Update on scandal dilemma
#1
I emailed our priest and this was his response. I am unsure what to make of it. 


I understand the desire to want to avoid scandal.  We could certainly move the wedding date up.  But I don't think we can do two weddings.  If we had the wedding earlier the second would just be a Mass in which we could offer a blessing, but it wouldn't include the exchange of vows for a second time.  

The other option it to keep the wedding as planned and have you move to Texas with [fiance], but with the agreement that you would live as brother & sister (church terminology) - that is chaste until the date of the wedding.  Since it isn't a long period of time this would be allowed.  It could potentially cause "scandal" in perception only, because the reality would be that the two of you have agreed on the brother/sister living arrangement with the priest performing the wedding.  

Fr. 
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pillar of Families, Glory of Domestic Life, Pray for Us!
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#2
SacraCor,

I read your posts on this and I have been thinking about it all morning. Especially on the Feast of St Joseph. This situation is really not good. I understand that there is a young woman who needs help. But, a man who is preparing for marriage should be doing all he can to guard himself from temptation and undue familiarity. I would be more concerned about this than scandal.

The stress of finding work, a place to live and preparing for marriage is enough already. If only she goes with him she will be his emotional support and friend on this new stage in life. This is your job, not hers. I understand that she is the apprentice, but there should be that "wall" that MagisterMusicae was talking about.

If I were you, I would do everything in my power to be there with him. You will be starting a new life together. If you want the full Mass wedding, then I agree with your priest to live as brother and sister until then. But frankly because of the odd situation you have, I would think that just marrying sooner and moving with your beloved right away is the best. Then you will be starting your life together, setting up your home and meeting neighbors as a married couple, rather than him and some strange woman-who-is-not-his-fiancee.

I really hope and pray this works out for all of you.
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#3
I think you need to find a new priest. That's objectively terrible advice and would by any traditional metric of moral theology be considered encouraging sin.

Scandal is not the shock that one causes others. Scandal is a sin by which we appear to others to encourage or approve of sin, and thus recommend sin to them. The priest's answer is scandalous, in fact. 

Imagine if someone found out you were living with your finacé and ask you about it and you said, "I was torn on the issue, but then my priest said it was okay, as long as it wasn't for a long time and we agreed to live as brother and sister." Imagine a weaker Catholic's easy perception from that : "I can spend the night at my girlfriend/boyfriend's place as long as we agree not to do anything sinful, since it's not for a long time, and we've agreed. Yeah, we might commit sins, but we've agreed not to, so it's not sinful to spend the night together, as long as we're not having sex." Or, perhaps another couple to be married would say, "well, you know we're really tight on finances, so why don't we just move in together for the last month or so, which I know is okay, so long as we agree to live as brother and sister."

The very reason that couples who are doing the "brother/sister" bit out of necessity in an invalid marriage for the children must be denied Communion if the situation is publicly known is because of the scandal. People who know this couple is living in adultery are seeming approved by the priest who is giving Communion, and many will (expecially today) understand from this that it's okay for them, too.


Sure, one can't help people rashly judging a situation (pharisaic scandal), but one can take normal standard precautions to prevent seeming to approve of sin.


Scandal "in perception only" is still scandal. In fact it is precisely the perception that is the scandal, not the shock someone takes.

One moral theologian from 1955 defines scandal as "some word or deed (whether of omission or comission) that is itself evil or has the appearance of evil and provides an occasion of sin to another." Another in 1962 writes that "it is not necessary that the sin of the other actually follow; it sufficies that the action can lead to sin."

I am sure the priest you are speaking with means well, but his moral theological formation is clearly way off and as a result of his malformation he is suggesting something sinful to you. 

In fact, I recall doing a moral theology case very similar in the seminary: A priest in the confessional says that for financial reasons a couple that would be married in six weeks could live together if they lived as brother and sister, a few weeks later a lady complains to Father that he's giving communion to those living in sin and he defends the couple based on the permission he gave. The couple ends up sleeping together several times before marriage. Father then marries them. He later is troubled and comes to another priest for confession. How many and what sins has the priest committed? Answer : His bad advice was a mortal sin of scandal and a mortal sin against prudence (because he should have been well-studied on the matter and not given advice until he had that study). His revealing of confessional information is at least an indirect violation of the seal of the confessional (a mortal sin) and if he revealed any sins themselves, then also an automatic excommunication. His giving of Communion to the couple when their situation was known was as many  grave sins of scandal as those who saw the Communions. Father is also a co-operator in their fornication, and since their fornication was foreseeable, guilty of these sins as well. It all goes very badly for the priest, and all because he was trying to be "pastoral" instead of knowing moral theology and acting on principles.

Also, last evening I passed the question anonymously through three traditional priests to get their take. I explained the whole situation. All agreed without any quibble that either you living with your fiancé or this third person was scandalous and wrong and could not be done under anything but the most dire of circumstances.

I am sorry you are in this situation, and now it must seem very confusing, but even if it requires great sacrifice on the part of you or your future husband, if you do the right and moral thing, you will be rewarded. It may be hard, but doing the right thing is worth any hardship.

You certainly will have my prayers.
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#4
It would seem, then, that the best option we have is for Father to marry us in private before all three of us go down to Texas?
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pillar of Families, Glory of Domestic Life, Pray for Us!
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#5
(03-19-2019, 03:36 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: It would seem, then, that the best option we have is for Father to marry us in private before all three of us go down to Texas?

I think this may be your best option.  Sometimes life just doesn't work out the way we want it to, but we have to keep moving forward.
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#6
I agree with MaryTN. Get married sooner rather than later. Go to Texas with your new husband. This is probably the best situation. And-I would add-find a different living situation for the young woman ASAP. She needs to live her life without being a third wheel. This will help your new marriage very much.

God bless! And Happy St. Joseph's Day! Pray to him to ask God to help you resolve this. He's truly wonderful!
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#7
(03-19-2019, 03:36 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: It would seem, then, that the best option we have is for Father to marry us in private before all three of us go down to Texas?

Weigh your options and pray about it.

For a marriage all you need is two witnesses, the priest and yourselves.
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#8
(03-19-2019, 10:03 PM)ritaguadalupe93 Wrote: I agree with MaryTN. Get married sooner rather than later.

Huh? maybe I've missed some threads but the advice should be the opposite IMO, can only get married once, make sure you get it right.

(03-20-2019, 02:17 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: For a marriage all you need is two witnesses, the priest and yourselves.

But it wouldn't be right to exclude family like parents from this important and one time occasion in their child's life (unless the parents are refusing to go for immoral reasons or something like that).

God Bless
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#9
(03-20-2019, 08:31 AM)josh987654321 Wrote:
(03-19-2019, 10:03 PM)ritaguadalupe93 Wrote: I agree with MaryTN. Get married sooner rather than later.

Huh? maybe I've missed some threads but the advice should be the opposite IMO, can only get married once, make sure you get it right.
You missed some threads.
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