I would agree with you
that such a situation is not acceptable & is scandalous, even if this is not the
intent. As far as whether there is a mortal sin, this is something the priest
must determine. Objectively speaking, I suspect the situation would be sinful,
at least on the part of the parents (even mortally sinful, depending on the
First of all, we are
obliged to shun occasions of sin...
"We are strictly
bound to shun those dangerous occasions which ordinarily lead us to commit
mortal sin, and which are called the proximate occasions of sin." (Catechism of
Pope St. Pius X)
In case of children,
the parents would also bear a responsibility to protect their children from sin,
not to mention taking care to protect the reputation of their children, the
obligation to set a good example, and the duty to avoid scandal.
Obviously, it would be
totally unacceptable if an unmarried couple shared a room, but even if they
didn't, I simply cannot picture any of the good God-fearing Catholic families I
know being willing to embark on a vacation under those conditions, conditions
which might expose their children to temptation & lead to mortal sin. Even if
nothing happened, there was still the avoidable risk, the potential danger to
the children's reputation, the bad example, the possibility of scandal, etc.
Parents have a grave responsibility to protect their children and to form them
correctly & chastely. IMHO, the situation you described fails to meet these
Furthermore, IMHO, a
shared vacation home may show little regard for the sinful inclinations of
fallen human nature which may be facilitated by shared living quarters, it may
fail to provide adequate protection for minors' safety (even if there are locks
on the door, one of them could open the door willingly), it may show little
regard for modesty (e.g. in evening or morning dress, after a shower, etc.), it
may provide additional opportunities for temptation & mortal sin, it may send a
bad message to the youth, it may foster a 'living together type mentality in the
future, etc. For the parents, it certainly seems to be an occasion of sin that
is avoidable (what parents are forced to go on vacation under such conditions?).
As stated in the
"We are bound to
avoid occasions of sin because Our Lord has said: 'He who loves the danger will
perish in it'; and as we are bound to avoid the loss of our souls, so we are
bound to avoid the danger of their loss. The occasion is the cause of sin, and
you cannot take away the evil without removing its cause."
Finally, remember how
strong Christ's words were in Holy Scripture regarding what might cause one to
sin. As St. Bernardine of Siena states...
"Of all the
counsels of Christ, one of the greatest, and so to say, the foundation of
religion, is to fly the occasions of sin."
I would suggest
parents choose another form of vacationing that could not be considered
scandalous, and one that does not present serious risks to their children.
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