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polskieserce

Catholic Church needs a new plan to revive chastity and marriage

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CountrySteve21
11 minutes ago, polskieserce said:

Some of the attitudes displayed in this thread are exactly part of the problem.  Most people simply are not uber religious and never will be.  Get that through your heads.  They are not going to wait until their late 20s/early 30s to be sexually active.  The human body craves sex much earlier than that.  The problem with the Catholic Church is that it's trying to force a square peg into a circular hole.  A much more productive approach to acknowledge the way humans are and build institutions around humanity (within Christ's teachings of course).

One way would be to start educating young Catholics about the faith at a young age and give them the option of staying within the Church or leaving.  Those who decide to stay could be allowed to get married once they turn 18 and have a career plan together.  The parents of those children, as well as the Church and state, would work together to sustain those newlywed couples financially until they are able to make it on their own.

Most people who are even slightly open to the idea of religion would only be willing to give the Catholic Church a shot if they see that the Catholic lifestyle is a practical way of doing things.  If onlookers see that devout Catholics are waiting indefinitely to be sexually active, then that will kill any chance of converting them in most cases.

What gets rewarded gets done.  That's how the world works.

The problem is we would no longer be following Christ's teachings if we did that. Besides why should the Church have to change for people? Our Faith cannot turn into some sort of "popularity contest" in which for the sake of "conversions" we change Truth. I think Sponsa Christi is right about the evangelization; people see virginity as a no and in a negative light. They need to know and see the benefits of it.  Would you consider reading some of the thoughts of St. John Paull II?  http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2TBIND.HTM

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truthfinder
21 minutes ago, polskieserce said:

No, I am not advocating excommunication for not wanting to marry.  I don't see how you came to that conclusion.  I'm saying that the overwhelming majority of people want nothing to do with a religious vocation.  That is a fact.  If you start talking to some marginal Catholics about being a priest or nun and never having sex, most of them will probably be even more turned off to Catholicism than they already were.  The Church is free to remind people that they may be called to a religious vocation or lifelong celibacy.  But the overwhelming majority will want marriage in a timely fashion.

I apologize; I must of read that into what you wrote. 

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Ice_nine

There are so many factors that are affecting sexual mores and marriage practices that are far beyond the power of the church. Increasing isolationism and lack of community, the ubiquity of media, the availability of porn and how this affects neurochemistry and behavior, objectification of people by the media,government, corporations etc, and increasingly mobile society.

There are tons of things. Look I know being lonely and or sexually frustrated esp when you get to an age where it no longer seems tenable feels awful, but kvetching about what the church should be doing about wide societal trends when the church is losing influence in said society will not bring you peace. And I think that's what you need. I think every thread started by you has to do with sex and/or marriage. I think it would benefit you to understand the root cause of your angst and find an appropriate way to deal with that (do you desire an emotional connection with someone? Physical release? A way to perpetuate the family name?) I don't know, that's for you to figure out.

Also, I would suggest you really evaluate yourself and be open to criticism you've found here. I know you said you will not marry a woman if she's not a virgin, or (white?). Fine, you don't need to change your standards, but you could probably benefit from an attitude change. As a woman who fits your supposed criteria, you may want to take my advice. Or not. But it seems like you don't have peace about this and if you can acknowledge that I think you should recognize that YOU also need to change (as opposed to the church or society fixing the problem for you).

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Amppax

Does no one else remember this guy? I had thought he got perma-banned for a thread on (surprise, surprise) this same topic. 

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truthfinder
50 minutes ago, Amppax said:

Does no one else remember this guy? I had thought he got perma-banned for a thread on (surprise, surprise) this same topic. 

There's a very similar thread over at CAF too right now.

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LittleWaySoul
3 hours ago, polskieserce said:

Those who decide to stay could be allowed to get married once they turn 18 and have a career plan together.

Besides the fact that your plan is not quite realistic, canonically the Church allows women to marry at 14 years of age and men to marry at 16 years of age. This is already possible.

The problem is that hundreds of different factors, both secular and religious, are causing men and women to marry later and later. If outside pressure is placed on young people to marry early as it seems you want, I would predict that marriage invalidity would actually either stay the same or increase. You can't force yourself to find someone you're compatible with. Sometimes it takes years and the discernment process can take just as long. 

