Having sex outside of marriage


#1

Hello,

There is a lady in our church that is a Lector and a Eucharist Minister. She is in the middle of a divorce and is also having sex with a member in the church. Is this ok? Should she be called down from the positions I mentioned above? Should I talk to the priest about this and inform him of what is going on? I mean she gives out Holy Communion! and is a Lector! Is she sinning?

Thank you


#2

Who are you to judge this woman? Are you without sin yourself? Her alleged sex life if your business …HOW?


#3

She may or may not be in a state of sin. Unless you are either her confessor or the person she is sleeping with, you can’t possibly know the state of her soul at any given time, so you can’t judge whether she is or not, and it’s not your business to either.

Is this something that is generally suspected among the congregation, though, or not? There is such a thing as public scandal which may, possibly, depending on the circumstances, mean it is your duty to tell the pastor of these allegations (remember they are only allegations).


#4

The simple fact is that unless you have SEEN, with your own eyes, this lady having intercourse with someone who is not her spouse (and not just heard it secondhand from someone else), you aren’t in a position to judge her soul or her actions. If your priest feels that she needs to be counseled regarding possible scandal to the faithful, that’s his job and his prerogative alone.

The best thing you can do is pray for her.


#5

I think she met it quite clear how it is her business - this woman is in a respected position in the parish. It is more than reasonable that she should keep from a sinful life.

As to the whole judging thing, there is a difference between committing one sin and living a life of unrepentant sin. And when scandal is also included, then there is reason for concern.

And honestly I do not see her saying this woman is evil or judging her as a person at all. Simply, she is asking about this woman’s actions. There is nothing wrong with that.


#6

It is absolutely not okay. It is a grave sin to engage in sex outside of marriage in any case. And further she would be committing adultery in this case if what you say is true.

Should she be called down from the positions I mentioned above?

I would hope so. If it is true, she is a very poor example to others in the parish and a very poor witness to non-Catholics.

Should I talk to the priest about this and inform him of what is going on? I mean she gives out Holy Communion! and is a Lector! Is she sinning?

You are right to be scandalized by this. I am sorry that some others have not been so kind to you. Here you are trying to do the right thing and people treat you as a villain. That is very unfortunate. But do not listen to them!

Here is the issue in talking to the Priest: How do you know what is going on with this woman? If you know it is fact from reasonable reliability, then discreetly inform the Priest and let him decide what to do. If you do not have a reliable source of this, then you should not tell him, as it may just be gossip.

Certainly you should not spread this information to others in the parish. Keep it between you and the Priest.


#7

My sister was almost offered the choir director position at a local parish until the priest found that she is cohabitating with her boyfriend. Though I’m not sure if they have sex or not (its going on two years so i’m guessing yes) the priest would not hire her for that very reason.

While I didn’t have a big problem with the decision of the priest, i wish such decisions would be consistent throughout the church. People who are living lives of sin should not be receiving or giving holy communion. What about lectors who have had affairs in marriage and not repented? The only problem, of course, is knowing who did or is doing sinful actions…


#8

No, you should not stick your nose where it does not belong. Have you actually SEEN them having sex? If not, then theres a huge chance that you are wrong. If you go to you Priest and are actually wrong, the you broke one of the commandments yourself, in bearing false wittness.
and as someone else said, are you perfect. Because if you are perfect, then by all means cast the first stone.
Self-rightiousness is not religion.


#9

Perhaps you should practice what you preach. Do you think that condemning her for being rightfully scandalized is not self-righteous?

The fact of the matter is that there is no mention how she knows or what she knows. Her question is simply whether or not it is a matter the Priest should know about. And the answer is, yes, it is.

Notice that she did not condemn the woman herself, but merely the sinful actions.

I do not think that it is right or good to try to silence someone who is seeking the moral good of their parish or community with the cry of “self-righteous!” or of “uncharitable!”. People on this forum seem to use such terms like weapons sometimes. It is ironic and unfortunate.

Well, I commend the OP for actually caring about her parish community.


#10

I think she met it quite clear how it is her business - this woman is in a respected position in the parish. It is more than reasonable that she should keep from a sinful life.

