Most priests know far more about marriage than most married people do


GREAT quote.


Thanks! I do not mean to be abrasive towards anyone on this thread, but it saddens and baffles me how people, inadvertently or wittingly, are alluding to this idea that the Sacrament of Marriage is somehow more intimate than Holy Orders, and/or even Holy Communion!!! There is absolutely nothing more intimate than our union with God in the Eucharist, absolutely nothing! Any real and sacramental intimacy in any sacramental marriage flows from the source of all intimacy, the self-giving of Our Blessed Lord on the Altar for us to be One with Him.


Priests have knowledge that often can help married couples. Married couples have unique experiences that likely are foreign to some extent to priests.

Why is it impossible for these two realities to co-exist? Why the dogmatic insistence that priests know far more about marriage? Folks have already acknowledged that priests can be an important part of successful marriages. Continuously asserting that married couples really don’t know jack about their own relationships is just…ignorant. And demanding others agree with the assertion that it’s all or nothing – agree that priests know more about marriage or admit we’re all idiots regarding marriage – is to demand that people accept a logical fallacy.


Why the strength of my point?

Because it’s true. They do know more about marriage than most married people.

Most mechanics know a lot more about the inner workers of a car than race drivers let alone normal car drivers.

That doesn’t mean that married people may not know much about their own marriage…they may. But most married people don’t know that much about other people’s marriages.

So my statement is the truth.

There need not be some sort of false, fuzzy wuzzy…can’t everything be equal softening of a wonderful truth, and available resource.


Right. You can and will get real time feedback from your spouse.


Except it’s not true. Multiple people have demonstrated why it’s a faulty claim. You seem to be completely resistant to hearing anyone else’s views and even entertaining the possibility that they may have merit. Worse, you claim that if anyone disagrees with your assertion, their marriage clearly is not solid. It takes a certain sort of audacity to make such a declaration.


Names and dates???

I don’t know about “titillating,” but there’s a level of abstraction that does make the reader wonder if the writer knows what he is talking about.

Yes–priests and laypeople, single and married.


Right. And they might never get to the bottom of what was going on, just for incomplete information.




No one has touched the argument. Look back. Show the work. It’s you that’s resistant.

Priests are exposed to far more situations and cases each week, more hearing of problems than any married couple.
They are exposed to very intimate details that - as others have pointed out above in this very thread - aren’t communicated EVEN to their own spouse!
They are trained in matters of the spiritual life, in depth; they are taught about the human virtues in great detail, they are taught how to “listen for the dominant defect”; how to suggest resolutions to help people work on their defects, how to prioritize defects, etc.

They are taught how Original Sin can cloud the intellect of a person, how sin can weaken the will to pursue the good, etc.

No one has touched these points.


You keep repeating this, that at BEST a husband or wife only knows about their own marriage. That’s a simplistic statement that is fundamentally false. Most married people know quite well at least two marriages: their own and that of their parents.

In fact bad habits and bad attitudes of a husband or wife is often picked up from what they saw in their own parents’ behavior.

Also — depending on the circumstances — a married person might know well the circumstances of other people’s marriages too: their aunts or uncles, their siblings marriage, and the marriages of their very close friends.

That said, you do make a good point that most parish priest probably have a far wider perspective on marriage for all your reasons you’ve already stated. So you shouldn’t weaken your point by repeating a basically false statement, that a married person only knows one marriage well: their own. Most people know well the marriage of their parents too (for better or for worse), and some even more than that.


The only marriage that a married couple knows about is their own (+1 over the priest).
A priest knows about his own parent’s marriage just as a married couple does! (add ZERO for the married couple).
But a priest knows about hundreds of marriages. (add hundreds for the priest).


Others have also (rightly) pointed out that priests aren’t exposed to many intimate details that spouses choose not to share with them. The best you can possibly assert is that priests know some details, spouses know some, and perhaps no party knows all.

Yes, priests are trained in matters of the spiritual life, taught about human virtues in great detail, taught to listen for defects, taught how to suggest resolutions, etc. This is why spouses should turn to priests for advice. They should also recognize that priests aren’t going to provide every answer. In no way does that diminish what priests offer. It’s reality.


It’s pretty incredible that many here report having happy and successful marriages despite the fact that they reject the all-or-nothing claim made in the OP. Either we’re all living in fantasies that don’t correlate with reality or the original claim is flawed.


And I just reminded someone else that in this very thread someone, other than me, pointed out that some spouses share with a priest details they don’t even share with this spouse.

So on the intimacy points, it’s even. Some do/some don’t. but then add all the experience that priests get that married couples have NO way of getting.


There aren’t that many on this thread. It’s quite a very very very limited sample.


The fact that any exist seem to highlight a flawed premise.


That sounds like a specialist.

Priests aren’t marriage specialists in the same sense that mechanics are car specialists.

Although particular priests might be especially gifted, the average priest doesn’t necessarily have a lot of insight into how to resolve a marital disagreement, how to get a spouse to do something that he or she does not wish to do, or how to do a budget and stick to it, share a home and parent together. For something like that, it’s helpful to have experience doing those specific things.

I think you underestimate how much of a happy home depends on having particular skills and systems.

Marriage is about two different people working together to accomplish common goals–getting two people to cooperate is quite different than tinkering with the innards of one of them, although it might be necessarily.

Some do, some don’t.

The same is true of who shows up at confession–it’s a limited sample.


huh? sorry my standards of evidence and proof are a lot higher. I’m not as easily swayed.


And you deny outright experience that married couples share that priests don’t have? I don’t know you and your marriage, and you don’t know me and mine. I’m quite comfortable asserting that we both have experiences the other doesn’t. Why is this such a distasteful reality? What would it mean to accept this? What part of the sky will fall?


Proof? Where’s the substantiation for this sweeping assertion? It’s false.


But you don’t offer evidence and proof. You offer conjecture.

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