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My fiancé and I are getting married in about three weeks. He and our female apprentice in the horse industry are moving down to Texas at the end of this month. It’s not an ideal situation, but he will be living with her in the same apartment for a few weeks until he comes back up to the Midwest and he and I get married and then return to Texas together as a married couple. I was planning on staying in the Midwest, where all three of us are now, to finish out my job at the local care center until he comes back up to get me during our wedding. However, I really don’t like the idea of him going down there and living with her without me being there too. Not that I don’t trust him, but it is just a little odd. However, I don’t know if it would cause a terrible amount of scandal if I were to go down with them and live with them before we were married. We have a two bedroom two bathroom apartment, so I could live with her in her room and share her bathroom, but, we would still be living together. I feel like either way, it’s going to cause some kind of scandal, either because he’s living with me and we’re not married, or because he’s living with her and he’s engaged to me.

The way I see it is, we’re getting married in a few weeks anyway, and she will be there to kind of be a chaperone for us. However, I am still concerned about causing scandal, and I know certain people wouldn’t be happy with it. Any advice on what we should do? We are certainly going to talk to our priest about it if we can before we leave.
(03-18-2019, 12:46 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: [ -> ]The way I see it is, we’re getting married in a few weeks anyway, and she will be there to kind of be a chaperone for us. However, I am still concerned about causing scandal, and I know certain people wouldn’t be happy with it. Any advice on what we should do? We are certainly going to talk to our priest about it if we can before we leave.

Personal Opinion: If you are living 'together' as a brother and sister may live together, then what's the problem? Anyone who would speculate beyond that is projecting their own scandalous thoughts on you. That is wrong, in and of itself? But living together, as a brother and sister would (not sleeping in the same bed, not showering/bathing together and so on), is just nonsexual cohabitation, for economical convenience.

Not as an advice, but as an example: My dear departed wife and I lived together as if we were married for a year and a half. We would have gotten married earlier, but at the time we were both in the Air Force, she an officer and me, an NCO. There were lots of difficulties with that situation, but we got through it all. I don't recommend such an arrangement, but out of necessity, it worked for us. If I had it to do again, we probably would have done things differently. But it was the '70s and every thing was quite different in those days and we were not as 'Catholic' back then either. Much changed after we were married and discharged from the military, BTW.

Prima Facie: No intent to commit sin; no foul, if no sin is committed.

Bottom line: Consult the priest who is to perform the marriage ceremony for the final word on this.

Just a note: It is what it is and that's all that it is would be how I'd write that! :D
 
Is he Catholic?!

Why would a decent Catholic man (heck, even a decent man) ever even countenance the idea of living with a woman who is not is wife? Why would he put himself in an unnecessary occasion of sin by living with his fiancée or some other woman. Are his morals and principles not important?

The very fact that he is okay with this means you should run far away. If he would countenance that living arrangement when weeks away from marriage, I can guarantee you he will countenance it after marriage. When the going gets tough in marriage, if he's okay with living with a woman who is not his wife outside of marriage, he will almost assuredly jump into the arms of someone who can comfort him when you cannot.
(03-18-2019, 03:48 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Is he Catholic?!

Why would a decent Catholic man (heck, even a decent man) ever even countenance the idea of living with a woman who is not is wife? Why would he put himself in an unnecessary occasion of sin by living with his fiancée or some other woman. Are his morals and principles not important?

The very fact that he is okay with this means you should run far away. If he would countenance that living arrangement when weeks away from marriage, I can guarantee you he will countenance it after marriage. When the going gets tough in marriage, if he's okay with living with a woman who is not his wife outside of marriage, he will almost assuredly jump into the arms of someone who can comfort him when you cannot.

Allow me to clarify the situation a bit more. My fiancé is very Catholic, and a man of high moral standards. He is no happier about the situation than I am. The female apprentice that is working with us is technically an orphan. She came to us in a time of great need and has no other place to go. Unless we take her with us, she will literally be homeless. She has been my roommate for the past three months, and is a moral and upstanding woman. She has known my fiancé longer than I have, and has had countless opportunities to cheat with him, none of which she has taken advantage of. 

