A Response to the Cohabitation Epidemic

The proliferation of research and literature about the sexual and marital habits of “Millennials” is staggering. Research indicates a casual or cavalier approach to sexual intimacy and of marriage. Marriage is increasingly postponed or rejected in favor of transitional “trial marriages” or temporary live-in situations glamorized today in popular media as “the next step” in intimate relationships.

The intimate relationship choices of young adults today expose a culture that increasingly fails to appreciate moral norms and the inherent value and beauty of marriage. The rapid acceptance of cohabitation and the dissolution of a culture of marriage in the wake of the sexual revolution pose a significant challenge to the Catholic Church in the United States. A thoughtful and creative effort to foster a culture of marriage is desperately needed.

Couples today cohabit for numerous reasons: more time together, financial concerns, and fear of the commitment of marriage or fear of divorce. Others slip into it out of convenience, some want to test their compatibility, while still others are actively rebelling against their parents or ethical upbringing. All told, it is believed that between 50-70 percent of couples today are cohabiting before marriage. Catholics reflect national trends in spite of the Church’s consistent teaching that cohabitation and premature sexual relations are a “grave sin” and “contrary to the moral law” (CCC 2390).

Sadly, couples who choose cohabitation choose a risky route that will lead to more heartbreak rather than fulfillment of the deepest longings of the heart. As Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker note in their recent book, Premarital Sex in America, “Cohabitation is still about uncertainty and risk management for both men and women. It’s holding back to see how things go … cohabitation is inherently unstable.”

The CDC has noted that only 40 percent of first-time cohabiters are married within three years. Nearly 20 percent of women will become pregnant in the first year of cohabiting. Only 26 percent of women who become pregnant while cohabiting will get married within the year. The “decrease in the probability of marriage among women who [become] pregnant in a cohabiting union” expose mother and child to a host of well-known negative outcomes. In short, cohabitation increases the likelihood of numerous negative outcomes for women while essentially granting to men all the “benefits” of marriage without men having any responsibilities. Regnerus and Uecker concur, noting that “Cohabitation is a win-win situation for men: more stable access to sex, without the expectations or commitments of marital responsibilities.”

But statistics are usually unconvincing when they are presented to the young. (It’s romantic, after all, to take risks and break trends.) Sharing doctrine as though it is a lifeless list of what you cannot do is also ineffective. Although the final relatio of the extraordinary synod on the family did not directly address cohabitation, the bishops suggest an approach that relies more upon honey and less upon vinegar. They write, “The primacy of grace needs to be highlighted and, consequently, the possibilities which the Spirit provides in the Sacrament. It is a question of allowing people to experience the Gospel of the Family is a joy which ‘fills hearts and lives,’ because in Christ we are ‘set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness, and loneliness.” As a starting point a cohabiting couple might be asked, “As a gift to your loved one, would you like to avail yourself of every good means that will give you grace, and help you grow together in joy and freedom?” Encountering them first at this natural inclination of the human mind and heart may open them to permanence in love between one man and one woman—marriage.

We must seize opportunities to encounter and then move couples whose relationships do not embrace the fullness of the teaching on marriage, toward a full embrace of the beautiful, true, and freeing message of God’s plan for their relationship. Clergy working with engaged couples, parents whose children cohabit, and faithful peers need to accompany and evangelize the young and couples who are cohabiting. “The pace of this accompaniment,” the synod bishops remind us, “must be steady and reassuring, reflecting a closeness and compassion which, at the same time, heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life.” Encountering and being friendly with a couple living in grave sin is not sufficient. Encountering young persons or couples who are already cohabiting where they are, and then accompanying them toward a greater maturity and toward a healthy and holy intimate relationships is vital.

Such a pastoral approach does not condone sexual sin, but rather steadily moves couples from sin to a free embrace of God’s beautiful plan for marriages. Evangelizers will be most effective in inviting conversion if couples are, in the words of Pope Francis, “enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient and anxious but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ.”

The high rates of cohabitation, the reality of sin, and the hazards for couples who have, at the outset of their relationship, chosen this way of living, compels Catholics to accompany couples on a steady journey toward greater appreciation of the sweetness of married life and the grace that will set them free to fulfill the deepest hopes for their intimate relationships.

Arland K. Nichols

By

Arland K. Nichols is the founding President of the John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family.

  • john

    I’ll buy the “encountering and accompanying” recommendation, especially for lay friends and family of cohabiting couples, but am I wrong to also request/demand that my Church clearly speak the truth and refuse to marry couples who approach the sacrament living in a state of objective grave sin? I understand that marriage itself provides grace, but since cohabitation almost by definition implies contraception, I’d suspect that 99% or more of cohabiting couples are entering the sacrament of marriage under precisely the conditions that an annulment tribunal would declare as evidence that the marriage was never sacramentally valid in the first place. So why not stop performing invalid marriages? Why not demand that cohabiting couples “move out” and live apart before agreeing to marry them in the Church?

    • The number one reason given is due to the greed of landlords.

      Perhaps we would be able to do as you suggest if we would stop turning old empty rectories into offices and meeting rooms, and instead opened up shelters for the resource poor young.

      • Beth

        “poor young”?! Am I hearing sarcasm in your response? Show me the ‘poor young’. The financial reason for living together is bunk! What most consider ‘necessary’ to live is ridiculous.

        And let’s ask the question of the boomer-Catholics, “Did you tell your son/daughter that choosing to live with their ‘partner’ is committing a grave sin?”

        These same parents of cohabiting young have been supporting their unrealistic lifestyles for quite some time.

        Our church has been bending over backwards to make us all comfortable.

        • The one year unemployment figure for college graduates in 2013 was 38% unemployment. No sarcasm at all. You may not know anybody earning less that $15000/year as a married or cohabitting couple, but I do.

          And some of these no longer have parents alive to support them. Many boomers living immoral lives themselves, have died from the effects of their lifestyles. Many more have died from the side effects of other people’s lifestyles.

          • Beth

            Hard cases make bad law. It’s always someone else’s fault if I can’t live up to standards….(damned greedy landlords!)

            • No one actually said it was the landlord’s fault, after all, in a world where moral sin is ignored, it is the landlord’s duty to seek the highest possible rent.

              I am just pointing out that the current priest shortage and the housing shortage are aligned, and provide an opportunity to remove sin.

            • GG

              AMEN.

          • fredx2

            More likely, both are earining 30,000 at their jobs, for a combined total of 60,000

            • I do taxes for my in-laws, so I know their income. This was prompted by a true story, though the couple was married. CPS forced them to live apart for six months due to a suspicious bruise on the baby, and the father reacting with anger to the investigation, during which time he had to live away from the family and take anger management courses.

              The situation threw the family into bankruptcy and (a day after he was allowed to return) homelessness; eventually ending in Section 8 housing (a very modest small apartment). When the third child came along three years ago, they began looking for something larger that would still fit into their Section 8 rent allowance. They’re still looking.

              Not everybody earns $30,000/year. Some people struggle to even earn $5000 a year or $10,000/year. Some can’t even keep a minimum wage job.

              • You have no business preparing taxes.
                It’s arrogant and reckless to do so with proper accredidation, and before you tell

        • ForChristAlone

          An oft-forgotten fact is that in the early 70’s (when I was a newly wed) it was not unheard of that marrieds would engage in the rage of the day – wife-swapping parties. These, then, are the role modeling parents for the current generation.

          • Tom in AZ

            Shoot! I was born too late.

        • GG

          Preach it, sister.

      • And here we go again with the monomaniacal lunacy. This is across the board. It’s not like the Ivy leaguers are headed to Wall Street, K Street and the White Shoe law firms aren’t moving in together.

        Moreover, if they are “resource poor”, then it’s due to the crushing expenses of the government-education complex, so blame the greed of colleges insist that a fully developed human being is the product of “diversity”, “sex week”, and rest of the nonsense that passes for “higher education” this week and do it by loading their graduates with 6 figure debt loads, while telling us that they are “non profit” and even better, “Catholic”.

        Morever, they have no example. Their parents have revolving doors on their bedrooms.

        If your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

        • Not disagreeing.

          • Your comment reminds me a lot of the comments that we hear (too often from the Catholic left, which is a lot left and little if any Catholic) that infer a singular causal relationship between poverty and crime.

            Of course that premise fails when one considers that there was no great increase in criminality during the great depression and there’s always the possibility that the relationship is crime causes poverty, which is a lot more tenable.
            (Do you really think there will be a hedge fund selling interests in Ferguson?)

            Nonetheless, it’s always the same thing with them because they are obsessed with materialism.

            People are not just “homo economicus”, who are perfected as they ascend Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is the basic assumption of the left.

            To reduce the spiritual, moral, and ethical question of the cultural collapse of the culture and aspiration of marriage that was pan-cultural and persisted worldwide, throughout time and through war, famine, pestilence and disaster to “greedy landords” without considering that this collapse started, and is still the strongest in areas where rents are subsidized is beyond silly.

            Breitbart has a series documenting the “Sexodus”, where men are not only not seeking marriage, but passing on sex itself. It’s almost unfathomable to any male who remembers when his confessions routinely featured the phrase “impure thoughts”.

            • It is a fact of demographics that the cohabitation crisis is simply not happening among the class of people that can afford to give their daughter a $20,000 wedding.

              I agree with all of the rest you have said, however. There is a definite reverse relationship between sinful behavior and poverty- and I’m not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg. I am sure that it is a negative feedback loop that is hard to get out of and that is *encouraged* by government welfare.

              • “It is a fact of demographics that the cohabitation crisis is simply not happening among the class of people that can afford to give their daughter a $20,000 wedding.”

