Q. 1. From time to time, I have out of town relatives visiting. While most are married, there are some who are not married and they share the same bedroom with their boyfriend/girlfriend. I am very uncomfortable with this practice. Should I tell them that unless they are married, they cannot sleep together in my house?
A. 1. As you know, the Catholic Churches teaches that it is sinful to be sexually active outside of marriage. Therefore, the actions of your relatives who are not married, is sinful.
There are 9 ways in which you can participate in another person's sin. These are:
a. By counsel (to give advice, one's opinion or instructions.)
b. By command (to demand, to order, such as in the military.)
c. By consent (to give permission, to approve, to agree to.)
d. By provocation (to dare.)
e. By praise or flattery (to cheer, to applaud, to commend.)
f. By concealment (to hide the action, to cover-up.)
g. By partaking (to take part, to participate.)
h. By silence (by playing dumb, by remaining quiet.)
i. By defense of the ill done (to justify, to argue in favour.)
Letters "c" and "h" apply in this situation. By allowing them to sleep together in your home, you appear to be giving your approval of their sinful lifestyle. And, by your silence, you are just as guilty of the sin as they are. You create an environment that permits them to sin freely.
As a Catholic, you have an obligation to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church in your home. What your guests do outside your home is not your responsibility. For they have a free will. But what goes on in your home should not facilitate the road to a sinful life.
It is best that you inform your non-married relatives of the rules in your home prior to their coming to visit so they can make other sleeping arrangements. If you have sufficient bedrooms, each party should sleep in his/her own bedroom.