Today, the most often-cited meeting place for singles (21%) is online, according to a survey published in last year.
Maria and the priest don’t exchange gifts or even glances when they are in public.
They do steal away regularly to meet in secret places outside of Florence, but she says sex is not the priority of the relationship.
Their love is the forbidden kind, confined to the shadows because the men they are in love with are their parish priests. Maria asked that her last name and details about her boyfriend-priest not be published to protect the priest she is in love with.
Maria, is in her 50s and has a 24-year-old daughter, and she says she fell in love with a priest when she sought out spiritual healing after her husband died several years ago.
My own Diocese of Phoenix and other dioceses around the country are revisiting their marriage requirements, lengthening preparation periods and examining couples closely, looking for trouble spots in their relationships and families of origin—indications that they may not be ready for the vocation of marriage just yet.
As a divorced Catholic, I am happy to hear about the Church’s new vigilance. Annulling past marriages and saying, in effect, “We hope you do better next time,” is hardly adequate.You can find an example of her witticisms at the beginning of the book when she says there are two types of love: ‘real love’ and ‘pizza love.’ ‘Real love’ is respecting the partner and honouring chastity, whereas ‘pizza love’ is a completely different sort of love: just like pizza, you love it as an object but once its use has disappeared – that is to say, once it has been eaten – the remains are cast away.It is a humorous way of expressing the very real and serious difference between loving and objectifying someone – the point is clear.Many parishes offer post-divorce workshops designed for the first months after a divorce. The Church—the institution as well as the individuals—needs to minister to the millions of divorced Catholics by both changing ingrained attitudes and reaching out in love.Yes, the Church is and should be pro-marriage, but, like its Lord, it must also love and support those whose marriages have failed. As the survivor of divorce after 30 years of marriage, I know there needs to be a healthier dialogue within the Catholic Church between those who have never divorced (including our clergy) and those who have.The Catholic Church’s response has been to get proactive about better preparing engaged couples before they marry.