                What does this have to do with “greedy landlords”?
                While cohabitation is inversely related to income, that means its most prevalent among income cohorts that are eligible for subsidizing housing (and other subsidies),

                http://stateofourunions.org/2010/si-cohabitation.php

                “Cohabitation is also more common among those who are less religious than their peers, those who have been divorced, and those who have experienced parental divorce, fatherlessness, or high levels of marital discord during childhood. A growing percentage of cohabiting-couple households, now over 40 percent, contain children.”

                In other words, you original premise that this was a matter of univariate causation “greedy landords”, is wrong. The principal causes are multivariate and social social, not economic-and certainly not “greedy landlords”.

                • “What does this have to do with “greedy landlords”? ”

                  If you aren’t a trust fund baby and don’t have a job, it is incredibly hard to get housing in most cities.

                  “While cohabitation is inversely related to income, that means its most prevalent among income cohorts that are eligible for subsidizing housing (and other subsidies),”

                  See the story above about my married in-laws. In many states, single people don’t get housing subsidies to begin with.

                  • Once again, not a significant factor in the decision.

                    • It is for those of us who aren’t entitled trust fund babies like you.

                    • Theodore, that is the last stupid statement in a long line of stupid statements you made.
                      I am no where close to a “trust fund” baby. I’m the grandson of coal miners, not mine owners you colossal a**.
                      I

                    • Considering you seem to think money grows on trees, and that the only reason people become homeless is because of their own sins, those thrifty coal miners must have left you a bundle.

                    • They left me nothing. Neither lived to age 55, idiot. One suffocated due to the effects of Anthrasilicosis two weeks after I was born.

                      You really are a despicable and loathesome individual, lazy, greedy and envious.

                    • Yes I am, but you are equally so, demanding what is not even possible for yourself.

                      You never signed a contract that wasn’t leonine, either on your part or the other party’s. You defend greed, a mortal sin, all the time. You are lazy and envious of the rich yourself. That’s why you are a libertarian.

                    • Just shut up, Satan.

                    • You wanted a fight, I brought you one- if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the Flamewar.

                    • I enjoy a good argument, with an informed and capable opponent.

                      I detest adults throwing a tantrum.

                    • Which is interesting, since all I’ve seen you ever do is throw tantrums, mainly about stuff that should not matter, picking on rather small analogies and denying the ability to fix perceived problems merely because you personally don’t perceive them to be a problem.

                      Your eternal security doesn’t depend upon capitalism existing. And hint- if you’re not an owner under capitalism, you are worse than a slave.

                    • Projection. You’ve rendered this entire argument trivial because you want to a view cohabitation through the single lens of a personal grievance against the boogeyman of “greedy landlords”, most likely because of your foray into timeshares.
                      If you think all the “landlords” are “greedy”, then get in the business and run it with rents that you think are fair. Get stiffed on the rents, have your property destroyed.
                      You ought to walk a mile in a man’s shoes.

                    • And of course, you have never made a mistake because you are perfect.

                    • Everybody makes mistakes. You refuse to be corrected, and insist that you are right.

                    • Rather, I have been corrected. My credit rating shows my correction in that matter.

                    • TomH

                      Get a grip. You are way out of line.

                    • Who are you to judge?

                    • GG

                      Ha, well we will be meet you where you are and accompany you.

                    • There’s an easy way to do that, stop responding to me.

                    • I didn’t incite your first post. Error has no right to go unanswered.

                    • You don’t need to answer me. You also don’t need to be so stupid as to not recognize hyperbole and analogy when you see it. You also don’t have to be an idiot who can’t understand actual stories of actual people.

                    • You spent how long arguing this now and now you are calling “hyperbole”?
                      I understand actual people, I counsel and advise them all the time (with proper qualifications).

                    • What qualifications? You hide behind a pseudonym.

              • Micha Elyi

                False.

                Pro Tip: Starting sentences with “Actually” or “It is a fact” is one of the tells that the Leftist is starting a lie.

        • fredx2

          I went on to a college campus recently. The school paper has a regular sex columnist, who was advising all students to engage in the most bizarre practices, and she maintained that these bizarre practices were signs of health. We live in a screwed up world.

          • Tom in AZ

            Would you mind sharing the name of this college?

      • Martha

        How about a friend as a roommate? That’s a silly argument.

        • “A friend as a roommate” is exactly what we’re talking about with a chaste, faithful, engaged couple cohabiting before marriage.

          I remember friends remarking on how foolish we were spending an extra $3000 before our wedding, on the last 6 month lease on her apartment, after purchasing the house and starting paying on the mortgage (I’m sure certain other people arguing with me in this thread consider such a waste equally foolish).

          • Martha

            A chaste, faithful, engaged couple cohabiting???!!! The Catholic Church condemns that argument on two levels: 1) Scandal and 2) Near Occasion of Sin.

            To endanger yourself and (more importantly) your beloved like that, not to mention the souls of others who are watching your example, in order to save a few bucks (or avoid living with your friend who’s a pig, in your mother’s basement, or with your annoying sibling, etc.) is the height of foolishness. There are options. Sin shouldn’t be one of them.

            • Agreed. But you’re the one who proposed “a friend as a roommate”, and I’m pointing out that in some cases (especially when a long distance relationship led up to the engagement and one moved to be with the other potentially without a job lined up) that is exactly what the church is condemning.

              In today’s world, there may be no “friend who is a pig” or other close relatives within a thousand miles.

              • Martha

                Understood. I’m just thinking back to my college days, where my roommates were all strangers to me- people I met in class, church, etc.

    • James

      The solution to the problem of cohabitation has traditionally been marriage.

      Separating an engaged, cohabiting couple is pointless. Marry them. Then they won’t be cohabiting anymore, they will be married. They will no longer in a state of objective grave sin. Problem solved.

      Denying marriage in the Church to a cohabiting couple is like denying absolution to a penitent. It should not be done except for the most serious of reasons.

      • Beth

        James, is it too much to ask cohabiting couples to find separate living space for a period of time before the wedding, say, from the time they request the priest to facilitate their vows until the actual wedding day? Not asking much. Can either one or the other move in with family and/or friends? Doesn’t seem too much to ask for preparation to a life-long commitment to spouse and children.

        • James

          When couples live in large cities with high rents and year-long leases away from their families, then yes, it is asking a lot.

          Catholic marriage prep should certainly request that couples separate if possible, or if they cannot separate, to at least refrain from sexual activity and maintain separate bedrooms during the preparation process. But they should not require it.

          Theologically, the priest (or deacon) does not minister the sacrament of marriage, the couple ministers it to each other. The priest is merely the witness. Unless there are serious concerns that the marriage would be invalid, there is no reason to deny the wedding.

          • ColdStanding

            Then they should, without delay, get married.

            • James

              Which is exactly what they want to do.

              • Beth

                Maybe you missed the ‘without delay’ part of ColdStanding’s reply. What is the delay? Oh, the church with the really long aisle isn’t available? The hall is rented? The photographer is booked? Please. The next thing you know they’ll be mad when they find out that they can’t use contraception either!!! Holy Cow these church folks make life tough!

                • James

                  The Church’s own pre-Cana requirement is six months, so there’s that.

                  • Beth

                    Good heavens, James. Have you ever heard the adage “When there is a will, there is a way?” It applies. If a couple truly wants to get married in the church, then they would find a way out of their miserable misfortune of having to live together (darn it all and everything!)

                • GG

                  Yes, the reasons James is using really insults intelligence.

          • Whattya know James1225 is back….

            • James

              Nope. Not even close. It’s a common name.

              • And apparently a very common viewpoint among that common name.

                • ForChristAlone

                  Remind me not to name my next child James.

                  • James

                    Good to know I’ve undone the work of two Apostles.

          • St JD George

            That’s an easy one for me. Get out of the cities, the high rent districts, the smog, the hustle and bustle, and move out to the country where you’ll find a higher quality of life and more peace of mind.

            • What? And give up the lifestyle? You ogre, you.

              • St JD George

                Long commutes, traffic gridlock, sleep deprived and edginess, which lifestyle quality would be so hard to be liberated from?

            • James

              The problem with rural areas is that there aren’t many jobs. That’s why rent is so low.

              • Oh well. We all have choices.

                • GG

                  And IQs above 70.

                  • We need to start measuring something else, because we are creating a world full of people who have been wholly indulged and spent their time and talent creating excuses.

                    • GG

                      Well there is truth to what you say but the argument that claims fornication is justified because housing costs are high just insults people’s intelligence.

                    • Indeed.

              • St JD George

                There might actually be more than you realize, though it may take some sacrifices and changes to reap the rewards.

              • GG

                Justifying fornication is not Catholic.

                • James

                  Marriage ends fornication, does it not?

                  • GG

                    Confession is needed and a purpose of amendment, but that is not the only issue. To defend fornication based on location or jobs is facile and insulting.

          • accelerator

            We must not “ask a lot” by insisting on some vestige of repentance? Theologically, if they are not willing to repent of sin, I don’t understand the concern of about whether or not they have a Church wedding? Are we interested in changing the status of couples from “cohabitators” to “wedded,” or of converting peoples’ hearts? We already have parishes full of Catholics-in-name only, who may even attend Mass but certainly don’t subscribe to Christian teachings. Will amping up the efforts to marry off the Millenials in Catholic ceremonies help this? I don’t think so. It is an interesting conversation, but I remain unconvinced.

            • James

              The “vestige of repentance” is asking for marriage in the Church instead of continuing to cohabit or having a civil marriage.

