Not married and receiving communion


#1

We know this couple who are not married, have a 15 yr old and receive communion every Sunday. Our priest knows that they are not married and yet he gives them the Body of Our Lord. The man has been the one who has not wanted to get married. They are very active in church activities. He helps the Knights at their events, their son is in confirmation class, etc. I want to know if I should speak to my lady friend about how awful it would be if she died in the state of mortal sin? I worry so much about their situation. They are really two nice people. I am not judging them, I am just concerned for their loss of heaven if they continue this way. If my priest doesn’t stop them from receiving Communion, does that mean I should just leave it alone?

Mary


#2

this matter is between the couple and the priest, who you say knows their situation, so you may assume he knows it better than we do. In Christian charity we put the kindest possible interpretation on their situation, and assume they have been receiving guidance from the priest and are following his directives whatever they may be. None of our business.


#3

[quote=mvharg]We know this couple who are not married, have a 15 yr old and receive communion every Sunday. Our priest knows that they are not married and yet he gives them the Body of Our Lord. The man has been the one who has not wanted to get married. They are very active in church activities. He helps the Knights at their events, their son is in confirmation class, etc. I want to know if I should speak to my lady friend about how awful it would be if she died in the state of mortal sin? I worry so much about their situation. They are really two nice people. I am not judging them, I am just concerned for their loss of heaven if they continue this way. If my priest doesn’t stop them from receiving Communion, does that mean I should just leave it alone?

Mary
[/quote]

We had about a year ago a very highlighted case in the newspapers of a priest refusing communion to a couple just like this.
They drew attention to themselves by inviting the priest to their house to explain the situation, but told the priest to leave the house after he explained the wrongs of it.
Well her boyfriend went in que as usual and asked for a Host for his girlfriend, the priest saw red and refused them both communion.
It’s not alright to receive like this, plus some of the Eucharistic Ministers said what if we see someone who we know to be living common law or otherwise, what do we do ?
My advice was bring it to the attention of the priest and he’ll advise, not that the answer will please everybody.
I have noticed that some in second relationships have left this Church and are attending a more liberal Church now, where the priest doesn’t seem to care who receives, or in what state.
Problem is, if the priest does give Communion he becomes like an accomplice in their sin, by ok-(ing) it.
So although it seems hash, maybe the priest is doing them a favour by not heaping one sin on top of another.
It is a dilema when they’re friends, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.


#4

Thank you all for your comments and advice. Yes it is hard when they are your friends. I do hope and pray that the priest is guiding them, eventhough I don’t see it.

My first thread, I guess Malia would call me a newbee (sp?)
mary


#5

[quote=Eireann]So although it seems hash, maybe the priest is doing them a favour by not heaping one sin on top of another.
[/quote]

St Paul said:

“Therefore whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. . . . For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor. 11:27, 29).


#6

[quote=mvharg]We know this couple who are not married, have a 15 yr old and receive communion every Sunday. Our priest knows that they are not married and yet he gives them the Body of Our Lord.
The man has been the one who has not wanted to get married. They are very active in church activities. He helps the Knights at their events, their son is in confirmation class, etc. I want to know if I should speak to my lady friend about how awful it would be if she died in the state of mortal sin? I worry so much about their situation. They are really two nice people. I am not judging them, I am just concerned for their loss of heaven if they continue this way. If my priest doesn’t stop them from receiving Communion, does that mean I should just leave it alone?
Mary
[/quote]

Thats fonication and is a grave sin. Especially if they are living together in the same house.

Its kind of odd the father doesnt want to get married yet he is active in the KofC, a group that praises good families who obey the Church especially on the moral issues. As far as helping with confirmation, he should know that Marriage is a Sacrament and is wrong to avoid.


#7

I would take a different view on this than some of the posters. I have 2 friends who are in a 2nd marriage, one is a revert Catholic and the other wants to be Catholic but cannot because of their marriage. People see the Catholic take communion and probably think that they are committing adultery based on the existence of a teenager. However, this couple has chosen to continue their civil marriage and raise their child while living as brother and sister in order not to sin any further. The Catholic has been to confession, received absolution and taken steps not to sin further per her priest’s instructions. They publicly told their story as witnesses to RCIA also as a cautionary tale, but the whole parish did not receive a newsletter about it so someone may not know all of the facts.

I think that we should be careful about assuming what the priest does or does not know or care about in any situation that we do not have direct involvement in because we may be misinformed. I don’t think it is a good idea for the unmarried to live in the same house and give the appearance of scandal, but I would suggest leaving a note expressing concern about the communion issue for the priest (just in case he somehow is unaware) and then praying for them without furthering gossip about the situation.


