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Now, nearly twelve years after the original work of , the cumulative pastoral experience of ministering to cohabiting couples has broadened and deepened.

This is reflected, at least partially, in the increased number of dioceses that now include a treatment of the issue within their marriage preparation policies.

They are faced with the dilemma of addressing a situation that is contrary to our moral principles while attempting to validate and sanctify the relationship of the couple through the Sacrament of Marriage (Archdiocese of Miami, We offer the following pastoral suggestions to priests, deacons, and pastoral ministers who prepare couples for marriage.

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...

In this present resource paper the NCCB Committee on Marriage and Family builds upon the foundation provided by This paper is neither an official statement of the Committee on Marriage and Family nor of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It does not offer formal recommendations for action.

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.

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