              If you are looking at converting peoples’ hearts, denying them marriage when there is no theological basis for doing so is not the way to do it. It’s a good way to have them leave and never come back.

              Nor is this even the policy of the Church: The Pope married several cohabiting couples and he did so quite publicly. Rome has said that priests who deny cohabiting couples marriage are to be corrected by their bishops. I’m not sure why you want to put burdens on people that the Church herself does not.

              • GG

                Let us stop with claiming Church teaching is suddenly inverted based on the Pope marrying a few couples. Really, this is your logic? Really?

          • GG

            The reason for the ungodly amount of decrees of nullity today is the direct result of logic such as you give us here.

        • Dave

          Beth, you ask a good question. For me and my second wife, 35 years ago we did not want to scandalize our children so I lived in a one room rental for several months while my children that I had custody lived with my wife to be. After we were maried (not in the Church then) I moved in with our melded family. Thanks to the a forgiving Lord, and the annulmnent process several years later we were reunited in Matrimony in the Catholic Church.

          • Beth

            Thanks for sharing that, Dave. No doubt it was not only your children for whom you gave an excellent example.

            I hope you and your wife are on the pre-cana team in your parish!
            God Bless!

      • “Separating an engaged, cohabiting couple is pointless. ”
        If you aren’t married, that would explain your paucity of knowledgwe in this matter.
        Marriage is as they say not an “estate” which should be entered into “lightly”. One needs to understand the nature of that commitment, prior to entering into it.
        Separation provides that opportunity, as well as an opportunity to reflect upon the counterfeit that the cohabitating couple in currently engaging in.

        • James

          I am married and have been for 12 years, thank you very much.

          Perhaps it was different in your day, but most people of the “marrying age” (20s and 30s) see cohabitation as a possible step toward marriage, not as an alternative to marriage. I haven’t heard anyone born after 1970 use the phrase “living in sin” to refer to cohabitation except ironically. Most of them have little awareness that they are doing anything wrong.

          Second, the reality is that if the Church will not marry these couples, they will probably get married elsewhere and never look back. They’ll find another pastor or a justice of the peace, they’ll have their wedding, society will accept them as married, and their last association with the Catholic Church will be that mean priest who didn’t want them to get married.

          Third, and most importantly, it is theologically incorrect to deny marriage to a couple seeking marriage who is free to marry. The first argument is pastoral, the second consequentialist, the third is theological and the only one that really matters.

          It doesn’t matter if the couple had spent 20 years openly defying the Church and broadcasting to the world that marriage didn’t matter. If they come to the Church seeking marriage and are free to marry, the Church should not deny them access to the sacrament.

          • ForChristAlone

            Have you read the Gospel passage in John where Jesus proclaimed that “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, etc” and that once he did this, many (MANY) walked away?

            The Church should deny the sacrament to those not having the proper disposition to receive it. It happens in Confession and the Eucharist all the time (well, not really all the time as there are some like Wuerl, McCarrick and the girls who admit pro-abort politicians to the Sacrament).

            • James

              The Holy Father disagrees with you. In fact, the Vatican has issued a statement saying that priests who deny marriage to cohabiting couples should be corrected by their bishops.

              http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/no-scandal-here-how-the-20-couples-married-by-pope-francis-were-legit-45669/

              • No.

                “The professor noted that canon law “speaks of the freedom of the baptized to marry” and that the Church and its ministers cannot “put any obstacles in the face of that.” He said individual priests who have barred cohabiting couples from marrying in their parish have been corrected by their bishops.”

                The Pope and the Vatican aren’t quoted in the article, some professor is quoted, claiming individual Bishops took these actions against Priests.

              • ForChristAlone

                The Holy Father is simply wrong.

                • James

                  SSPX is ready when you are.

                  • GG

                    No, the SSPX is not necessary. Just as left wing dissent is not Catholic teaching no matter the spin and wishful thinking.

                    • James

                      Are you calling the Pope a left wing dissident?

                    • GG

                      No, I meant people like you.

                    • James

                      Well, my position is that I agree with the Pope. Yours?

                    • GG

                      I agree with the Pope who is a faithful son of the Church. The Pope does not agree with you.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    I am a Roman Catholic and will remain a Roman Catholic. I would also appreciate it is you would refrain from attempting to bait people here. It’s juvenile.

              • GG

                No, that article does not say the Pope disagrees with Catholic teaching at all.

          • “Perhaps it was different in your day, but most people of the “marrying age” (20s and 30s) see cohabitation as a possible step toward marriage, not as an alternative to marriage.”

            What “day” do you think was mine?

            Hint, I’m approaching my 11th anniversary and I didn’t meet my wife on “ourtime.com”.

            GIven the fact that the empirical evidence is that marriages formed after a period of cohabitation are more likely to fail, exactly why should I adjust my conclusions based on the perceptions of people in that age cohort?

            • St JD George

              Excellent point I’ve read and hadn’t thought of about the statistical analysis of cohabitation and success. In fairness and full disclosure I freely admit that I did long before Christ was a part of my life and by his grace he led me to the most wonderful woman I could imagine. Maybe he saw something in me and had hope that I didn’t recognize.

            • James

              The emperical evidence is not quite so clear cut.

              When normalized for age and socioeconomic status, those who move into before making the decision to marry do have a higher risk of divorce. Those who move in after the engagement have about the same risk as divorce as those who move in after the wedding.

              As someone else pointed out, there is a long tradition of couples moving in after the betrothal, but before the wedding and the Church considering them married. In the Renaissaince, brides to be pregnant at the wedding itself was seen as a good thing, as it showed that the relationship was happy and fertile. It is only recently that the Church has taught otherwise.

              • john

                Not sure I want to re-engage you on this subject, but at least two of your arguments are specious: 1. Your idea that denying the sacrament of marriage to people who openly, willingly, and unrepentently deny the Church’s teaching on marriage is “like denying absolution to a penitent” is exactly incorrect. It’s much closer to celebrating a person’s refusal to repent; 2. Since you’ve never heard anyone “born after 1970” use the phrase “living in sin” except “ironically,” I’ll fix you: I’m born after 1970, and cohabitation is living in sin. There. It wasn’t any less sinful before you heard someone say it, but now we’re square. Finally, you need a citation for your highly suspect assertion that “In the Renaissance, brides to be pregnant at the wedding itself was seen as a good thing.” Church teaching never changed, regardless of what “was seen as a good thing”–passive voice doing what it does best, I fear.

              • In the Renaissance, it was common to throw excrement out the window.

                Those who move in after the engagement have about the same risk as divorce as those who move in after the wedding.

                About the same is pretty squishy.
                So you shacked up huh?

                • James

                  What if we did? Should the Church unmarry us?

                  Should we retreat to a monestary/convent and wear sackcloth and ashes until we have done our penance?

                  And what of couples who did marry outside the Church and want a convalidation? Should they be denied? Required to separate? Otherwise, the solution to the problem is simple: Go to the courthouse first, then get a convalidation.

                  • GG

                    It means we repent, go to confession, and amend our lives.

                  • No, it just explains you search for validation.

              • GG

                You are joking? This is your “proof”?

          • GG

            It is not about denying but delaying. All your arguments here speak to relativism, not truth or theology.

      • ForChristAlone

        you’ve got to be kidding. yes?

        • James

          Not a bit. Pope Francis publicly married several cohabiting couples in the Vatican.

          • And that’s precisely why he’s regarded with such suspicion.

            • James

              There’s always SSPX.

              • GG

                No, it means that Catholic teaching is still Catholic teaching despite what trendy folks wish for.

              • And there’s always thousands of other denominations that regard marriage as lightly and transiently, as you.

          • ForChristAlone

            That’s why Catholics are losing their trust in his judgment.

      • populo

        Of course they will STILL be in a state of objective grave sin. They clearly are not penitent. Marriage is not absolution.

      • GG

        People living together do so mostly out of hormones not authentic love. That is why we have so much confusion today. we confuse love with feelings and sex.

      • Chris Cloutier

        In order for the priest to marry them in the church, they would have to repent and confess their sin. Part of that is sincerely committing to not sinning again. So they must live apart. If they are married without repentance and confession, they are still living in sin, and although I’m not sure, the marriage might also be invalid. Your analogy is completely wrong. A penitent is someone who confesses, sincerely repents, and is contrite. If they aren’t sincere than the confession is invalid. No priest would deny absolution to a humble, contrite and repentant sinner. So, just marrying them doesn’t solve the problem.

        • James

          Once they are married, they will no longer be fornicating, will they? They will not be committing that sin again.

          The priest does not administer the sacrament of marriage, he merely blesses the couple. This is why the wedding of two Protestants in Vegas are considered a sacramental marriage. Since 1908, anyone baptized Catholic is obligated to be married in the Church and has an invalid marriage if they do not. (This was to crack down on clandestine weddings. Canonist Ed Peters, hardly a liberal, says this provision no longer serves any purpose and causes more problems than it solves.)

          No, the marriage is not invalid and it is sacramental. Whether the couple is in a state of sin at the time of the wedding does not impact the validity of the marriage or the efficacy of the sacrament.

          • GG

            If they are in mortal sin they do not receive the graces available from the sacrament.

          • Chris Cloutier

            The marriage doesn’t confer forgiveness for the past sins committed. After the marriage they wouldn’t be continuing their sinful behavior, but would still be in a state of sin if they hadn’t repented and confessed.

            • James

              Well, yes, there is a need for confession for past sins. No arguing with that.

          • There are two sins involved in shacking up, fornication and giving scandal.

