Copyright 1999 United States Catholic Conference, Inc, Washington, D. Cohabitation, in a commonly understood sense, means living together in a sexual relationship without marriage.
, #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.
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.
(NCCB/USCC, Fall 1999), a directory of available materials that follow Catholic teaching, can be a helpful resource.
The high school years, in particular, can be a prime time for dealing with these issues, when dating, and the desire to date, are foremost in the minds of adolescents.
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.
This, in turn, is set within a context of widespread sexual activity outside of marriage.
In this section we provide highlights of what social science has discovered about cohabitation in general and with specific reference to cohabiting couples who eventually marry.
In both sections of the paper the Committee has chosen a question-and-answer format in order to organize the material in a concise manner. Barbara Markey, ND, Ph D, Director of the Family Life Office in the Archdiocese of Omaha, for helping to compile and edit the first section.