What is my responsibility regarding friends who cohabit before marriage?


#1

A close friend of mine of many years lives with his girlfriend. I've been concerned about being sinfully silent about this. They are Christian but not Catholic. I did state to them that cohabiting is against Church teaching, but I've never explicitly stated that I disapprove because I don't want to come off as judgmental. I've visited them at their old apartment several times, and now once at their new apartment. Should I not do so?


#2

Hm. this seems like a discernment issue when it comes to visiting. I have seen those who have no issue, and those who do.

If it were me, I would ask at some point how marriage plans were going. Start lighthearted. I would say, "I just worry, guys. I know you love each other, but it's hard for me because living together isn't something I can agree with, and it's not a great move for relationships."

What happens is going to entirely be up to what kind of friends you have. I have super close friends who indulge in sinful lifestyles who are totally ok with my beliefes, and others who arent

It is not your job to get them to move out. You can't do that. It would be great, but that's not what you need to do. Tell your beliefes, and show them social research about why it's bad if you need. preaching beliefes they don't have will get you NOWHERE


#3

I have stated that I wouldn't do it myself and also cited both research and other personal examples of why it's a bad idea. My friend and I went to a Jesuit high school so this isn't foreign to him, either. I've simply stopped short of explicitly stating my personal disapproval.


#4

oh! now that changes things a bit. if he went to such a high school, yes, he does know.

The thing is, it is important to let your views be known, but, you simply can't just blurt it out, you know? it needs to be said at the right time.


#5

If they aren't Catholic, saying that it is against Church teaching isn't going to mean much to them.


#6

[quote="KendraDZ1902, post:5, topic:339206"]
If they aren't Catholic, saying that it is against Church teaching isn't going to mean much to them.

[/quote]

Exactly. There are two things here. The need for you to make it clear you love them, but don't agree with their decisions and, if possible, to have them cease.

The latter does not usually happen, and it is not your fault if it doens't. you can't force people to do things


#7

[quote="CorieDreams, post:6, topic:339206"]
Exactly. There are two things here. The need for you to make it clear you love them, but don't agree with their decisions and, if possible, to have them cease.

The latter does not usually happen, and it is not your fault if it doens't. you can't force people to do things

[/quote]

Yep. :thumbsup:


#8

You can't live other people's lives for them; nor can you drag them to Heaven against their will.

Since you don't have any moral authority over them, it's not really your place to try to correct them. It's up to you whether you want to remain friends with them or not.


#9

[quote="jmcrae, post:8, topic:339206"]
You can't live other people's lives for them; nor can you drag them to Heaven against their will.

Since you don't have any moral authority over them, it's not really your place to try to correct them. It's up to you whether you want to remain friends with them or not.

[/quote]

I think what op seems to be concerned about is scandal? he seems worried not so much with their sin, as he is with his responsibility to state his Catholic beliefes


#10

[quote="CorieDreams, post:9, topic:339206"]
I think what op seems to be concerned about is scandal? he seems worried not so much with their sin, as he is with his responsibility to state his Catholic beliefes

[/quote]

I honestly don't know how to handle that. I have friends who co-habit, and I don't say anything to them. From my point of view, it's their responsibility to put their house in order, and not mine. They know that I'm Catholic, and from the comments they get from other neighbors, they are well aware that the Church (Christianity generally) does not approve.


#11

[quote="Robnv, post:1, topic:339206"]
A close friend of mine of many years lives with his girlfriend. I've been concerned about being sinfully silent about this. They are Christian but not Catholic. I did state to them that cohabiting is against Church teaching, but I've never explicitly stated that I disapprove because I don't want to come off as judgmental. I've visited them at their old apartment several times, and now once at their new apartment. Should I not do so?

[/quote]

This is a difficult situation, my friend. In this day and age, I think most everyone who lives outside of a cloister knows someone-- or may even be related to someone-- who is "living with" someone. Sometimes the people who are "shacking up" (as my generation called it) plan to marry--other times, they may not even believe in marriage at all. Either way, the sin is theirs--not yours. For me, I have enough trouble dealing with my own sins that I'm hesitant to take on someone else's!

Pope Francis, in a sermon, recently pointed out that charity includes respect for sinners too--as all of us are sinners. His example was a gay couple running a coffee stand if I remember correctly. His advice wasn't to treat them as pariahs, but to find something positive about them--such as their work ethic perhaps---and praise them for that. And no, he didn't suggest black balling their coffee stand or brow beating them for being gay.

You have told this couple your view and the view of the Catholic church. If they are half way intelligent, they do not need to be reminded over and over of it every time you are around them. I'd be kind to them if I chose to visit them and if I enjoyed visiting them, I wouldn't hesitate to do so. If I found that I couldn't be charitable when faced with their living arrangement, then I'd limit my visits. Always remember that Jesus Himself ate, talked and surrounded Himself with sinners---and not all of those sinners were repentant!.

You have a moral responsibility to state your Catholic beliefs and to warn a sinner. Not to do so is scandalous. You have done that. To reject your friends due to their sinful lifestyle could be conceived as scandalous too, however as it will appear that you--a Catholic--feel that you have the right to be their judge and jury, which obviously, you do not. I can't speak for you, but I think I'd remain their friend and try to be a good example by how i lived my own life and then lay them before God in prayer and let it go. That's just my opinion.


#12

[quote="Robnv, post:1, topic:339206"]
A close friend of mine of many years lives with his girlfriend. I've been concerned about being sinfully silent about this. They are Christian but not Catholic. I did state to them that cohabiting is against Church teaching, but I've never explicitly stated that I disapprove because I don't want to come off as judgmental. I've visited them at their old apartment several times, and now once at their new apartment. Should I not do so?

[/quote]

Even if they are non-Catholic Christians then they know cohabiting is a sin (assuming a sexual relationship).


#13

[quote="thistle, post:12, topic:339206"]
Even if they are non-Catholic Christians then they know cohabiting is a sin (assuming a sexual relationship).

[/quote]

Yes, one wonders what they as Christians think that the Gospel teaches about sex outside of marriage.


#14

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