    • fredx2

      You cannot imagine the hatred and scorn that priest must get if they suggest, in the least, that the two coming to be married before them are not 100% right in every decision they make. In my own family, I have heard people say “How dare the priest put conditions on marrying us? We are adults and we will do exactly as we please”. “No church is going to tell me what to do” They act as if the church should be thankful for allowing them to perform the ceremony. One family member was upset by the condition that he raise the children Catholic. “OK, I said, it, but I lied” he proudly said. “What are they going to do, track me down and unmarry me?” Which proves he just did not understand anything about the sacramentality of the thing. This is the mind set of people today. The church is there to perform services for them. If it does not do this with a willing, subservient smile, it can be dismissed.

      • Micha Elyi

        “OK, I said, it, but I lied” he proudly said. “What are they going to do, track me down and unmarry me?”
        –fredx2

        No one need unmarry him because his lie is grounds for a tribunal to find his marriage to have been a nullity. Can’t unmarry the unmarried.

        • And it goes to show the total lack of character in someone who’s proud of his word being worthless.

          • Sounds like Jonathan Gruber. (The exchange between him and Trey Gowdy is worth every second of the time spent watching it.)

            • Tom in AZ

              Wasn’t Gruber the villain in Die Hard?

              • ForChristAlone

                If you’re here to make childish remarks, please return when you’ve grown up.

        • Tom in Az

          tribunal? Do they wear powdered wigs? What century are you living in?

          • zoltan

            Marriage tribunals determine annulments in the Catholic Church and they don’t wear wigs.

    • ForChristAlone

      yes, and save them from unnecessary anguish

    • Isaac S.

      I think this is an area where priests have to tread a bit carefully. Certainly they need to be 100% clear on what the Church teaches, but to go so far as to not marry people because they are currently cohabiting would be going a bit far in many cases. This is especially true since any orthodox priest knows that the couple can easily find a more “easy going” priest who will just give them a rubber stamp. When non-practicing Catholics come to the Church asking for marriage they are doing a good thing even if they are also doing many bad things like cohabiting and the like. It is an opportunity for the priest to draw the non-practicing Catholics back into the Church (just like in the old days country priests in places like rural Ireland spent a lot of time regularizing peasants’ common-law marriages). By firmly but gently drawing them in the priest can hope that the couple will eventually become fully practicing, whereas flatly refusing marriage in all but the most egregious circumstances seems like it would be counterproductive. I would say to avoid future annulments the priest should clearly present Catholic teaching on marriage to each couple and have them sign a document saying that they understand and accept it. Even if they lie by signing or don’t fully understand what they are doing, it will be hard to argue against your own signature.

  • AcceptingReality

    “Catholics reflect national trends in spite the Church’s consistnet teaching that cohabitation and premature sexual relations are a grave sin and contray to the moral law (CCC 2390)” The problem is that almost no one with the power of the pulpit is saying anything with regard to the main moral issues of the day. Priests and bishops just don’t want to preach on particular sins because they don’t want to upset people and hurt their feelings. They might stop coming if any sort of truth regarding specific behavior was preached.

    • Highlighter

      We are hearing it from our pulpit. Our priests preach against cohabitation, contraception, etc., on a fairly regular basis.

      But it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference in our Catholic community. A good number of young people who consider themselves Catholic don’t attend Sunday mass religiously (pun intended) anyway.

      So the priest is largely preaching to the choir, which is fine. But speaking out about it from the pulpit is unlikely to reach the majority of people who need to hear it the most.

      • Siwash

        Good points. But it’s tough for a priest to NOT be preaching from the choir. He has to find a soap box, and one that works.

        The moral gurus of Hollywood have it easy. . . in fact, we pay to hear them tell us up is down, and down is up, and nothing matters much at all.

      • kainzh

        “Our priests preach against cohabitation, contraception, etc., on a fairly regular basis.”
        That’s extraordinary! Where on earth do you live?

        • Timothy Black

          Here too. In Texas.

      • Isaac S.

        Our priest does the same thing, but he’s only had three years at this parish after many more years of neglect prior to his arrival. My hope is that over time this consistent, orthodox preaching will bear great fruit, but it’s hard to see at the beginning. The liberals have had 50 years to tear the Church to shreds while the new generation of solid priests in some of our better dioceses have only had about a decade to start to turn things around. In other dioceses the resistance hasn’t even started yet (and in places like Germany it may never arise at all).

        • fredx2

          This is the truth. One often hears that the “conservatives” have been in control of the church for the last 30 years. iIn fact, it is only during the last 10 years that a faithful group of young priests has been introduced, breathing new life into a somewhat stale church that has been following a mostly progressive path for a long time.

      • James

        I certainly hope your priest isn’t preaching about contraception and cohabitation to a congregation of long married senior citizens. I hope there are some people who would actually need to hear this.

        Otherwise, he, too is part of the problem—of preaching about Other People’s Sins instead of what is relevant to his flock.

        • Isaac S.

          Even “long-married senior citizens” need to hear this teaching so they can be witnesses to their children and grandchildren on these issues. My 87-year-old grandmother sought advice from a religious brother she knows well a few years ago on whether she was morally OK to attend a same-sex “wedding” of one of her grandchildren. The brother basically said “okie dokie” so my grandma went (against her own better judgment) and now everyone in my extended family has the perception that my pious Catholic grandmother supports gay marriage.

          • ForChristAlone

            yes

          • lifeknight

            There’s no fool like an old fool.
            Also, read up on the prevalence of sexually transmitted disease in elderly communities. Shockingly similar numbers to college campuses.

            • Tom in AZ

              Ban viagra, cialis etc.

        • GG

          Huh?

      • david

        It would be interesting to know how many times “the priest” makes visits to the “cohabitants”.

      • imabitterclinger2

        But the Priest isn’t “preaching to the choir” if there are 13-17 year-olds in the pews listening. He is instructing them so they don’t make the mistake later on. We have to start repairing the damage somewhere.

    • Chris Cloutier

      They will have to answer to God for that. To those whom much is given, much is expected.

    • lifeknight

      Heaven forbid you get one of sermons on the death penalty. How many parishioners have relatives on death row? Talk about a safe topic! I could count the number of sermons on contraception—most happened at the March for Life.
      Cohabitation is even MORE verboten. Everyone knows someone co-habitating.

  • Anne Cregon Parks

    Someone needs to send this to Pope Francis

  • St JD George

    Just another symptom of the pox epidemic which is ravaging our society. The illness of course is brought on by the lack of God in our diet, not economics. If you don’t have a foundation of understanding his love for you and a desire to return that love you’re liable to rationalize any number of selfish behaviors.

  • HartPonder

    Historically, this has not been the case for most of our church history. Marriage was the last of the seven Sacraments the Church adopted. 122 years ago, cohabitation was permitted with the presumption of marriage. When one looks at the development of marriage in context, and not just through the filter of the last 100 years of our culture, it gives one pause to truly reflect on God’s will concerning marriage.

    “According to earlier ecclesiastical law, the previous relation of mere espousal between man and woman became a lawful marriage (and therefore the Sacrament of Marriage), namely when a valid betrothal was followed by consummation. It was a legal presumption that in this case the betrothed parties wished to lessen the sinfulness of their action as much as possible, and therefore performed it with the intention of marriage and not of fornication. The efficient cause of the marriage contract, as well as of the sacrament, was even in this case the mutual intention of marriage, although expression was not given to it in the regular way. This legal presumption ceased on 5 Feb., 1892, by Decree of Leo XIII…”

    • So shacking up is a valid betrothal?

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    My long journey to Catholicism began with Mircea Eliade’s ‘The Sacred and the Profane’. Whatever his failings he understood the horror of the ‘homogenization of space and time’. Throughout human history, sacred places were set aside in space and sacred days set aside in time. When this ‘sense of the sacred’ is lost, the world becomes Nightmare. Cohabitation desecrates and secularizes Home and Family and in the end its ‘intimacies’ are like a thirsty man drinking salt water.

  • Isaac S.

    The biggest cause of this within the Church is a complete lack of catechesis. My wife and I are a mentor couple in our parish and we have to tread delicately with engaged couples because most of them have NEVER heard what the Church teaches from their (supposedly) Catholic parents or from the pulpit at any (supposedly) Catholic church they’ve ever attended. I used to teach Confirmation and RCIA classes at a different parish and when I covered the Church’s teachings on sexuality it was literally the first time any of the students had ever heard it! Our hesitant, under-formed priests and chummy careerist bishops (of which there are many notable exceptions, praise be to God) have abandoned two (soon to be three) generations of Catholics to the wolves without even the tiniest smidgeon of concern. After failing to educate them as children or form them as adults, they scratch their heads and wonder, “Gee, what do we do about all of these divorced and remarried Catholics?” Lord Jesus, have mercy on us all.

    • Kath

      Wow!…I didn’t realize it was so bad, but I guess it is…You would know. -Yes, our (formerly-strong) Catholic culture is in a VERY sad state.

      • david

        This is what comes of “accompanying” rather than “instructing”.

    • St JD George

      I think you are on to something Sir Isaac, or hit the nail on the thumb if you will. Kind of related to the other article today, with the decline in quantity of students in traditional Catholic schools coupled with a decline in quality perhaps also as more embrace public school standards, then coupled with weak church leaders who have grown more to be of the world than in it is a recipe for the sour soup we have before us today. Time to throw out the old soup and make a new one I say.

