Tiger’s Finalized Divorce Gives Catholic Singles Pause


Look out, ladies: Tiger Woods is officially single again.

The fair Elin walked away from last week’s icy court meeting with $100 million (not the rumored $750 million), physical custody of their children, two Florida homes, a secluded island in Sweden and child support that could be as high as $20,000 a month.

The excruciating details that drove these two to split gives any Catholic single pause, underscoring the importance of prayerful discernment and thorough marriage preparation. Better to delay marriage than enter into a troubled union.

The Catholic Church stresses the gravity of divorce, which breaks natural law and introduces disorder to the family and society. “It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death,” the catechism states.

It unequivocally weighs in on “transgressions” Tiger confessed to, asserting:

“Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse, and undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents’ stable union.”

The catechism goes on to point out that there are victims of divorce, who deserve support, grace and prayer.

What do you think? Do we adequately support victims of divorce?

What insights have you gleaned from Tiger and Elin’s messy divorce?



  1. Elaine-275060 September 18, 2010 Reply

    I find the Tiger Elin divorce very sad sad sad,, Sad for Tiger because his swollen head, brought his family, and himself such shame. Sad for Elin because she was so very betrayed by her children’s father. They both need lots of us praying for them, to heal their wounded spirit.

  2. Elizabeth-51838 September 13, 2010 Reply

    Tiger isn’t Catholic. Why does this story concern us? He’s still married in GOD’S EYES!

  3. Jayne-91894 September 13, 2010 Reply

    Hey Marria555550, what did you mean by sniggers?

    • Carole-620128 September 13, 2010 Reply

      Snigger (synonym = snicker)

      Verb: to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner.
      Noun: a sly or disrespectful laugh, esp one partly stifled

  4. MaryKay-525259 September 13, 2010 Reply

    I think the Catholic Church neglects it’s divorced brothers and sisters and that is why so many have left to join the Evangelical Churches. In the Catholic Church you are made to feel like an outcast. Divorce is hell! I constantly hear people say “divorce is do easy now that is why so many people are getting divorced.” Not true, it is the most gut renching heart breaking hell you can be subjected to and people looking down on you just adds to the suffering.

  5. Michael-514065 September 11, 2010 Reply

    Sad. And unnecessary. Others have said it. With Gods grace it could have been avoided. A separation, counseling, therapy, re commitment, prayer, forgiveness. And real work into why he did what he did, what if any did his current wife do or not do. What assumptions were made. Divorce is NEVER the answer. Divorce is mostly a women initiated event. Over 80% of white educated women initiate divorce in the US. It is the same problem of suicide. A permanent solution to a temporary problem. Just because your child does something horrible does that mean you severe your relationship with them? NO of course not. We are all children of God and make mistakes. I pray for Tiger and Elin. They had a chance to solve their problems and grow. But society, and divorce always seem to be the answer.

    • Carole-620128 September 12, 2010 Reply

      Writing $20.00 in the checking register when you meant to write $200.00 and then bouncing a check is a “mistake.” Something you did that you did not intend to do and which you don’t intend to ever do again.

      Adultery is an action consciously made. It is not a “mistake.” It is a painful, disastrous and sinful choice. But not a mistake.

      I would not disown my child for making a mistake. I may; however, require my child to move out of the house if her intentional and purposeful acts were singularly at odds with Catholic doctrine. There is a considerable difference between a child whose actions are a mistake because they are young and the intentional act of choosing to engage in extramarital sex by a married adult. One is a mistake and the other is not.

  6. Marianne-68026 September 11, 2010 Reply

    Don’t criticize Elin for gettting a divorce. Tiger is the one that broke the contyract and it didn’t look like he was really trying to change. The wronged party should not have to be subjected to this type of life.

    • Carole-620128 September 11, 2010 Reply

      “but what happened to sticking with your spouse ‘for better and for worse’. Does our generation have any sense of commitment left?”


      “The divorce decision was far too quick! A good separation could have involved a spritual director, christian therapist and retreats. With time, maybe this hurt would have worked to their benefit by making them better spouses and parents”

      These comments, as well as others like them, are really nothing more than gossip dressed up in pious clothing. The truth is we know nothing about these relationships.

      Yes, separations, counseling, prayer … these things can change the course of a marriage. BUT – the commitment has to exist on the part of both parties in the marriage.

