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Marriage: ‘Bergoglio’ Approves Shacking Up?

September 22, AD2014

Maybe you heard that on Sunday, September 14, 2014, Pope Francis married twenty couples at St. Peter’s Basilica.

I learned about it first from an old friend who doesn’t think there has been a real pope in Rome for about a century. He included a link to an ABC news story with his own comment: “Bergoglio personally okays fornication before marriage.”

Just about every news outlet jumped on this story in their predictably negative way.

The headline of the Telegraph on this story was “Pope Francis to Marry Couples ‘Living In Sin’ In First for His Papacy.”

The UPI lede was “Pope Francis presided over 20 marriages Sunday, including men and women who had cohabited and at least one couple with a child from the bride’s previous marriage.”

The ABC lede my friend linked to was “Pope Francis is making good on his insistence that the Catholic Church welcome all faithful — not just those who obey church teaching perfectly. He’ll marry 20 couples this weekend, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church.”

Note, right off the bat, that it is not a “sin” of any kind to get married if you have a child. Also, note the reporter’s implications. The pope thinks the Church should welcome sinners. Of course. There is nothing controversial about that. But also, The pope is insisting that the Church should extend all rights and privileges to unrepentant sinners. That calls for some evidence, none of which is offered. Finally, ABC has evidently discovered a new kind of sin, technical sin. I guess that is a sin that doesn’t count.

These stories refer to a press release from the Diocese of Rome, but they all seem to be derived from a story from the Catholic News Service.

Quoting the Diocese of Rome press release, Carol Glatz, the CNS reporter wrote:

The couples also come from all kinds of situations with some “who have been engaged for a long period of time or for not as long; there are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children; who got to know each other in church,” it said.

Some of those things are not like the others! Getting to know someone in church, or how long you have been engaged, are not the same kind of thing as cohabitation or having a child out of wedlock. Shouldn’t a reporter from Catholic News Service know that? Shouldn’t the diocesan spokesperson who wrote the press release know that?

No wonder my friend on the right, and practically all the news sources which are on the left, jumped to all sorts of conclusions. No wonder faithful Catholics also feel another punch to their spiritual solar plexuses. The implication of “there are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children” is that the Holy Father is saying, “Living together? No big deal. Having children out of wedlock? No problem.”

Has the pope done something novel?

I don’t think so. My wife and I assist in teaching in the marriage preparation program in our diocese. We know, because they self-report that a number of couples are cohabitating, or are otherwise engaging in premarital sex. Many of them seem not to know that sex before marriage is wrong. It is encouraging to learn that some of them, once they know the Church’s teachings, are open to stopping having sex before marriage and even to separating if they are cohabitating. There are also couples who have been living together for a long time and/or are civilly married and/or have children. They now want to have their situation regularized and to live out a sacramental marriage and a Catholic family life.

Did these cohabitating couples in Rome go to confession and live chastity prior to their marriage? Why can’t we assume the answer is yes? If it is yes, we Catholics should be happy.

In its favor, the CNS article does include this:

While cohabitation is not in itself a canonical impediment to marriage, it is contrary to the church’s teaching on marriage and sexual love. The church urges that pastoral ministers help couples preparing for marriage by showing them the witness of Christian family life in such a way as they may regularize their situation before their wedding ceremony.

I think for most readers, and certainly most journalists, this clarification went in one ear and out the other. It needs explication, something a working group at the USCCB has done in its resource paper “Marriage Preparation and Cohabitating Couples.”

Cohabitation?

For example, it considers the question “If a couple is cohabitating, can marriage be denied or delayed?” Here is what it says about denial of marriage:

Since cohabitation is not in itself a canonical impediment to marriage, the couple may not be refused marriage solely on the basis of cohabitation. Marriage preparation may continue even if the couple refuses to separate. Pastoral ministers can be assured that to assist couples in regularizing their situation is not to approve of cohabitation.

However, there may be prudential reasons for the Church to delay or postpone a marriage.

For example, in the Diocese of Rapid City, there is a policy that “If there is not sufficient awareness on the couple’s part of the essential elements of Catholic teaching on the sanctity of marriage and sexual relations and of the commitment, fidelity, and permanence needed in marriage, then the marriage should be postponed until such awareness has developed.” The reason is that one or both of the spouses might not yet be capable of giving proper consent.