The three of us know full well that the situation is not ideal, but sometimes it is physically impossible to live a perfect Catholic moral life. The industry we are in, the horse industry, calls for rapid and unpredictable change, including moving a lot and living in less than ideal circumstances. The horses often must come first, because they are our livelihood. My fiancé and I have even had to sleep in the barn together on several occasions because we could not get back to our respective homes due to foul weather.

I apologize that I left out some key details of the situation, but please do not jump to conclusions about the moral integrity of my fiancé or myself. You seem to be convinced that a man, even a good Catholic man, will cheat as soon as he is given the opportunity. If we truly were immoral people, I would not be asking for advice in the first place. Thank you.
(03-18-2019, 04:52 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-18-2019, 03:48 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Is he Catholic?!

Why would a decent Catholic man (heck, even a decent man) ever even countenance the idea of living with a woman who is not is wife? Why would he put himself in an unnecessary occasion of sin by living with his fiancée or some other woman. Are his morals and principles not important?

The very fact that he is okay with this means you should run far away. If he would countenance that living arrangement when weeks away from marriage, I can guarantee you he will countenance it after marriage. When the going gets tough in marriage, if he's okay with living with a woman who is not his wife outside of marriage, he will almost assuredly jump into the arms of someone who can comfort him when you cannot.

Allow me to clarify the situation a bit more. My fiancé is very Catholic, and a man of high moral standards. He is no happier about the situation than I am. The female apprentice that is working with us is technically an orphan. She came to us in a time of great need and has no other place to go. Unless we take her with us, she will literally be homeless. She has been my roommate for the past three months, and is a moral and upstanding woman. She has known my fiancé longer than I have, and has had countless opportunities to cheat with him, none of which she has taken advantage of. 

The three of us know full well that the situation is not ideal, but sometimes it is physically impossible to live a perfect Catholic moral life. The industry we are in, the horse industry, calls for rapid and unpredictable change, including moving a lot and living in less than ideal circumstances. The horses often must come first, because they are our livelihood. My fiancé and I have even had to sleep in the barn together on several occasions because we could not get back to our respective homes due to foul weather.

I apologize that I left out some key details of the situation, but please do not jump to conclusions about the moral integrity of my fiancé or myself.  You seem to be convinced that a man, even a good Catholic man, will cheat as soon as he is given the opportunity. If we truly were immoral people, I would not be asking for advice in the first place. Thank you.

There's an old Spanish Catholic proverb : Entre santa y santo, pared de cal y canto. (Between a holy woman and a holy man, a wall of brick and mortar).

All of us, even the holiest, put in the right situation, are capable of the worst sins imaginable. If we do not distrust ourselves enough to stay away from occasions of serious sin which are not necessary, we will eventually fall. When we put ourselves in situation which are possible temptation grace will not be there to protect us. This is why priests even are urged never to have any lengthy meetings with women alone outside of the confessional. All it takes is just an undue familiarity that slowly leads to more, and then in a moment of weakness, stress, and difficulty, the devil can strike.

I did not suggest that your fiancé has cheated on you or wants to, but I know of no priest who would ever say that putting himself in that situation is not a grave sin, because of the grave scandal, and serious risk of other grave sins. Quite simply the situation you speak of is not one of necessity. There are other options. They may not be cheap, they may not be easy.

I also did not suggest that any man will cheat at the first opportunity. What I did suggest is that put in the right circumstances even an otherwise good and saintly man will fall eventually, because grace will not be there to help, and certainly given those circumstances the devil will be working overtime to exploit them.

In short, find another solution. This one you suggest is planned is absolutely immoral from any Catholic standpoint.

I must also take issue with one thing you have said which is, quite simply, heretical : "sometimes it is physically impossible to live a perfect Catholic moral life". This is false and heretical as stated. In fact, it is one of the heresies that Pope Francis was accused of promoting in the Correctio Filialis: "A just man does is unable even with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as if the commandments of God are impossible for the just."