      Sadly, when you’re talking about infidelity you are dealing with the sin of pride. It is pride that makes someone (man or woman) engage in extramarital affairs. To do such a thing is an act of pure selfishness. Selfishness is born of pride.

      People so enmeshed in their own pride as to act in such a careless, reckless and self-centered manner are not, sadly, the type of person to stick around and actually do the incredibly hard work that it takes to rebuild a marriage.

      My ex-husband engaged in a 2-year-long affair and all of the hiding, lying and gaslighting that goes along with such actions. He caused irrevocable damage to our daughter. He even had the hubris to go to Confession and to Mass to receive the sacraments. He chided me consistently for not working our marriage as hard as he was – while he was actively cheating.

      We separated for 6 months to “work on our marriage.” Then he decided to ask me to reconcile (after his affair partner dumped him). Shortly after deciding to move back in and attempt reconcilation I discovered the infidelity. We then went to Retrouvaille. Six months after deciding to try to reconcile and 4 months after learning of the extent of his infidelity I was still trying, dialoguing, praying and doing whatever I could to hold my marriage together. Sadly, my husband wasn’t on board with the plan. He decided I could never truly forgive him and he stopped trying to work on our marriage.

      He continued to lie, to hide things and to have inappropriate on-line friendships with several women.

      Having had enough of trying to do it all myself, being lied to, being cheated on, being treated like the dirt beneath his feet – and tired of having my daughter witness me being a doormat – I chose to file for divorce.

      It was not a quick decision. It was not an easy decision. But I had to have financial protection for my child and I wanted to ensure child custody was settled legally.

      I am prayerfully considering the merits of petitioning for a Declaration of Nullity vs. the merits of continuing to live the sacrament of marriage while living separate from my estranged husband.

      We have no idea what Sandra or Elin did in order to come to the decisions they did. To speculate on whether or not they did the right thing, acted properly or acted hastily isn’t fair. We just don’t know.

      Honestly, it is this attitude that has made me sit in the very back pew and avoid the Blessed Sacrament. The idea of being judged by someone so harshly (and I have been) when they haven’t the facts is hurtful.

      Maybe we should spend more time praying for Sandra, Elin and the tens of thousands of people who are dealing with the pain of infidelity and less time trying to judge what they should or shouldn’t have done.

      • Theresa-110510 September 12, 2010 Reply

        Carole – God bless you. You have been truly doing everything you could to try to make your marriage work and God knows it. No one else can judge you here and shame on anyone calling themselves a Christian trying. The fact will always be that it takes two to make a marriage work; there is only so much one person can do. Trying to get an annulment might be the best bet; and try talking to a good caring priest about all you are dealing with. I applaud you girl and the way you are looking out for your children throughout all this.

        Michael – OMG, I cannot believe your comments! Have you ever actually been in a relationship! You are saying that ‘divorce is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.’ WTF? Do you know that marriage is a permanent commitment between two people; not 500? When a man cheats, not once, twice, but too many times for even him to keep track of – he is the one who has broken the contract and the woman cannot in any way consider herself responsible for this. He is the only one who needs to explain and try to fix things – on the crazy off chance it will be accepted by her. But this would probably only serve to drag out the divorce for years to come further hurting the children from the marriage and exposing them to God knows what. No, God does not expect this of women.

        You then go on to mention it could be discovered in counseling what ‘his current wife did or did not do’ as if, somehow, she deserved any of the actions he took based on how she acted. !!!!!!!!!! It is the responsibility of the unhappy partner in a marriage to discuss their concerns with their spouse; and even should the other person not take them seriously; there is NEVER an excuse for a partner to be unfaithful and leave the door open for the other to possibly get a deadly disease as the result of his extramarital activities.

        Yes; the men in these situations need prayer and serious help; but no woman has to accept this and I would think all Christian men would know this! And please – don’t even talk about suicide. The only thing that divorce and suicide have in common is the lack of love which caused them to happen. This is why we have to show love to others and know their story before assuming we can tell them how to live their lives. Michael given the attitudes you have about women, if you know any depressed people I sure hope you see they get other professional help; not rely on ‘help’ from you, or you could very well be seeing someone go through with the latter – depression is something a Christian should be able to recognize and help someone with when they witness it – but only possible to do if one knows how to love.

