Manhating Catholic Style

January 1, 2019

A woman follows me to the door of the church. I hold the door open for her. Thereupon she veers off to the adjacent portal, leaving me standing there. As a bonus to this rejection of gentlemanly courtesy, her action communicates to onlookers who don't know me that whoever I am, I am someone to be avoided.

It's rough for a gentleman these days. I spend a lot of time walking city streets and riding public transportation. That way I see a lot more of life than those who drive from the suburban cocoon to the office cocoon. Or who live in the rectory cocoon. Men, particularly if they hold their heads up and walk with confidence (which fewer and fewer men do) often attract glares from women and suffer deliberate acts of rudeness. Chivalry is becoming pointless. Only about half of women -- that half all in their 20s and 30s -- acknowledge chivalric acts such as letting them go first.

A man better watch himself when he's crossing the street. It was no surprise to me when on June 1, 2018, a 51-year-old Maine woman tore through a boys minor Little League game in her car, killing a 68-year-old man.(1) I knew it was an attack on males doing a masculine thing. You can expect more such female assaults against men.

As most Catholics are not that different from everyone else, there is a Catholic version of manhating. How bad is it? Don't ask the practicing Catholic guys who are married with kids and are thus in the parish family and school cliques. Certainly don't ask the priests. Ask a single guy who has, without success, been hoping for, working for and seeking a spouse within the Catholic church for over 20 years.

He will tell you that more and more practicing Catholic women are not interested in courtship and marriage. Like their secular sisters, they prefer to have emotional symbioses with dogs, cats and other women.

While young people are bailing on the church, while, in Bishop Robert Barron's mid-2018 assessment,(2) six are leaving the church for every one who enters, practicing Catholic women are mimicking society at large and contributing to the depopulation of the faith by avoiding men, marriage and children. A lucky pastor in an affluent suburb may look out over his congregation and see families with 3-5 kids, but the traditional family is also disappearing in the Catholic church as it is in society at large.

What's really bad is that many of these women are great, faithful, prayerful Catholics who go way beyond 50 minutes a week.

What's really bad is that many of these women are great, faithful, prayerful Catholics who go way beyond 50 minutes a week. They would make terrific Catholic wives and mothers, builders of the domestic churches that nurture faithful souls for the church universal. Worst of all is that some of the very best have been convinced that staying single is some kind of vocation.

As Jesus promised, "the gates of Hades will not prevail against [the church]" (Matthew 16:18 NRSV). However a church with fewer Catholics is a weaker church. Paradox-happy preachers preach that weakness is strength and defeat is victory and darkness means light. But they don't know their Church History and they are generally wrong. A church with fewer members has little if any presence in the public square. A church with fewer members has little light to hold up against the darkness that is spreading over civilization. Yes, the church may, like a dogwood tree, be barren and then suddenly spring back to life with more branches and leaves than ever. But while its life is hidden there is waste and loss. A church with fewer members saves fewer souls.

Catholic Population Bust: The Numbers

For years conservative, Catholic thinkers have been warning that Europe and North America are committing demographic suicide. In 2018, the deathrate (5.3 Million) overtook the birthrate (5.1 million) in the European Union.(3)

In the U.S. the birthrate has been drifting downward for decades. In 2016 the total fertility rate (the number of babies women on average have) had fallen to 1.8 babies per 1,000 women. In order to replace a generation, the total fertility rate must be 2.1 per 1,000 women.(4)

Catholic Wedding

Since 1960, the percentage of U.S. adults who were married has declined from 72% to around 50% in 2017,(5) in which year about 61% of adults under 35 are living without a partner, up from 56% in 2007 (6)

A 2007 study by the Center for Applied Research in The Apostolate (CARA) confirmed that because Catholics aren't that different from everyone else, they're aiding and abetting the unchurched of the post-Christian West and retrenching the Catholic church (such as it is). The study found that Catholic marriage proportions "are generally similar to those for the U.S. population as a whole," (7) with 53% percent of adult Catholics being currently married. Of survey respondents who were asked how likely they thought they will get married, 29% answered very likely. The remaining 71% were not so determined, with 25% saying somewhat likely and 45% answering "A little likely" (21%) or "Not at all likely" (24%). (8)

