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Living together in this way involves varying degrees of physical and emotional interaction. It contradicts the meaning of a sexual relationship in marriage as the total gift of oneself in fidelity, exclusivity, and permanency.
Over the past twenty-five years cohabitation has become a major social phenomenon affecting the institution of marriage and family life.
In developing these suggestions we join with many dioceses in turning to free unions, i.e., those unions without any publicly recognized institutional bond, are an increasing concern.
He recognizes that various factors can lead a couple into a free union.
During this time they can be given the spiritual foundation that helps them to make informed, faith-filled and life-giving choices throughout their lives.
In 1988 the NCCB Committee on Pastoral Practices published discussed (pp.The pastoral approaches outlined in this section emerge from an analysis of these policies, from knowledge of current pastoral practice, and from consultations with pastoral ministers. James Healy, Ph D, Director of the Center for Family Ministry in the Diocese of Joliet, for his assistance with this part of the paper.Finally, in the course of preparing this report, the Committee on Pastoral Practices and Bishop David E.Now, nearly twelve years after the original work of , the cumulative pastoral experience of ministering to cohabiting couples has broadened and deepened.This is reflected, at least partially, in the increased number of dioceses that now include a treatment of the issue within their marriage preparation policies.