However, the resource paper continues, “Since couples have a natural and canonical right to marriage, any delay beyond the normal waiting period for all couples is a serious matter. Care must be taken to ensure that delay is not used as a punishment for a couple’s continued cohabitation.”

Scandal?

What about causing scandal to the Catholic faithful?

Scandal is how my friend reacted to the CNS story and Diocese of Rome news release with its “there are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children.” There was no need whatsoever to mention those two details. To its credit, the Zenit article on these weddings ignored them.

If there was a valid reason to tell the world that some of the couples had been or still were cohabiting or that one or more of the spouses already had children, then why did the journalist or whoever wrote the original press release not anticipate the confusion this would cause?

The USCCB resource paper points out that with two generations of cohabitation behind us, the danger of scandal is not what it used to be; in fact, the scandal, if there is one, falls on the cohabitating couple and our sexually permissive society.

Surprisingly, the paper points out that scandal can also be created by people who won’t welcome back a couple who wants to regularize their relationship and be married in the Church properly. That is why it warns against “punishing” them by not letting them marry.

It is novel for a pope to marry a large group of people. But there is no reason to think these couples whose weddings Pope Francis blessed are any different than couples getting married in every diocese in the Western world.

The problem is in the glib, un-nuanced, and in my opinion, moronic way the diocesan spokesperson announced it and CNS reported it, as well as in the way so many media outlets ran amuck with it to advance their own anti-Catholic agendas.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Kevin lives with his wife and seven children in Springfield, IL. He is currently doing freelance curriculum and research projects and teaching. In his free time he writes screenplays, TV pilots, novels, and non-fiction books and articles. His homiletic lectionary-based blog is Doctrinal Homily Outlines. He is also pursing a MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary via distance learning.

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  • MIKE

    Anyone Catholic who REPENTS of his sins can receive the Sacraments,
    this includes but is not limited to adulterers, fornicators, homosexual acts.

    CCC: ” 1451 Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place.
    Contrition is
    sorrow of the soul
    and detestation for the sin committed,
    together with the resolution not to sin again.”

    The 7 Sacraments of the Catholic Church are: Baptism, Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Annointing of the Sick.

  • Are actually people who think that fornication is an unforgivable sin? All sins are forgivable. I would rather that co-cohabiting couples “make at legal” than than remain “living in sin”.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      Where did you get the idea that someone is saying fornication is unforgivable? The only unforgivable sin is what Our Lord called blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

  • David Peters

    Great article Kevin! Thanks for bringing some clarity to this topic!

  • BXVI

    The only issue I see here is whether the cohabitors went to confession before they were married. If they did not, then that’s not good. Particularly since they took communion at the wedding, meaning that if they were not first reconciled with God then they committed SACRILEGE at their own wedding ceremony, which is very sad. Presumably, all those on whom the sacrament was conferred had gone to confession, received absolution, and were in a state of grace.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      I completely agree with you and that was my hope as well.

      That said, would it really be appropriate to ever publicly announce that a couple that had cohabited separated and received sacramental absolution before their wedding?

    • WSquared

      That said, would it really be appropriate to ever publicly announce that
      a couple that had cohabited had separated and had received sacramental
      absolution before their wedding?

      Exactly.

      The idea is to instruct all couples on why they should be taking the Eucharist seriously before they get to the altar. Cohabitation is not okay, but it is forgivable. Moreover, if they want the graces that God means to give them for their marriage to succeed, they should not at any time– not before or at their nuptial Mass or any time thereafter– receive the Eucharist unworthily. The point of going to Confession isn’t “tell teacher you’re sorry and that you’ll be a good boy and girl from now on,” it’s to get back into the feedback loop of grace.

    • james

      “…to get back into the feedback loop of grace.”

      So, John Newton, the Protestant, who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace … received none of (grace) it ?!? Tsk tsk.

    • Rahner

      Ever thought of growing up?

