Can we talk about the latest apologist question?


#1

This is what I am referring to:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?threadid=530793

I was interested in the question and read what the apologist had to say. After reading it however…and really, I am not trying to get myself banned or knock on anyone, especially an apologist-- but I have to disagree with most of what was said.

Here are the parts that I find potentially problematic:

Both to establish the principle and to train their children to see the matter as important, Catholic parents should not allow their minor children to have “couple dates” with non-Catholics.

If I may ask, what is wrong with two teenagers pairing up to go on a date, which could be a dance in high school? Seriously I could remember people pairing up just to go to homecoming, or the winter dance, or even Sadies and unless it was your boyfriend or girlfriend, no one gave much thought to it. Not all of these pairings became romantic relationships. These gave parents opportunities to meet the guy or girl that their child was going to a dance with, and even if it wasn’t a dance, many parents still got to meet the romantic partner of their child. I never got to do it, but personally I think that teenagers need to learn what it’s like to date people who aren’t just like them as part of the growing process. Very, very few people get married right out of high school anyway, so I doubt that would be a huge concern.

As for solving the problem of helping Catholic singles to meet, my hope is that Catholics will eventually take a lesson from observant Jewish families and encourage person-to-person matchmaking by spiritually mature, respected Catholic elders for young Catholics seeking marriage to other Catholics (which I believe is a far safer option and more in keeping with human dignity than “matchmaking web sites”). Jewish matchmakers know their communities well, consider matchmaking a good deed, and are generally able to create Jewish couples with a far smaller pool to work with than Catholics. If they can do it, so can we.

I hate to put it this way, but newsflash: just because someone was raised Catholic, does not make them a Catholic! How many times have we here at CAF heard of people stating that they were “cradle Catholics,” but fell away from the Church for a very long time, and then returned well into adulthood? Or that we hear about people growing up Catholic, and leaving the Church forever? Many people “say” they are Catholic, or Christian, go to church every week, observe Advent and Lent, but really it may not mean anything because they are going through the motions.

And this “matchmaking” stuff-- sounds a bit like arranged marriage to me. Ironically enough, I’m okay with arranged marriage because it was part of my cultural upbringing but in reality MOST people are not comfortable with that. Most people recoil in horror at the thought of their families setting them up with someone, let alone their friends having some input.

I am not in disagreement that more Catholics should seek other Catholics for marriage. We all are very aware of the potential problems that can arise, and why having a shared faith can lead to a strong marriage and make things simpler when it comes to child rearing. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who, after going to church, visiting other parishes, and social networking don’t meet another Catholic they’re interested in. Other Catholics live in areas that are largely fundamentalist Protestant-- should they move to a more “Catholic” area in order to meet a potential lifelong mate? How realistic is that?

Not to mention, what’s wrong with marrying someone who converts to Catholicism? Aren’t there tons of people here on CAF (myself included) who did just that? Obviously you shouldn’t marry someone who is anti-Catholic, has disdain for the Church, or has a motive to drive you away from the faith.

I guess what I am saying is this:

  1. Matchmaking amongst other Catholics within “Catholic communities” (is there such a thing? I’ve never really seen that other than church) may be ONE option to pursue;
  2. Teen dating doesn’t have to entirely be Catholic-Catholic, but we should encourage matching when it comes to core Christian beliefs;
  3. If we want to really encourage other Catholics to marry other Catholics, then the most important thing that needs to be done is good catechism.

Just my own personal thoughts.


#2

If I had only ever dated Catholics, I would never have dated at all. Catholic men don’t ask me out, and have never shown the slightest interest in doing so, even though I have met several Catholic men in the past 10 or 11 years that I would have loved to date and who would have made good husbands. But I am not clever enough to trick men into liking me. I have to pick from among the men who do like me. :shrug:

As much as I would like to be “loyal” to the Catholic men, my biological clock is ticking and I get lonely. I do try to discern who I should marry very carefully, and I don’t think Michelle Arnold’s answer was entirely fair. Some of us are discerning who we should marry, but we are not to everyone’s taste. When I do meet a man who likes me back, I am overjoyed because I only ever have my feelings reciprocated about once every three or four years. :blush:

