Monday, June 20, 2016

Single and Catholic: Finding Meaning in Your State in Life, by Judy Keane

Sophia Institute Press, ISBN 9781622822409, June 2016

This is intended as a serious, helpful manual for single Catholics attempting to live a life that is both fulfilling and moral while, potentially (Keane is quite clear that not every single is), hoping/planning/seeking to meet that one person with whom they will make a family and live out their lives. It's addressed equally to men and women. It's well-written and clear. It is of course grounded in Catholic values, beliefs, and doctrine, but that's appropriate and expected, given the publisher and target market. There's useful and practical advice here, about not living your life on hold, and on not accepting "good enough" when it isn't, simply out of a fear of being alone. Keane points out clearly and compassionately that marriage is no guarantee against winding up widowed and unpartnered for years, even after a happy marriage, and that being single deasn't automatically mean not having strong and close relationships with family and friends. There's even helpufl advice here about making good, intelligent, careful use of Catholic-oriented online singles dating/matchmaking sites. (And yes, the assumption here is that if you're reading this book, finding a mate who shares your religious beliefs and commitment is important to you.)

However.

As part of Keane's complete fidelity to official Catholic teaching, she makes certain assertions that even most devout, practicing Catholics will recognize as factually untrue. Most critically, no, use of contraception does not increase the frequency of abortion. It's this and a few similar details that will annoy the non-Catholic and even many Catholics, even some Catholics who may respect the Church's teaching against using contraceptives, and limits the usefulness of an otherwise good, useful book.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.