In July 2018, the latest version of CARA's Frequently Requested Church Statistics (9) tabulated that there were approximately 144,000 Catholic marriages in the 2017 column, down from 261,000 in the 2000 column and 426,000 in the 1970 column. The July 2018 statistics also revealed that since 2010, there has been a net loss of about 700 Catholic elementary schools and 9 Catholic colleges.

The "Church of Nice" is not

Some of the manhating Catholic style is as blatant and rude as what happens on the street. Some it is the natural result of a feminized church. Some of it, as I hinted above, pretends to be holy endeavor.

The insults don't stop at the church door. At the Mass I regularly attend, two of the three female so-called "greeters" never greet me. They eagerly throw open the church doors for any approaching women. Nine times out of ten, at the Sign of Peace (at any Catholic church I go to), I am snubbed by at least one woman within handshaking distance. (10)

What kind of people won't even give me any consideration for being a fellow human being in church? The Sign of Peace is preparatory action for receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. That some Mass-goers refuse to acknowledge other Mass-goers shows how the former are untransformed from mere sinners to sinners who are working on their flaws, how they are not properly dressed for the wedding feast (Matt. 22:11-14). Why should I respect people like this? Why should I care if they get angry or hurt and leave? Why would I want more people like them joining my church?

The "Church of Nice" is not nice to guys. Over centuries the Roman Catholic church has become a feminized institution wherein the priests and women team up against the men.

Dare one speak of the Roman Catholic church as "feminized," one is bound to get a laugh and be set down as crazy. How can the church be "feminized" when the priests are men, when the Order of Melchizedek is closed to women? Dr. Leon Podles answers that question beautifully in his insightful and fascinating 1999 book, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity(11): "Modern churches are women's clubs with a few male officers....The men have the priesthood, the women have everything else."

Podles attributes the pairing off of priests and women against the men to priests being effeminate and uncomfortable around other men. While that is often true, even the masculine priest can fall to favoring women. This is simply because women fawn over priests. Women bring feminine touches and smiles that an unmarried man can really miss.

A priest friend of mine, now deceased, complained to me of beautiful young women practically trying to seduce him. As a layman he hadn't had much luck with dating and he wondered, "Where were they before I became a priest?!"

To women priests are like safe boyfriends. An old-maid who never so much as squeaks at a layman will hold the confession line up twenty minutes, running her mouth at Father.

In the pronouncements of priests and popes, the old lie "sugar and spice and everything nice" is transformed into eloquent encomium. One example -- Well, perhaps not so eloquent -- from the current pontiff (2018), Francis the Feckless, is, "Look, in the church women are more important than men, because the church is a woman...The church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests."(12)

The church as a whole may indeed be a "bride," but it escapes the Holy Father that men are also part of it.

Faith-based Manhating

"Men get germs under their fingernails from masturbating," a stallholder at the industrial fair hosted by the March For Life told me something I didn't know. She gave me a little booklet entitled, pace Jane Austen, Sense & Sexuality.

In the 2010s, the priest/woman alliance maintains its bonds by trashing men. Men are pornography addicts. Men avoid commitment. Men abandon their families. Even some of the various programs that have been cooked up to evangelize men buy into the idea that all men are unfit for marriage.

Viewed through church windows back in the 1840s, all men were supposedly drunkards. It's not that pornography and abandonment are not big problems in 2018. They are, just as alchoholism was a big problem in 1848. However it is destructive and anti-marital to behave and speak as if these problems are every man's problems. I treat of the complexity, inflation and distraction of the pornography issue in Pornography, Pets, Girlfriends: A Different Catholic Perspective on What's Killing Marriage (13).

