People who live together before marriage should be denied a full church wedding because "such a wedding would be dishonor" and instead be married in a low-key ceremony, Hartford Archbishop John F. Whealon said in a column published in The Catholic Transcript.

"I would be happy to witness your marriage in a simple, quiet ceremony with two witnesses and perhaps your immediate families," Whealon said in comments addressed to priests confronted with issue.Whealon said, however, couples living together should be granted a full marriage ceremony if they are willing to "live separately and chastely" until they are married.

The statement serves as an advisory and does not set policy. Parish priests say they make the ultimate decisions on church weddings based on pastoral consideration.