  • Pingback: Marriage - BigPulpit.com()

  • kcthomas

    It is possible the youth of today, specially of the Western world are unaware of the Church and its teachings on marriage, family etc. But one wonders why the parents do not give them this education. Also does not parish conduct Catechism classes for children ? Now the Church has to ensure that proper education is given to all Catholics about the Church teachings. The situation in developing countries seems to be much better. May be that is why John Paul II wanted a re-evangelization of the West.

    • james

      ” It is possible the youth of today, specially of the Western world are unaware of the Church and its teachings on marriage, family etc. ..”

      kc, is it possible that the youth of today, except those who practice chastity, are unconcerned
      with the church’s view on ….?

    • kcthomas

      I think so. Concern can arise only if one has faith. Faith is vanishing from the West.This is my view supported by secular papers as well as Church documents.

    • Faith, spirituality, higher consciousness is not vanishing…what you are seeing is the disappearance of organized, institutionalized religions. Belief in God is not disappearing, belief in particular renditions of an anthropomorphic God are.

      “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them”
      ― Elie Wiesel

    • kcthomas

      My views are as a Catholic. It is not simply about a belief that there is some super power or God, but it is with reference to the organized religion, I made my humble comment.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      “All collective judgments are wrong.”

      Isn’t that a collective judgment?

    • No, it is Elie Weisel’s judgement about humanity with which I happen to agree. He also states that human indifference is a greater evil than hate, I agree with him also. A collective judgement is that the only true religion is Catholicism, and I disagree.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      I looked up the quote and he seems to be referring to collective judgments about “natural” groups of people, like races, ethnic groups, or religions, so he is condemning statements like “all Jews are dishonest.”

      I don’t think a statement like “the only true religion is Catholicism” is a collective statement.

    • St Donatus

      You are right. The new religion is that of ‘I love God as long as he lets me do what I want, when I want, and to whom I want’. I make my God in my own image except that my God allows me to do things that no loved one would ever wish me to do. I can cheat on my God, when no loved one would want to be cheated on, I can selfish with my God when no friend would accept this behavior toward them. No my new God is just right, until I find out that my God doesn’t exist and the True God does.

    • It is a collective judgement. ” all Jews are dishonest”; “all Catholics claims the one true God”!!! There is one God and no particular religion can claim Him/Her! Remember the refusal of the Abrahamic God of be defined: ” I am who am!” Simple?
      @St Donatus,,,Snark does not befit a person who uses an anonymous avatar as a disguise.

    • james

      Not sure faith has anything directly associated with concern.

    • kcthomas

      A Christian is one who accepts Christ. As a member of the Catholic Church you and I should know more about the teaching of the Church. We are required to follow the teaching so that we can be happy after death .Human weakness may lead us to sin,butGod in his mercy has already saved us and if we repent about the sins that hurt God and neighbour salvation is assred. The responsibility of the parents to pass on the faith and the teachings to the next generation cannot be overlooked. Modern society givesall importance to bodily needs neglecting spiritual needs. That is why ,if faith is there,the person will have concern about all that are needed for salvation.
      My aim is not to win or to ignore the opposition. We cannot remain Catholic without faith in Catholicism. There is no meaning or necessity to argue with those who do not accept Catholicism. All have freedom to follow anything.

    • “The responsibility of the parents to pass on the faith and the teachings to the next generation cannot be overlooked”
      The responsibility of parents is to teach their children to Think, To Reason. To Search…..To Decide based on thinking, reasoning and searching.

    • kcthomas

      You are right if you wish to be secular in all your views. However a Catholic parent has to pass on the faith to the children .whether the children later follow it. Is a different matter. I write this because the subject is from an article by a catholic person. When we discuss issues relating to religious belief we shall not mix with purely secular views.

    • WSquared

      Good grief. As a Catholic, you should also know that the faith that we profess works in a complementary fashion with reason, because both faith and reason come from the same source– God. I hope that’s the faith that you are communicating to your children. If not, then your faith– and your thinking– is no better than the “secular views” you decry, and is little more than fundamentalism.

      To think and to reason is not at all opposed to the Catholic faith, and in fact is an integral part of what it means to practice it.

    • kcthomas

      Thank you. There is no disagreement when our faith is same.

