Is it possible to remain single? Does an independent or divorced person find a spouse to adopt when they marry? What will happen if the person remarries but does not live in the Church?
A good understanding of the history of the Church through the ages – both as she has evolved and in contrast to the times when she was first established – is necessary for a person to be able to fully understand her role in the Christian community. The Church needs to explain exactly what she means when she says the Church is “the Church of the living”, who “has a universal church”, who has a “universal bishop” or the like. In order for someone to become a full and committed Christian, they must understand what this means, and must understand that they were “raised” as a Christian by Christ. This understanding is crucial to a person’s ability to become a full and committed Catholic.
Many who follow Catholicism believe that it is possible to be single in Catholicism. One can be divorced, yet be a member of the religious community. One can be a Catholic but have no contact with the parish or with the Church. A person who does not take Communion could join another religion and become a full and committed Catholic. Being single in Catholicism could mean:
– Being divorced from a spouse
– Living without communion and with no contact with the Church
– Excommunicated – being excommunicated is an exclusion from the Church for most Christians. But a single Catholic can become a member of the religious community – in other words be baptized for forgiveness of sins, so in some way being single in the Church means there is no “fallibility” in the Church from where a Catholic might be tempted to sin.
“But what about those divorced with children”, you may ask? Well if single Catholics can be single if they do not have a spouse or have no contact with the Church then surely only divorced Catholics can be married to a living spouse and have children. But this is totally different from being single in many other areas of Christian life – such as the sacraments, the state of grace, worship and confession, and even when one leaves the family and moves to another country. A Catholic who has never been married or who has been divorced or separated with children can become a full and committed member of their parish, but they cannot live with their spouse if they are single. In fact, the Church does not allow for this kind of relationship to exist.
But what about that one divorced Catholic who
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