  7. Mercedes-623710 September 11, 2010 Reply

    The divorce decision was far too quick! A good separation could have involved a spritual director, christian therapist and retreats. With time, maybe this hurt would have worked to their benefit by making them better spouses and parents.

  8. Theresa-110510 September 11, 2010 Reply

    I commend both Elin Nordegren and Sandra Bullock for the grace they showed in not publicly attacking their husband’s while their marriages were breaking up very much for all of us to watch. Their ‘men’ left no hope for reconciliation with the actions they took; and both women had not only their children to consider, but the health of themselves – which, yes, does matter. God does not expect women to stay in abusive marriages. The Catholic Church cannot tell non-Catholics when and when not to stay in marriages; and we all know they give its own members annulments for far less reasons than sleeping with prostitutes in numbers too high to count (these men both need serious help!)

    I’ve heard men getting annulments granted just because their first wife became too old and they didn’t realize the effects the years would have on her, and simply wanted a new model. Church understood that; wishes granted. (!!!) Bottom line to the Church is if the new marriage is even remotely possibly to result in the new couple going to Mass, sitting in the pews and giving them money and bringing their children (until they fall away at puberty); then that is all that matters to the Church. I heard of someone saying her husband married her to raise his children after his wife died; and when they grew, actually gave this as his reasoning to the Tribunal that he wanted to marry someone else, as she fulfilled the requirements he had in mind – the marriage should end, right? As he found out – right. (!!!) These are examples of why the Catholic Church are seen (rightly so) as being hypocritical in their views on marriage – and why many Protestants think we are a cult.

    What has to be remembered if we are to make a difference in the world is we have to show an example to the rest of it. It Catholic singles had community and married each other there would be less divorces; but the clergy for some reason are to lazy to ensure this. They are not following the teachings of Christ here – and annulments are being granted due to guilt it seems. We all would have a better chance meeting good Christians by going to community events with other Protestant Christian groups. Our prime responsibility is to save our souls; we need Christian community to keep us strong and give each other support.

    “What God has joined together let no man tear asunder.” What has to be remembered is that priests are men and as such are also prone to error. They are leading many souls down the wrong path today. We need to know our faith.

  9. Michael-233923 September 5, 2010 Reply

    While the actions of Tiger and Jesse James are atrocious…it saddens me that their wives’ sense of strength and empowerment means an automatic divorce. Because, as conventional wisdom goes, what self-respecting woman would stay with such a man…especially after such humiliation. We don’t know what went on behind closed doors…but what happened to sticking with your spouse ‘for better and for worse’. Does our generation have any sense of commitment left? I’m dismayed at how my peers seem to treat marriage (and everything for that matter!) as ephemeral, disposable, subject to the ever-shifting ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’. This dovetails with the story on ’emerging adulthood.’ Have we lost the virtue of commitment?

    • MaryAnne-253529 September 11, 2010 Reply

      I am troubled by many of the comments to this article, specially, “While the actions of Tiger and Jesse James are atrocious…it saddens me that their wives’ sense of strength and empowerment means an automatic divorce. Because, as conventional wisdom goes, what self-respecting woman would stay with such a man…especially after such humiliation. We don’t know what went on behind closed doors…but what happened to sticking with your spouse ‘for better and for worse’.”
      My ex flaunted his extra marital relationship, and became physically and emotionally abusive to both me and my children. He adopted the attitude that life owed him something and would often express “there has to be more.” I prayed he would see the value of our marriage and 2-great kids we had. Out life wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good. He threw it all away. If it were only me, I probably would have stayed – but both of my kids were having physical and emotional issues resulting from his negligent behavior.
      We (the kids and I) suffered through a long and painful divorce, and yes the real victims are the children. I am thankful God gave me the strength to get us out in time. It pains me to think of the emotional damage my marriage inflicted on my children, and I have prayed my son would not pattern himself after his father’s entitlement personality. At the time we separated, I vowed to live a chaste life and to be a good example to my kids. My ex never contribute a dime to their support.
      Here I am 8 years later, after putting both of my children through Catholic High School. My daughter through college and beginning her career as a 2nd grade teacher in a Catholic School. My son completed his Associates Degree and is now a married father with a beautiful baby boy.
      Please don’t be dismissive of Catholics who are divorced and of the Annulment process. Both are very painful and cause for serious inner reflection.
      Me? I’m still single and trying to live a Christian life. God is good, and if you open your heart to Him – He will give you the strength to overcome the highest obstacles.