    • It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.

    • Then we agree…transmission on any belief in an uncritical and unexamined manner is not sound parenting practice.

    • Francis Choudhury

      Nope. While the responsibility of Catholic parents includes teaching their childtern to think, reason, search, et al, of far greater importance is their responsibility to pass on what has been revealed by God Himself (truths which man could never “decide” on merely by thinking, reasoning and searching) through the person of the Word made flesh and through the Church which He established precisely to propagate His revealed – and absolute – wisdom. I refer to the Church to which He said, “He who hears you, hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me despises me and the Father Who sent me.” This is why it’s better to be a dumb but obedient Catholic in the spiritual care of Mother Church than a smarty pants who, insisting on figuring out his own road to salvation and lending his itching ears to a host of “other gospels”, ends up tragically on the road to hell instead.

    • james

      ” Modern society gives all importance to bodily needs neglecting spiritual needs. That is why ,if faith is there,the person will have concern about all that are needed for salvation. ”

      I heartly agree. but you need to speak 21st century Greek, sir. Not sin, but
      consequences and entanglement. Makes more sense. Oh, and don’t forget
      karma which results in reincarnation.

    • kcthomas

      I wrote as we are discussing a subject with Christian background. There no Greek, no Karma. I believe in Jesus Christ unconditionally and so I expressed my opinion. If we deal with religions,philosophies,atheism,etc,the platform is different. It is an eternal subject and we can go on for any length of time.

    • james

      True. I got off track.

  • james

    The Catholic Church blesses automobiles, pets and homes. Like the succession of steps necessary to being fully accepted into a religious order, the Church should stratify marriage into several stages. For those engaged in pre-marital sex, or those who cohabitate or are raising children out of wedlock, a formal blessing – to those who ask – is no more than a holy wish at the noviciate stage. This would give couples time to devolop the ” sufficient awareness on the couple’s part of the essential elements of Catholic teaching on the sanctity of marriage and sexual relations and of the commitment, fidelity,
    and permanence needed in marriage.” Something tells me that if you make them work for a Church wedding, they will strive for it..

    • Kevin Aldrich

      James, the Church can’t bless mortal sin, which is what fornication is; It can only forgive it if repented. However, raising a child out of wedlock is not a sin at all.

    • standtall909

      I find it odd and not the normal standard, for there to be no commentary whatsoever in any article I have read regarding this marriage ceremony, that there was no mention of ‘reconciliation’ or a time of abstinence if not separation for these couples, and then reconciliation. Even more odd is the silence from the Vatican in the face of all the
      questioning about this. No one can tell me the Vatican is not aware of the concern of some people about a possible irregularity. Yet you hear…………………….NOTHING. Seems like every time Pope Benedict XVl sneezed the wrong way, they were out in front ‘clarifying’ what he meant. For some odd reason, this Vatican is silent.

    • james

      Wow !! Having sex carries the same damnation as mass murder. Oh well, good luck with that.

    • St Donatus

      First off I would like to agree with you that there needs to be some process put in place that can help those who are living in sin, to get married. But I don’t think that blessing that sinful relationship will have the same effect as one would hope. It would just encourage other young people to start living in sin since it is seen as accepted by the Church. On the other hand, there could be some process by which they could move away from sin and toward marriage.

      What I don’t agree with you on is your view of sex outside of marriage. See, your understanding of the importance God finds in purity is part of the problem with most Catholics today. The Bible starts out with God setting up a pure marital situation, a family, the way God wants children raised (Adam and Eve). When his rules of purity are ignored, all kinds of wickedness develops in a society, eventually leading to a societies total destruction (see the Roman empire). God looks at things from a point of view of centuries or even thousands of years. We don’t see the negative effects of sexual sin now, or even in one or two generations, but God sees it’s long term results. We can see small signs of it’s results like lack of love for our children, whether born or unborn. I know, I am divorced. I wanted the divorce, I wanted to escape a crazy wife (literally psychotic). Yet I abandoned my child in a sense. Now she has deep problems of her own including another generation of a fatherless child.

