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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

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Dear friends,

Disclaimer: the content of this post assumes traditional gender roles suggested by the Church, namely, the male as spiritual leader. That being established, do you think it would harm the relationship if the female was formally-schooled in theology, while the man was formally-schooled to an equal extent but in a different field. Specifically, it seems that the study of theology can give one a very clear vision of right and wrong, and thus such a person would develop a very clear vision of what they expect in their spouse. Subsequently, a woman can have a clear vision of what they want a man to do. In turn, the man may unwittingly do things that perturb this clear vision, and can spoil his image in the mind of the woman. However, the man may be merely following the moral precepts of the Church, and thus not technically sinning, but also not "being perfect". He nonetheless may incur disdain.

I am only imagining this factor at work in the dynamics of male/female meetings here on CM....but that is why I am asking for your commentary.
Feb 4th 2014 new
(quote) Bradley-266389 said: it seems that the study of theology can give one a very clear vision of right and wrong, and thus such a person would develop a very clear vision of what they expect in their spouse. Subsequently, a woman can have a clear vision of what they want a man to do. In turn, the man may unwittingly do things that perturb this clear vision, and can spoil his image in the mind of the woman. However, the man may be merely following the moral precepts of the Church, and thus not technically sinning, but also not "being perfect".
A good leader relies on all his resources, which may include those he leads, when making decisions.

That said... it would be prudent to consider that such a relationship could prove to be a minefield, albeit for entirely different reasons.

A degree in theology does not assure an orthodox understanding of the Church teachings. More than a few Catholics receive theological degrees from non-Catholic colleges or universities. Worse yet, many more attended institutions which purport to be Catholic while the majority of the theology faculty are not or teach outright heresy.
Feb 4th 2014 new
Being book smart in theology does not necessarily equate with street smarts. You can have a wealth of knowledge of the Faith but if you are unable to apply it in a practical manner in regards to marriage, then what good does that knowledge do? Many are able to live good, solid Catholic lives without having had any formal schooling in theology (and in reference to what Jerry said that can be a good thing!). So, if a man were to take a theologian bride, he can certainly have enough knowledge to be a firm yet compassionate spiritual leader of the family. Plus, any good man wouldn't hesitate to pick the brains of his wife over her theological knowledge, or any knowledge for that matter! A good leader knows his strengths and weaknesses and has the humility to seek help when he needs it!
Feb 4th 2014 new
(quote) Margaret-20183 said: Being book smart in theology does not necessarily equate with street smarts. You can have a wealth of knowledge of the Faith but if you are unable to apply it in a practical manner in regards to marriage, then what good does that knowledge do? Many are able to live good, solid Catholic lives without having had any formal schooling in theology (and in reference to what Jerry said that can be a good thing!). So, if a man were to take a theologian bride, he can certainly have enough knowledge to be a firm yet compassionate spiritual leader of the family. Plus, any good man wouldn't hesitate to pick the brains of his wife over her theological knowledge, or any knowledge for that matter! A good leader knows his strengths and weaknesses and has the humility to seek help when he needs it!
Good points, Margaret.
Feb 4th 2014 new

1. Pffft for "traditional" roles. If he, as a male, believes that he is automatically qualified to be the one and only leader of anything at all, much less spiritual head of anything...he should move along. IMHO, the person who has the talent and training for the job is the one who should do it. Check your ego at the door.

2. I hope she can talk about something other than theology. My experience has been, the folks (male or female) who are big on theology are generally not a lot of fun because they can't talk about anything else. This is at odds with being a "whole person" and definitely doesn't make for a good marriage partner. (Can you say "boring"?)

Feb 4th 2014 new
(quote) Bradley-266389 said: Dear friends,

Disclaimer: the content of this post assumes traditional gender roles suggested by the Church, namely, the male as spiritual leader. That being established, do you think it would harm the relationship if the female was formally-schooled in theology, while the man was formally-schooled to an equal extent but in a different field. Specifically, it seems that the study of theology can give one a very clear vision of right and wrong, and thus such a person would develop a very clear vision of what they expect in their spouse. Subsequently, a woman can have a clear vision of what they want a man to do. In turn, the man may unwittingly do things that perturb this clear vision, and can spoil his image in the mind of the woman. However, the man may be merely following the moral precepts of the Church, and thus not technically sinning, but also not "being perfect". He nonetheless may incur disdain.