  10. MaryLouise-596513 September 4, 2010 Reply

    I would hope that I have the support of my catholic brothers and sister after enduring 27 years of being battered phyically and emotionally in an effort to live up to my vows. My whole reason for trying to keep things together was to see my husband in heaven at the end of his life. One day I decided GOD would not want me live like that and decided to end that negative relationship. Its been a long journey raising 3 children on my own but with God’s help and a strong faith in his presence in my life I have come away from my previous life with peace.

    The children’s father passed away a year ago and I was able to get a priest to his bedside and perform the annnointing of the sick. I true blessing to me and a gift of forgiveness to our struggle. Suppport those of us who struggle, you never know what we deall with and how much your support is needed.

    • Judy-591283 September 4, 2010 Reply

      God bless you and your children.

    • Mary-611262 September 4, 2010 Reply

      Thank you MaryLouise, my story is very similar, I got out after 20 years, with the blessings of my family and the pastor of my church. I think people mean well but bottom line, they have no idea what the hell they are talking about. My 3 children and I are living a peaceful life now, something we well deserve. And..I think Elin deserves to be out of her situation and living a healthy life, she is lucky she did not get sick from him. As well, her children do not deserve to be involved in that mess. MY 2 cents!

  11. Iris-555199 September 4, 2010 Reply

    In my opinion no,the catholic church do not adequately or on any way support victims of divorce.

    • Espe-410886 September 5, 2010 Reply

      The “victims” of any divorce Iris, are, “the children.”
      I was in a physically abusive marriage but I would never have considered myself a “victim.”
      The power of prayer, forgiveness, and seeing the whole picture is so essential for healing.

    • Rosemary-589778 September 5, 2010 Reply

      The Bride Of Christ with her Sacraments, Sacramentals…The Mass, where Heaven comes down to Earth…Is this not all the help, anybody could need, to get through anything!

  12. Joseph-471564 September 3, 2010 Reply

    Money can’t fix every thing.

  13. Patricia-583968 September 3, 2010 Reply

    Tiger and Elin’s should have worked harder at a solution! Divorce is not the answer…..What God has joined together …….
    Divorce is also a huge problem in the Catholic Church……but instead of getting a quickie divorce one can get a quickie annulment! Whatever next!

    • William-612286 September 4, 2010 Reply

      Quicky Annulment? Careful Patricia-583968.The Church, The Bride of Christ teaches that an annulment states that God never “joined together.” The Church is the “Pillar and Ground of Truth”-1Tim 3:15, not you.

      • Rosemary-589778 September 5, 2010 Reply

        Sadly many catholics have been poorly catechized…And in their ignorance they are ever ready with their bag of stones

  14. Maria-555550 September 3, 2010 Reply

    It is impossible for anybody who has had his name in the papers more than twice in fine print, to go thru the court system for any reason without the news media making it into a humiliating, and stressful mess that may haunt the people and their children for a whole lifetime. This cruel scrutiny encourages conflicted couples to divorce, if only to try and save face and extricate themselves, instead of being able to work out their differences in private and possibly work toward reconciliation. The racist name-calling, the cruel jokes, the public shaming that has befallen Mr and Mrs Woods has been almost as intense as the sniggers and public pillorying that descended upon the Clintons for his silly dalliance. Small wonder that she wants to get out of this country! Both of them will probabaly be targeted by golddiggers for the rest of their lives, and their children may have to be trailed by bodyguards to protect them from kidnappers.

  15. Espe-410886 September 3, 2010 Reply

    It’s a very sad state of affairs and adultery has plagued man since the beginning of time but now, with so much “in your face” sex ads and the rapid decline of morality and not to mention homosexuality and prostitution now becoming the norm, what does society expect? Also, people living together w/out being married, and on and on and on.
    Society has been turning away from God and His commandments for the past fifty years now, the Catholic church no longer preaches about sin and hell, just “let’s all love one another.”
    We humans, especially Christians, cannot continue to follow this wide road to perdition but take the narrow road that leads to God, and that’s not easy but it’s the road that leads also to freedom, freedom from sin and where Christ also promises us His Peace to withstand whatever comes our way.

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