Professor Anthony Esolen is among the few who are aware of faith-based manhating. "Churches have collapsed into hobby houses for girls and old ladies," he writes (14). Concerned about how feminization impinges on the priesthood, Esolen has also written in his sarcastic "How to Kill Vocations in Your Diocese,"(15), "Never suggest that the Church needs men for anything. Make 'man' into an obscenity. Never suggest that fathers and mothers play complementary roles in the family."

As it turns out, men are not only necessary for siring more potential Catholics, they're also indispensible for nurturing actual Catholics. In a article and in his book,(16) Stephen Wood refers to two studies. One, conducted by evangelicals, concludes "If dad is the first in the family to become a Christian, there's a 93 percent probability that everyone else in the family will follow his lead." The other is a Swiss (Go figure!) study about transmission of faith: 'If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular).'"

I could have met someone like her only at weekday Mass. After a couple of years of walking and talking with her, I realized that I was more in love than I had ever been in my life.

Even Vern L. Bengston's very technical Families And Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generations, which avoids emphasizing the importance of fathers, admits on pp. 76-77 that "for religious transmission, having a close bond with one's father matters even more than a close relationship with the mother." (17)

Hand in hand with never suggesting that the church needs men for anything goes never acknowledging or appreciating when men do something. The twenty years I spent volunteering (lector, choir and other things, one of which included finding a lost child (18), years that I could have spent earning Masters and Ph.D.s or writing books etc., never won me a firm place in anyone's heart.

Unnatural relations

It amuses and dismays me how single practicing Catholic women in my area find each other and clump together like raindrops on a windshield. I've noticed how older single women exert effort to befriend younger women. It reminds me of the practice in ancient Greece of mature men taking in boys for instruction or whatever.

Some of the older women, I suspect, are trying to atone for their own pasts by promoting chastity among their younger counterparts, which encouragement transmits the misandry. One hears about "recovering chastity" like it's a 12-step program.

I'm also reminded of St. Paul's Letter to The Romans where in Chapter 1, he writes about exchanging natural relations for the unnatural. Single women, even in middle age, spending all their time with other single women is not natural. It is fallout from the sexual revolution.

For reasons I wrote of in Porn, Pets, Girlfriends etc., once a single woman starts hanging around with other single women, she is pretty much out of the marriage pool.

Fixing a girlfriend up with a guy? Forget about it. "There are a couple of nice guys at 5 p.m. Mass you ought to meet," will never be uttered poolside. The groupthink is that there are no nice guys worth meeting, even at Mass.

By the way, here's a shortcut to recovering chastity: You confess your sin, say the Hail Mary and henceforth avoid having sex outside of marriage. If you really want to overdo the atonement, do something to allay your girlfriends' fear of men and bring single Catholic men and women together. Play the matchmaker. Fix people up. Host parties and dinners for single Catholic men and women.

Consecrated virginity! Isn't that great?!

I could have met someone like her only at weekday Mass. After a couple of years of walking and talking with her, I realized that I was more in love than I had ever been in my life. A solidly pro-life, conservative Catholic woman is a rare pearl of great price in Washington, DC.

We went out for after-work drinks a few times. I knew that I was under her skin, too. To be offered a cheek for a kiss and to hear someone like her ask as we parted, "See you soon?" brought me very close to tears on the sidewalk. I thought that I had at last met the consolation for all the long years of disappointment.

Catholic Wedding

From talking to her and checking her out, I suspected that she had some ties to one or both of the parallel churches (less politely known as "cults") that are active and prosper in the D.C. area. It then became apparent that a third party was aware of our friendship. My friend became clearly apprehensive about us being spotted together. I contacted her about another get-together after work and she came back with: I've been talking to my spiritual director about you and I can't see you any more.

Until that awful moment I had figured that the big cults with Latin names presumptively implying that they are specially ordained by God -- His Reign, His Work -- were just bunches of harmless weirdoes. If one couldn't stomach their members' often irritating quirkiness, one could simply avoid them. This disaster screamed otherwise. It proved that the repeated testimony about cults is true: They manipulate members through so-called "spiritual direction." They pry into members' business. They interfere with members' relationships. They tell members whom and whom not to date.

