“Ask a Priest: What If My Girlfriend Holds Some Troubling Views?”

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Q: I am 18 and my long-distance girlfriend who is 19 (both of us are Catholic) have been together for two months, and I just recently noticed that she supports same-sex marriage and has called the Catholic Church “sexist.” She even says she wouldn’t mind if our future daughter went to a gentleman’s club. I really care for her and love spending time with her, but I just can’t possibly put my relationship with her over my relationship with God. I would greatly appreciate any advice. – M.R.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: The Lord puts us into relationships for various reasons.

Sometimes it is to discover the “right one” and someday marry and start a family, sometimes it is to enrich each other before finding the “right one” somewhere else.

God comes first, so if you have to choose between him and your girlfriend, you already know the answer.

It sounds as though your friend has absorbed some of the distorted thinking of the world. It’s understandable, given the culture we live in.

If she is drifting away from the truth on such important things as the nature of marriage and issues of chastity and sexuality, the Lord has given you this opportunity to enrich her. If she doesn’t want to hear it, it might be time for you to move on.

You should have a frank, in-person conversation with her about these things to help her see where her ideas are destructive for herself or others, even though they don’t appear to be.

God created marriage between a man and woman, and marital love is geared toward procreation and stable family life. Same-sex activity is inherently sterile and a distortion of God’s plan.

And while it’s possible to find some sexist thinking in the human dimension of the Church, the Church as the mystical body of Christ is pure and perfect. It’s not that the Church is sexist; rather, it might be some people in the Church who have sexist ideas. That is a different issue.

Now, it’s possible that your friend can change her views if she understands why the Church teaches what it teaches.

Perhaps you and she could read some documents and then discuss them. You could find some resources at this U.S. bishops’ conference Web page.

As for the Church’s view of women, you could read St. John Paul II’s “Letter to Women” and his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem.

Whether she listens or not, or you break off with her, or she breaks off with you, she should know that you care for her and for her soul, whether you are together or not.

In the meantime, you might want to intensify your prayers and sacrifices for your friend.

An extra observation: You mention that she is your “long-distance girlfriend” of two months. This relationship hasn’t had much time to develop. Early on, it’s easy to idealize a person. You would do well to go slowly and prudently.

Marriage is difficult enough. It’s even harder when spouses are not on the same page in terms of religion.

If you are called to marriage, you want to marry someone who shows the signs of being able to raise children in the true Catholic faith.

Count on my prayers.


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