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polskieserce

CountrySteve21

I'm not suggesting that the Catholic Church should become like the Episcopalians.  Trying to deviate from Christ's message is not goal.  What I'm saying is that the Church needs to radically alter its plan if it plans to stop the decline.  Christ gave us some basic rules to play by.  We also know the reality of human beings.  It is entirely possible to come up with a ground game that honors all of Christ's ground rules while taking into consideration the ways of man.  Instead of just standing by abortion clinics and preaching, the Catholics could advocate for massive expansions of the welfare state needed to care for all the additional people being born as well as all the people who are severely marginalized.  I'm sorry, but the soup kitchen run by the local diocese is far from sufficient to provide for the needs of the people unable to care for themselves.  IN MY EXPERIENCE, most Catholics who are over 30 tend to be right wing nutjobs who oppose any expansion of the welfare state.  Instead of having young Catholics wait until their late 20s/30s/who knows when to get married, why doesn't the Church forge a path by which people could get married before they are financially ready?

Ice_nine

Of course there are a number of reasons why the Church is in decline.  There will always be people who think that Jesus was a fraud, abortion is ok, homosexual rights are the new civil rights cause, etc.  Most of those people will be unreachable and will never be a part of our Church.  However, the simple fact remains that there are more people who would go along with the Catholic Church if it had a more down to Earth game plan.  Either that, or we will have a future with  only a handful of Churches per each US state and the rest either being sold, torn down, or converted into a tourist attraction.  My personal case is not the reason I started this thread.  Regardless of whether I marry or don't marry, it still doesn't change the fact that the Church is going downhill fast.  I love a lot of the things the Church stands for and I don't want to see that disappear.  From the way you and a few others on this forum spoke about me, one would think that I'm going to turn into a guy who beats his wife and is mentally deranged.  I reject that notion and think that you people should not judge someone you never met in person.  I have not asked out any girls in the past 2 years because I have other things going on in my life that have to be resolved first.  Regarding the first thread I started on here, I'm still sticking to my guns about the things I said.  I will not marry a non-virgin and that's the final straw.  Anyone who tried to talk me out of it on my first thread was just wasting their time.  I have not brought up the issue of virginity on the first date, but at some point I always did bring it up.  Some girls fell through because we didn't hit it off personality-wise.  One girl I dated was on anti-depressants and she just wasn't a nice person to deal with.  Some girls didn't want to go on dates because I am too religious for them.  In my experience, never has the issue of virginity been an flash point.  One orthodox girl I dated for a bit was happy that I didn't have sex with other girls and she was a virgin too.  But she said the religious difference would be a sticking point with her family and she was from another state (but going to school in my area).  I never asked to inspect her genitals nor do I plan to do so with any girl I date.  I am not some narcissistic egomaniac that most people can't stand.  I click with some people, not with others, and that's just how it is.  I'm not going to be someone I'm not just because you and some other people on a forum think I'm an ass.

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Spem in alium
20 hours ago, polskieserce said:

Some of the attitudes displayed in this thread are exactly part of the problem.  Most people simply are not uber religious and never will be.  Get that through your heads.  They are not going to wait until their late 20s/early 30s to be sexually active.  The human body craves sex much earlier than that.  The problem with the Catholic Church is that it's trying to force a square peg into a circular hole.  A much more productive approach to acknowledge the way humans are and build institutions around humanity (within Christ's teachings of course).

One way would be to start educating young Catholics about the faith at a young age and give them the option of staying within the Church or leaving.  Those who decide to stay could be allowed to get married once they turn 18 and have a career plan together.  The parents of those children, as well as the Church and state, would work together to sustain those newlywed couples financially until they are able to make it on their own.

Most people who are even slightly open to the idea of religion would only be willing to give the Catholic Church a shot if they see that the Catholic lifestyle is a practical way of doing things.  If onlookers see that devout Catholics are waiting indefinitely to be sexually active, then that will kill any chance of converting them in most cases.

What gets rewarded gets done.  That's how the world works.

