Living in sin or cohabitation is the common route to marriage these days.
The Church often presents statistics that show that living together before marriage does not help the marriage in most cases. When it is feeling lucky, it goes further and claims that living together before marriage weakens the marriage.
For living together to be blamed for increasing the danger of a break up, it would be down to living together being about trying it out and not about being committed no matter what. In reality, those who live together before marriage are being rudely and cruelly accused of being less able to stay married than those who didn't live together until marriage. But if marriage is that great and is about commitment, living together before marriage shouldn't put it at risk. The problem is not living together but people marrying who do not intend it to be a full commitment.
Even if more couples that lived together before marriage, split up the main reason they split is because society is so accepting of couples splitting up. If more couples break their marriages after having lived together than couples that didn't live together, it does not follow that living together is any way to blame.
The Church is encouraging the breakups by insisting that living together en route to marriage gives the marriage fragility.
If a couple feels the relationship is heading for trouble they might marry in order to create a sense of ownership over their spouses. Marriage will not fix the problems. If the problems eventually destroy the marriage, it is not living together that is to blame.
Could it be that the Church is making many people give out a bad unsupportive vibe towards people who live together and especially those who do not care if they never marry? Yes. The argument: living together before marriage weakens the marriage is ignoring the bigger picture. The Church needs the argument into deceiving people that it wants the best for them. It needs an excuse for condemning sex outside of marriage as sinful. No truly loving religion invents sins or condemns non-sins as sins!
You can prove anything with statistics because no two parts of any country are that alike - funny, the Church does not show as much regard for statistics that show that religion and faith are harmful.
You would need to do a poll with everybody in the country to get an accurate picture and even then there will be problems. A man could say that living with his wife before he married her was a bad thing just because him and her are having a bad patch. He only sees the bad and forgets the amount of good that came from it for it is an upsetting emotional time for him. But if most married couples who lived together before marriage have difficulties that those who did not live together before marriage don’t have to as big an extent the problem is certainly not that they lived together but that they need to improve their attitudes. It comes down to attitude at the end of the day. The Church is mischievously trying to blame their living together first. Yet living together without sex and avoiding temptation would be approved by the Church so what the Church is really saying is that because the couple had sex before they were married they are having problems now. That is incorrect. Nearly all couples who never lived together have had sex together before they wed.
Couples only insult their relationship by going to the hypocritical Church with its lies and slanders and hypocritical rules for a wedding! It is outrageous that many loving relationships are condemned by the Church.
My post regarding the Derry Journal report (November 2015) that Archbishop Eamon Martin stated that living together without being married was "not good."
The Church didn't regulate marriage for centuries and many couples were considered married BECAUSE they lived together and not because they had a ceremony.
There is no evidence that all Christians in the first centuries regarded marriage as a sacrament.
And we know that when Mary married Joseph she would have been underage and her consent was not asked for. The Church recognises this as a marriage! What right then has it to condemn living together for at least that involves equality and consent and love!
And many living together relationships are as good as or better than many marriages.
If a couple struggles to stay together they do not need somebody telling them they are sinning. They have enough to worry about.

The archbishop’s views are narrow and bigoted and arrogant. There is no concern for the effect his allegations and religious speculations have on the children of cohabiting couples.
I find it worrying that people who are not theologians know a lot of this stuff and the archbishop has to differ. I feel that Christianity is based on telling lies to yourself which is why people like the archbishop are so immune to truth.
Note too that there is implicit homophobia in the archbishop’s statement for he condemns living together which means gay couples are included. Remember too that the passive aggressive faith of the Church teaches that sex outside the rules is not merely immoral but so evil that if you die unrepentant you will be punished forever. The severity of this teaching is a worry. But the Church is too crafty to show its true feelings and its bigotry these days is dressed up as niceness.
Martin is allowed his opinion. But remember that Catholicism teaches that its beliefs are not opinions but facts. You have a right to have or state an opinion but you do not have the right to dress opinions up as facts like this silly archbishop is doing. The anger against the archbishop then is not about challenging his right to his opinion.
The last thing I want to say that the Derry Journal is not a vehicle for the Catholic leaders and the increasing promotion of the Catholic faith in the paper is an insult to the majority of us who do not want that faith to get special treatment in the secular media. There are atheists and Mormons and Hindus and others out there you know! Get the pen out and protest!

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