Catholic dating divorced people
And that challenge is made all the greater by the pre-existing wounds most divorced people bear — wounds from habitual sin before and during marriage, wounds from the culture or wounds from their own parents’ troubled marriages.
“So many of the people who come to the Church seeking help are hanging on to old hurts or ideas about what’s going to make them happy, and it ends up just making them more miserable,” said Rose Sweet, author of “A Woman’s Guide to Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce” (Hendrickson, .95).
They don’t want to hear about how their own refusal to live the Church’s teachings might have contributed to their divorce.
And that is the simple fact that many people don’t want those misconceptions corrected.“Much of the difficulty starts with overcoming a central belief that the things of God are just there to haul out in case we get in trouble,” Sweet told OSV. And so it’s not surprising that the Church’s ministry to divorced Catholics is, in many places, not all it should be.“Many people are going to the Church because they know they need something more, but some general comfort or spirituality is all they want of it.” In a sense, the problems faced by divorced Catholics today and, for many, the very state in which they find themselves, are the culmination of the Church’s failures in the 20th century: the failure to evangelize, to catechize, to counter prevailing cultural attitudes, to clearly communicate the beauty of the Church’s teachings on sexuality, to adequately prepare Catholics for marriage, to support marriages, and to come to the aid of marriages in trouble. Nationwide, support programs for the separated and divorced are few and far between.Many of the Catholics in need of or even seeking the Church’s help don’t really want the Church’s help.
They don’t want to hear the truth about what the Church teaches on marriage.Deeper more fundamental questions also usually have to be addressed, questions about who Jesus is, what marriage is and what God expects from us. They’ve bought in to the culture’s ideas of a God who simply wants his children to be nice and tolerant and a Church who can’t be trusted (or listened to) when it comes to questions of sex and relationships.Most Catholics, divorced or otherwise, think they know the Church’s answers to those questions. Many also have bought into an idea of marriage that isn’t about the two spouses helping each other grow in holiness, but rather about each person’s own personal happiness. Our personal happiness is not supposed to be at the top of the list.Accompanying that belief are other questions divorced Catholics have about their standing in the Church: Are they excommunicated? Can they continue in lay apostolate work or liturgical ministries?