Good Afternoon,

Being a “Cradle Catholic” and having divorced my ex-husband who joined the church, only ‘after’ we were married …

I agree wholeheartedly with this answer. I too am a Eucharistic Minister and i am not sure, but i don’t think my ex-husband has had his new marriage Blessed by the church.

So … this leads to the question ??? Would ‘I,’ ‘Rightly’ be able to give communion to my ex-husband, knowing if he hadn’t had his new marriage Blessed?

I had asked the Deacon,and the Associate Priest about it, and they said, “Unless i know for sure, he hadn’t had the marriage Blessed in the Catholic Church, i can still offer him Communion.”

But, now, the question is …?

Can ‘I,’ ‘In my Own Heart,’ ‘wholeheartedly’ give him Communion?

My answer is ‘NO’ ~ i can’t, ‘wholeheartedly,’ give him communion.~

I really feel i am right, because, since i’ve realized this, i’ve been ‘shielded’ by having to offer him Communion. Fortunately, ‘Praise God,’ he’s always gone to a different aisle than mine.

Which, leads me to believe that i may need to ask the Bishop about it, it may be more of a matter than everyone presumes?

THX for sharing, i appreciate your concerns.

Phyllis @};-


#11

If there is a public scandal about the behavior going on, then of course the EEM should be removed. If it is based solely on rumor, this is not grounds for removal.

That being so, it seems there is a large rush to assume the OP is a scandal monger carrying a false tale.

Is this not of itself a rush to judgment not knowing the facts of the story.

Didn’t Christ say something about beams and splinters in the eye?

Ironic isn’t it to see that the people speaking of not casting the first stone already have thrown several?


#12

Um, check your statement that I have bolded. We don’t know that the OP is rightfully scandalized. She has not given us much information. She has presented no proof or even hinted at proof. She may be acting on false gossip, and if so that would put the scandal and sin of detraction squarely on those who created and spread the rumors. If the rumors are false, than there is nothing to condemn and in fact, those rumors would be a perfect example of words used “like weapons” against the woman in question.

One should always assume the best of another unless one has concrete evidence to the contrary. Rather than speaking to the priest immediately, if the OP is acting on hearsay she would do well to gently confront the woman in question. The rumors may be false and may shock and disgust the woman in question. In this scenario, unfortunately, the OP runs the risk of losing the woman as a social acquaintance (I’ve been slandered in a similar manner and wished nothing further to do with the perpetrators). If the rumors are true, then the OP can approach the pastor with her concerns and let him deal with the woman. Also, under no circumstances does the OP have the right to spread this rumor further. That is not her place.

Parishes, like all other large groupings of people, can be both good and bad. Sometimes the rumor mill is over-active. I’ve seen it happen before. There will always be those who like to assume the worst: people who assume that childless couples are contracepting when in fact they are infertile, those who assume that people who had been divorced and remarried have done so without annulment of the previous marriage, those who assume that male and female adult siblings living in the same house are cohabitating with all of the sinful things implied by those terms. I’ve seen it all on these boards and in real life. It’s not pretty- in fact it is sinful- and it should not be excused as concern for one’s parish. I sincerely hope and pray that the OP is not of this mindset, although it doesn’t seem good for the woman in question to hope that the information is true, either. There’s not a good outcome either way in this situation. :frowning:


#13

Thank you for this!!! The OP has every reason to be concerned and she has judged NO ONE!!! Makes me wonder why such defensive posts are written:hmmm: :ehh:.


#14

We do not know that she is not rightfully scandalized. Sorry that I did not cover that properly, but I did say in an earlier post in this thread that she should not propagate it as a rumor and not report it without firm knowledge. See the earlier post.

What about innocent until proven guilty? This is not fair treatment of the OP at all.

Rumors and gossip are wrongful things. However, it is also wrong if someone who is legitimately concerned to be attacked for it. You are exactly right when you say we know nothing about the OP’s situation. Therefore, we should not be treating her in a critical manner.

The proper response is simply to address the question:

Yes, IF it is something you have firm knowledge of, then you should tell the Priest. IF it is not, then do not. And no matter what, do not talk to anyone else about it.

