Would this person be living a morally wrong life by prefering not to get married?


If a woman prefered to have a career and not get married and have children? If they don’t completely reject the idea, but they’d prefer not to? An example, I know a woman who is a psychologist, she dedicates a lot of her time to that, she truly cares about her patients, but when someone asks her “What about marriage” she says “I don’t see it happening, nor do I have the desire, but if the right guy comes along, I guess whatever happens happens.” She’s also a very devout Catholic…but is she not doing God’s will by either being a stay at home mom or being a nun?


It is perfectly fine for a woman to decide to be single all her life. Where did you get the idea that a woman either has to marry or be a nun?


And why are women who are married obligated to remain in the home?


It’s no more possible for it to be a sin to not get married as it can be a sin to not receive Holy Orders. However, it can sometimes be imprudent and harmful to your spiritual growth depending on the circumstances. For example, if you vaguely want to get married but you have an innate fear of commitment, bearing children, being bound to another person, etc., and so you end up spending year after year after year in a state of limbo without a clear sense of vocation.

Or, more obviously, if you avoid marriage because you have no concept of fidelity, and you instead live a promiscuous secular lifestyle.


On the contrary, St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians:

[quote=1 Cor 7:8]Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do.


Probably the most devout Catholic I ever knew personally was my great-aunt Virgeline (“Dean”). She was never married and never became a nun - she was a single lay woman her entire life. And this was her vocation. I’m sure she had plenty of “male suitors” when she was young, but I don’t think she ever desired to marry.

As an aside, one of the great doctors of the Church, St. Catherine of Siena, is famous for being a single lay woman (by the way, her feast day is this Wednesday, April 29). Her parents wished for her to marry, but in order to show her defiance, she cut off her hair in protest. And yet, it was by her urging that the papacy returned to Rome after being in Avignon.


You really can’t be serious. Not all devout women who DO marry are capable of having children.
God didn’t command women to either be baby makers or nuns and he didn’t command women to stay at home if they do have children.
Women can go to school, have wonderful, fulfilling careers and still be doing God’s Will. Maybe, just maybe, it will be a devout Catholic WOMAN who cures AIDS or cancer.

Your friend is fine.


Hi Darbie! congrats on your confirmation!

The church teaches that there is such a calling as the single vocation. There is a book about it… If I had my normal computer right now I could give you a link, but if you google catholic vocation single life you will probably be led to it. I’m just not able to link it with this one.


The unconsecrated single life is not a primary vocation.

That being said, not everyone has a call to one of the three primary vocations. A woman, for example, can’t be called to Holy Orders. She should, however, sincerely attempt to discern her vocation, rather than make offhand remarks about being a careerist and how it doesn’t fit into her life. She should enlist a spiritual director and pray fervently for an answer from God for an appropriate amount of time. When all this is said and done, it may so happen that she is not called to the consecrated life and not called to motherhood. Sometimes God just doesn’t call us to anything but perpetual celibacy, for example homosexuals, or the mentally ill. This isn’t the end of your life, but it certainly represents a turning point.


It is also possible for a woman to have different vocations. She could start out as a devout single, get married later on, have babies, be a housewife when her children are young, and later on get a job and work outside the home when the kids are older. Later when she is widowed, she could enter religious orders or remain a devout widow. I am assuming of course that there are orders that accept older women.

The trick is to take each day as it comes. My spiritual director keeps telling me this as I have a tendency to worry about the future.


There are some posters here in this forum that do think this. There is one poster who thinks single people who are not married should be publicly shamed.


Absolutely. Lay women can certainly do many different things. There are many paths to get us where we need to be going.


Publicly shamed? That’s awful. Who gets to decide when Mr./Miss Right comes along?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.