    • Rachel

      Amen to this comment, which doesn’t surprise me at all. When I joined RCIA in 2007 as a convert from Protestantism, I was very discouraged to find that we weren’t taught any Catholic doctrine in our RCIA classes. We just sat in a circle and discussed our feelings about the Gospel reading of the day; there was no catechesis– even though we were all there because we wanted to be Catholic! I learned the Catholic faith from researching on my own, but some others in the class probably still don’t know it. Finally I found a different parish where RCIA was run by an excellent priest who actually stood up front and *taught* us instead of having us share our ignorant thoughts with each other. I especially enjoyed the fact that anyone who missed his lecture on the 6th and 9th commandments had to make it up, so no one would be ignorant of what our Faith teaches! Isaac S., bless you and your wife for being a mentor couple. 🙂

      • Martha

        When my husband wanted to join the Church about 4 years ago, he was disgusted by the RCIA classes, and rightly so. He told the Priest that he wanted to be taught by me at home. They were very reluctant, but agreed with the stipulation of periodic testing. He aced all of them. Needless to say, we did not employ the materials given to us by the program! What libby hippie junk.

        • My wife converted a couple years before your husband.

          I’m glad her RCIA classes were substantive enough to serve as a refresher course for me.

          The one thing I learned is that RCIA is just a first step, it’s up to the individual to continue their spiritual development after they are received.

          • Martha

            That’s very true; much like Confirmation for cradle Catholics. Unfortunately, in both cases, people don’t understand that.

            Congrats on your wife’s conversion! Wasn’t that just one of the best days ever?!

        • St JD George

          Your husband was/is lucky to have you. We had a great deacon in GA who was a strong leader in the catholic teachings. I enjoyed so much I never wanted to miss. When I got to OH and participated for a short while it was run by a lay person who had the heart but not the strength and organization. Having already gone over the readings myself during the week it became a bit of a bore to just repeat them.

        • Tom in AZ

          He probably cheated.

      • Guest

        My wife entered the Catholic Church, she had a no catechesis RCIA class. She liked the program, liked the people and decided to enter the Church

        When she later found out what the Church taught, especially on the 6th and 9th commandments, she was furious. She thought it was a highly dishonest bait-and-switch. She no longer trusts the Church and does not want to raise our children Catholic.

    • Martha

      I find that so hard to believe! Can that really be true? Sad and shocking. I thought MY upbringing was bad! That puts a whole new spin on the crisis we are facing, at least for me. I felt that it was almost in the realm of inherent knowledge, and that it was all about not caring, rebelling, or choosing societal norms over conscience driven norms. Yikes.

      • Isaac S.

        I think pure ignorance is really what we’re looking at in many cases. I was raised nominally Catholic but didn’t start practicing until I was a junior in college. My grandparents were practicing Catholics but besides them I didn’t know a single person who genuinely knew, taught, and lived what the Church taught. My grandparents were “old,” though, so I didn’t really think that their beliefs applied in the world I lived in. I think many young people are aware that the Church is opposed to sex before marriage, abortion, and homosexuality but only in the way that one might know that George Washington crossed the Delaware; it’s historical knowledge that seems completely inapplicable to the modern world. I was no liberal as a teenager but I genuinely thought that my Grandparents’ belief and practice of waiting until marriage to have sex and live together was just a relic of another age like washboards and churning butter! As for birth control, I can’t recall hearing it mentioned a single time by anyone in 12 years of CCD classes and 20 years of attending Catholic churches until I got involved with a youth ministry program in college. Lately I’ve been hearing it more from the pulpit but for most of my generation (I’m 32), I think I can safely say most of us would have been in our 20’s before we ever heard a single homily on the topic.

    • hombre111

      The way a fish swims in the sea, we swim in the ocean of culture. What we are observing is the reuctio ad absurdum of American individualism, which is stronger than what priests and parents can teach youth who have been conditioned by the larger world to “just do it.” As Crisis correctly urges, Catholics have to be a counter-culture, but the strategy we use as we approach our task is crucial. I am impressed to see that Isaac and spouse are a mentor couple, and I suspect that, even though they might despair sometimes, they make a difference. We tried the way of Pope John Paul, laying down the law. As this article suggests, maybe it is time for the softer approach of Pope Francis. As an old priest, I am convinced that lay people committed to their marriages will be the one to gradually turn this around.

    • The Truth

      I once heard a man telling about his conversion experience. He spent most of his time with this friend. He knew his friend was an atheist and accepted it. Until one day the friend questioned his beliefs. After telling his friend about his faith in God, the friend said you don’t seem any different than me. It had finally dawned on him, faith or no faith he wasn’t any different than his friend. They both did the same things and acted the same way. The point is, I cannot find any difference between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics practice the same things Protestants do. They accept gay marriage, they accept gay adoptions of children, they practice artificial birth control, they practice artificial insemination, they cohabitate etc. etc. etc. The Pope himself seems to be to be leaning towards humanism. I didn’t accidentally stumble upon the conclusion that Catholics and Protestants believe the same thing, I live it.

    • imabitterclinger2

      DING DING DING!!!! We have a winner. This all stops when we start teaching the Catholic Church’s laws on marriage. Sooner rather than later please,

  • ColdStanding

    The practice of the Roman Catholic faith is a craft. A Christian is a craftsman (HT to St. Joseph, most chaste spouse of Mary Most Holy). You are meant to be building a most wondrous thing: a holy soul pleasing to God who made you for this purpose and He aids you with His grace.

    Read the first chapter of Dom Scupoli’s The Spiritual Combat*. I believe he speaks very effectively about what the purpose of the externals of our holy religion. These things: the liturgy & the mass, devotions, public processions, creeds and books of instruction are meant to serve the needs of souls already having commenced the cultivation of humility and holiness.

    I believe that this work of cultivation is what is needed today. Most frequently what is seen when the Catholic faith is considered, is a “rigid” set of rules with no understanding of to what end these rules are attempting to direct our wayward attentions. The rules of moral conduct serve the work of cultivation our faith proposes to our reason.

    Most people that you will meet today are very disoriented. Functional according to the dominant thrust of our society’s pedagogical imperative, but , seeing as that thrust is materialistic to the exclusion of the spiritual supernatural condition of the human being, only partially so. It is not that they can’t be taught, for how else would they/you/me be the way they are unless they’d been taught to be so by instruction and example.

    What follows is strictly my opinion. It carries no weight what so ever from any authority associated with the hierarchy of the Church.

    When you have a group of people come together to discuss a matter, perhaps even many issues, the truth is still the truth regardless of whether or not the mechanism set up to determine a course of action produces a result that does not accord with the truth. The truth still takes precedence. The truth does not go away. The truth is God and God can not go away.

    With that in mind, I remind the reader that there were more fathers at VII than the progressive bishops and theologians centered around the nucleus of Rahner, Kung, and Schillebeeckx that put Montini on the papal throne. I believe that this group just referenced was wrong in the principles they were reasoning from. The program of “renewal” that emerged in the aftermath of the council in question is derived from these principles. Wrong in the beginning, wrong in the end.

    What was the mistake they made? Forgetting (worse, disbelieving) that the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic faith is a gift given to fallen man by Our Lord and Savior, The Word of God, Jesus Christ.

    This great gift is had for the asking.

    How do we receive that gift? Through scripture, yes, but through tradition first. Other Fathers at the council knew this fact and comported themselves accordingly. We need to track down what they said, it is on record, and listen to the wisdom they related. For, if we do not first listen to what tradition is telling us, we will misunderstand what scripture is telling us.

    So tradition is the place to start. Tradition in worship and sacrifice? Yes, but that is not the first thing. The first thing is this: There is a God. He loves us. He has given us a great gift to help us. That gift, the gift of Truth, is the Catholic Church which sprung from His pierced side during His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.

    What then, is the Church? The most amazing storehouse of spiritual riches imaginable. What is all the gold in the world in comparison?

    People are profit minded. The great treasures of the Roman Church are mostly just sitting around waiting for us to notice them again. Think of how an archaeologist gets worked into a lather over a shard of an ancient clay pot. Folks, that is nothing more than the lid of a yogurt container. What is the big deal? Why go to all the effort? Yet, the answers and solutions to the suffering you endure daily are close at hand but resting on a shelf neglected for want of but lifting your eyes to look for what you need? This can’t last forever or even very long. The search can end for you right now. Mind, the end of the search is the beginning of the work.

    Therefore, allow the Holy Spirit into your hearts. He made your heart to be filled by His Love. When it is filled to overflowing, you will communicate this gift to those who are looking for this too, even if they do not yet realize it. Most of all, fear not. That voice of doubt that torments you is not of God. Hint: it torments you. You need not be the slave of the devil. God your Heavenly Father is most eager to welcome you back.

    He has much to discuss with you. Drop to your knees, make a sign of the Cross, and start talking to Him. His plans for your future are great!

    *available at archive dot org.

  • Major914

    “Cohabitation is a win-win situation for men: more stable access to sex, without the expectations or commitments of marital responsibilities.”

    This is a terribly flawed view, the propagation of which does much more harm than good.

    Men are the spiritual heads of families–this is an absolute truth that cannot be altered or escaped from. No man ‘wins’ anything at all, in any way at all, by allowing any circumstances whatever to impinge upon his spiritual headship of the true and proper family.

    The man suffers (as far as the question of suffering goes or should go) more, if anything, because of his greater inherent responsibility as the required head.

    To accept the implicit materialist/non-theistic premise, as is implied by the false statement, “Cohabitation is a win-win situation for men…”, is to participate in the further spread and establishment of a false paradigm that can only serve to obscure rather than highlight the truth.

    • St JD George

      I agree, that expression only applies to a sub-species who have no or diminished souls. Anybody who would father a child and have no attachment to the child or the mother has only a reservation at the hottest sub-world complex.

    • “Cohabitation is a win-win situation for men: more stable access to sex, without the expectations or commitments of marital responsibilities.”