      Why did I marry such a psychotic woman, because she was very sexually attractive, because we lived together prior to marriage, because I knew that I could always get a divorce when it wasn’t fun anymore? I was part of the fornication culture and now my child and grandchild pay the price while my brother and sister never got divorces. My brother and sister who followed Church teaching, now have great productive successful grown children, while I watch my daughter continue to struggle. And what about my daughters son. He wants a father so bad, he will answer the first gang leader who will accept him into the gang. Then what about his overly aggressive nature that he has never learned how to control because of the lack of a good Father figure to learn from and teach him how to control it.

      If he goes this route, how many young men will he kill in gang wars before he is put in prison.

      You see, it all started out as a minor sexual sin and ended in an angry young man killing. Just look at every mass murderer in the last 20 years, every one a product of a broken family, a divorce or single mother.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      I think you have said a lot of things which demonstrate how important it is for every child to have a father and mother who are in a permanent and exclusive relationship–marriage.

    • james

      ” It would just encourage other young people to start living in sin ”

      No more encouragement is needed. Cohabitation has long reached critical
      mass as a means to intimacy. It may wax and wane as a lifestyle but it most likely won’t go away.

      ” What I don’t agree with you on is your view of sex outside of marriage.”

      In the middle ages the church did its best to sqaush the pleasure of sex
      inside marriage – even to the point of suggesting that couples refrain from
      skin touching skin as the act was only for children. If the church were a
      patient in a clinical setting the therapist would be up against a form of
      sexual dysfunction so great it would be considered a major disorder.

      “the way God wants children raised (Adam and Eve).”
      The first couples first child committed fratricide.

      ” I wanted to escape a crazy wife (literally psychotic). Yet I abandoned my
      child in a sense.”

      The harm that can come from a dead marriage maybe worse than remaining married. It is better to come from a broken home than to live in one. Other
      factors to consider in your daughter’s plight is being an only child, these kids
      are always unique. She may have inherited her mom’s defective traits too.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I will say a rosary for you and your daughter.

    • St Donatus

      Yes, the ‘first couples child committed fraticide’ is my very point about Adam and Eve, they rebelled against Gods desires for them and thus were a start to a continual rebellion against Gods standards for man resulting in terrible things. Part of Jesus ministry was to bring man back into balance with God’s desires, and though we all still sin, he did give us the capability to become saints, we just need to suppress our own selfish desires and look to him for fulfillment.

      I always wondered why when someone wants to believe that sin is okay, they always start trying to dig up dirt on the Church? Kind of runs us off the rails and into territory that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. We can debate on the sins of the Church, and how generally these accusations are either outright false or bending truth around to meet your argument but even today the Church encourages couples show discipline within their marriage.

      We all need to have discipline in our lives, there are those who become priests or religious and are celibate and live happy fulfilling lives, but we are to believe that God created us without the ability to control our sexual desires. I’m sorry, but people were able to control their sexual desires prior to 1950 just fine which is proven by the fact that the out of wedlock birth rate was 5% back then without the wide availability of contraception but now with contraception widely available we have a out of wedlock birth rate running around 60%. God gave us all the ability to control our sinful tendencies, we just have to stop being so selfish and love God enough to show loyalty to him as we would a spouse in marriage.

    • james

      ” I always wondered why when someone wants to believe that sin is okay, they always start trying to dig up dirt on the Church? ”

      Ponder this, please. It’s what started the whole mess
      ” Wow !! Having sex carries the same damnation as mass murder. Oh well, good luck with that.” james
      ps: there was just as much sin before 1950 as after.

    • On the flip side, it’s possible that mass murders could be in heaven if they sincerely repented of their sins prior to their deaths (e.g., Bernard Nathanson). Do you feel that is ridiculous as well? And can you tell me where the Bible states that you, and you alone, are the sole arbiter of which sins are bad enough to merit hell? Thanks.

    • james

      This is not about me and alone – its about why the CC lost so much credibility.
      But back to venial and mortal sins : who in their right reasoning mind would link mass murder with copulation and hell in the same breath ? It would be the same in the secular world to sentence someone to death for aggravated vehicular homicide and / or jaywalking. I’m not in the bible but I do have a bit more vivacity with 12 years of parochial schooling than your average … naturalized Catholic perusing the catechism for points of law.