I agree with the points made about evangelisation and teaching the faith to children from a young age. This is very important. But pushing people to get married, especially while still young and inexperienced, is as bad as pushing people into the priesthood or consecrated life. These need to be free choices, they take time and discernment, and forcing it upon people will, as has been mentioned, likely lead to an increase in invalid marriages. I would argue that very few 18-year-olds are ready to commit to a career plan, and even fewer would know a potential spouse or consider themselves ready to be married.

And honestly, I think instead of criticising the Church for what it has done (or hasn't done), we should first be looking at what we ourselves are doing and not doing. How are you personally bringing others to a better knowledge of God's love for them? It's much easier to focus on the faults of the institution and of other people than it is to recognise our own shortcomings.

 

 

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EmilyAnn
2 hours ago, Spem in alium said:

I agree with the points made about evangelisation and teaching the faith to children from a young age. This is very important. But pushing people to get married, especially while still young and inexperienced, is as bad as pushing people into the priesthood or consecrated life. These need to be free choices, they take time and discernment, and forcing it upon people will, as has been mentioned, likely lead to an increase in invalid marriages. I would argue that very few 18-year-olds are ready to commit to a career plan, and even fewer would know a potential spouse or consider themselves ready to be married.

And honestly, I think instead of criticising the Church for what it has done (or hasn't done), we should first be looking at what we ourselves are doing and not doing. How are you personally bringing others to a better knowledge of God's love for them? It's much easier to focus on the faults of the institution and of other people than it is to recognise our own shortcomings.

I sure as heck wasn't ready to get married at 18 - not a lot of people are. Even at 25, I'm probably emotionally ready for marriage but nowhere near financially prepared for marriage (and inevitably children). Marriage should happen when you meet the right person, whether that is at 18 or 40. Not to mention, it's really not a solution to unchaste behaviour. Marriage does not automatically make one chaste. Married people are just as able to be tempted by masturbation, pornography or unchaste thoughts as single people.

And I totally agree. Too often we blame 'the Church' and we forget that we ARE the Church. If we want to see change then we first need to live it ourselves. And we need to start with compassion and bringing people to God's love - only then will we see a real difference in these kinds of issues.

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Spem in alium
1 hour ago, EmilyAnn said:

I sure as heck wasn't ready to get married at 18 - not a lot of people are. Even at 25, I'm probably emotionally ready for marriage but nowhere near financially prepared for marriage (and inevitably children). Marriage should happen when you meet the right person, whether that is at 18 or 40. Not to mention, it's really not a solution to unchaste behaviour. Marriage does not automatically make one chaste. Married people are just as able to be tempted by masturbation, pornography or unchaste thoughts as single people.

And I totally agree. Too often we blame 'the Church' and we forget that we ARE the Church. If we want to see change then we first need to live it ourselves. And we need to start with compassion and bringing people to God's love - only then will we see a real difference in these kinds of issues.

Oh boy, neither was I! I was still a child, really, and didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life at that age; no way would I have been able to support a family or assume the responsibilities of a wife and mother. A couple of years after that, I started discerning consecrated life. I have a friend who got married at 23, and she tended to actively promote marrying young as being good for everybody (sharing articles on social media, that kind of thing). Eventually she got called out on it. I could see her point in some cases, but at the same time it's not always so clear-cut. Her husband has a secure job, they had support from their families, so marrying at that age may not have been so much of a concern for them as it may be for couples who are not in steady work or who aren't financially stable.

And you're spot-on. Marriage isn't some sort of key to automatic chastity. No vocation is. Chastity requires a lot of work regardless of how your life is lived, which is why I think a good understanding of chastity needs to be the first step if we want to promote it.

Exactly! I see way too much blaming going on. I do it myself, too. We all make up the body of Christ. We are his Church. Falling into the trap of hypocrisy and blindness to our own failings just perpetuates the problems we're trying to solve. Compassion and mercy is the key. Yes, there are people who live more unchastely than I do. Does that make them any less loved by God? Does that make them worse people than I am? Does that give me the right to assume some sort of superiority? I don't think so, on all counts.