      That was only the transitional phase. Read the Sexodus series on Breitbart.
      The Devil hates sex.

      • Major914

        Yes, I see your point and agree–it is just a phase along the way to ever greater distance from the truth. That’s well worth taking into account.

        “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 13:12)

        • I always try to remember that when the Devil fomented Luther and Tudor to subordinate marriage to the state; contractual marriage and serial monogamy weren’t the end game, the complete abolition and deformation of marriage, and the attack on natality and the isolation of man and woman were the objectives.

          If we reflect long enough, we can reflect on our own sins that had short-term effects that might be described as disordering, but in the longer run had unforeseen disasterous effects.

  • fredx2

    The call is always for the church to do more for people. The fact remains that there are not enough priests to implement any of these programs. Until Pope Francis understands this, it will be impossible to implement his program of Mercy, since it requires lots of time for the church to ‘walk with” and care for people in an individual way. Since there are more priests coming out of traditionally or orthodox seminaries, the Pope has to at least realize that this focus on orthodoxy is necessary to get more priests in the door. Until then, his Mercy program is going to be just talk.

    • Since there are more priests coming out of traditionally or orthodox seminaries, the Pope has to at least realize that this focus on orthodoxy is necessary to get more priests in the door. Until then, his Mercy program is going to be just talk.
      Personnel is policy. I’d love to see how many Seminarians come from places with Bishops that waffle more than IHOP.

      Until we have a critical mass of Prelates and Clerics that understand the principal mission of the Church is the salvation of souls, not being merely another NGO and not offering spurious, uninformed and in comes cases reckless and caumnious commentary such as that posited by Archbishop Blase Cupich about opposition to Obama being racist-well then we’re…subject to the piercing and torsional effects of a helically inclined planar fastener.

      • ForChristAlone

        “how were things in Rapid City SD, or Spokane Washington during the Cupiich eras in those Diocese.”

        Exactly. Besides orthodox teaching, bishops should be selected on the basis of past performance. If they had previous Sees, then two measures I’d look at would be the number of adult baptisms or confirmations as a percentage of registered Catholics in that See during his tenure. The second would be the number of seminarians and ordained during his tenure, also as a function of registered Catholics. I agree that the number of soup kitchens opened should not matter since even the pagans do as much.

  • A grave mistake in this article is found in the premise that most of those cohabiting consider God important in their lives. Everything that the author suggests to be offered them means close to nothing in practice. The reason is that almost none of those cohabiting practices any faith and about half has no faith at all.

    • JohnE_o

      Yes, this…

  • ForChristAlone

    If the cure for cohabitation is to somehow convince a couple that marriage guarantees ‘heaven on earth,’ this is bound to backfire.

    Many instances in married life are anything but ‘heaven on earth.’ People should get married since, because marriage so often entails pain, hardship and misery, it has within it the potential for holiness, the development of virtue and the ultimate prize – the salvation of our souls since we cooperated with the grace of the Sacrament.

    No, the image of marriage that should be appropriately held out for those fornicating couples is THE WAY OF THE CROSS. It is THE CROSS that ultimately can lead to the FINAL RESURRECTION. To promise anything less is to delude, deceive and deter from our Christian way of life. The latter is the way of Satan; we propose the WAY OF THE CROSS and let’s not forget it.

    What we are witnessing is the legacy of the post Vatican II 60’s ‘you-can-have-it-all’ mentality; it simply has not, does not and will not work.

  • craig

    Yes, the Church needs to teach couples to wait, but it also needs to emphasize the purposes of marriage (a good summary of which is in the Ordinariate marriage rite following Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer).

    The interesting (Protestant) blogger ‘Dalrock’ has correctly noted the shift from the traditional view where marriage forms the proper context for love and sex, to its modern inversion where love and sex form the context in which to pursue marriage. Marriage is now seen as a capstone to a fully-realized relationship: an end, not a beginning.

    In short, cohabitation increases the likelihood of numerous negative
    outcomes for women while essentially granting to men all the “benefits” of marriage without men having any responsibilities. Regnerus and Uecker concur, noting that “Cohabitation is a win-win situation for men: more stable access to sex, without the expectations or commitments of marital responsibilities.”

    To say the same thing differently, modern secular marriage adds responsibilities upon men without granting them any additional benefits vis-a-vis cohabitation. And we wonder why marriage is losing popularity? If anything, marriage is now seen as a demotion for men; any man merely hearing his officemates and friends talk is likely over time to perceive the husbands as receiving less respect from women, less sex, less use of one’s own income, and less autonomy than the singles among them enjoy.

    When the Church goes back to teaching that ‘husband’ is an honorable vocation, deserving of the respect of their wives and the respect of society, things will start to turn around. When the Church goes back to teaching women to keep the marital bed warm and stop putting career above children and children above husband, things will change.

    • Fargo106

      I was with ya until the last sentence… that just sounded bitter and a little like knuckle-dragging.

      • craig

        Christianity is bitter and knuckle-dragging, according to the zeitgeist. That’s the problem: too many Christians unconsciously take their cues from secular opinion and are embarrassed of the faith. They downplay it and feminize it to make it conform. (They even truncate the readings at Mass to skip over Ephesians 5:22-24 when it comes up in the cycle.) In fact, everything in my last paragraph was taught with magisterial authority:

        25. By this same love it is necessary that all the other rights and duties of the marriage state be regulated as the words of the Apostle: “Let the husband render the debt to the wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband,”[28] express not only a law of justice but of charity.

        26. Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that “order of love,” as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: “Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.”[29]

        Bet you haven’t heard that preached lately.

        Traditionally families were ordered around the husband; the wife and children took his name to cement their association with him. Modern families are ordered around the wife; in a typical family court divorce order, he moves out and she keeps the house and custody of the children. It’s not exactly a secret that in many households, the de facto order of primacy now goes Woman->Children->Pets->Man. My point is, if society now treats husbands as optional and marriage as a demotion for men, it shouldn’t be because the Church refuses to teach otherwise.

        • Fargo106

          No, I am fortunate enough that the readings from Ephesian 5 are not truncated in my church and I am quite familiar with that teaching.

          I guess I just was having trouble with your choice of words. “Teaching women to keep the marital bed warm,” etc. just sounded like you were saying a wife’s primary function was to be always ready to fulfill her husband’s sexual desires and raise the babies, which is not what Ephesians 5 is about. That passage in Ephesians 5 starts with “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (ver. 21). Both of us, man and woman, have a responsibility to sacrifice ourselves for our spouse. It goes both ways, as I can tell you know. It’s not a kingdom with man as the king.

          And yes, I agree with you that it seems in society today that men are often treated as optional – artificial insemination allows the man to be skipped, while subsidies and aid from the government provide financial support… I’ve heard it called “beaurogomy.” If that’s the type of thing, along with your example of a hierarchy (Woman->Children->Pets->Man), that’s being promoted at your church, that’s sad and I understand your frustration.

          In the end, marriage to me is still about spouses sacrificing for each other… and ideally that’s ultimately really nothing more than sacrificing for yourself because… “the two shall become ONE flesh” (Eph. 5:31).

          • craig

            OK. I wasn’t saying that was a wife’s primary function; it just related to my other earlier comment about why marriage rates are falling and the growing perception among men these days about what marriage entails.

            In some ways, men used to be more naturally idealistic about marriage going into it than women. While there’s plenty more to marriage than sex, the kind of man who struggles to live chastely before marriage is the same kind who holds marriage in esteem as meaning more than simply roommates with legal rights to half one’s estate. Many among the 80% mentioned earlier are so unaccustomed to reciprocal interest from a woman that they naively mistake this for genuine attraction. They find out the hard way that it is possible to marry and burn.

      • Kilo 4/11

        Like more guns = less crime, more knuckle-draggers = less abortion, gay agenda, divorce, teen pregnancies, miscegenation, Obama voters, dropouts, among other evils.

  • anon

    If you want to make real, practical progress, speak to the young adult women (teens on up) and focus in on their self esteem. Insist that they are worth waiting for. Point out that once married, their time will not be their own and that their life before marriage is the absolute perfect time to focus on themselves, their education, their personal goals, etc. Make it about them. Sure, there are career women who take this to extremes, but for the vast majority of young Christian women, relationships are important and just need to be kept in perspective. Young women know how to draw a line and not cross it. They just need a little bit of encouragement.

    • craig

      Have to disagree here. It’s a false premise that young women in their prime are only having sex because bad men put them up to it. Young adult women, in America at least, are already interested in sex, and already highly self-focused (they’ve been schooled their whole lives how girls can ‘have it all’). Spending one’s twenties “finding oneself” will only fan the passions.

      The problem is that women are all attracted to the same 20% of men — the good-looking, high-status ones — and compete fiercely for them. The other 80% of men are basically invisible to women, and only start to graduate from ‘nerd’ or ‘creep’ up to ‘consolation prize’ once the women are pushing 30 and didn’t manage to bag one of the 20%.

      The solution, I think, is to teach women not to wait for any magical right moment in life to marry, but to cultivate the ability to notice which men are worth marrying. We should teach men and women to keep relationships in perspective and understand that excess intimacy will cloud one’s judgment. Social life and dating need to remain casual and non-exclusive until marriage is explicitly ‘on the table’ for discussion.

      • GG

        You make a good point regarding judgment and discernment. Are not much of these “trial marriages” simply based on brain chemicals and hormones? People are attracted, fornicate, then declare they are in love. Really? Then they “live together”, get married, then apply for a decree of nullity. Then the “experts” analyze this mess and declare we ought to accompany people, whatever that means.