What can I say? I have dumped men I loved because they were anti-Catholic or hostile to not using birth control. With all I’ve sacrificed for God, I hope he’ll help me find a good husband. If that husband is Catholic, I’ll be the first one to shout, “yippee!” But someone dating non-Catholics is not necessarily “lazy in evaluating potential spouses.” Sometimes they are just dating the only people who actually want to date them. :frowning:
(The ones they like back, that is.;))


#3

FriendlyFace, your situation is what I was thinking of too when I wrote my post. It must be frustrating to find a good mate! ((hugs))! Obviously it's not like you or other people are purposefully being dismissive as to finding a Catholic spouse. I guess the question could be directed to people who "say" they are Catholic but then say that whatever goes is okay too. I can recall at another christian site I used to be a member of, one guy said he was Catholic and his wife was Wiccan! THAT would be lazy in evaluating one's spouse if being a Catholic was really that important.

I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that many Catholics are not properly catechized, and therefore will not pursue OR attract other Catholics when they are older. If you weren't properly catechized growing up, and then as an adult are nominal in your faith, why should one expect a Catholic-Catholic marriage?


#4

aaah, but friendly face, you quit the guys who were really opposed to your Faith and Faith practices. how can you be included in the set of who Mr. Arnold described as lazy daters?

You will not likely someday post on CAF, "my husband refuses to allow our kids to be baptized" or "my husband wants to divorce me because I wont use ABC" or "my husband's ex wife is driving me crazy" or "do you think my marriage is valid if he was married before in a native american ceremony even though he's catholic...?"

now, your future marriage may be of mixed faiths. and that is less than perfect. but you will probably NOT be sadly surprised to wake up one day looking at a really bad husband and wondering how you got there. or wondering if your marriage is valid. you'll have been more careful-- you're being much more careful.

(just a personal note: my marriage began as a disparity of cults-- my husband was an unbaptized evangelical. ((after my choosing some serious bad guys-- it appeared i was a serial loser chooser)) the man i married was a deeply moral and ethical and gentle, kind, generous man. he had a ton of integrity and honesty. when he entered the Catholic Church -- NO pressure from me, I swear it-- what a wonderful day that was!!!!! what an astonishing grace our marriage has been because we share the sacraments.)


#5

Maybe to facilitate this discussion and provide some clarity, we should define what "lazy dater" means?

I am still at a loss however, why it would be considered "lazy dating" if someone married another person who was a Catholic convert or was a strong non-Catholic Christian. :shrug:


#6

Unfortunately, our culture has descended into an attitude to where “dating” is not much different than trying on socks to see which one may fit and feel best. It lacks the dignity due to all human beings.

Dating should be for the sole purpose of courting, i.e., finding a suitable spouse. And young people shouldn’t be dating at all. When my youngest daughter was in the sixth grade, they held a dance at the school. You would’ve sworn they were old maids desperate to find a husband! The little girl across the street wore a very short, revealing dress and her parents rented her a limo to go to the dance! And she wasn’t the only one! These children had their innocence ruined by these attitudes!

I recommend reading the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris.

Want to curb teen pregnancy? Stop allowing them to date at such early ages. And teach them that dating is not to “try on” people, but to look for a suitable spouse. And teach them what a suitable spouse is, i.e., what they should be looking for in a future spouse.

Just my 2 cents. :slight_smile:


#7

I don't believe that dating has to be solely for the purpose of finding a spouse. I am a widower and am open to the possibility, but sincerely doubt that I will remarry. I still date. I don't think that I am committing a sin.

Regarding "lazy daters", I think that the problem is lazy Catholics. If they don't go to Church they are not likely to meet Catholics. There are more of the others than there are of us. I know that the parking lot after Mass is not a good pick-up spot. If singles were more involved in Church activities they would have a better chance of meeting a like-minded person.

From a match maker standpoint, I know that it is hard for singles to meet people. When given an opportunity, I will introduce people. I think that we all may be able to facilitate that process by helping singles to meet one another.


