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Archbishop of Santa Fe takes strong stand on cohabiting couples

April 06, 2011

Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has called for clear teaching and pastoral practice regarding couples who live together outside marriage.

The archbishop notes that cohabiting couples "are objectively living in a state of mortal sin and may not receive Holy Communion." Such couples, he said, should not act as extraordinary ministers, nor should they be sponsors for Baptism or Confirmation.

Those who are living together without marriage, Archbishop Sheehan says, "cannot receive the sacraments, with the important exception of those who agree to live chastely ("as brother and sister") until their situation is regularized."


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  • Posted by: impossible - Apr. 10, 2011 7:36 PM ET USA

    Perhaps he could contact Bishop Hubbard and catechize him with regard to allowing Cuomo to receive Holy Communion. So many bishops, so little time.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 07, 2011 8:33 AM ET USA

    This is a great step in the right direction. Now if only the bishops would be as clear and forthright regarding pro-abortion/pro-homosexual marriage/pro-euthanasia politicians who claim to be good Catholics.

  • Posted by: florentine - Apr. 06, 2011 10:24 PM ET USA

    May GOD bless you, Archbishop Sheehan ... When we stand strong for the teachings and truths of being authentically Christian as taught and preserved through Holy Scripture, Tradition, and the Catholic Church, we exemplify what it means to live IN CHRIST. The culture has completely caved to the teachings of the world, the TV, and the devil. Very tough, admirable, and courageous when our Church leaders take a hard line, guiding us to and through the" Narrow Gate".

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Apr. 06, 2011 8:42 PM ET USA

    The point is that for personal, family and social health, God has ordained marriage as the ordinary way of life for most of us. Any other arrangement of human sexuality is unnatural and unhealthy. It is good to see a bishop recognizing the problem--which is huge--and saying something about it.

  • Posted by: headdoc - Apr. 06, 2011 2:33 PM ET USA

    Wow!!!!!! Amen!