish I had never married him. Right now you have two paths laid before you. Please pray for the courage to make the right choice.

Well …

[quote=marchoi]Canon law only permits a priest to deny absolution if he is reasonably certain that the penitent lacks contrition - i.e., the penitent is not truly sorry for his/her sins. This is because the penitent’s contrition is a necessary element for a valid confession. If a penitent were refused absolution, he/she would need to seriously pray about his/her sins and return when truly sorry for them. Until then, even if a priest were to grant absolution, if the penitent lacks contrition, it is not a valid confession.

Absolutely, every word.

Exactly - she was refused absolution, as priests have the right to refuse, and told the conditions under which she may obtain that absolution in future. Which is only fair, otherwise she might despair of it’s ever being available and not returning to confession.

A very different scenario to being absolved but conditionally so.

Thanks, I never knew that something like this would cause me so much pain and sadness. I have been praying and going to mass - hoping that it can help me get through this. I just hope that maybe someday he will be able to understand why we need to make this change.

I’m sure he (your boyfriend) is bright enough to understand the reason why you need to find separate digs. This situation has gone on long enough and the priest is absolutely right, you need to correct it, not only for the state of your soul, but for your own dignity as well. It sounds to me like it might be time to exercise a little discernment about the nature of this relationship. I’ll say a prayer for you.

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Yeah, he’s right. It’s not 1962… or 1992 … it’s 2012!

The cohabitation studies are on the side of the Church. It’s time to wake up and stop living like it’s 20 years ago and the information isn’t available, as if not enough studies have been done yet. Living together before marriage will significantly increase your chances of getting a divorce if/when you do eventually marry. Sleeping together before marriage increases the chances of adultery by something like 60%. Dating a long time before marriage will also increase your chances of divorce (I think the ideal time was like 2-3 years). I wonder how much pain and how many broken families there need to be before the media finally wakes up and gets the memo? Stops promoting self-destructive behavior?

I don’t think now is the time to make rash decisions. Of course you need to move out ASAP, but I think you should wait a little while after you move out before you guys make up your mind to break up or get married. You will need time to adjust, and time apart so you can think and reflect. Is this the person God intends for me to marry? Will I grow in holiness with this person, so we can both be in Heaven together? If the answer to both questions is “yes” then you should arrange to start marriage preparation and get married in 6 months to a year from now. If the answer is “no” then you need to stop wasting time together and go date other people.

I thought it was fine to cohabitste as lomg as you lived like siblings

Weirdly enough I confessed to the same thing a while ago. The priest wasnt fussed and gave me a few prayers. Of course mine might be different since weve now been married for 10 years

We did live together for 2-3 years though

I’m not sure about the canon, but if the penitent (not sure about the OP’s specific confession), but perhaps did not show contrition and or intention to repent for that particular sin, in which case I think it’s appropriate for the priest not to absolve. Of course, that’s only my logic and not canon law.

God bless,

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