 

 

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BarbaraTherese

For me, it is about time that The Sacrament of Marriage was quite overtly 'publicised' by The Church as hierarchy as a Sacrament and a holy path in life.  About time too that it was spelt out quite clearly for those in that holy vocation just what constitutes a holy path in their state in life, including what marital chastity actually is, what it is all about.

For all too long in The Church, marriage was regarded as a sort of default state in life (moreso than a vocation and call from God per se).  Marriage had been regarded as being where the 'lesser members' of The Church functioned.  The more important members were in the priesthood and/or religious life, which were the only holy states in life. If one aspired to holiness these were the states in life only to which one would be called.   Strictly speaking that was not our Catholic Theology at all, however it came to take root in the consciousness of laity as well as all the states in life including in hierarchy.  There might have been individual members who thought otherwise, but they were in a minority and not really heard at all so as to affect Catholic cultural consciousness.  It took Vatican II to set out on the path to get things straight.......and narrow.......and affecting our consciousness and general theological thought.

It is because it was not strictly Catholic Theology at all that Vatican II was able to identify this and begin to set us all straight........and narrow.

It is Jesus, the Narrow Path, that leads to holiness.  "I am The Way, The Truth and The Life".  For some, perhaps many, in the marital state, that they have a very loud and clear call to holiness might be inconvenient.  For too long, the laity only had to keep the Commandments and those of The Church and then live their lives fully in the world in every way without any stewardship for it at all.........at least in a general sort of consciousness.  That way, they saved their souls if they could not at all aspire to holiness.......generally speaking again.

Something like all that anyway............I am a child of pre and post V2 days.

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Socrates
On 8/21/2016 at 9:56 PM, polskieserce said:

I know that most people on this forum are not the most down to earth, but I think we can all agree that the Western world has gone downhill in recent decades when it comes to marriage and chastity.  Most secular people and nominal Christians think that waiting until marriage to have sex is a freak thing that only religious fanatics do.  Marriage, while still accepted by the mainstream, has declined due to premarital sex, divorce, and lack of desire to get married.

The Catholic Church's approach to the decline of chastity and marriage has been evangelization.  The Church has been at it for a while but I don't see any credible evidence that things are getting better.

I have 2 reasons why I'm starting this thread.  The first is that I want to see if there are Catholics who believe this approach has even a 1% chance of working.  Obviously, I'm in the camp that says this particular Church strategy is a failure.  The second reason is to ask why the Church hasn't viewed the decline of marriage and chastity from biology and economics standpoints instead of a moral standpoint.  Most people are not going to wait until marriage to have sex if the average age of marriage is in the late 20s/early 30s.  Most people are not going to preserve their virginity if they think their future partner is unlikely to do the same.  A growing number of people simply don't see the point in getting married.  This article by a rabbi captures part of what I'm saying:

http://observer.com/2014/10/the-decline-and-fall-of-marriage/

If marriage is to make a comeback, there need to be hardcore legal incentives to get married.  People need to be married right after high school if chastity is to make a serious comeback.  Why haven't any clergy members tackled the issue from a down to earth approach?

I'm not sure what you expect the Church to do, other than preach (and, of course, practice) the truth about marriage and sexuality.  Of course, in today's extremely hedonistic and materialistic culture, such teachings are not popular.  You can teach the truth, but the Church cannot force anybody to change their behavior.

And evangelization is in fact the answer.  People will not change to follow the Church's difficult or unpopular moral teachings if they do not first believe in and love Christ and His Church.

 

Also, teenage marriages are statistically far more likely to fail than average, so I'm not convinced marriage right out of high school is a magic bullet solution.

 

On 8/23/2016 at 9:54 PM, polskieserce said:

he Catholics could advocate for massive expansions of the welfare state needed to care for all the additional people being born as well as all the people who are severely marginalized.   . . . IN MY EXPERIENCE, most Catholics who are over 30 tend to be right wing nutjobs who oppose any expansion of the welfare state. 