I think you probably mean to say that we cannot live an ideal life and there will be sticky situations. Of course, but if it is even at any moment impossible to live a perfectly moral life, the only conclusion from this is that God demands the impossible of us and thus He forces us to sin. Such would be blasphemy. God does not. One can always obey the moral law at all times with the help of God's grace. There is always a moral solution to every bad situation.

God bless you for your Charity in caring for this woman, but the solution you propose is not a moral one.
Is it absolutely necessary that she go with him?  Not "convenient", but absolutely necessary, as in there is no other option?  What would change about the move to Texas if she was not working for you?  Could your fiancé then go to Texas and find work? 
.
Sending a man and woman across the country, together, to live in the same apartment, is never ideal.  I suggest you find another option.  Can she not stay with you until after the wedding?
(03-18-2019, 03:33 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]If you are living 'together' as a brother and sister may live together, then what's the problem? Anyone who would speculate beyond that is projecting their own scandalous thoughts on you.

If it looks like a duck ...

It is perfectly normal for people to see a couple acting as if they are married (e.g. living together in the same house) and assume they are married, and acting fully as a married man and woman do. If an arrangement has certain qualities of a marriage, it is natural to assume it is a marriage and also has the other properties of marriage.

If that couple, however, is not married, this would be a grave scandal and objective a grave sin for the couple because of at least the lasting and continuous danger of impurity. In rare and extreme circumstances when there is some other good which is impossible without this, this grave evil could be tolerated, but is never a good thing. If it were publicly known or could become so, the couple would need to be denied Communion, even if they were not committing any sins of a sexual nature.

Sane societies of yesteryear saw this such a grave evil that such things were illegal. That's not Puritanism. That's juts common sense.

Catholic moral teaching demands a priest deny such a couple Communion until they had fixed the situation, because Communion must be denied to those publicly living in sin, and if it appears people are (even if they are avoiding sin), the grave scandal involved would demand this.

That is not "projection" its sane Catholic morals.
I'm not looking to toot my own horn here, just trying to add some sanity to this discussion, but what I am writing is straight out of a standard traditional Catholic moral theology. The same which I studied in the seminary.

I'm happy, if you want confirmation of this to pass what I have said and your situation by several traditional priests I know, but I can guarantee you, they will agree that this situation is not morally permissible. In fact, I can guarantee

If you want another particular case to prove my point : I know a young lady and man. He was in the seminary for some time, she in the convent. Both left, and through family connections got seasonal jobs working on a farm, working with milk cows. They had shared quarters with a dozen other people, individual bedrooms, good Catholic upbringings. What was better, they did not like each other much. Well, despite that they were good practicing Catholics without any particular romantic interest, they now have a child and are not only unmarried, but planning to marry civilly, outside of the Church and have stopped practicing their faith.

Just because there is no history and no previous temptations, and good Catholic upbringing, etc. we're still wounded by Original Sin and the devil can easily get us.

What did the priest you are seeing to help prepare your marriage or your spiritual director say about your living situation?

I hate to mention it, but cannot help but notice that this same cohabitation situation seems to be a regular refrain out of "necessity".
There is unfortunately no way to get around our apprentice going with my fiancé down to Texas. He needs the extra help, and there is no one else around to help him. He will be hauling eight horses and all of the tack down there, as well as moving in his belongings. 

 It seems that I am faced with a lose lose situation; either he lives with her, or I live with both of them before we are married. I don’t know which is less sinful. Living with a woman you are not in a relationship with when you are engaged is obviously very scandalous, but perhaps it is less scandalous than living with your fiancé before getting married?

Our apprentice will be living with us after we are married for an unprecedented period of time. You could say that that situation is scandalous as well, that a married man would have another unmarried woman living in the same house with him.
I have given the situation more thought, and now I am wondering; would it be permissible in the eyes of the church to have the priest marry us before our actual wedding mass is said?
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