Okay, I promise at some point I will write a funny, light-hearted post! But for some reason I am just ticked off and incredulous about things these days, ha ha!! (Wait... who am I kidding? I am a social and political commentator at heart, so you will be getting a lot of ticked off, incredulous posts if you read this blog! You are forewarned!!)
All right, as many of you know, I am a bit of a frustrated yenta. I fancy myself a Catholic matchmaker, but so far.... well, we don't need to talk about that now. My glory days will come. :)
Suffice to say, I have some familiarity with two of the Catholic online dating services, Ave Maria Singles and Catholic Match. More familiarity with AMS than CM. I think in general the sites have been wonderfully successful in helping Catholics find spouses.
For years I have heard that CM has more socially "normal" men utilizing their site, but that the CM men dissent from Church teaching in far greater numbers than the men on AMS. Recently, I have had two of my single girlfriends confirm this for me.
First, I read this post from A Friend of Gianna's blog. Disturbing, for sure. My first thought was: "Why the heck does this guy even stay Catholic?" I mean really, what's the point in saying you are Catholic if you reject what the Church teaches? Isn't that like saying, "I'm a vegetarian, but I am committed to eating meat"?
Then, the other day, another single friend mentioned the phenomenon of the "5 out of 7" on Catholic Match. Meaning, a good percentage of the men describe themselves as being in agreement with five out of seven important Catholic beliefs. And it's usually the same five out of seven. The pattern, she said, goes like this:
|Eucharist:||Yes, I accept the Church's teaching|
|Contraception:||No, I do not accept the Church's teaching|
|Sanctity of Life:||Yes, I accept the Church's teaching|
|Papal Infallibility:||Yes, I accept the Church's teaching|
|Premarital Sex:||No, I do not accept the Church's teaching|
|Immaculate Conception:||Yes, I accept the Church's teaching|
|Holy Orders:||Yes, I accept the Church's teaching|
Five out of seven. But how bizarre, I thought. How can it be that a man could accept the Church's teaching on the Immaculate Conception, but not on pre-marital sex? After all, the teaching against fornication is explicit in the Bible (Jesus' own words!) and is generally accepted by Protestant Christianity as well. How could someone doubt or dismiss that teaching, while having no problem with the trickier concepts of the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility? Of course I understood that it was all about the men wanting to have lots of sex, but still... I could see struggling to live out Church teaching, admitting that the teaching is a difficult one, but outright rejecting it? As if it weren't true? That just seemed illogical.
I continued to be frustrated and annoyed by this, and couldn't put my finger on it. I shared my frustrations with my hubby. His response was immediate.
“That’s easy. Those are the two items that involve personal sacrifice.”
And there lies one piece of the crisis of Catholic manhood. If it involves any kind of real sacrifice, then "it's not true for me" even if God says it is true for all.
It ain't pretty, but at least I understand it now.