My husband and I married in the Catholic Church, but now I am separated from my husband and in the process of divorce and annulment. Currently you are not even legally divorced, much less have you received a decree of nullity from the Church.
Priests have told me that I can date and still receive the sacraments if the relationships are pure and entered into prayerfully. Until the latter happens, you must presume that you are a married woman and may not date anyone.
Courtship allows you to see if the one you’ve almost chosen is the one you’ll choose for life at the altar. This is a mixed audience and these subjects would be better handled in another venue, preferably in the home, where these books can be read with parents as your guides. What I would like to address is the notion of courtship and how it differs from the modern concept of dating.
I would also like to cover who is eligible to court and what some appropriate parameters are. In order to contrast courtship and dating, let me give examples of each. Tom, who has been legally eligible to drive for about a year now, goes to Sally’s parents’ house.
After knocking on the door, he may or may not be allowed in the house to wait for Sally to finish dosing herself with the final spritz of inexpensive yet surprisingly powerful perfume.
Once an annulment is granted, then you will be free to date.
(This was written in preparation for a series of conferences on vocations and states in life that I gave at Saint Benedict Center in the Spring of 2005.
Please see the end of this piece for a small table of contents with links to the other conferences.) Last week, we spoke about choosing a partner. One is the choice of an ideal partner you would like.This is setting your standard: He must be a Catholic, firmly dedicated to the Faith and to raising a family well.He must have a certain education, certain interests, and so forth.You have to know that he — whoever he is — must be the kind of man you can have a true friendship with, according to the three qualifications we discussed last week. The “proximate” choosing of a partner, has two parts: First is seeing if meets your ideals.But, in order to know that, there then has to be some sort of test.Since “test marriages” would be a violation of basic morals — even on the natural level — what we have instead is called courtship. I will not go into detail on many of those things one can read in a book such as Father Lovasik’s , or Father Kelley’s book on chastity I mentioned last week.