#8

Just my two cents:

1-I think teens should have friendships, strong friendships even with the opposite sex and not be dating unless they are already working (18’s or 19’s), this comes from the awareness that we date to find someone with whom to share a life which we can’t do while we don’t have the means to support ourselves.

2-The church I attend has a handful of people my age, and if I were to date only people I met in church I’d be single for life. This doesn’t mean I can’t date catholic girls… it just means that the choice pool isn’t exactly an ocean.

3-I don’t think that arranged marriages are good in any way… Sure, we may become friends because we can identify with the suffering of being stuck in the same situation but it does not help any one of them/us to express ourselves in any relevant way.

4-Marrying non-catholics does not destroy the chances of a successful marriage. Even Jesus mentioned it and I believe Him more than the apologist.

5-The church still doesn’t provide with many facilitators to help young adults confraternize. Since the separation of males and females in tender ages we tend to see the other gender in church as some kind of holy/undefiled pinnacle that we must not touch.
I for once have a lot of difficulty falling in love with catholic women my age… I don’t know if it’s an uncounscious definition of seeing sex as dirty and not be able to make the connection or whatever it is.

I probably have some issues…

Best of cares,
Daniel


#9

The question in this case is different from most that apologists receive. This one didn't have a specific answer. It was asking how to encourage more Catholic - Catholic marriages. They were suggestions and though they are good ones, we don't need to follow them or be at odds with church teaching.


#10

Ideally, an older, well formed Catholic parent or friend would introduce the potential spouse to the single person. In fact, lots of matches are made through introductions like this. It's not an arranged marriage, but it's a way for person to meet good candidates. I think that this sort of introduction process is what the apologist had in mind. I doubt he thought two people should show up at the chapel on the day of the wedding.

I met my husband through a friend. Of course, although he is a wonderful man, he's not Catholic and we've had lots of bumps in the road. Like most women of my generation, I was poorly catechized and wasn't looking for a Catholic husband. He definitely was the best man to bring me to God, but probably if I was a strong Catholic, that wouldn't have been the case. Who knows?

Every friend that told me that they prayed for a good Catholic husband has a story about meeting him in a God prompted way. It reminds me of Zelie Martin, St. Therese's mom, who passed her future husband on a bridge and heard interiorly the voice of God saying,"this is the one I have prepared for you." Interestedly, she had an older friend who had suggested an introduction to this very man.

In our parish, 2 of 3 weddings involved mixed marriages. That's just the reality of the culture. We need to minister to mixed marriages to strengthen them and provide lots of support. And, kids of mixed marriages need to really be immersed in Catholic culture/worldview/catechesis. It's harder to form a Catholic faith life when one parent isn't Catholic.


#11

That post percolated in my mind quite a bit when I saw it, because I married later in life. I would have preferred to have married a Catholic man, but my husband is Lutheran. Before I met him it had been two years since I had a date. I met my husband on a camping trip from my college’s alumni association.

Because of my professional life (dancer with a ballet company) I had very few opportunities to meet suitable men, let alone suitable Catholic men. The “singles ministry” seemed focused on either pilgrimages to the Holy Land (which, again, I could not take the time off to go on such a vacation,) or demonstrating in pro-life causes. While I support the pro-life cause with my private prayers as well as my vote, I really didn’t have any interest in picketing clinics or anything like that. Standing or walking around for a few hours on sore feet on hard pavement on a Saturday morning when I had performed the night before and had to perform later that evening just didn’t appeal to me!

There was a Catholic Bible study that I attended for about a year, but I didn’t go there with any idea of meeting men. As I recall, there were no suitable men in my age group in attendance there in any case.

Internet dating was in its infancy when I was still single, and I had grave reservations about it. I would have had similar reservations about either a site billed as exclusively Catholic and I would have reservations about this nowadays if I were single. After all, the Internet is the Internet: Someone can pretend to be just about anything!

