The Church has a serious problem as far as marriage is concerned. I think that is pretty clear to all of us. But this problem extends just beyond the institution itself to how it is viewed and approached by singles and by clergy. One of the themes I’ve stressed on this blog is that the Church (the Catholic Church in particular) has done essentially nothing to help young Christians marry, and marry well at that. If anything, the Church has made this task more difficult in recent decades.
All of that is the preface for two links to articles which discuss singleness among Christians. I’m mentioning them in this short post to highlight how even those who realize something is wrong are still blind to what is going on. Sadly, we have a lot of work ahead of us.
MarcusD alerted me to the first article, Single and Catholic, which discusses how the Church needs to be more welcoming to the unmarried. While the author makes some good points, what struck me is the fact that it seemed as though single parents (aka, single moms) ended up dominating the discussion in the article. Nearly everything ended up revolving around them. Perhaps I’m being petty, but as an unmarried Christian man I don’t like the idea of being lumped in with single mothers as being part of the general constituency “single.” I imagine that my fellow sisters in Christ have a similar viewpoint.
[Update: I was taken to task in the comments over this next section, and rightly so. Either I misread what was said, or I explained myself poorly. As a result, I have struck out my commentary, although I left it so that people aren’t completely confused. For a better example of what I was seeing look to the comments, specifically here.]
The second article, which I found thanks to a link provided by Mrs. C, is Why You’re Not Any Less of a Person if You Haven’t Dated Yet. This article’s authoress shows some potential- she rejects the casual dating culture.
Yet at the same time she says things like “in no way whatsoever am I saying that dating is bad.” She cannot see the disconnect- how casual dating is just another form of dating, and that if the one is bad then so must the other. Also troubling her her defense of “singleness.” She doesn’t try and define it, or explain why it is a good thing, much less back up her view with Scripture or Tradition. When I read language like that I get the picture that she thinks singleness is good because it is good for her, and it is good for her because she feels good about being single at the moment. There is no introspection, no self-reflection taking place. Certainly she is not considering whether she is called to marriage, and if so, taking serious steps towards it. She rejects the notion that she is “naive, inexperienced, and childlike” and yet she doesn’t take her vocation seriously. Worst of all, this still puts her above most of her peers.
I might have another short post up tomorrow, not sure yet if that will work out. I hope to have a major one done by the end of the week, time permitting.