Why is it that those who live in concubinage cannot be absolved of their sins, but those who fornicate can be if they do not live in concubinage?

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I am married civilly, one day of these I went to confession and the Priest told me he could not absolve my sins until I changed, my question is: are people who fornicate not in the same sin? Why is it they can receive communion and not me? Was the priest correct?

 G. from Costa Rica


The priest is right, and you’re also partially right. They are two different situations, although similar in something.

The one who fornicates commits a serious sin if he confesses ‘with the intention of continuing to fornicate’ neither his confession nor his communion are valid; that is, he cannot be forgiven of his sins nor can he receive communion. When a person who has fornicated confesses and is absolved, this is because in confession ‘he has promised not to commit that sin again’. If someone lied to be absolved and be able to receive communion, their confession would be invalid and sacrilegious and their communion would also be sacrilegious.

Perhaps only God knows it, but it is a great sin, and it is enough that God knows it so that our conscience condemns us.

Your situation is different, because when you live without being married through the Church, you manifest with the same fact of continuing to live in concubinage (to which it is almost equivalent to live being only civilly married) that you intend to continue in such state, in the eyes of God is sin.

Therefore, as much as for you (being only civilly married), and those who have fornicated, the same is required; only that it is easier for those who do not live with another person to demonstrate their willingness to change their lives.

Anyway, dear G., if you intend to regulate your situation (and if this is possible, that is to say, if there is no impediment, such as neither of having been previously married through the Church), you can also solve your moral and spiritual problem by taking the necessary steps to marry through the Church.

In Christ and Mary.

Fr. Miguel A. Fuentes, IVE

Original Post: Here

Other Post: Can there be chaste love between a single person and a divorced person?

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