Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 575 2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. The expression “free union” is fallacious: what can “union” mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future? The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. 183 All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Out­ side of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion. 2391 Some today claim a “ right to a trial marriage ” where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, “the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, espe­ cially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim.” 184 Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive commu­ nity of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate “trial marriages.” It demands a to­ tal and definitive gift of persons to one another. 185 IN BRIEF 2392 “Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” ( FC 11). 2393 By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. 2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life. 183 Cf. FC 81. 184 CDF, Persona humana 7. 185 Cf. FC 80. 1631 2353 1385 2364