That second clip/interview was wonderful!!!
I believe strongly that if the Church wants people to return… to change that percentage of ex-Catholics… the Church is going to have to reach out to adult singles. (I’m talking 30 and up…. 20-somethings have plenty of resources to meet other singles) Currently, church is all about marriage and family… which is great… unless you are not married and don’t have a family. It is very exclusionary to those of us who can’t find a suitable Catholic partner.
Forget about trying to convert someone! Much of secular society can’t wrap their heads around the church’s position on birth control, premarital sex, transubstantiation, etc. In fact, I was quite dejected on my birthday when my guests started talking about how silly it is that the Catholic Church doesn’t “get with the times” on the concepts of birth control and premarital sex. One guest talked about a priest that he and his friends were impressed with, when during pre-canna instruction, the priest asked the couple how were things in the bedroom. Isn’t that great, they thought, that the priest was ‘realistic’. How could I offer my defense - one against four in that discussion?
It would help if priests would go back to teaching the why behind NFP, why contraception is wrong… and so forth. It would give the rest of us confidence to speak up for the Church and our beliefs - armed with the right information and the right argument.
Speaking of marketing.. the Church has a gold mine with the Divorce rate for NFP couples. Milk it would you?!?!? If we can explain it to society that birth control destroys relationships… and NFP encourages you both to be involved in the miracle of reproduction, that short periods of abstinence can result in HOT sexual reunions that stimulate a marriage!!!
But also speak to everyone in the congregation… not just the married people.
Once, a seminarian student came to speak during Mass to appeal for donations to the seminary fund (or some such) he concluded with, “Go home and discuss it with your spouse….” my immediate thought was… “Yeah, because EVERYBODY has a spouse!!” Go home and pray about your ability to contribute…” would have been perfectly adequate. Granted, he’s a student and probably thinks that everyone who isn’t a Priest or Religious is married… but that is the mistake of his educators. There are SO MANY SINGLES… if the Church was even thinking about it… they would train that kind of thinking out of their seminarians!!
Think too, of the many divorced Catholics who simply do not return to the church because they think they are not welcome there!!! The Church should be pursuing those people, instructing them in their annulment process so that there are more marriageable people for us faithful singles to choose from!!! Let them know that they are forgiven. Give them instruction on what failed in their marriages so that they can choose wisely, and act better, the second time around.
If you want the Church to grow… you are going to have to get us singles married. That is the bottom line! And clearly, I can’t do it alone! Everyone tells me I should look for a man at church. I confidently tell them… “There are no single men at church. They only come back when they are engaged - and then I have missed my shot at them!!!” Believe me, I never miss Sunday Mass - I serve as both a lector and a Eucharistic Minister—I can check each man there for a ring… and I have!!!
Sometimes I envy my Mormon friends - whose church encourages Singles Wards. Granted, I hear much about how their singles’ programs are a bit misguided, and outdated… but at least their entire church knows that singles deserve ministry!!!!
Someone, please tell the bishops and the Pope that Catholic Adult Singles NEED ministry!!!!