Shacking-up and fornicating sibling--help?


I have a sibling (40s) who plans soon to live with another person and sex will definitely be part of their life. One person in this mixed-up mess has two kids, which means the kids will be witness to this mess of mortal sins.

What would do?

Would you confront the sibling knowing that the sibling will not change and that you will then never see that sibling again?


Would you continue to live a Christian life in the view of the sibling hoping your witness will make a difference.


Well, I have the same situation with a sibling–one who knows what is right and wrong as well as I do, but chooses to believe God simply “understands.” All I can do is be an example and pray since this person is an adult who is not going to take correction kindly from me. It’s frustrating, I know, but each person has to decide how he is going to live and we can’t live their lives for them.


Thank you, I tend to agree. I feel troubled because it is very difficult to watch those you love choosing mortal sin.


When my brother was in this situation, I felt I had to say something. For one thing, his son and “step-son” were my Godchildren. So, I did–I think I did it very gently and with great love. He ripped my head off. It was horrible.

There’s a Bible verse that says that if you don’t rebuke the sinner, you will be held liable. I’ll see if I can find it.

Eczekial 3:1819 If I say to the wicked, you shall surely die, and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will required at your hand. But if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life.

rebuking the sinner is a work of mercy. But, maybe you should ask your confessor. They are usually very wise about giving good advice in families.

It did bother me very much to see my brother shacking up, making babies, and the rest of us pretending it was all normal and he wasn’t losing his soul. :frowning:


You can go to coffee and gently give your opinion that this might not be the best situation. There is a way to raise concerns in a loving manner that won’t cause a huge blow up. Then I would say hold your tongue afterward. They don’t need constant harping (even if you don’t support them either). If they do feel like getting out of the situation residual anger might prevent them from coming to you to talk.

I had an odd situation with a sister who talked about her “boyfriend” but it appeared as if they might have been living together. She acted as if they lived separately, but some things did not add up. They never flaunted the possibility in front of my family.

Long weird story, short version. They were actually married in secret after dating only a few months. No “shacking” ever happened. The marriage had occurred before we ever met the “boyfriend.” My sister had her own reasons for wanting to keep the marriage a secret until it was clear that it was not a flash in the pan. All of this to say that if I had given in to the urge to lecture her on the pitfalls of shacking up and fornicating, well I would have been wrong and could have severely damaged our relationship. (We have never been super close anyway.)


I agree. I have spoken with many confessors about my internal conflict about approaching my immediate family members who are in sin (both parents are remarried without annulments, brother married off the beach without a dispensation) and all the confessors I’ve spoken with have reminded me that they all are old enough and since they were raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools that they should and most likely do know they are in sin. Also, many of these confessors reminded me that they too have siblings who are in serious sinful situations/lifes and as priests their siblings still won’t change and repent from their sinful ways.


Would you confront the sibling knowing that the sibling will not change and that you will then never see that sibling again?

Using this approach, I would never see any family member again, including children.

Would you continue to live a Christian life in the view of the sibling hoping your witness will make a difference.

Using this approach allows me and the Holy Spirit to be a constant example before my fallen family of what true happiness, peace and joy really means.


Yes, but “Catholics” in their 40s certainly know what they are doing and they will likely reject me for life, and even with that rejection they will not stop doing whatever they wish.

It is a very difficult situation and sadly it is very common today.


Well, I would definitely not go to their den of fornication for any occasion until they are legitimately married.

Other than that, some things to consider when deciding on how to approach them:

–are the children your nieces/nephews?
–is the sibling your brother or sister?
–are you the elder brother here?
–who can bench more, you or the male fornication partner?

Most importantly, how does the rest of your family feel about this? If you can present a united front, any confrontations will be smoother on your end.


My oldest sister lives with and has a child by a man she is not married to. They used to talk about marrying, but her child is 7 now and they haven’t talked marriage in years.

I resented it because it forced me to have conversations with my then 7 year old daughter that I would rather have waited to have until she was a little older. My sister is my dd’s godmother and dd was crazy about her and had lots of questions about how there was a baby when they weren’t married. I have explained to all my children that it is wrong. It’s wrong to live with someone to whom you’re not married and it’s wrong to have a child unless you’re married.

I haven’t totally made peace with the situation, but I just remind myself that although it is wrong, I don’t control her decisions. She will always be my sister and I do love her. I leave the judging to God.


I recall that when I was 5 or 6, our neighbor’s daughter, who babysat us occasionally, had a baby, with no father apparent. I was very puzzled, and loudly inquizative.

Likewise one of my uncles had left the church. I couldn’t understand how his children could have a name if they were not baptized.

Don’t think I ever got a satisfactory answer to either problem. Another case of “Shut up she explained.” :smiley:


This situation was resolved last night during a family party. During the party, the sibling being discussed made the announcement of the impending shack-up and then stated “yes, I am about to be living in sin.”

The sibling clearly knows the situation, that it is sinful, and is going to do it anyway. I can’t imagine how me saying anything would ever change that. Since the sinful of the situation is known by the person, my potential intervention has been removed. I suspect the statement was made to avoid anyone trying to stop the sibling.


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