      • ForChristAlone

        well said

      • Kilo 4/11

        While women have the upper hand in mate selection, at least while young, it’s very important to teach our young boys to evaluate the girls/women in their lives in the same manner you describe, correctly, above for women. It may even be more difficult to teach boys, what with porn ready to distort their visions, minds, and souls.

  • Tom B

    Damage control!

  • Tom in AZ

    Why would a man want to leave a win-win situation for the prison of marriage?

    • Scott W.

      It’s a bit like those crying dolls they give to teenage girls to carry around for a week to encourage them to avoid pregnancy. Obviously teens out of wedlock with children is something to be avoided as one creates a population of boys like feral dogs (witness Detroit), but there is a problem: by showing child-rearing as all drudgery and no joy, it gives a false illusion. The same goes with marriage. To the average rutter, marriage may indeed look like a prison. But anyone who’s been in one for a long time knows that it cultivates many virtues and graces.

      • Fargo106

        Agreed, Scott. Marriage is a prison like the Truth is a prison… there are responsibilities that may seem confining that come with both, but in reality they only set you free.

  • Sam2001

    I don’t know if my first marriage would have lasted, we cohabitated for a period. My husband died from cancer before we had our 6th anniversary, and before we had children. My second marriage, (and his too), we married BEFORE cohabitation. We will be married 14 years come this June.

    I tell any young adult considering it, that cohabitation IS NOT AT ALL like a marriage. It has the “appearance” from the outside, but none of the reality.

  • populo

    We are “accompanying” the Church to the “fullness” of castration.

    • GG

      True. Like abortion, fornication is not viewed as a serious sin. If it were viewed correctly from the standpoint of eternity we would not have so many vague and effete words written about the problem.

      • ForChristAlone

        GG,
        I think you have come to the crux of the problem when you reference viewing things from the standpoint of eternity. Few in the Church these days, I am afraid, make eternal life the focus of how they live their lives. Related to this is this false notion that pervades the Church that “everyone goes to heaven.” If that’s the case, “Eat, drink and be merry…” And when young people consider marriage, it is totally DISCONNECTED from any considerations about eternal life, the supernatural and the transcendent. Listen to all the arguments about the economics and the sociology of marriage vs cohabitation.

        Here’s the acid test: Ask 1,000 young Catholic people between the ages of 20-30 how their eternal life factors into the decisions they make on a day to day basis. Does anyone think that more than 5% might respond, “Very Much?”

        • GG

          As a famous nun once said on TV…this generation knows the social Gospel well, it is the rest of the Gospel they do not know.

          For recent generations Christianity has been reduced to “helping” the material poor. Every other aspect of the moral life is viewed as either a “bad” choice or no big deal. Eternity, salvation, personal holiness, and much else is diminished as Pharisaical or legalistic.

          Now we are told to “accompany” others which is as deep as a slogan or platitude.

          The rich history of the saints before us and all their teachings and examples are dismissed.

  • Chicago Mom

    Thank you for this, Arland. ….”accompanying them toward a greater maturity and toward a happy and holy intimate relationship”; “to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient and anxious…but whose lives glow with fervor”. These are helpful words. Isaac, yes, the catechesis has all but dissolved, but there are now many resources available. When he was young, our son read a section of Canon Ripley’s book, “This is the Faith”. He copied down the seven capital sins and their contrary virtues. He placed this list on the refrigerator to share with the family. “Why aren’t they teaching me this in school?” he asked.

  • me, myself & I r all here

    one of my priest friends had a couple come to him from a non-denominational church…..”why are you here in the Catholic Church?”…….. “they wouldn’t marry us, so we came here.” ………..

    recently i had a chance to “challenge” a couple by asking them about their souls…….
    their response: “we’re good people, we don’t kill anyone, we don’t steal, we try to get to church,” …….. when i asked them how many “good people” were in purgatory, hell or heaven….. that my vocation was to invite them to be holy, not good, they were “shocked” that i dare send someone to hell……. (sigh)……

    • GG

      You did well. This article here is vague and offers no real solutions. Accompanying one is fine, but what good is that without the truth?

      The truth will only be received to the degree one is open to the truth.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Once upon a time there was housing (with fairly strict rules) for single Catholic men and single women. The church was realistically and ‘proactively’ involved in all phases of our lives and there for us. There were also social activities, dances etc. to encourage dating and marriage. I can vouch personally my Church is not there for me in SO many ways. I would be better cared for if I were a Somali Muslim.

  • bonaventure

    The synod — where some 200 bishops and supposedly expert lay people gathered together — was an immense opportunity to show the world the unity of the faith on all matters of morality related to the family and sexuality. Unfortunately, it was a wasted opportunity. In fact, not only wasted… but it cast a shadow on the next synod, whereby anyone outside the Church remotely interested in it, already has an expectation that the bishops will continue to look for ways to legitimize adultery, find “gifts” in homosexuality, and raise up cohabitation to some sort of “lower sacrament.”

    All the while, the faithful wonder, “what on earth and when in time did something go so wrong so quickly?”

    • ForChristAlone

      And perhaps there will even come a declaration out of the next Synod that, yes, all dogs do go to heaven.

      Memo to Pope Francis: We are not listening anymore. We are waiting on the day your successor arrives.

  • lifeknight

    The article doesn’t touch on a serious truth: If one dies in mortal sin, one goes to HE-double toothpicks. Lack of catechesis is the big reason most are ignorant, but grave sin gets you a trip to a warmer place and we don’t mean Florida.

    In the zeal to be charitable, many souls are lost from these sexual sins. If the hierarchy and theologians really cared for souls they wouldn’t hide behind social justice agendas that include preaching about capital punishment or fossil fuel usage (the latest proclamation).

    I have heard many sermons on the death penalty and zero on cohabitation. “Jesus loves you” is about the level of pablum most Catholics are used to hearing.

    • GG

      Excellent and true. What this really says is that fornication is no big deal. All the saints and martyrs apparently were wrong.

  • M.J .

    Too bad that the experts quoted add to the confusion by that statement on how men are in a win -win situation , as though ,living in a ‘user’ prostituting relationship ( words of St.John Paul 11 , on ‘users’ , which sadly would include those who contracept as well ) damaging the dignity of self and of the others , disfiguring the beauty meant for the soul through living in the grace and will and goodness of God , thus possibly becoming more like the worm that The Lord speaks off !

    http://spiritualdirection.com/2014/07/11/why-does-hell-need-to-be-eternal – on how habitual sin can leave one being unable to repent , like the demons !

    Being a friend of The Lord, asking for the relationship with Him, through repentance and Sacraments, in turn, to enrich all those whom one get called to , to help and deliver as well , from the enemy clutches, instead of being a tool for the kingdom of the enemy , contributing to all other disorders in this area – O , Mother of Untainted Purity , come and walk through our homes ,our neighborhoods driving away all enemy holds , strenghtening hearts and minds, to receive The Father’s love , inorder to live in the light of that truth and goodness and power !

  • hombre111

    Excellent.

  • Paddy

    When a fourth or fifth generation of Democratic blocks raise more illegitimates and live off the state, it’s a matter of Justice for young Catholics not to pay for it through ever-increasing taxation. They have to shack up, get on the Dole etc,. until the government stops subsidizing sin. So, in a way, these millenials are choosing the least immoral way to participate in the American Dream. Why be the only sober ones at the party, stuck buying all the drinks for 50 million deadbeats? The Church’s failure to speak out on this grave social issue is deplorable.

  • Harry

    For a Catholic missionary to a heathen land, it might be reasonable to take a gentle, slow but steady, diplomatic approach towards behavior that was a cultural norm, but irreconcilable with Catholicism — behavior such as cohabiting unmarried couples, or where polygamy is the norm, or where jungle savages are comfortable running around the village naked. That so many American Catholics have become so heathenized that approaching them in this way has become reasonable doesn’t say a whole lot for the effectiveness of the American bishops since the contemporary disintegration of traditional morality in regard to human sexuality began. When it began, of course, was with the introduction of “the pill.”

    To this day, most American Catholics will tell you that they have never once heard a sermon regarding artificial contraception, and the rest can count them on three fingers or less. That this is the case was a huge factor in so many American Catholics becoming indistinguishable from heathens. Why is that?

    Here is a clue: In 2006 the Spanish bishops published a document explaining the causes of the loss of faith in Spain entitled Theology and secularization in Spain, forty years after the end of Vatican Council II. Below is an excerpt. More of the document can be read here:

    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/74326?eng=y

    13. From the denial of one aspect of the profession of faith, one passes to the total loss of the faith itself, in that by selecting some aspects and refuting others one does not respect the testimony of God, but rather human reasoning. When one alters the profession of faith, the entire Christian life is compromised by this.

    That is exactly what happened in regard to the assault on traditional morality regarding human sexuality that was launched by “the pill.” The rejection of God’s plan for human sexuality, an essential aspect of the faith, ultimately ends in rejecting the faith entirely. There can be no other result if one never hears any well thought out, theologically sound objections to artificial contraception from the pulpit. Many Catholics do not watch EWTN, or read the diocesan newspaper, or visit orthodox Catholic web sites. Their only hope was hearing something from the pulpit that countered the line our secularized world was giving them, a line that originates with the Prince of this world.

  • Albert8184

    The Left attacks within the church using a new gospel of globalism and progressive politics. Simultaneously, the Left tells non-believing Americans that the church is “far right” and “fascistic” and pushing for a patriarchal theocracy. Both ends played against the middle. And all the while, everything moves more and more to the Left.

    • Tom in AZ

      Sounds good to me.

      • Albert8184

        Until the new reality unfolds before your eyes.

