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Friday, June 29, 2007


Deacon Harold

Newsflash: Christ did not become incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, suffer crucifixion, death and burial, and then rise gloriously from the dead so that His teachings could be changed by the culture. Christ came to change the culture from the inside out.

Our Lord tells us, "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27). As disciples of Christ, we are called to pick up our cross and follow Christ, not the culture. When we follow Christ in response to our baptismal call to holiness, we participate in Christ's Paschal Mystery in an intimate and personal way. Holiness is a calling by God to share in His very life by striving for spiritual perfection in charity. The dynamic of holiness molds, shapes and forms us into who we truly are: the Church, the Body of Christ.

Christ calls each member of His Body to loving and life-giving union with Him, which He establishes through a covenant. In covenant relationship, one makes a complete and total gift of oneself to another. It is an intimate exchange of persons where you break yourself open and pour yourself out in life-giving love, and where this outpouring of self is freely and lovingly reciprocated.

Marriage is a covenant, cohabitation is not. The authors' statements that "cohabitation has become, even for Catholics, more and more a conventional and socially endorsed reality", and that their experience with "young adults leads [them] to doubt the claim that [young adults] are living in sin" and "appear(s) closer to the truth that they are growing into grace", not only undermines and reduces the meaning of covenant relationship in Christ but also attempts to redefine "covenant" to fit the ephemeral and relativistic idealism of the culture.

Here are a few facts that may help clarify things for the folks at Jesuit-run Creighton University:

1. Covenant relationship is rooted in loving and life-giving union, which God never intended to be separated. The deliberate separation of love and life (as is the case with cohabitation) obfuscates the work of the Spirit and leads to a culture of death.

2. They should read this objective sociological study on cohabitation (.PDF):

3. Christ is the head of the Church and he passed on that authority to Peter, the apostles and their successors (cf. Isaiah 22: 21-24; Matthew 16:18, 18:18; John 20:20-23). Here is what the bishops say on cohabitation:

One last thing. The term "cohabiting nuptial couple" is at the very least a mockery and insult to covenant relationship and its valid expression in sacramental marriage. The term clearly indicates internal assent and allegiance to the "magisterium" of the culture and not an authentic manifestation of the sensus fidei. If this is their idea of standing "firmly in this Catholic and Jesuit tradition" I'll take my chances in quicksand.


Look long enough and you can find a "good" Catholic supporting nearly anything. I always have trouble making behaviors acceptable when I can't find support ultimately in Scripture or Catechism.

Re:USCCB. I have yet to discern their positive contribution to my life. I'm probably missing something. How could we de-fund them?

Ed Peters

Good post, Carl. And great link to Abp. Chaput. He's terrific. Thx.

Fr. Greg

Funny. I have read of several studies that indicate that couples who live together before marriage are less happy in their marriage and more likely to divorce than couples who did not. I am not aware of any data which demonstrates the opposite.




Stealing? In college, we preferred the term "to borrow with extreme prejudice."

Carl Olson

In college, we preferred the term "to borrow with extreme prejudice."

LOL. Or, how about: "Prejudiced toward extreme borrowing"?

Sandra Miesel

Ah, with my long memory I recall the Quakers issuing a document with similar views in the '60s. It concluded that fornication was OK because "if there is the seed of committment, God is not shut out." (Wish I recalled useful information half as well.)

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