Monday, April 12, 2010

A disappointing eureka

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.


  1. My mother-in-law says that it all comes down to home discussion and prayer. She pretty much drilled my now hubby and also prayed and prayed for him to follow all 7 out of 7 of those statements and thanks be to God, he did when he was single and does now. So my question is- what are all the mothers of these single men on these websites doing for their sons right now?

  2. P.S. Fathers are obviously a big part of the whole picture too...didn't mean to leave them out. They need to discuss and pray too!

  3. Once again, great post. I could not agree more. It's a product of our instant-gratification society, which tries to tell us we should be able to have anything we want, when we want it, with no sacrifice. One look at all the things wrong with society tells us that in fact this is a lie.

  4. This is my most favorite post yet (and not b/c you linked to me hehe). Your excitement about Catholic dating is so encouraging and reassuring for me. Thanks, lady! You're a gem and I know will somehow be linked to me meeting my man. Time will tell how!

  5. I love how your husband could pinpoint it right away. It is sad, indeed! I can't wait to hear about your matchmaking :)

  6. But Catholic Match pays great commissions to bloggers who run their ads. Ha!

    Anway....bottom line? They're open about this and adults can make their own decisions, right? I'm grateful they ask the questions so that people can see how others answered. If they didn't bother to ask the questions, then I would have a big problem with it.

  7. GIMH, you are SO right!!! It is all about the parents. I drill my boys, too, and they are right on board with all seven out of seven. I think that so many parents are ignorant of the faith, or don't know what to say, or both. But we are paying a great price, in lack of marriageable men!

    LIM, I will do a post on matchmaking soon! :)

    Lisa, you are right. I don't blame the site at all.

  8. I love your posts. Thank God I don't have to be in the dating scene anymore. It's scary to think that guys think that! But now I have to worry about my own son. Yes, GIMH is right. It's all about the parents. And even when you have a child resistant to your words, you can always offer up prayers for their change of heart.

  9. Great post and I love your DH picked it up right away. It would have taken me a while.

    The parents are so important in all areas of faith and honestly, parents have an uphill battle in today's world. Still, I never want to take the attitude that a fallen guy didn't have great help from his parents. Sometimes kids just go the opposite direction and follow unfortunate influences. St. Monica's kid didn't looks so great at first :) Thank God mamas never give up praying for their kids. (and a big THANK YOU, God, that I am no longer in the single world).

  10. Ann, you are right. We can't assume it's always that the parents have fallen down on the job. I know some great Catholic parents who just have a "bad apple" so to speak, and yet the chance for redemption is always there.

    I am also so glad I am not single!! It's a miracle that dh and I ended up so "Catholic" (he converted six years in, when i also found my faith). My daughters are starting out wanting devout Catholic men to marry, so their pool is very small. My dear daughter Cecily commented on this post! Depressing, indeed!

    And yet, my blogroll ladies have great hubbies (as do I), so there is hope!

  11. Great post Leila! Your husband is right on target.

    My son is you have young girls or are they grown. We could just arrange something now!!!

  12. SC, oh I wish! My daughters are 18 and 15! All the rest are boys!! Bummer!

    I have been known to betroth my children in infancy, ha ha!

    If your new baby is a girl, you can have your pick of my boys! :)

  13. Hi! I just saw your comment on my blog and wanted to say thanks so much! And I'm so happy you commented, b/c I just love this post and can't wait to read more! :) It's interesting b/c my FIL is divorced and uses Catholic Match (he's 68) and I was just appalled to here him answer those 7 questions (not the way I had hoped in any case) :( And it's true that sometimes even with solid parenting that children will stray...we can only pray that God will keep them on the straight path or return them once they have wandered.
    Can't wait to read more! :)

  14. Angela, I am so glad you are here! And I was so moved by your story and your sweet Mary Grace....

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry about your FIL! So bizarre, isn't it?? Sigh!!!

    I love it when the children are more conservative than their parents!

    God bless you and I look forward to getting to know you!

  15. So happy I found a man who agrees with all of these things! He is not afraid of personal sacrifice - and will be a great example to our kids of this ;)

  16. Loved this post! I am *way* too familiar with Catholic Match and Ave Maria. I learned to scroll right to the question about contraception to see if I should even spend time reading the rest of the profile.

    To be fair: some men were afraid to put they were against it because they felt like it was a "women's issue" and didn't want to come off oppressive to the ladies on the site. Still very sad and not encouraging to us ladies when so many men are unwilling to uphold Church teachings - for whatever reason!

  17. This IS really sad, and true: Nowadays, anything that involves sacrifice or action on the part of the person becomes unpopular or "uncool." The world makes me sad sometimes.

  18. Almost every 3rd profile of a woman on CatholicMatch also answers "no" to the teachings on contraception and premarital sex.

    Sometimes I really feel like I wasted my money on that place...


PLEASE, when commenting, do not hit "reply" (which is the thread option). Instead, please put your comment at the bottom of the others.

To ensure that you don't miss any comments, click the "subscribe by email" link, above. If you do not subscribe and a post exceeds 200 comments, you must hit "load more" to get to the rest.