Maybe some dioceses can hold a couple of “speed dating nights” for single Catholics, or something like that, just as a trial balloon. Maybe there could be something like an “adult prom”–you can get all dressed up and go to a large dinner dance at some citywide venue, all with the official sanction of the Church’s singles ministry. I really think that the Church needs to be upfront about it–i.e., this is a singles meet and greet event, come and get to know people.

Not much seems to be done about single people, I usually felt that I was kind of marginalized unless I wanted to get involved in a specific cause. It was at the point where I sometimes would attend late Saturday night Mass at St. Malachy’s (the old “Actors’ Chapel”) after a performance, because it was sometimes painful to see all those gorgeous young married couples with their families at Mass on Sunday mornings! So I felt more comfortable with the other Catholic performers who had just gotten offstage where we hurried off to St. Malachy’s to attend the 11:30 PM Mass. There were quite a few of us, the pews were usually pretty full, and I felt comfortable with other people who weren’t “coupled up.” But since Mass ended well after midnight, I had to get back to my apartment and get to bed. Everyone else was tired, too, and within ten minutes after Mass ended, the church had cleared out.

I did enjoy volunteering at my old parish’s thrift store. Other than meeting a couple of ladies in their sixties, I didn’t meet anyone (then again, old ladies usually have relatives or friends, and that might be a route to meeting somebody.)

I’m not sure that the "matchmaker"approach would really work in the culture of the United States, although it would be nice if it was available. I remember thinking that if you had to resort to a dating service where someone else fixed you up, something must be wrong with you. One friend of mine back in New York did sign up for a dating service and had to fill out an extensive questionnaire. Despite that, the men that the dating service found for her were totally unsuitable. She reported to the rest of us that she felt that she might as well have taken the $3000 for the one year subscription and set it on fire.

Actually, as I think back, I think that parish councils could make an effort to canvass interests among their parishoners. Most people who end up getting married actually meet while doing something of mutual interest (like my camping trip.) Maybe a parish campout, a parish ski trip, a parish picnic. Parish associations need to make an active outreach to singles. Say a parish is having a lawn fete–maybe instead of just posting a sign asking for volunteers, someone on the committee should actually grab the parish roster, start calling people up (especially the singles,) and say something like “Hey, we really need help with manning the dunking tank.” (for example.) “Can I put you down for a couple of hours of this?” The personal touch works when trying to engage people in something. My husband and I contrasted our upbringings in our mutual churches. His Lutheran parish used to actually contact their parishoners and solicit their involvement. My Catholic parish that I grew up in didn’t do any such thing, and unless you read the bulletin, you had no clue as to what was going on. Maybe our parishes could take a lesson from some of the Protestant denominations in how to engage the congregation in non-liturgical activities, and the whole Church would benefit from more social involvement. And when you have social involvement, you have men and women in close quarters, getting to know each other. And when they get to know each other, some of them start to date, and of that group, some of them get married. It seems to me this is a self-perpetuating cycle–more social involvement, more people attending Mass, more people getting married, more people supporting the Church.

You wanted some input. This is my two cents. Sorry this sounds so lame and disorganized. It’s a messy modern problem.


#12

Here's my take: Teen dating is not necessary. Adults need spouses but neither adults nor teens need boyfriends or girlfriends on the own merit of such a relationship. Companionship from the other sex is something necessary but can be achieved by friendship. A teenager who believes he or she loves someone the way a man loves a woman or the other way round has to do something about it. On the other hand, a teenager many years from being able to marry does not need to look for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

If I had a child who fell in love with someone of a different religion and it were something serious and responsible, not a shallow infatuation but a solid friendship with romantic interest, and with the boundaries of chastity being respected, then I wouldn't categorically forbid them from meeting. The same way the Church requires dispensations for disparity of cult but also does grant them.

But it's a perfectly good idea for parents to prevent observant Catholic children from getting into the dating scene with secular folks, particularly in those circles where sexual relations tend to be started by age 14-15. This is basically shielding off bad influence.

