The more or less permanent state of a man and a woman living together in unlawful intercourse. In its strict sense the term is applied to those unions only in which the man and woman are free from an obligation arising from a vow, marriage, Holy Orders, or relationship by blood or marriage; it makes no difference whether or not the parties live in the same house, the maintenance of illicit relations being the essential element. The ecclesiastical punishments that may be inflicted on those who live in concubinage are set forth in canon 2357, 2, 2358, and 2359, 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

New Catholic Dictionary

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