As it is, our welfare state is unsustainable and broke.  Government cannot actually create wealth, only take from others.  You need to learn basic economics.  If you think more federal government programs and hand-outs are the solution to our moral problems, you are not down to earth, but believing a utopian fantasy.  What we need is for government to get out of the way, and have a strong free-market economy.  Also, maybe more vocational training, and less pressuring everybody into expensive 4-year degree programs.

Incidentally, St. John Paul II also had serious criticisms of the ever-expanding welfare state (see Centesimus Annus), but I suppose he was just a cranky old right-wing nutjob.

Edited by Socrates

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BarbaraTherese
7 hours ago, Socrates said:

Incidentally, St. John Paul II also had serious criticisms of the ever-expanding welfare state (see Centesimus Annus), but I suppose he was just a cranky old right-wing nutjob.

I didn't read it as a "serious criticism of the ever-expanding welfare state" as a generalization of social programs of assistance so much as serious criticism of just 'chucking money' (material) at people in real need without a consideration of the deeper needs of such groups............  "It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. One thinks of the condition of refugees, immigrants, the elderly, the sick, and all those in circumstances which call for assistance, such as drug abusers: all these people can be helped effectively only by those who offer them genuine fraternal support, in addition to the necessary care." http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_01051991_centesimus-annus.html

What most welfare type programs are doing is giving a handout, rather than a hand up.  Chuck some money at them and then "wipe my hands clean.  What are they complaining about?"

7 hours ago, Socrates said:

And evangelization is in fact the answer.  People will not change to follow the Church's difficult or unpopular moral teachings if they do not first believe in and love Christ and His Church.

I agree with the above in a way...........but I do recognise that we are all journeying.  A person may not start out with a belief in and love of Christ and His Church, but may journey into it over time.  The same applies, I think, in the order of Grace.  One may not start out willing to change and strive to "follow the Church's difficult or unpopular moral teachings", but it can and does happen over the journey, providing the journey is not abandoned.  Nothing perhaps is more sure to trigger a person to abandon the journey than to have it shoved down their throat that they just aint good enough.

The important thing to me is not to abandon souls in some way because they are not at a certain level of insight, understanding and growth.  I need to be willing to journey with them at wherever they might be -  and on their terms, not force my terms down their throats. 

I need to have great respect and value for The Holy Spirit and Grace at work in souls..........we all journey and "journey" is exactly what it states: where one starts is not the finish point, the end of a journey in the overall journey of life.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese
7 hours ago, Socrates said:

Most secular people and nominal Christians think that waiting until marriage to have sex is a freak thing that only religious fanatics do.  Marriage, while still accepted by the mainstream, has declined due to premarital sex, divorce, and lack of desire to get married.

The above was not stated by Socrates, rather polskieserce

Rather often, it seems to me, it is those that are shouting for a marriage of secular culture and what The Church teaches (update The Church) that do struggle with chastity and prefer concepts of premarital sex, divorce and lack of any desire to marry, declaring that those opposed in some way are simply "religious fanatics", or even (to borrow a term) "cranky old right-wing nutjobs".

If all that ever happens in my journey is that I get called some quite choice really nasty names and terms etc. then I have got off very lightly indeed when I consider the big picture today.

"What you bind upon earth, it shall be bound in Heaven - and what you loose upon earth, it shall be loosed in Heaven" (Matthew Ch18) There is a guarantee!  This, to me, is not Jesus putting His Faith in the human element in The Church, rather it is Jesus putting His Faith in The Holy Spirit at work in the human element of The Church until the end of time as we know it.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Ice_nine
On 8/23/2016 at 10:54 PM, polskieserce said:

 From the way you and a few others on this forum spoke about me, one would think that I'm going to turn into a guy who beats his wife and is mentally deranged.  I reject that notion and think that you people should not judge someone you never met in person. 

I never implied or meant to imply that. And of course I don't know you. I only know you through the threads and replies you've given us. And all of them, in my memory, revolve around sex and/or marriage. I think that says something about who you are. Maybe you're not preoccupied with the topic, but with the info I have that's what it looks like. I don't think I'm really stretching or making wild leaps in logic here.

Maybe if you talked about other things from time to time I'd get a better idea about the totality of who you are but eh, your call.

And I also think you and I have wildly different definitions of what "down-to-earth" means.

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