To the editor:
The January 9 issue of the Catholic Courier carries the article “Church doesn’t condone cohabitation.” But in his comments Father Robert Kennedy certainly appears to condone cohabitation by not requiring the fornicating couple to stop their sinful lifestyle as part of an obvious much needed preparation for a sacramental marriage.
His “suggestion” that they abstain before entering into marriage hardly does justice to the Church’s clear teaching that cohabitation is directly contrary to the word of God and that it’s teaching should not be glossed over in the name of pastoral sensitivity. The U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults notes that “cohabitation involves the serious sin of fornication. It does not conform to God’s plan for marriage and is always wrong and objectively sinful.” St. Paul made no bones about the fact that “fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9). Surely, a cohabitating couple involved in a sin gravely contrary to chastity should not be deprived of the truth concerning their spiritual condition and the serious scandal they give others.
Statistics indicate that perhaps half of the Catholic couples seeking to marry already cohabit. They also show that half of all American couples no longer even bother to have a Church wedding. Certainly, in these troubled times the Church does not need priests and counselors who do little to enlighten the consciences of those enslaved to sin and for whatever reason are reluctant to teach clearly and without compromise the moral truths that Christ has taught us.