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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Cohabitation & Reception of Holy Communion

QUESTION:

I am an 18 year old Catholic.  I got pregnant early this year and gave birth outside of wedlock.  Because I live with the father of my baby outside of marriage, can I receive the Holy Communion?

RESPONSE:

First, while I cannot approve of sin I want to affirm your decision to keep your child and to give birth.  Second, while I can appreciate the emotional and material reasons for cohabitation, the failure to get married is problematical.  Third, if there are the makings of spousal love with the genuine desire and the ability to sustain a family, I would urge the two of you to speak to a priest about getting married in the Church.  However, only the two of you as a couple can determine if this relationship has what it takes to make a life-long and faithful marriage.  You are very young and I cannot gauge your maturity. Further, you say nothing about the man with whom you live. Is he single? Are we talking about fornication or adultery?  While there is some discussion about the status of couples in irregular unions and the reception of sacraments, the usual answer is that such couples should refrain from reception given that they are apparently living in mortal sin.  Sexual intercourse and cohabitation outside of marriage is a grievous moral wrong.  A person in serious sin is not disposed to the graces of the Eucharist.  Indeed, it brings down God’s judgment in terms of scandal and blasphemy. 

Whatever else, contact the priest for the child’s sake so that you might have the baby baptized and then brought up in the Catholic faith.  Peace!