Premarital Cohabitation Situations - Am I Being Too Harsh?


Personally, I would go.

I’m a bridesmaid in a Protestant wedding in a few months. I wouldn’t have told my friend to go scratch simply because she doesn’t believe in transubstantiation. I am going because I love her, she’s a dear friend who has made me laugh when I’ve cried. She’s sat there with me and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and broken hearts. She’s given me rides home when I’ve been FAR toooooo drunk to drive. She has gotten me drunk and she has helped me sober up, she’s held my hair when I was puking. She’s sat in the emergency room with me when I thought I had appedicitis, and was 200 miles from home. She calls me when she thinks of me, usually when a celebrity gets arrested or gets engaged, and she has the best dirty joke collection I have EVER heard. I have done and tried to do all the same for her, except my collection is not dirty jokes, but fabulous shoes.

I’m going to support her, and her choice to marry a pretty cool guy who plays a mean game of beer cup, and who also has a good joke collection but who also has been wonderful for her.

Weddings are about going and supporting your family whether they are by blood or choice, in taking a bold step into the future with someone they love. Saying that you stand by their choice and you will always be there for them,

Also there is usally an open bar with expensive champagne and other sorts of free booze. This reformed party girl still can’t turn down free alcohol


Ah yes, I knew the old “don’t judge” and “just go along” and “be tolerant” posts would show up. Let’s just get in a circle and hug… barf.

Truly Beloved, I understand where you are coming from and that you are not judging them. I think you are on the right track in not wanting to cause scandal and not wanting to condone behavior you know to be wrong. I don’t think that at the point of the eve of their wedding it would be scandal.

Christ did eat with sinners, and his purpose was to call them out of that sin, he never condoned their sin or told them to keep on sinning. Christ also said that following him would cause parents, children, siblings, etc, to be divided. Selectively quoting all the warm fuzzy verses without the corresponding fire and brimstone versus distorts Christ’s full message.

I think you are wise to seek the counsel of your priest. It’s a gray area, and there is no black and white teaching on whether to go to their house. You are correct about not attending a wedding of a Catholic who is marrying outside the Church-- you cannot go to such a wedding.


Where does it say this?


Please, when speaking with your priest, ask him if you are being too scrupulous. I’m not trying to say your judgemental, but you would be surprised how fine the line between avoiding scandal and taking on the sin of scruples can be. I had problems with this in my life (totally different situations, however) and my confessor directed me through my scruples.

On a side note, you’d be surprised at the number of priests who have similar family situations, and yet, being priests, you’d think their siblings would listen to them b/c of their knowledge.


A Catholic who attempts marriage outside the Catholic Church violates Canon Law, enters an invalid marriage, and commits a grave sin.

The Catechism specifies that those who cooperate in a grave sin commit sin themselves:

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

  • by protecting evil-doers.


Then there are a whole lot of Catholics who are sinning more than they care to admit.


People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. They should also change clothes in the basement, but that is a separate issue.

People do not judge you based on your family members’ behavior. They do judge you on how you respond to it. Even though you may not agree with their life decisions, but you can show love to your family- after all, that is what family is for.

Could you imagine Jesus telling a distant cousin that he couldn’t come for dinner because his cousin’s wife happens to have a couple of kids from a previous marriage? {Just an example, I don’t think that is in scripture anywhere.}


Yes. There are.


[quote=kellicouch77;2295569…Could you imagine Jesus telling a distant cousin that he couldn’t come for dinner because his cousin’s wife happens to have a couple of kids from a previous marriage? {Just an example, I don’t think that is in scripture anywhere.}

He would have the kids toasting hot dogs.



Not witnessing the marriage of a Catholic who is marrying outside the church makes sense. Witnessing a marriage IS taking part in it, and the Catholic should be held to the standard that they are a part of. That’s why I didn’t mention that bit in my post - it’s like rebuking a child for something when he should know better. What I think is going too far is judging someone who is outside the Church, and expecting them to be living up to the moral standards of the church. I think there’s a difference between not witnessing a marriage and not wanting to go into the non-Catholic house of a family that is living in sin.

Truly Beloved, God bless you for caring about this issue. I, too, am glad you are talking to your priest about this.


Well, i have to admit it,* i am *one of those Catholics! :eek: I just went to confession last week and it seems that i have to go again now! :blush:

BTW i personally don’t think there is anything wrong with getting in a circle and hugging! :smiley: But then* i am *an affectionate being…:smiley:

I respect you for sticking up for what you believe in Truly Beloved.

God’s peace to you.



