Receiving Eucharist while cohabiting/sleeping together in civil marriage
#1
My fiancée and I couldn't wait for our Catholic wedding in March to live together, so about 2 months ago we ended up contracting a quick civil marriage and she moved in with me. We consummated our love for one another (and she's now also 2 months pregnant). We regret doing this, as we realize now that we were essentially fornicating, so we both went to confession 2 weeks after our civil marriage and have abstained from intercourse since and we will not have conjugal relations again until our wedding in the Church.

We do still live as man and wife though (she has my last name, we wear rings, live together, and sleep in the same bed), and after confessing we arranged a talk with our priest about this (he will be marrying us, and this is a traditional, Tridentine Mass parish). He now refuses to give us the Eucharist until after confession at our nuptial Mass in March because he thinks we're still living in a state of fornication even though we're abstaining entirely from conjugal relations. She can't stop living with me as she came from our hometown all the way to my medical school apartment on the other side of the U.S., and we essentially eloped because her parents are psychologically abusive (and she absolutely can't live with them again).

Is our priest correct that we're living in a mortally sinful state despite remaining continent (he has always been a particularly stringent confessor)? He said that he can't have our ceremony any earlier than planned initially, and since we want our wedding to be in that church and with the Tridentine Mass, going elsewhere isn't an option.
Reply
#2
Your priest most likely knows you better than any of us here. Smile

Have you asked the priest if sleeping in separate beds and not engaging even in acts that would lead to the marital act (such as kissing)--so, essentially living as brother and sister--if in that case he would give you Eucharist?
If he would not I wouldn't know why exactly, besides the matter of scandal, that is, some parishioners might know you are living together and might be going to your wedding, and might not know you guys are chaste. Common charity would demand not scandalizing such a person--even if the person might not, in the end, fall into scandal.
There might also be some sort of law against civil marriage. Maybe someone knowledgeable in canon law could clarify if that is indeed an impediment even after confession but before the Catholic wedding.


Anyway, you guys are doing a very righteous thing when it would be so easy to just ignore the sin. Congratulations, and Deo gratias! Also, hope the wedding goes well!
Reply
#3
My question is

if you're already civilly married,

and she's already 2 months pregnant,

and you are attempting to rectify the situation

why are you waiting until March to have your nuptial Mass?



Also, are you going to be able to receive Communion at your nuptial Mass? 
Reply
#4
You mentioned that you all were still sleeping in the same bed. this sounds like you are having marital relations. Maybe you should work out alternate sleeping arrangements and talk to the priest about receiving Holy Communion.
Reply
#5
(12-16-2015, 12:53 AM)Poche Wrote: You mentioned that you all were still sleeping in the same bed. this sounds like you are having marital relations. Maybe you should work out alternate sleeping arrangements and talk to the priest about receiving Holy Communion.

We're definitely not having marital relations, we've been completely celibate for 1.5 months (since we confessed fornication in our civil marriage). Our priest said that he refuses everyone Communion who is cohabiting outside of Catholic marriage, regardless of anything else. He thinks cohabitation itself between romantic partners is mortally sinful.
Reply
#6
Quote:Have you asked the priest if sleeping in separate beds and not engaging even in acts that would lead to the marital act (such as kissing)--so, essentially living as brother and sister--if in that case he would give you Eucharist?

He said that he refuses Communion to any cohabiting couple (which is what he sees us as, even though we're legally married), because he thinks cohabitation itself is mortally sinful (I remember him criticizing cohabitation in the U.S. once during his homily, so this isn't too surprising). We're not doing anything remotely sexual (just some cuddling before bed, and in the morning we usually make out a bit, all while wearing lots of clothes) and we told him this, but he thinks we're still in sin as long as we live together out of wedlock.

(12-15-2015, 09:06 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Anyway, you guys are doing a very righteous thing when it would be so easy to just ignore the sin. Congratulations, and Deo gratias! Also, hope the wedding goes well!

My wife deserves all the credit, it's been so frustrating that if it wasn't for my saint of a wife I would most likely choose to fornicate until our church wedding. And thanks for the kind words!
Reply
#7
Quote:Also, are you going to be able to receive Communion at your nuptial Mass?

Yes, he's going to hear our confessions before our nuptial Mass, then we'll be able to receive Communion.

(12-15-2015, 09:59 PM)PrairieMom Wrote: My question is

if you're already civilly married,

and she's already 2 months pregnant,

and you are attempting to rectify the situation

why are you waiting until March to have your nuptial Mass?

She's almost 2 months pregnant (we were virgins until our civil marriage, so that's not why we got married). Our families think of us as husband and wife so there's nothing embarrassing about her being pregnant at our wedding. We are trying to have our wedding sooner because it's been extremely frustrating and difficult for us to not be able to have conjugal relations, but the priest said he can give us a wedding either in mid-January or our original date, and my parents insist that's not enough time for them to prepare. But we're trying to make that date, so hopefully we'll be married sooner.
Reply
#8
(12-16-2015, 04:24 AM)Matt1992 Wrote: Our families think of us as husband and wife so there's nothing embarrassing about her being pregnant at our wedding. [...] the priest said he can give us a wedding either in mid-January or our original date, and my parents insist that's not enough time for them to prepare.

This seem contradictory. What are your parents preparing for? If they already consider you spouses, I fail to see the problem here.

I would respectfully suggest, for the sake of your immortal souls, to clear up this situation as soon as humanly possible. I speak that as someone who was 3 months pregnant and cohabitating when they got married.
Reply
#9
Quote:We are trying to have our wedding sooner because it's been extremely frustrating and difficult for us to not be able to have conjugal relations,

Why not seeing it as an exercise in chastity? If you both want a Catholic marriage life (i.e. no contraception), you'll have to acquire the virtue of chastity. Consider it a training school.

Besides, chastity will be much, much easier if you don't share the same bed. Even sleeping in seperate beds and avoiding intimate physical contact when in the same room can make the difference.
Reply
#10
You should stop cohabiting and go to confession again afterwards.  Non avoidance of the occasions of mortal sin are mortal sins in and of themselves. 

The civil marriage is a nullity; you are not married.  Therefore, you don't have the right to live with your fiancée, let alone sleep in the same bed with her.

Married life is difficult enough, and you have started off wrong, but you can correct it.  Repentance, prayer, and amendment of life will do it.

It may be difficult for you, but it's a short time.  You will be grateful to yourself later that you corrected the error, and so will your fiancée.  Take charge!
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)