    • Given that the Bible does not appoint you the sole arbiter of which sins are bad enough to merit hell, why are you presuming to make that call?

      Sex in and of itself is not a sin. That seems to be the distinction you’re missing. Sex was created by God and it’s a beautiful, wonderful act — when expressed in the proper context (marriage). But when it’s committed outside of the proper context (fornication, rape) then it could possibly be a mortal sin if all the criteria for mortal sin is fulfilled: Grave matter, full knowledge, full consent. If someone has full knowledge that fornication is wrong, and consents fully to sin knowing that it’s wrong, they are essentially sticking up their middle finger at God and telling Him to (figuratively) go to Hell. You don’t think that essentially cursing God and telling Him to stay out of one’s life warrants hell? I do, because that’s exactly what Hell is — a desire to be apart from God.

    • james

      Yes, but full knowledge is the clincher. Take for example
      two people, say in their 30’s, they meet, date and one fine
      day they become intimate. Not a mortal sin for them.
      all they know is waking up (with themselves) and the
      promise of whatever they pledged. Of course, if we look
      at this from an eastern deistic perspective we can say – and what should be taught – is that they have entangled themselves in maya (illusion) this may turn out bad (karma) or it may not. There maybe consequences (STD ie ) or not. Please don’t cite rape since that violates the 5th commandment and you know well is a strawman.
      Let’s face it, you are a conservative and I am not and we
      are both right and wrong. So keep it light and don’t forget to take a pinch of salt every day.

    • If they didn’t have full knowledge that fornication is a mortal sin, and full consent to sin, then you’re right — it’s not a mortal sin. But if they fornicated with the intention of giving a figurative middle finger to God, then it is.

      You don’t think rape is wrong? I’m confused.

      I’m a faithful Catholic, and it’s impossible for both of us to be right and wrong. That’s illogical.

    • james

      So the question is how many people today think making love is a mortal sin ?
      Very very few. Don’t bait me with a rape ? Now you are the one sinning. Faithful convert maybe but you don’t understand Catholicism as a faith.

    • Rape is one instance where sex is a mortal sin (on the part of the perpetrator, not the victim). If someone believes that rape is not a mortal sin, does that make him right?

    • james

      If someone belives that any crime is not a crime it is still a felony punishable by law. In eastern deism it is rightly explained that some humans are very close
      to animals and some just as close to being angels. We’ll let God decide the
      latter.

    • You didn’t answer my question. If someone believes that rape is not a *mortal sin*, does that make him right?

    • james

      God decides what is a mortal sin – that’s a no brainer.

    • God has decided that fornication is a mortal sin, so why do you deny that?

    • james

      You’re impossible but I do enjoy debating you. Out for a nice Chinese luncheon special now – have a good one.

    • I’m assuming that by “impossible” you mean “correct,” so I agree with you. Thanks for conceding the point, and enjoy your lunch.

    • MIKE

      No LITERATE Catholic has any legitimate excuse.
      We have the Bible, and the CCC given to us by the Magisterium.

      If we do not read them, due to our own laziness, that is our individual problem.

    • MIKE

      Rape is always a mortal sin on the part of the perpetrator.
      CCC: 2356.

      Ignorance of mortal sin –
      CCC: ” 1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility.
      This is the case when a man takes little trouble to find out what is true and good,
      or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.
      In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.”

      CCC: ” 1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel,
      bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions,
      assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching,
      lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct. ”

      No literate Catholic has any legitimate excuse.
      We have the Bible, and the CCC given to us by the Magisterium.
      If we do not read them, due to our own laziness, that is our individual problem.

    • MIKE

      james, Jesus also said only few would get to Heaven.
      Mt 7:13-14; Lk 20:23-28.
      CCC: ” 2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”
      Adultery being a mortal sin is addressed in another paragraph.

    • Ronk

      “the church did its best to sqaush the pleasure of sex
      inside marriage – even to the point of suggesting that couples refrain from
      skin touching skin”
      Citation please?

    • james

      Google Sex in the middle ages. The example I cited was from a historical novel
      read a few decades ago.