By the way, dating is a broken concept. I'm particularly put off by the idea of holding hands, kissing, reciting poems about love, whatever, with one person on Monday, another on Tuesday, the previous one on Wednesday again and so on. In my view, some extent of flirting is okay as reconnaissance by fire, but when it comes to kissing and such, or talking about a "relationship" then that should be only between a man and a woman (where I include some of those below age 18) who pursue a singular affection.

I'd outlaw spinning the bottle and other such party games if I had the power, too, and I would take a serious look at customs like mistletoe kissing etc. They don't sit well with my sense of monogamy.


#13

This is a really interesting and thought-provoking post, and one that strikes a personal note with me, as my boyfriend of many years is not a practicing Catholic. It's something that I have struggled long and hard about. I too, find the apologist's response a little harsh, though I do understand her point.

Personally, my parents are not a great example of what a marriage should be. This is a problem in itself, but they also didn't give me much guidance when it came to dating in general. I think my mother expected that because they sent me to a Catholic high school that I'd meet and date Catholic guys, but the only person I did date was a non-Catholic from a public high school, and even that never became anything serious. When I went off to a Catholic college, I was naive in thinking that there would be an abundance of good Catholic men to meet. There were a few, but none ever indicated any interest in me and I didn't really get to know any of them, even though I attended Mass and was involved in Campus Ministry.

The one boyfriend I had in college was a Catholic and did attend Mass, but by every other standard was not a good person. It was absolutely a mistake and though I learned a lot from being with him, most of what I learned was about what to AVOID in a husband.

After graduating, I met my now-boyfriend and we are to be engaged soon. He was baptized as a Catholic but rarely attended church and is not religious. I agonized over whether to date him and agonized even longer (several years) over whether to marry him. He is truly the most generous man I have ever met. He is more kindhearted, patient, and loving than any Catholic man I ever met outside of my family. He is supportive of raising our children as Catholics and attends Mass with me. And, what truly resonates with me is how much CLOSER I have grown to God and my faith since knowing him. He is a better person than I am, and compels me to live my faith instead of just going to church. I truly believe that he will help me and our children reach heaven.

I guess my point is that I agree with the OP that just because someone has been raised as a Catholic, this does not make them a Catholic. Of course, I wish that my boyfriend shared my faith more fully and I don't pretend to believe that there won't be problems because he doesn't. However, I am not a "lazy dater", and feel very lucky to have met him and honored that he wants me to be his wife.


#14

my initial reply was specific to friendly face, who seems to apply some pretty good dating criteria-- even if 'Catholic's only' is negotiable.

as for the Mr. Arnold's original post: there's really no way to argue away from it: people tend to be too unconcerned with BIG issues until it's too late. or, after personal conversions, peoples' BIG issues change, leaving BIG gulfs between spouses' world views.

one poster mentioned being lazy catholics. it's true and it's tough-- because lazy Catholics don't KNOW they're lazy Catholcs. they don't KNOW they are potential conversion stories just waiting to happen. they don't KNOW what regrets really are until they're changed and left living with the consequences of their choices.

one way or the other, we see it on this forum all the time. marry in haste, repent in leisure.

back to the original response: i LOVE the idea of community matchmaking.

finally on the tangent of teen dating, i've gotten into far too many tangles on this forum over teen dating to invite another one. suffice it to say: in our house, as a result of too many bad outcomes,, we havent kissed teen dating goodbye. we've kicked it to the curb.


#15

I wouldn’t say I disagree with the apologist’s response, but I do think its idealistic and doesn’t address the larger issue: the number of Catholic young people who are just cradle Catholics or just Catholic in name. My parents’ wouldn’t have even been able to find a single Catholic man in our parish community for me to go on a date with.

Honestly, this is how I felt when I was single. Any Catholic young adult who took their Catholic faith seriously was immediately in the minds of the “elders” a potential solution to the priest/religious shortage. Obviously if you were devout, you were meant to be a spiritual leader, and spiritual leadership meant priesthood or religious life. Moreover, they were far more concerned about men entering the diocean priesthood and women entering religious life, than with men entering a monastary. However, then would come the conversation about how women should be allowed to become priests in order to solve the shortage.

