Post # 1
Can anyone help me out with this? My FI and got engaged at the beginning of March and bought a house at the end of June. We’re both Catholic so we’re getting married in my parent’s church with his mom’s cousin as our priest, but the paperwork is getting done by the local church. When we first met with the church we weren’t living together, but now we are. There was a church switch so now the paperwork is being handled by a new priest…who happens to be best friends with my FI’s cousin. Still with me? 🙂
So, if we’re asked, we can’t continue to say we don’t live together because (1) I don’t want to lie to a priest and (2) I’m pretty sure the cousin knows. But I’ve read a lot of things online about how the church can not allow you to get married there if you live together. That really worries me because we didn’t move in-together to play house or any juvenile reason, we bought it because we are committed to our life together and wanted to strike while the housing market was hot.
Has anyone every dealt with this in the Catholic church and what was the outcome? I’m really hoping that he doesn’t even ask about the info because it was all on our original paperwork, but I just want to be prepared.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
We weren’t living together when we started the whole Catholic ceremony process and paperwork. And, um, I’m sorta embarrassed to admit that we just never updated our addresses with the church/priest. So even after we moved in together (about six months before the wedding), it looked like we were still at home with our parents.
Not the best way of going about it, but it worked for us.
Post # 4
Well brusch, that is EXACTLY what I hope happens here. A little bit of the 3 see no evil monkeys! It wasn’t done for juvenile reasons, I’m a completely logical (OK, anal retentive) person and not taking advantage of the housing market, or paying the mortgage but not living there, did not seem worth it. When we first did the paperwork we both lived with our parents too.
Post # 5
My priest does not really approve of it, but he didn’t say that it would prevent us from getting married. I’m not sure if this varies from archdiocese to archdiocese.
Post # 6
Technically, there’s nothing in Catholic canon that says the priest can refuse to marry you if you are living together. At the most they can delay it, but the US conference of Catholic bishops state they while they don’t really approve and it brings up questions-they still have to marry you.
“People have a right to marry; therefore, cohabiting couples cannot be denied marriage in the Catholic Church solely because they are cohabiting. However, cohabitation may raise questions, for example, about the couple’s freedom to marry, that need to be explored.”
That being said, I think it’s always better to be upfront in your pre-canna. I don’t think any priest would deny you (and I live in the most conservative diocese in the nation, and have never heard it), but they might have questions that you would like/need to explore. My parents and maternal grandparents both lived together before they got married, and they both had full Catholic mass weddings. It might make me a ‘bad catholic’ but I’m 100% behind living together before marriage. It’s everyone’s personal choice though.
Marriage from the Catholic Bishops conference:
And the much longer offical statement from the conference that was sent out to every diocese/priest in the nation. Might be good to read to know where your priest is coming from.
Post # 7
The Church will not prevent you from getting married just because you live togther. My fiance and I lived together for 1 1/2 years before getting engaged. Our priest simply asked if we lived together, we said yes and he asked if we understood why the Church doesn’t recommend people living togther before marriage. We responded yes, once again. Then he told us we would have to complete an additional portion of the FOCUS test. No big deal at all. We are doing our wedding preparation in Virginia.
Now some of our friends also were living together and their priest told them that if they did not start living separately, he would refuse to give them communion. They stayed living together, and he refused them communion (well, they never bothered to try and get it until they got married). This was in Texas.
Bottom line: the FOCUS test wouldn’t even have the “living together” portion if the Church would refuse to marry you. You’ll be fine. Don’t lie to your priest.
Post # 8
Sorry, another quote from the offical statement:
<span class=”subheader”><span class=”subsubheader”>
If a couple is cohabiting, can marriage be denied or delayed?
- Denial of marriage — Since cohabitation is not in itself a canonical impediment to marriage, the couple may not be refused marriage solely on the basis of cohabitation. Marriage preparation may continue even if the couple refuses to separate. Pastoral ministers can be assured that to assist couples in regularizing their situation is not to approve of cohabitation.
- Delay or postponement of the marriage — Some diocesan policies note that in certain circumstances a postponement of the wedding might be in order. In these cases additional time might be needed to address the issues raised by cohabitation. For example, a concern for the impact of cohabitation on the couple’s freedom to marry could be a reason to delay the marriage until this issue is sufficiently explored as part of marriage preparation (Archdiocese of Detroit; Archdiocese of Miami)
Since couples have a natural and canonical right to marriage, any delay beyond the normal waiting period for all couples is a serious matter. Care must be taken to ensure that delay is not used as a punishment for a couple’s continued cohabitation.
Post # 9
I converted last year and during the process my now FI at the time BF was my sponser there was lots of paperwork to fill out and we had to list our address as the same. They sort of choose to ignor it and now that we are doing marriage prep they are again choosing to ignor it.
Did we want to “play house” as you put it …. no. But it also doesn’t make since to have two places just to say we don’t live together when we spend everynight together. We each had our own place for awhile while I was in school but spent every weekend and holiday in one apartment. Afterward my FI bought a house and I just moved in and we decided that this is 2010 and the church and his family would just deal. Guess what they did.
Just don’t make and issue out of it and they won’t either.
Post # 10
girlieg489- I forgot to mention that the archdiocese of Philadelphia encompases our diocese and due to the current turmoil in our diocese the Arch Bishop of Philadelphia is overseeing our diocese so at least my experience will be more related to your case since we are both operating under the same Arch Bishop
Post # 11
Update everyone! When we were both in his office he didn’t ask if there were any “updates to our info” like I thought he may (or like a doctor does). The new priest ended up being totally laid back and relaxed (very refreshing). He is also best friends with my FI’s priest-cousin who will marrying us, so that helps. Then he talked to each of us seperately to fill out another form and he just asked each of us if our addresses had changed. My FI gave him our new address and I just said “no.” And that was it, besides the obviously uncomfortable questions about “do you know that certain relations are involved in marriage.” It’s very hard not to blush when a priest asks you that, I don’t care who you are! Just saying my address hadn’t changed was easier, in my mind, than the alternatives.
There are lots of silly reasons why some people decide to live together. Ours was very financial and we were already engaged. It was a housing market-timing issue. So I’m OK with everything now.
Thanks ladies for all of your help!!!!!!!
Post # 12
I am glad to hear everything worked out for you! We had the same issue and our priest just said that we need to go to confession before we tie the knot. No biggie.
Post # 13
Glad to hear it! My FH and I also live together, and I am Catholic (and my family STILL doesn’t know we live together, haha, waaay to much drama)… it was a total non-issue, we were told to consider a separation before marriage and it was sort of left at that. I keep having nightmares that something will happen at the last minute, like the priest will say we can’t go through with it, but I dont think that will be the case. I heard somewhere that something like 40% of catholic couples live together before marriage these days.
Post # 14
i’m so glad to hear all these comments. My FI and I are both Catholic and decided to live together when we moved out of state for 2 years while he finishes school.
We are just beginning to look for churches / priests to marry us and we are both nervous that living together will be an issue to that parish. Hearing all your comments eases my mind for sure!!!