    • historical novel…? as in, fiction…? or a Dan Brown story, perhaps?

    • james

      “Decades ago.” but I will continue to look. Google Sex in the middle ages and read all about the positions the church approved (missionary position) and banned.

    • I don’t believe you. Please cite a source for your assertions (and since you made them, the onus is on you to provide evidence).

    • james

      You don’t believe me that I read it decades ago. Oh well, call me a liar.

      Google Sex in the middle ages – it’s the first link … but then again I think
      you are a bit sqeemish to discuss the church’s approved ‘missionary position’ JoAnna and that onus is on you.

    • You can’t cite your source. You are making the assertion, so the onus is on you to do your own Googling and provide a proper citation to back up your claim.

      You refuse to do this, likely because your claim is wrong. Yes, you are a liar.

    • james

      And your opinion is all fine and good – have a good day.

    • Not opinion, James — it’s called a “fact.”

    • Claire Stevens

      The fact that you read it doesn’t mean that the work was well researched or accurate.

    • james

      Thanks for being neutral.

    • MarcAlcan

      “the way God wants children raised (Adam and Eve).”
      The first couples first child committed fratricide.

      You’re missing the point. God designed from the beginning for human beings to be raised by a father and a mother. The fratricide follows from the fall.
      Your argument sounds like: well, it was all bad anyway so let’s legitimize bad.

      It is better to come from a broken home than to live in one.

      But to come from a broken home is precisely to LIVE in one.

    • james

      ” The fratricide follows from the fall.”

      To bad we didn’t have a sociologist present to see what kind of broken home Adam and Eve provided. He was probably defensive as hell and she a harpy after being framed for digesting fruit – which we know today as carnal knowledge. Being first born, Cain suffered all the mistakes we make with our oldest who bear the brunt of expectations by inexperianced parents. Able came along and was more their darling which caused some jealousy and resentment leading to hatred acted out in anger. If Adam had split and Eve retained custody the weekend visits just might have tempered the boys and they would not have been exposed to the vicious fights caused by losing paradise. Of course, God wants everyone to be raised by the ying-yang principle but in our imperfect world that is the IDEAL. Look at the greatest divorce of all: the church (its people) vs Rome in 1517. Look how it made a powerful and somewhat corrupt magesterium revise its practices and is now once again talking to its estranged spouse (with tens of thousands of legit children) about working towards Jesus’ wish that we all be one. Jesus did bring a sword, stop whining about the outcome.

    • MarcAlcan

      To bad we didn’t have a sociologist present to see what kind of broken home Adam and Eve provided. He was probably defensive as hell and she a harpy after being framed for digesting fruit – which we know today as carnal knowledge……

      And all this a product of your very fertile (more precisely fevered) imagination. Take to writing novels. You can put the talent to good use.

    • james

      Thanks, but they don’t pay anymore.

    • MIKE

      In the Catholic Church there is a process for those living in Mortal Sin for repentance and to be able to receive all the Sacraments.
      Did you forget about the SACRAMENT of PENANCE ?
      CCC #1420 – 1498.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      You think the distinction between venial and mortal sin is absurd?

    • james

      It’s not black and white thats for sure.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      Each act must be one or the other.

    • james

      Always good debating you, Kevin but making love out of wedlock is not the same as mass murder. Either debate that or .. Good day, my friend.

    • Kevin Aldrich

      I didn’t say that they are the same. Moral theologians sometimes assess the relative gravity of sins. I agree that mass murder is objectively worse than fornication. However, fornication and murder each reach the threshold of being mortal sins, according to Catholic moral theology.

    • james

      good one … threshold … at least you see gray

    • MIKE

      The Catholic Church can not condone or approve mortal sin.
      Helping to send Souls to Hell is not pastoral, charitable, or merciful.

      Both in the Bible
      and in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”
      sexual activity outside of marriage is a mortal sin – whether it be adultery, fornication, or homosexual acts.

    • james

      Only God can sign off on what is mortal or not. God reads the heart, Mike, not the CCC
      or bible..

    • MIKE

      Only God knows exactly what is in the heart of each individual.
      If you are Catholic you must comply with the Bible and CCC.
      If you are not Catholic, you can do whatever you please, and hope you got it right.