I am only imagining this factor at work in the dynamics of male/female meetings here on CM....but that is why I am asking for your commentary.
Hi Bradley,

I had some trouble following what your hypothetical situation was. . .and I read it a couple of times.

I think these were your points:
1. the husband is the spiritual leader of his family.
-- No argument there, but while I think this is the ideal, it is not always the case, nor does it spell doom for the marriage or the family. My husband had no faith at all when we met, when we were married ten years he converted to Catholicism. And, despite his continuing study of the faith, he often deferred to me for explanations etc.
2. Does it hurt to have the woman theologically trained and the man not?
-- I don't think so.
3.A study of theology provides a very clear vision of what to expect?
-- it presents an ideal. one thing you realize when you marry -- there are all sorts of unspoken expectations about what your spouse should be or do -- things that sort of come out of nowhere and surprise you completely. I suspect it is one reason people who cohabitat and then marry have an 80% divorce rate -- because marriage does matter, it is more than a piece of paper and once you say I do, those expectations pop up.
4. just because the man is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the family does not mean that the spouse is supposed to be ignorant of the faith, nor does it mean that he doesn't discuss things with her. If he hands out commands arbitrarily and without explanation or discussion -- he is not a leader.
5. being dictatorial will ruin his image far more swiftly than sharing and guiding and discussing matters of faith and spirituality with both his wife and their children.
6. The most important way he will lead is by example -- he must live his faith openly. not be afraid to show his spirituality, not be ashamed to speak about his faith and share it with his friends, children etc. He must set the example of getting up to go to Mass even though he only had a couple of hours of sleep, of taking them to mass even when out of town, of being faithful to daily prayer and of turning to God in times of pain or stress or need, of giving thanks to God for the gifts in his life.

It is not in the knowledge of theology or the catechism which prepares a man to be the spiritual head of the family -- it is his practice of the faith --- living it openly and integrally as part of his being.
Feb 4th 2014 new
Maybe I'm just thick, but it seems to me that in a marriage, each person helps to supply the others' deficiencies, and that that's an opportunity and a source of joy for a lifetime. I don't see an issue here. You will each bring your own life experiences (including but not limited to formal education) to the relationship - that's GOOD!
Feb 4th 2014 new
What they said. And don't forget to have some fun!
Feb 4th 2014 new
Is it possible? Yes, but she won't be happy in the long run.
Feb 4th 2014 new
(quote) Bradley-266389 said: The content of this post assumes traditional gender roles suggested by the Church, namely, the male as spiritual leader. That being established, do you think it would harm the relationship if the female was formally-schooled in theology, while the man was formally-schooled to an equal extent but in a different field. Specifically, it seems that the study of theology can give one a very clear vision of right and wrong, and thus such a person would develop a very clear vision of what they expect in their spouse. Subsequently, a woman can have a clear vision of what they want a man to do. In turn, the man may unwittingly do things that perturb this clear vision, and can spoil his image in the mind of the woman. However, the man may be merely following the moral precepts of the Church, and thus not technically sinning, but also not "being perfect". He nonetheless may incur disdain.

I am only imagining this factor at work in the dynamics of male/female meetings here on CM....but that is why I am asking for your commentary.
Bradley--
I've heard the phrase "if you educate a woman, you educate the family".

A woman with a theology degree, doesn't mean she is a theologian. But she has likely attained a major in theology and studied liberal arts as well.
Isn't a 'Theologian' someone with a Masters or Doctorate in Theology? (("Theology" is "theos" = God; "ology" the study of". So it's the "Study of God". Interesting---that we could "Study God".))

Anyway, my commentary would be that all Catholics have the responsibility to learn Catholic teaching. Adhering to Catholic teaching, applies to all Catholics equally, husbands, wives, children, religious, single. Each person, should focus on perfecting themselves, not getting others to become perfect (unless they are raising children...).

I don't think a woman should 'have a clear vision of what they want a man to do'. Men have 'free will'. Men are able to decide what is right or wrong (if it involves a question of 'morality'). If it isn't a question of morality, then a woman should respect a man's, free will, to follow his conscience. Likewise, a woman should form a good conscience, and follow hers. If they disagree, in matters of 'faith and morals', then they should seek clarification of the Catholic teaching.

I've always heard the men in my family say, it's a blessing to marry an educated woman. And I think the same of men--that it's a blessing for a woman to marry an educated man. (((Education is a 'blessing', if it's used well.)))
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