What is wrong with a reasonable and balanced response?

Instead, people decide to attack the OP, call her self-righteous, and imply unkind things about her intentions. Well, that is no better than what she is being accused of, is it?


#15

I think it’s best for people to mind their own business in this regard. People undergoing divorce (or facing the death of a partner) are often in a terrible emotional states and the need for support can cause them to do all kinds of things they might not otherwise do.

Although I’m sure churches would like to interfere, when churches enter bedrooms this could be damaging and drive more people away from churches than the wrongdoing itself. Sexual behaviour is considered extremely private by most people and they don’t want churches interfering - or snooping in the bedrooms like spies, so to speak.

God knows the mind of the woman as well as her partner and he alone should judge. Remember, Jesus forgave a prostitute. He knew her mind and the reasons she did what she did. No one else in the world can honestly say they know what’s on another person’s mind or why they behave in the ways they do.




#16

A unrepentant, gravely sinful lifestyle ceases to be private and becomes the concern of the Church when the person holds certain positions within the Church. In this case, the woman is a lector and Eucharistic Minister. Those positions hold moral responsibility.

Perhaps as an agnostic, you do not consider that important. But it is something which is important for us. Someone who is in a public Church position needs to be a reasonably good example.


#17

I think we need to be very clear on something. The notion that “what goes on in the bedroom is nobody else’s business” is not a Christian position, it is a secularist one. We Christians have a moral obligation *to each other *to be faithful to Christ’s directives by not flaunting counter-Christian behavior in His face and in the face the Body of Christ (i.e., our Christian community). Christ never told the prostitute “you are forgiven, now go and keep doing what you were doing, because no one has the right to judge you.” He said, “You are forgiven, go and sin no more.”

We Christians are supposed to understand the difference between being faithful to a covenant and being “perfect” in a humanistic sense. Being faithful to a covenant relationship with Christ and with the Church means you will NOT deliberately choose to live in mortal sin. If you choose to deliberately live in a state of mortal sin, you are not being faithful to the covenant. You in essence are saying that you know better than Christ. And I am NOT being judgemental, in that I am not criticizing someone for not being humaistically perfect. We all make mistakes, but it is the shameless, unrepentant, deliberate nature of it that is so hurtful to the body of Christ. And I’m sorry, but if we are going to preserve Catholic culture in our own Church, we need to take a stand against the ones who think they know better than Christ and the Church.

There is no way I would stand for a wanton adultress to serve in the form of a lay minister at my church. Lay ministers are supposed to be just that – ministers! That carries a *huge *responsibility, and yes it does demand sacrifice. And if people aren’t up to it, then fine, I won’t criticize that. But people like that can’t have their cake and eat it too! There is too much of an attitude of “it’s my right to do what I want, and you can’t tell me to stay out of ministry in a church whose laws I will follow as I please!” How in the world is it that someone can serve as a minister and not feeling a sense of responsibility to be faithful to the ones she serves?

Mortal sin messes people in the head. If they can’t be devoted to their faith tradition, they shouldn’t be pretending to be devoted to their faith community.


#18

Completely and utterly agree:thumbsup:, couldn’t have said it better myself!!!


#19

You must not have read my post clearly, because I was not “condemning” her. I was telling her that unless she knows ofr a fact that the women is engaging in immoral behavior, to not say anything. Besides, if it is such a public thing in her parish then I’m sure the Priest already knows.
If you also notice, the OP did not include many facts, i.e. where she heard about this women engaging in immoral behavior. So yes, people are going to tell her not to say anything to the Priest if there are no facts to back up the rumor.


#20

Agreed, those positions do hold responsibility, and such people should be promoting a good example. I can’t tell others what to do in this regard but if I were in the position of a church leader, one solution I might consider would be to speak the woman privately about the situation without passing judgement, explaining why it’s essential to select another person for leadership. Other than for those in charge, members need not be informed as to why she is no longer in the position. I doubt I would get an argument from such a person who was hopefully selected in the first place because of her understanding, particularly of the laws of the church.


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