Post # 1
Hi, I have a concern that I know is common for a lot of couples getting married in a Catholic church.
My fiance and I have been living together 3 years. Our wedding is set for August 2010, it is in a church connected to my university which is not officially a parish. All couples have to get their own priest and of course do all those workshops, and get permission from their local parish.
Our priest was recommended to us. From what I understand he’s a “liberal” democrat guy, and we’ve met him and like him a lot but regardless I am scared to tell him we live together. I’ve heard things about the Catholic church frowning on that. I know there is a rule about the church not refusing marriage on the basis of that and that they still have to marry us.
But really what I’m afraid of is something like what I heard, about being forced to postpone the wedding or something like that. He and I are very happy, and we also refuse to “separate” like the Catholic church supposedly encourages. I really don’t want to have to deal with anything like that.
Our plan has just been to not say anything about it. Our plan is for my FH to use his old address (in the same borough as the one we currently live in) and I use the one we live at. Even our parents, who are church-going Catholics agree that is fine to do.
Now I have no problem with not mentioning to the priest that we’re living together, I’ve got no problem with lying about it in order to protect us. However, I’m worried about possible inconsistencies, for example do we have to fill out a lot of paperwork at these workshops, etc? Who knows, we could make a mistake or somehow let it slip.
Sure, I know it’s not the most ethical thing in the world or even the smartest but has anyone been able to not mention living together or lie about it and getting away with it?
Thanks and hope this wasn’t offensive….
Post # 3
Why would you lie to your priest? That’s no different from lying to God or anyone else. What is wrong with being honest? They don’t have legal authority to stop you from getting married or even living together. Your marriage is not something that you want to start off by being fraudulent in any way with anyone.
Post # 4
Thanks for getting back to me, I can’t believe how fast you can get responses on this site.
I don’t typically feel right about lying, especially since we like this priest so much. I guess I am inclined to because I don’t want anything going wrong.
For example, I had asked him if we could have two family friends who are episcopalian (protestant) priests up there on the altar with him, not being the officiants but just helping out on the altar. He left me a message saying that would be pushing it, that the catholic church would not allow it or it’s frowned upon or something like that. Now the church we’re getting at is not part of a parish, there is no one who would even know if we used protestant priests to stand there on the altar so he was strict on that. I don’t really care about that issue, but I’m afraid he’ll tell us something else like that — for example, that he doesn’t feel comfortable doing a full mass or even just doing the ceremony since the church frowns on it, or that he would like it if we would separate before the mass, etc.
That’s my dilemma.
Post # 5
Is there another Catholic church in your area that you can check out? All priests are different so just because this particular one is very rigid doesn’t mean that everyone is.
Post # 6
well, the church isn’t a problem as it’s not officially a parish (but it does catholic weddings). it’s up to the priest. i guess if he won’t do it we could find another one. i suppose what we could do is either not mention it unless he asks or i could call him and tell him and see what he says (he’s good like that, he’s fine with me calling anytime) and that i should do it asap just in case we have to find a new priest?
Post # 7
My Gf just got married in a Catholic church and the priest knew that they lived together and it was no problem. I am also having a Catholic wedding and I am sure it wont be an issue. We have lived together for 9 years.
Post # 8
ok, thanks! good to know, i’m glad that it’s quite possible then he’d be okay to it?
besides, who wants to lie to a priest anyway? don’t wanna go to hell. lol
Post # 9
I’m Orthodox not Catholic, and we are not technically living together but we are ‘living in sin.’ I’m not sure if this will come up with my priest before the wedding, but if it does, I will be entirely truthful with him. In my personal opinion, sex before marriage is definately not a sin…but lying about it is. I have an ethical rule – if I have to lie about something, I shouldn’t be doing it.
Post # 10
Yeah, I definitely would not lie. Fiance and I are Catholic and are getting married in our home parish. While going through our marriage classes, we went over a chapter in our book for couples who are living together. It hasn’t been a problem for us, although, we were worried at first as well. Just be honest 🙂
Post # 11
Seems like the likelihood of him refusing to marry you is WAY higher if he finds out you lied to him (which come on— its going to happen) than if he finds out you live together.
Post # 12
We didn’t lie. He didn’t ask us directly if we live together, but we gave the same address and he didn’t say anything. Our priest is also the priest at a college and I think he’s a bit more liberal than most.
However, my friend went to her priest, told the truth and he told her to give him her parents’ address for the paperwork!
I wouldn’t lie though. If he has serious issue with it, he’ll probably just have you give your parents’ address or something.
Post # 13
My fiance and I are both Catholic, and we live together. I wouldn’t lie about it to the priest. If he gives you problems about it just find another priest. My friend was pregnant when she got married and she hid it from the priest when they had meetings, but she was def. showing on the wedding day and the priest looked confused…lol
I always hear stories like, they refuse to give communion to divorced people, refuse to bury a baby that wasn’t baptized, etc. but i’ve never known anyone it happened to… In fact I just went to a Catholic funeral for a man who was a buddhist, but all his 9 children were Catholics and he supported the Catholic church for decades so they gave him a Catholic burial although he was never baptized…
Although there are some really strict old fashioned priests, there are also some really liberal up to date ones too….
Post # 14
If I were you I wouldn’t lie or use different addresses on the forms, but I wouldn’t volunteer the information either.
My friend is getting married in the Catholic church and they have lived together for 3 years. Part of their pre-cana discussed their cohabitation but they weren’t judged for it and it didn’t cause them any problems.
I think lying may cause problems.
Post # 15
The FOCUS test you’ll have to take actually has a section for cohabiting couples, so the church is aware that while they don’t condone, a large number are.
That’s all I really have to say. This has kinda rubbed me the wrong way… When the priest say’s mass and performs Sacraments (like Marriage) it’s not a “man” doing so. We as Catholics believe that the Priest is acting “in persona Christi” which means “the person of Christ. We believe it is the Holy Spirit (part of Christ) who is descending down and acting through the “man” of the priest, but that it’s not the priest, it’s CHRIST performing the sacrament. Not the best person to lie to… he kinda already knows…
Post # 16
I would chime in to say that my husband and I also lived together before marriage and never had a problem with our priest. I’ve also never met a person or heard a story directly from a person who was refused marriage in the Catholic church because they lived together; I feel like that story is a bit of an urban myth. It sounds like you’re not going to lie, so that’s a good thing. Just be honest with your priest and I think everything will likely be fine. 🙂
As far as your example about your Episcopalian priest friends standing up on the altar… I guess I’m not really understanding why the priests would be standing up there in the first place? If you wanted them to assist the priest during service (like altar boys?) I think it’s pretty reasonable he denied your request. But you can still have them involved in your service in other ways. Many churches allow non-Catholic Christians to be readers, or to pariticipate in some other way (leading music, reading prayers, etc…). Good luck!