On family sleeping arrangements (from the "General" forum)

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I posted this question in the General Forum, but it was suggested that I post it here, as well.
My sister spent many years in a promiscuous and abusive life-style. 5 years ago, she became reconciled to God, and converted to Catholicism. She is a different woman, thanks to God’s grace, working in her life. My problem is this: during her former lifestyle, she married a man (second marriage for both) in a courthouse. She’s since received an annulment for her first marriage, but her current husband still does not have an annulment, although they have filed. Apparently, he can’t find anyone who will write a witness statement. Still, they are living in a state of adultery, since they have not received the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Church. She does not receive the Holy Eucharist, per her priest’s instructions, and her husband doesn’t either…although he doesn’t really go to church very often. 😦

Now, my husband and I have bought a vacation home in VA, and I invited them to come stay…and there’s the rub.

I cannot allow them to sleep in the same bedroom, in my home, can I?

I really need some info. on this, because I will tell her that they have to sleep separately, if necessary.

JMJ, pray for us.
While you are correct that you should not allow your sister and her husband to share a bedroom in your home until their marriage situation is regularized, please keep in mind that your sister is well aware of her situation (as evidenced by her abstinence from Communion). So it is possible to rephrase this in a gentler way without causing scandal.

When extending an invitation to visit, you can regretfully explain that you are unable to accommodate overnight stays. There is no reason to explain why unless challenged directly (i.e., “This is because of my marriage situation, isn’t it?”). Your sister then has the choice to make reservations at a nearby hotel or to decline the invitation.

If she seems open to talking about the situation, you might explain that she and her husband might want to talk with their pastor about the possibility of living as brother and sister pending the marriage tribunal’s decision. If they are living continently, and are otherwise in a state of grace, there is no reason why they cannot receive Communion.

Catholic Answers’ staff will indeed keep your intentions in our daily staff prayers. God bless.
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