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]this matter is between the couple and the priest, who you say knows their situation, so you may assume he knows it better than we do. In Christian charity we put the kindest possible interpretation on their situation, and assume they have been receiving guidance from the priest and are following his directives whatever they may be. None of our business.
[/quote]

Scandal is a chief concern here, since it is our Christain responsibility to not set a bad example for others. How many others in the same situation might think it is okay to receive Communion also?

If this person is a friend of yours, you could bring the topic up with her. Otherwise, you could charitably mention it to the priest and then leave it with him. Remember, charity helps people towards heaven, while scandal pushes them towards hell.


#9

Post by jcservant: I would take a different view on this than some of the posters. I have 2 friends who are in a 2nd marriage, one is a revert Catholic and the other wants to be Catholic but cannot because of their marriage. People see the Catholic take communion and probably think that they are committing adultery based on the existence of a teenager. However, this couple has chosen to continue their civil marriage and raise their child while living as brother and sister in order not to sin any further. The Catholic has been to confession, received absolution and taken steps not to sin further per her priest’s instructions. They publicly told their story as witnesses to RCIA also as a cautionary tale, but the whole parish did not receive a newsletter about it so someone may not know all of the facts.

I think that we should be careful about assuming what the priest does or does not know or care about in any situation that we do not have direct involvement in because we may be misinformed. I don’t think it is a good idea for the unmarried to live in the same house and give the appearance of scandal, but I would suggest leaving a note expressing concern about the communion issue for the priest (just in case he somehow is unaware) and then praying for them without furthering gossip about the situation./

I bolded what I thought was very wise advice, esp. the gossip part. I recall a Priest who visited our Parish and talked about Sin, Confession, and Forgiveness. Anyway, he said that he believed that one of the most serious and insidous sins in American life is gossip.

First of all, gossip is dishonest as we say things behind people’s back that we don’t say to their face. Gossip divides as it contains an air of superiority of ourselves and inferiority of the one we are talking about (we are all equally loved by God and that is the only measure that really matters).

Second, much gossip is based on perceptions, misperceptions, incomplete information about the facts, and most importantly doesn’t have any insight into the depth of the “gossippees” heart. Thus, since gossip is likely inaccurate because of the above things I mention, gossip is “bearing false witness” against another Christian. He then reminded us that this is in violation of the 10 Commandments and is grave matter and likely a mortal sin.


#10

[quote=jc-servant]I would take a different view on this than some of the posters. I have 2 friends who are in a 2nd marriage, one is a revert Catholic and the other wants to be Catholic but cannot because of their marriage. People see the Catholic take communion and probably think that they are committing adultery based on the existence of a teenager. However, this couple has chosen to continue their civil marriage and raise their child while living as brother and sister in order not to sin any further. The Catholic has been to confession, received absolution and taken steps not to sin further per her priest’s instructions. They publicly told their story as witnesses to RCIA also as a cautionary tale, but the whole parish did not receive a newsletter about it so someone may not know all of the facts.

I think that we should be careful about assuming what the priest does or does not know or care about in any situation that we do not have direct involvement in because we may be misinformed. I don’t think it is a good idea for the unmarried to live in the same house and give the appearance of scandal, but I would suggest leaving a note expressing concern about the communion issue for the priest (just in case he somehow is unaware) and then praying for them without furthering gossip about the situation.
[/quote]

Thank you so much for posting this, JC! Your friends sound like really brave and wonderful people. I have to admit, I am such a chicken, and oft-times so concerned with what everyone thinks of me that if I was one of the people in the relationship you described I would probably INSIST that it be published in the bulletin - every week.:whacky:

Seriously, though, you made an excellent point. We do not always know the entire story and cannot truly judge a complete situation. Thank you, again, JC! You taught us something today!


#11

My spouse and I do baptismal preparation classes. We always approach this subject when we talk in a group to people who obviously have children but may be in non-sacramental or cohabitating relationships. We remind them unless they rectify their situations, they may not receive the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist with their own children. I don’t think it always settles in at that time. For some of them, they have never heard it before and this is a wakeup call for them to consider changing. Some have approached us afterward to find out how they can make their civil marriages sacramental. Ultimately, we can only plant seeds…they have to make the decision to return to God. Let’s just keep praying and be faithful to the gospel by not watering down the message.


#12

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