EWTN Catholic Q&A
Need Guidance
Question from A on 02-01-2014:

I am in need of advice. My cousin who is baptized Catholic (she is age 23 or 24 now) is pregnant and not married yet. I was told by my mother that she is engaged and will be married in a Catholic Church, I also heard that her boyfriend comes from a Catholic family. She is living at her boyfriend's parents house too with him. They go to Catholic Church together too. I don't know yet when the wedding ceremony will be. I am assuming the baby shower will be happening first.

I am a practicing Catholic. I do not approve of the actions of my cousin sleeping with her boyfriend and getting pregnant. I only congratulated her on her engagement and that I looked forward to the wedding. I wished her the best in life with love. Knowing that she is pregnant and not yet married but will be married in a Catholic Church would it be considered not sinful to attend the baby shower if the event takes place prior to the wedding yet planned afterwards? I am also a photographer for portraits and events would this be considered sinful or not if I photographed her events? She has asked me via text to photograph in the future without being specific probably for events such as the baby shower. I have not yet replied to her.

Your advice is deeply appreciated, I am glad my cousin is pro life. I at the same time want to do what is right and not displease God the Creator. Looking forward to your reply, Thank you.

Answer by Judie Brown on 02-10-2014:

Dear A

I asked Father William Kuchinsky to answer your question as I felt it required a priest's advice. Here is his answer for you:

It would NOT (necessarily) be sinful for this person to attend the baby shower even though the couple is not yet married.

This could be one way for her to show support for her cousin's decision to welcome the new life within her.

Of course, as a practicing Catholic, she probably recognizes that co-habitation before marriage is not only sinful but does not bode well for the success of the marriage. We can only hope that her cousin and her fiance, while sharing the same roof with his parents, are not sharing the same bedroom.

I have found the following from the Pennsylvania Catholic Bishops helpful to give to couples in like circumstances as her cousin. http://archphila.org/press%20releases/pr000178.php

I would think, absent any great risk of scandal that she could think would be real, photographing the shower or wedding would be fine as well. But, perhaps, in answer to a general and informal inquiry from her cousin she could offer an answer such as:

"I am open to being of help to you. Just let me know of the specifics and then we can talk about it when you are ready."

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