Marriage and virginity in Catholic teaching

I posted the following as a comment on another blog. I’m not going to link it because I’m afraid that if I do, it might embarrass whomever it was and I don’t want to do that. After I wrote it, I saw elsewhere on her blog that she doesn’t respond to comments. So my comment not get approved.

The person was seriously considering leaving the Church and the reasons she gave were faulty. What I mean is that they were based on an erroneous understanding of what the Church teaches. Somehow she believed that marriage and virginity were set against each other, in conflict, as if the Church values virginity more than it values marriage. This led her to a wrong conclusion: that what she called “the Catholic Jesus” believed it would have been better for her to not exist. Yikes, that’s just not true at all. The Church values every single human life.

Here’s what I said:

Where did you hear these teachings regarding virginity and marriage, as if they were set against each other in conflict? I ask this because they are not what we see in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

For example, I searched the CCC for references to the word “virgin.” There are 121. Most pertained to Mary; one to Eve; several to consecrated virgins; a few drew a parallel with marriage, such as this one at 1620:

“Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will. Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other: Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.”

Or this one found at 2349:

“…There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others…”

This [sic] references go against what you were taught, so that’s why I asked where you learned what you learned. The Lord values marriage very much. The Bible practically opens with a wedding (Adam and Eve) and certainly closes with one (the wedding of the Lamb). The Church is the bride of Christ, after all (Ephesians 5:32). And every single human life has value, including you! This is a clear teaching of the Church. Please don’t leave yet.

There were a number of other issues she raised which I decided not to address, but this one seemed to be the crux of the others–I reasoned to myself that if I made sense here, it might soften her position on the other issues. I hope what I said helps.

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Author: everybodysdaughter

I'm an adult child of divorce, having been raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations. I'm writing in order to shed light on the problems of divorce from the perspective of the child. I will also discuss problems with other non-triad family structures, since there is a lot of overlap. People often think that better parenting skills will overcome problems in non-triad arrangements. While I agree that parenting skills are important, they cannot overcome the problems I discuss such as fractured ontology and perpetual liminality. I converted to the Catholic faith in 2012, and will discuss Catholic things from time to time as well.

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