Receiving Eucharist while cohabiting/sleeping together in civil marriage
#41
(01-01-2016, 01:41 AM)Cyriacus Wrote: Perhaps canon law should be modified to allow for the validity of irregular forms of marriage involving Catholics, in order to address these pastoral needs (like the increasing cost of getting married, due to social expectations that the ceremony and reception require huge expenditures). Prior to Trent, as I understand it, a clandestine marriage might be contracted through parties agree that they will marry, then performing the marital act at some subsequent time. This is a situation that would apply to most couples who engage to be married but have difficulty remaining continent for the duration prior to marriage, which might stretch on even longer than a year or so in modern times. The actual ceremony or solemnization might then be performed conditionally, but I am unsure if the sacrament of matrimony has ever been administered conditionally or even if that is even a possibility.

Whether Canon Law should change is an entirely separate discussion, really, since there are many more factors to be considered. This has to considered the reasons for nullity of marriage. The great majority of cases today do not involved defective consent (from the traditional reasons) or lack of canonical form, but "lack of due discretion". There may be some basis for this novel impediment -- it is quite clear that most Catholics today do not understand fully what they do in a marriage, even when it's explained to them. They will sings forms, profess agreement with the doctrines, but never actually act as if they accept these doctrines. The typical modern mind in which the principle of non-contradiction is only ambiguously asserted.

As regards the promises to marry and sexual relations, there is and always has been a difference between a marital contract and betrothal (or engagement). A promise to marry at some future time could create a kind of contract. In fact that was the practice for a long time -- if one promised to contract marriage in the future, one could not break it off without consequences. We have remnants of this practice still around, like the engagement ring, and the various practices if an engagement were broken.

Yet to get technical, the object of a marital contract and a bethrothal are different, so they are different things. One is the mutual exchange of rights over each others bodies for the purpose of acts that lead to procreation with other attached rights. The other is the exchange of promises to give that consent in the future. The first creates a marriage, the latter only a promise to marry. Clearly the latter lacks the necessary object which makes a marriage a marriage. Betrothal cannot confer rights over sexual acts, because they are not part of that contract or promise.

Yes, in places there was ambiguity and practices by which the bethrothed engaged in sexual acts ... that's not much different today, except often they're not even engaged. It does not make those practices moral.

In fact your suggestion of "pastoral needs" highlights why the Church has become more restrictive about the marriage contracts of Catholics. Because marriage is a permanent union if we were to allow such practices, it would create horrifically complicated situations when considerations for investigating the nullity of the marriage came up. Marriage being permanent we have to have a moral certainty that one is not married before they can be allowed to marry again, or even to go through the whole courtship/dating process. Since most people who are unwilling to follow the Catholic moral teachings on sex and marriage are not going to abide by the Church's disciplinary law if it be relaxes (which simply suggests that it's overbearing now), I can't see how making provisions for these "pastoral situations" is at all good.

If we simply demand of Catholics that they date only though eligible to be married; and only when they are prepared to be married reasonably soon and then that the engagement never last more than one year, normally, I can't see how most of the "pastoral problems" would not be solved.

(01-01-2016, 01:41 AM)Cyriacus Wrote: I am reminded of an acquaintance, a Jewish woman of the Bobover sect, who told me stories about accidental or prank marriages contracted between teenagers at her high school, using things like borrowed pencils and erasers as dowries or gifts to be exchanged. In each such incident, the kids would have to go before a Beth Din to have the marriage dissolved, even if it were never physically consummated.

But for the Jews, marriages are not permanent. So for those of a Pharisaical penchant, this makes total sense.

The Catholic moral law is much more amenable to reason, because it considers intention. Such a sham marriage would never pass the smell test, so is not even to be considered, except, perhaps, in the confessional.
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#42
I was sorely tempted to exponentially increase my unpopularity by playing the "Devil's Advocate".

Anyhow, I'll restrict myself to a brief "twopence worth".

In my opinion a clumsy, ham-fisted Cannon Law should be revised to better reflect and support the reality.

That said, though, a duly promulgated law by the proper law-making authority may still be binding under pain of sin if the conditions for committing sin are met even if the law is limping.

There is only one way to "do" a Mortal Sin... to wilfully do (say, think) something that you know (or reasonably should know) is seriously wrong.

The combined opinions of all the lawyers and theologians under the sun, and/or papal decrees cannot undo a valid marriage any more than they can make the Sun orbit the Earth every day.
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#43
The answer is simple.  Any marriage involving a Catholic is not valid (meaning it is not marriage), if it is not performed under the elements the Church has stated are necessary (namely a priest or deacon and witnesses).  To carry on in a relationship as a marriage (co-habitation, sex ect.) is a mortal sin.  As in  if you die having not confessed of your sin, you go to Hell for all eternity.

For one living in this manner, the appropriate action would be to immediately contact a priest for Confession and the ability to get validly married in the eyes of the Church.  In the meantime you will need to live like brother and sister.