Your family is still your family even if they aren’t living up to the teachings of the Church. I wouldn’t stay overnight in the home of co-habitating couples nor would I permit them to sleep together in my home but celebrating their finally making their relationship legal by getting married is certainly a reason for you to celebrate with them. They know how you feel but they also must know that you still love them and are happy with their decision to finally marry. Don’t be so harsh with your family. Being a Christian means more than simply attending a certain church. A Christian should also be tolerant of the beliefs of others, even if you don’t always agree with them.




*“Being a Christian means more than simply attending a certain church.” *

I second that. :thumbsup:



I 100% agree.


What are scruples, exactly? I thought that scruples were kind of like thinking everything one did was sinful and not accepting God’s grace/forgiveness after receiving Reconciliation. Is this incorrect? (I certainly don’t have a problem accepting that I have been forgiven for sins confessed.) :smiley: Thank you for your concern for me, gmarie!

Okay, to be clear, I am attending my sister’s wedding! :wink: And I will be thrilled to death if my brother and his girlfriend ever get married. I wouldn’t dream of not going to their weddings. I think people are getting that confused with my DH’s best friend’s future nuptials. It’s the best friend’s future wedding I may not attend, depending on whether it happens in a Catholic Church or not (since the bride is Catholic). For those who think I’m not going to attend my own non-Catholic siblings’ weddings, but that is NOT THE CASE. I will be attending those weddings; I have nothing against non-Catholics getting married in any way they like. :wink:


I wanted to add that It is easy for us to get caught up in what it means to be righteous, in language, in ritual, in acts of charity. We all strive to ‘do the right thing’. But the more we seek righteousness, the more elusive it becomes.

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It is easy to think of ourselves as being the ones who walk with Jesus, and certainly we do, but Jesus also walks with us because we are sinners. Jesus calls us with all of our imperfections to carry his love and mercy into the world.[/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]You can hardly turn a page in the four Gospels without running into a sinner/ tax collector/ Samaritan. In Jesus’ day these were the folk looked down upon by the religious and ignored by the powerful. Yet these are the people Jesus hangs out with- He eats with them, he stays with them when he travels,he cares about them. And he tried to get his disciples to do the same thing. Jesus ministered to those who needed the great physician. He cared about those who cared nothing for God or about religious behavior and In doing so he showed them God’s undying, undeserved, love.



I would have a hard time with this like you are TrulyBeloved.

Last year, my husband’s cousin who was cohabitating for 6 years or so and had a kid together 4 years ago (basically 2 years after they started living together) were getting married in the Catholic church, Cousin is Catholic, her fiance was not. Okay fine, whatever. But we knew that the guy had a drinking problem previously, however hubby’s uncle (a priest) still married them, knowing about the cohabitating and knowing about their problems with him overdrinking!!! Well, I had a hard time supporting this wedding since when my hubby and I were dating his mom made it quite clear that cohabitating is a sin, which it is but we weren’t cohabitating anyway. However, when we brought this to her attention last year, it was “oh, stop worrying about it, everyone lives together these days, son!” That’s what my mother in law said :eek: …and she is CAtholic!! So, we went to the mass, which is the important part, right? However we declined the reception because we knew we didn’t want to “celebrate” with them because we had a bad gut feeling about these 2 getting married.
Well what do ya know?? Last week mother in law calls to say “so and so are getting a divorce” :eek: !!! (the couple that just got married). Wow, what a surprise!! I so badly wanted to say “oh, and you think it is a good think for couples to cohabitate?” But I bit my tongue. :slight_smile:

Bottom line is that I have a problem with supporting those weddings because the divorce statistics say it all, not only that, people 20, and 30 years ago never would have thought of doing such a thing, so why is it okay now?? I just don’t get it, how would being married feel special if you are living together years before? I am just old fashion I guess…just my :twocents:


Family is family.

Go, go, a thousand times go.

I know this might sound incredibly naive (and quite possibly not true), but do you know they’re living in sin now? All I get is that they’re living (or planning to live) together. Having a roommate, even one you care about deeply, is not sinful of its nature. Do you KNOW what they’re doing when you’re not there?

Thought so.

Go. Not going is something you can’t take back.



Honestly, I think some have made this whole thing about going or not going to weddings into way too much of an issue. Most of my family lives in the Denver area. I haven’t gone to any of my cousins weddings, and none of my family from Denver came to mine. If someone is uncomfortable attending a wedding then they shouldn’t, who really cares? Odds are better than not that no one really does. Being biologically related doesn’t impose any duty on anyone to attend social occasions like weddings.

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