Nonetheless, we know that many couples do live together before they marry.Many pastoral ministers identify cohabitation as the most difficult issue they deal with in marriage preparation.
71-77) the question of cohabitation under two headings: (a) input on cohabitation from personal experiences and the behavioral sciences and (b) pastoral approaches to cohabiting couples.
In this latter section the handbook drew upon the written policies of a few dioceses to present a range of possible options for working with cohabiting couples who come seeking marriage in the Church.
, #81), Pope John Paul II strongly urges that young people be educated about chastity, fidelity, and the meaning of marriage as a sacrament.
Religious education, parish based catechetical programs, and chastity curricula in elementary schools are all part of this effort.
These include difficult economic, cultural or religious situations, extreme ignorance or poverty, and a certain psychological immaturity that makes couples afraid to enter into a permanent union.
The Pope continues: "Each of these elements presents the Church with arduous pastoral problems, by reason of the serious consequences deriving from them, both religious and moral..also social consequences...
It is also an extremely perplexing issue for priests, deacons, and lay pastoral ministers who help couples prepare for marriage in the Church.
In 1988 the NCCB Committee on Pastoral Practices published discussed (pp.
Fellhauer, chairman of the Committee on Canonical Affairs reviewed and recommended changes in the text. Empirical Information About Cohabitation and Marriage Those couples who are in a cohabiting relationship and who come to the Church for marriage preparation represent only a percentage of the total cohabiting population.