73.[It is evil to believe, or profess] A true marriage can exist between Christians by virtue of a purely civil contract; and it is false to assert that the contract of marriage between Christians is always a sacrament; or, that there is no contract if the sacrament is excluded

This is not a legal issue, this has been the Church's Teaching for ages.
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#44
(01-06-2016, 07:40 PM)austenbosten Wrote: In the meantime you will need to live like brother and sister.

Yes, but ...

The brother-sister analogous situation is only permissible when there is no viable alternative for living arrangements. For example, such could be advised for a couple who has a number of children, has been living in sin, but for whom separating will harm the children and where there is no serious scandal. In the OP's case, it is difficult to imagine that there really are such conditions that separation for at least a short period (a month or so to prepare the marriage) were not possible.

In the case where separation is possible, but not done, absolution would probably have to be refused, since there is a lack of purpose of amendment.
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#45
(01-06-2016, 11:34 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(01-06-2016, 07:40 PM)austenbosten Wrote: In the meantime you will need to live like brother and sister.

Yes, but ...

The brother-sister analogous situation is only permissible when there is no viable alternative for living arrangements. For example, such could be advised for a couple who has a number of children, has been living in sin, but for whom separating will harm the children and where there is no serious scandal. In the OP's case, it is difficult to imagine that there really are such conditions that separation for at least a short period (a month or so to prepare the marriage) were not possible.

In the case where separation is possible, but not done, absolution would probably have to be refused, since there is a lack of purpose of amendment.

Yes, it was an assumption on my part. 

I know trying to be chaste is tough, it was for my wife and I.  We only got to see each other in person for about a few weeks out of the year and most of the time we wanted to cuddle and just be with one another.  There certainly was many temptations and we probably sinned venially by simply putting ourselves in near occasions to sin, but we did not give in to temptation, and it was worth holding out until the wedding night.
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#46
If you're already in a lease, it's a financially dumb decision to just stop. Not a priest but 100% sure sleeping in different beds and rooms would suffice for the priest's judgment.
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#47
Also pretty sure near occasions of mortal sins aren't mortal sins.
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#48
I actually forgot about this thread until I came here to ask another marriage question, I probably should have updated it. We actually did get married in the Church a few days ago because I explained to my parents that I couldn't just let my wife continue to live in a state of mortal sin, and plus she wanted to get married in the Church ASAP before her pregnancy was visible (I didn't know she had this concern until she told me this was worrying her), so we had a somewhat rushed wedding/nuptial Mass with our priest.

(12-29-2015, 11:51 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: He is presently living in sin and the unnecessary near occasion of fornication, self-admittedly is regularly engaging in acts which only married people may engage, etc. It's no wonder that a good priest is following the traditional Catholic moral doctrine, considers them to be unrepentant habitual sinners and denies them the sacraments.

Just for the record, other than the initial 2 weeks of our civil marriage we were completely celibate until our wedding in the Church. We did continue to live together and sleep in the same bed, which we know was a stupid thing to do (but the 2 weeks of fornication within our civil marriage, and her being pregnant made the idea of any kind of separation very emotionally difficult). We absolutely didn't "regularly engage in acts which only married people may engage in", I said that we did regularly cuddle (with lots of clothing on) and kiss passionately but those are things even engaged people can do without mortally sinning as far as I know. And we never received the Eucharist during this time, until our nuptial Mass (our priest took our confessions right before it).
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#49


(01-11-2016, 02:30 AM)Matt1992 Wrote: We actually did get married in the Church a few days ago because I explained to my parents that I couldn't just let my wife continue to live in a state of mortal sin, and plus she wanted to get married in the Church ASAP before her pregnancy was visible (I didn't know she had this concern until she told me this was worrying her), so we had a somewhat rushed wedding/nuptial Mass with our priest.


Good for you. I'm am glad you fixed the situation and had the grace to do the right thing. It shows true love for your wife to want to fix this as quickly as you did, especially since you were wanting to get her out of the state of sin and back in God's good graces.

(01-11-2016, 02:30 AM)Matt1992 Wrote: I said that we did regularly cuddle (with lots of clothing on) and kiss passionately but those are things even engaged people can do without mortally sinning as far as I know.

Those are things most certainly not permitted to those who are not married.

Passionate kissing by definition is in passionate, that is, or arouses the passions. The only situation when one may willfully and directly arouse the sexual passions is within marriage.

Not to be legalistic and regurgitating what you could find in a moral manual, consider the natural and normal purpose of those acts is intimately tired up with the sexual act.  This is why one does not cuddle or passionately kiss one's mother, sister, father, brother, or other close friends. But sexual intercourse is only licit within marriage. Thus, the acts that naturally lead to it or are tied up with it are only licit in marriage.
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#50
(01-11-2016, 02:30 AM)Matt1992 Wrote: We actually did get married in the Church a few days ago . . .

Congratulations on your marriage!
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