The fact that I wanted to marry only gave these elder’s amuniciation to complain about how priests weren’t allowed to marry and how the shortage could be solved if we just allowed them to marry. But since the Church wasn’t changing and I wasn’t a canadate for the priesthood (being I’m female), it concerned the “elders” less. As the primary problem was the lack of diocean priests more than anything else. But this is ultimately where I became a threat. If I were to have my standards for a husband to be a man who spiritually inspired me, helped me to grow in my faith and was a good Catholic spiritual leader, I was stealing from the limited pool of potential priests. As such, everyone encouraged me to lower my standards. If you must go for a Catholic man, go for the man whose a cradle Catholic and barely attends Mass? If you want a prayerful man, go after a protestant and perhaps you’ll be the key to his conversion. But whatever you do, don’t steal from the men who’d make good priests because there simply are so few of them.

Then if I would find a single devout Catholic man to date and there was no mutual interest there, my standards would be questioned further. Why was I being so picky? Don’t I know how rare such men are? They’re like finding a needle in a haystack and now you’re concerned about what color the needle is, how big the eye of the needle is and how much the needle weighs. Just take whatever needle you can find if you happen to find a needle among the hay.

Overall, the impression I’ve gotten in life is that the priest shortage is the result of a bigger problem of the transmission of the faith to the young people. Too often the “elders” see the problem of the young abandoning the faith, and then they think the solution is for the Church to bend over backwards to accomodate their wishes. You end up with more and more Catholic families being formed between a Catholic who barely attends Mass and a non-Catholic. Both parties end up being upset about the requirement that the non-Catholic party has to agree to raise the children Catholic. If they actually follow through with this, they limit the raising in the Catholic faith to pushing them through the CCD programs and shoving them through the sacraments (sometimes with relunctance). This next generation whose exposure to Catholicism has been limited to the few times their parents brought them to Mass and to CCD and the sacraments doesn’t foster much growth in the faith. The rest of the culture bombards them with things that contradict the faith and they’re much less likely to even be interested in getting married in the Catholic Church and much more likely to be resentful of the Church for having the nerve to call such a marriage invalid. Then if their parents’ force them to have a Catholic wedding, they’re even less likely to practice the faith with their children and more resentment builds toward the Church.

So while I agree with the apologist that Catholics should be taught to exclusively marry other Catholics, that isn’t the full picture. More is definitely needed than that and a devout Catholic really does need to think outside of the box about how to meet other devout Catholics unless they live in one of the rare thriving areas where there are just a ton of young devout Catholics.


#16

I think the general idea is a good one.

Dating those with the same faith as you eliminates a mountain of possible hangups in a marriage. Generally speaking you won’t fight over who’s church you’ll be going to, which church the kids will be brought up in, and you should be on the same moral plane most of the time.

That’s not to say you couldn’t find a protestant or even non-religous person who fits morally with Catholic values. However, your chances are much higher with a partner of the same faith.

Since faith is such a huge part of our lives, it’s improtant to have a spouce compatible with your faith, be they Catholic or not.

As for teens. Good luck with that. If you are so strict to not allow dating of anyone except Catholics and not allow them to go on dates you are just asking for rebellion which could do much, much more harm than letting them do some innocent dating.


#17

excellent post, twoangels.


#18

[quote="HouseArrest, post:9, topic:227293"]
The question in this case is different from most that apologists receive. This one didn't have a specific answer. It was asking how to encourage more Catholic - Catholic marriages. They were suggestions and though they are good ones, we don't need to follow them or be at odds with church teaching.

[/quote]

Exactly.

The advice to parents in the AAA thread is based on the assumption that the parents want their Catholic children to marry Catholics. If you are a parent who doesn't care who your children marry, then this advice is not for you. :shrug:


#19

Great thoughts everyone. There were a few points I wanted to address.

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:6, topic:227293"]

Dating should be for the sole purpose of courting, i.e., finding a suitable spouse. And young people shouldn't be dating at all.

I recommend reading the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris.