      Here is more info on the CCC including quotes from Popes
      JP II, Benedict, and Francis.
      http://whatcatholicsreallybelieve.com/

    • james

      Mike, you sound like a convert, a naturalized Catholic that likes hard and fast
      rules. If what God reads in a heart is not in the CCC then YOU must comply,

    • MIKE

      All those who chose to be Catholic must comply.
      You must not have gone to the link –
      http://whatcatholicsreallybelieve.com/

      “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith
      and of catholic doctrine,
      attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. ” – Pope John Paul II, (CCC pg 5)

      “….. let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” – Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.

      ” “….the CATECHISM has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)

      Am not a convert, but that does not matter. I am Catholic.

    • james

      “All those who chose to be Catholic must comply. ”

      No they don’t. We have conscience, lack of full knowledge based on reason and
      the Holy Spirit to guide us in what might seem to you unconventional ways.. The catechism in 2114 will be different than todays as will the one in 2214, 2314 … .

      “….. let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more,

      Yes, having 12 years of parochial education I attest those few steps and more.
      Bottom line is the church has lost an enormous amount of credibility due to an
      inability to adapt. It’s lampstand has been dimmed by its own errors and folly.
      The world is moving towards all being one in understanding and either the CC
      leads or is engulfed in this new conscious evolution that trascends religion as
      it has been know in ages past : devisive, competing, non inclusive and way too self righteous. Going to lunch Mike, nice chatting, this thread is over with.

    • MIKE

      Are you certain you are Catholic ?

      There have only been two universal catechisms for the entire Church in the 2000+ year history of the Church.
      The first was the ‘Catechism of the Council of Trent” (aka Roman Catechism) of 1566 AD;
      and the second is the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (of 1997).

      When you read the CCC you will see corresponding footnotes going back to the appropriate Bible verses. etc.

      Clearly if you are still a Catholic, you are a heretic.
      (CCC 2089 for Church definition of heresy.)

    • james

      The first Catechism was finished shortly after the start of and through the Inquisition years which ended with the last execution of the Inquisition carried
      out in Spain on July 26, 1826. This was the execution of the school teacher, Cayetano Ripoll, for the teaching of Deism in his school. In Spain the practices
      of the Inquisition were finally outlawed in 1834. Medieval minds, Mike, not by
      any stretch of the immagination were writing in an age of ignorance. Hence,
      you had sola Catholicism mindset zealots until that magical statue of Buddha
      showed up on the altar at Assisi in 1986. You may think I’m a heretic, Mike but
      better that than a … Passenger Pigeon like yourself.

    • MIKE

      james are you stating that Pope John Paul II is a liar?
      On the back cover of the 1997 CCC everyone can see for himself -” the first new compendium of Catholic doctrine regarding faith and morals in over 400 years”.
      There have only been 2 world-wide Catechisms of the Catholic Church.

      By your statement you are even denying the Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566 AD.

      There is a difference between Catechisms promulgated by the Pope using his Apostolic position, versus local or regional catechisms that are not promulgated the by Church, but sometimes by Bishops, Priests or others for local use.

      I searched the internet for a Catechism of the date you provided.
      There was an English Catechism called the Penny Catechism, but that was merely local/regional NOT a Catechism of the Catholic Church which must be promulgated by the Pope.

    • jacobhalo

      James, read the Catechism. If you deny one teaching of the church you are considered a heretic. Look up heresy in the catechism.

    • jacobhalo

      James, Jesus gave the Apostles, which were the first priests, the right to determine what is right and what is wrong. ” Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven. Whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. What you bind on earth is bound in heaven. What you loose on earth is loose in heaven. These rights carry down to the present church.

    • MIKE

      james, please do not tell the Catholic Church what it should and should not do.

      Those who choose to be Catholic adhere to the Bible and the CCC.

    • james

      I’m just trying to boost attendance, Mike.

    • jacobhalo

      We don’t need people attending who don’t believe in the teachings. i suggest to find a denomination with which you agree.

    • james

      Oh, you need us, alright. If only to keep you from being swallowed up in pride.