  • Paddy

    Socialism, the Democratic Party and Marx inist the government to subsidize sin. Worse, half the Catholics in America vote for these maniacs, including our clergy. What do you expect in response?

  • Guest

    Nothing in this article mentions the socio-economic differences between co-habitators and how that affects their outcomes.

    Affluent, college educated young adults co-habitate either immediately before getting engaged or after. Most marry within a year or two. Most will STAY married – cohabitation while engaged has no relationship to increased divorce. It is still very much a stigma to “live together” without wedding plans among even the most secular upper middle class Americans. Our marriage culture is very strong.

    I’m in my mid-30s. Every one of my college educated friends moved in with their fiancé or soon to be fiancé. Every one was married within a year or two. Every one is still in a strong marriage, with 2+ kids, very much committed to marriage.

    I don’t know a single person with a college degree who has had a child out of wedlock.

    Among the less educated and less affluent, cohabitation is completely different. It is a replacement for marriage, because economic life is so unstable – cobbled together part time, at will jobs with varying schedules, no economic security, often the need to frequently move – that a commitment like marriage seems impossible. When people are treated as economically disposable and live economically disposable lives, of course they are going to also feel that their relationships cannot be too permanent. Divorce can be an economic disaster – and with high divorce rates among the working class and poor, it is a real possibility. Men and women are still emotionally tied to more traditional gender roles, yet increasingly unable to enact them with few well paying jobs for less educated men. Many poor women highly desire marriage, but can’t find a man who adds more to the relationship than he sucks away. Add in drug use, abuse, alcoholism, criminal records, all more common among the poor, and it just seems smarter to not to bind yourself permanently to someone.

    Back in the “old days” poor women married and stayed married because they had no choice. They dealt with the abusive husband, the alcoholic, the chronically unemployed, and the poverty. Many suffered desertion and were de facto single mothers even if they didn’t count as “divorced”. Now women do have other, more humane choices, like work and welfare. No surprise that they take them and tell the men to scoot.

    But women still want to have children, so they do, and just don’t bother to hook themselves legally to a man who may or may not contribute.

    Address the economic problems, and you will address the marriage problems.

    • kag1982

      You speak sense, which isn’t what people here want to hear.

  • samnigromd

    Sex Education for Children

    March, 2014

    By Samuel A. Nigro

    …Nature and Nature’s God

    Humans need
    to relearn what genuine sexuality is for the planet, the animal kingdom, and
    the universe, because Nature’s laws for sexuality are as clear as laws for gravity.

    Planetary
    norms for sexuality for subhuman creatures are very clear, in that higher
    creatures are bio-chemically governed by pheromones. In nature, pheromones, unless biochemical
    disturbance, confine sexual activity to a time of likely reproduction between
    two adult opposite sex members of the same species. There is basically no sexuality with the
    immature, with same sexed creatures, or with other species.

    Humans have
    unconsciously recognized this and complied with nature’s norms for the most part. But there are no biochemical pheromones for
    humans so the pheromones have been psycho-social – marriage. Every culture of any substance has
    established rules for copulation embracing marriage or something
    comparable. This was important because
    if humans had biochemical pheromones, they would be like subhuman animals
    without “love” as the basis for human relationships. Love would be impossible if biochemical pheromones
    control sexuality. Instead, love and
    marriage became the psycho-social “pheromones” and the Nature based
    law of human copulation.

    This has
    been overwelmingly so, until the mid-1900s when television, movies, and other
    electrono-celluloid-ink offerings became available proving humans to be
    extremely suggestible including abandonment of human nature, traditions and
    cultures. At the same time, the sex act
    itself became exaggerated and deformed to self stimulation any way, anywhere,
    with anyone. Whatever became their
    method of sex pleasure became one’s identity–one’s “gender”. Thus masturbation became the major method of
    “sexuality” with a grotesque abandonment of nature’s reproduction consistent copulation with
    opposite sexed mature members of the same species. Today’s masturbatory culture could not be more
    out of synchrony with nature, the animal kingdom, the planet and the
    universe.

    It takes
    only a moment to realize Nature’s wisdom:
    Subhuman animals without pheromones to control sexuality, would be doing
    what humans are now doing without marriage and love–The planet would be nothing
    but masturbating animals. And if humans
    forced animals to do what humans now do sexually, it would be animal cruelty.

    It is
    important to know that the unNatural sexuality of today’s humanity is due to
    the acceptance and promotion of abortion and contraception. Abortion and contraception enable the
    consequences of unnatural sexuality: (1)the
    loss of one’s identity by not being true to oneself as born and to Nature; (2) the unNatural creation of many so-called “genders” of one’s
    self-proclaimed preferred way of sexual pleasure; (3) the destruction the family, especially due
    to loss of paternity and good fatherhood; (4) the destruction of childhood as
    children are subjected to adult sexuality and violence; (5)the conversion of
    women into betrayers of other women by seeking sex with other women’s husbands;
    (6) the diminishing of genuine femaleness as naturally reproduction-consistent
    on the planet; (7) the creation of a psychotic-like society of obsessive-compulsive
    genital squirt-slime maniacs and body dysmorphic disorders; (8) the conversion
    of press and media into betrayers of Nature by genitalized or violent
    excitement in order to manipulate the people to be clones of editors; (9) and the perversion of politicians and
    government law into betrayers of the Constitution by the promotion of abortion and contraception which
    remove humanity from Nature; and (10) abortion and contraception remove mankind
    totally from evolution with destruction of millions of potential “natural
    selections”.

    Love based
    marriage was human sexual education, but now, unnatural dupes of the gay cult
    have taken over. Under the guises of
    free speech and open criticism of society, the gay cult imposes its subculture
    all the while intolerantly refusing free speech by prohibiting open criticism
    of itself as an obvious disease for society.
    Most just want to “make nice” so they succumb to obedience to
    authority proclaiming “evil can be good” if you follow the latest
    propaganda and public relations promos.
    And the consequences of disagreeing with the gay cult is like dealing
    with soccer hooligans.

    Sex Identity of Children

    1.
    Most children are genetically and biochemically
    designated male or female at birth and will develop consistent with nature
    unless deformed and tricked by the gay cult.

    2.
    A few children are anatomically defective and not
    clearly defined at birth. The parents,
    with medical advice, will provide a surgical correction consistent with genital
    understanding as a male or a female.
    Such children are not left bisexual or undefined.

    3.
    A few children are biochemically disordered but
    anatomically intact. This is usually due
    to unforeseen impact of female hormones in the environment and food and the
    contraceptives used by the child’s mother prior to the pregnancy. These children are biochemically disturbed
    and consider themselves to be homosexual.

    4.
    Most children are healthy with their maleness or
    femaleness. Many go through immature
    confusional states with little difficulty being aware that “love” is not
    “sexual behavior.” The most common
    confusion has to do with “best friends” during childhood and early
    adolescence. These best friends are
    loved and even thought of briefly as “marriage” fleetingly is thought. Normally, such is quickly discarded unless
    preyed upon gay cultists eager to recruit into homosexuality by the
    longstanding gay tactic called “chicken hawking”. As normal age occurs, if left in childhood
    without coercive adulteration or the gay cult, the children will pass through
    to full genuine maleness for boys and femaleness for girls, all of which is in
    their best interest by nature, family and culture.

    5.
    All ages from childhood through adulthood are susceptible,
    in varying degrees, to body dysmorphic disorder which is the chronic abnormal
    use of a body part. Basically, the body
    offers self pleasuring for itself, i.e., almost anybody can be a focus of
    habitual self stimulation. A minimal
    extreme is the pleasant scratching oneself.
    A maximal extreme is the “pleasure” of full hand vaginal or anal
    “fisting” of lesbians and homosexuals.
    When habituated to an obsessive/compulsive degree, such body dysmorphic
    disorder is clearly an abnormality because of inappropriate misuse of a body
    part from its natural function. Gay body
    dysmorphic disorders are an epidemic because of the habituating impact of body
    pleasure. But it becomes a cultural
    delusion and a political force of derangement.
    Nevertheless, when presented in public, body dysmorphic disorders should
    be illegal because they are truly “disturbances of the peace”–at least in
    terms of the violation of norms of privacy.

    6.
    Sexual activity is anatomically related for the most
    part in a normal fashion with the excretory system. Indeed, the genitals comprise excretory and
    reproductive functions as anatomically related and nearly identical. Thus it is not inappropriate to recognize
    genuine sexuality as the copulations between the adult opposite sex members of
    the same species. But when sex acts do
    not meet that criteria, the acts are excretory
    functions, i.e., appropriately named “sexcretion”–a pseudo sex act for relief
    and not consistent with reproduction in Nature.
    Non-marital sex acts are “sexleting” (analogous to
    “toileting”).

    Conclusion

    In
    conclusion, children need to hear the facts of sexuality on the planet. Humans have a better culture, society and
    family life when sexuality is kept as much as possible consistent with
    planetary norms, and with “…Nature and Nature’s God”. Humans need to be warned that there is a
    psychosis of masturbation and body dysmorphic disorder epidemic which are
    politicized by the gay cult eager to recruit them, seduce them, parade with
    them, and disturb the peace with them as they act out their body obsessions and
    compulsions pretending that what is basically evil and wrong has been authoritatively
    decreed to be “good.” Children
    need to know that sex outside of marriage is basically unnatural and anyone
    telling them otherwise is trying to exploit them and should be told that
    “I refuse to be your toilet.”

    (The best
    study for “nature and nature’s God” are to look up on theWorld Wide
    Web the following: “Nature and
    God–University of Notre Dame”; “Teilhard de Chardin”; and
    “Theogeocalculus.”

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