[/quote]

I agree that ONE of the purposes of dating should be to find a suitable spouse. I also believe that once a person is into adulthood (after 18) that should be the primary focus of dating. However, I disagree that young people shouldn't be dating, and I've read Harris' books (by the way, read the books AFTER he wrote "I Kissed Dating Goodbye"-- he actually contradicts a lot of what he said).

The reason why I think young people should date is because it allows parents to have the time to closely monitor and guide their children in their interactions with the opposite sex. I've met a lot of people who weren't allowed to date under a certain age (16), whose parents didn't allow "car dates" and instead, had to be dropped off and picked up at a certain time and stay in the date location, along with introducing the guy or girl to the parents. I personally think parents are asking for trouble when they insist that their children shouldn't date when they are young, still living under their parents roofs, have rules to follow, aren't of legal age (18), have consequences if they break rules, etc. The teen years are a time where parents will have once of their last chances to really be in close proximity to their childrens' romantic relationships and also with the parents of their child's significant other. I recall a friend of mine when she and her husband were dating, actually met with both sets of parents to set ground rules. You don't have that opportunity when a child is over 18, because your kid can easily say "it's none of your bleeping business," and move out of the house. Or worse, many people who weren't allowed to have this guidance under 18 just fall into this:

[quote="mcrow, post:16, topic:227293"]

As for teens. Good luck with that. If you are so strict to not allow dating of anyone except Catholics and not allow them to go on dates you are just asking for rebellion which could do much, much more harm than letting them do some innocent dating.

[/quote]

Who wants their child sneaking around behind their backs, lying, etc. because they want to have a romantic partner but his of her parents say absolutely not? I would know-- that's what I did:o I'm not proud of it...but because my parents very extremely strict with this, that's what I felt that I had to do at the time. I was also OVER 18 and still living in their home at the time.

[quote="MtnDwellar, post:7, topic:227293"]

Regarding "lazy daters", I think that the problem is lazy Catholics.

[/quote]

That's what I meant by poor catechism, and how calling one's self a Catholic does not make one. Catholics need to be taught about why it's important to marry within the faith.

[quote="chevalier, post:12, topic:227293"]
Here's my take: Teen dating is not necessary. Adults need spouses but neither adults nor teens need boyfriends or girlfriends on the own merit of such a relationship.

By the way, dating is a broken concept. I'm particularly put off by the idea of holding hands, kissing, reciting poems about love, whatever, with one person on Monday, another on Tuesday, the previous one on Wednesday again and so on.

[/quote]

I agree with you on a couple points. No, teen dating isn't "necessary," and there are many people who don't start dating until they're 18 or over. However, there is a difference between parents setting ground rules just in case they wanted to date when they were 16, and allowing that line of communication to be open, versus parents who flat out said no.

Western ideals about romantic love have been hijacked by sex-filled passion, and many of the romantic ideals of yesterday that were considered innocent are hardly the norm. I believe that's why many people choose to use words such as "courtship" versus "dating" to make a distinction between the secular expectations of romantic relationships, and romantic relationships that involve spiritual accountability, maturity, and actual discernment for a future spouse. I personally find secular values of dating deplorable, but I believe that it's possible to teach young people who to date with respect, dignity, and within the morals and teachings of the Church.

No one is saying that we should go against the teachings of the Church with this...but I don't think that the response given to the question was realistic of took very many people's situations into consideration. JMO.


#20

I do think it slightly odd to lump us converts in there. It's like saying those of us who converted to the Church are somewhat of a second rate Catholic. When in all actuality I think a lot of converts tend to have a stronger faith and a deeper appreciation because they chose it. (obviously this isn't true with all, but with many converts I've met)

I met my husband, then boyfriend, when I was Lutheran. I thank God he didn't act like some people are saying and only focused on Catholics. Because I'm in a much better state now faith-wise than before I met him. Two years into our dating I converted, not for him, but for myself.

Is it ideal to stick within your faith? Of course! I do think that people should ideally marry someone of the same faith. But I don't think that you should discount all non-Catholics in the dating scene. I think it's okay to give a non-Catholic time to see where they stand on faith topics and see if there's potential. Not saying going out to convert, but I do think people deserve a chance ;)


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