Catholic cults are only interested in themselves, not in the church universal. Between their desire to exploit single women for money or labor and their weird ideas about celibacy and running up scores of "vocations," cults capitalize on fear and loathing of men and try to convince as many female members as they can not to date at all. The cults are the biggest pushers of "vocations" that don't involve marriage or religious life as habit-wearing sisters in convents. I address this in The Single Vocation: Why It's A Lie and in Parallel Churches and The Benedict Option: My Experience With Cult-like Institutes in Washington, DC.

The crime of these whitewashed tombs is aggravated manyfold because, by projecting carefully honed images of orthodoxy and holiness, by pretending they're THE ANSWER to the church's and the world's woes, they snare these great Catholic women I described above, such as my friend.

With their gift for confidently asserting that up is down, cults have actually brainwashed women into thinking that staying single somehow strengthens the family. In these days of rampant unchastity, the Catholic media goes along with bogus vocations -- Consecrated virginity! Isn't that great?! -- but as more Catholics awaken to the depopulation of their church, no one will be thanking parallel churches and the women they deceived into avoiding marriage.

I asked my friend, rhetorically, if her "spiritual director" was "another old maid." Catholics think of spiritual directors as priests. If the one who counseled against me was indeed a priest, he could have been a priest invested in some baloney that I wrote about critically.

However in these parallel churches, "spiritual directors" are just as likely to be laypeople, especially women, including at least one manhating woman who is jealous that her friend is getting attention. Whatever, that "spiritual director" was a chickensh*t pissant interfering with my life and doing the the devil's work.

I can make that beautiful, holy woman a better servant of God than any chickensh*t pissants can. She certainly can make me a better servant of God.


(1) Jessica Schladebeck, Maine man killed protecting young athletes after woman drives her car across Little League baseball field, New York Daily News, June 2, 2018.

(2) Barron, Bishop Robert, Getting out of the Sacristy: A look at our pastoral priorities

(3) Calvin Freiburger, Deaths overtake births in Europe, new stats confirm,, July 12, 2018.

(4) Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, Americans keep having fewer babies as U.S. birthrates hit some record lows,, June 30, 2017.

(5) Richard Fry, The share of Americans living without a partner has increased, especially among young adults, Fact Tank, Pew Research, Oct. 11 2017.

(6) Richard Fry, As U.S. marriage rate hovers at 50%, education gap in marital status widens, Fact Tank, Pew Research, Sept. 24, 2017.

(7) Mark M. Gray, Ph.D. Paul M. Perl, Ph.D. Tricia C. Bruce, Ph.D., Marriage in the Catholic Church: A Survey of U.S. Catholics (PDF), Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) Georgetown University Washington, D.C., October 2007, p. 13.

(8) Gray et al., Marriage in the Catholic Church: A Survey of U.S. Catholics, p. 106. How likely do you think it is that you will get married at some point in your life? [Respondents who have never been married] Not at all likely: 24%; A little likely: 21%; Somewhat likely: 25%; Very likely: 29%.

(9) Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Frequently Requested Church Statistics [up to 2017].

(10) The snubbers are almost always middle-aged women. Younger women (The JPII/BXVI generation) are happy to perform the sign. To be fair, senior men are also likely to turn up their noses instead of shake hands.

(11) Podles, Leon J., The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, Spence Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1999, 286 pp.

(12) NBC News, Pope: Workers Have 'Human Right' to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Sept. 28, 2015.

(13) Conway, Neal J.,Pornography, Pets, Girlfriends: A Different Catholic Perspective on What's Killing Marriage,, June 1, 2016.

(14) p. 63, Esolen, Anthony, Ten Ways To Destroy The Imagination of Your Child, ISI [Interollegiate Studies Institute] Books, Wilmington, Del., 2010, 256 pp.

(15) Esolen, Anthony, "How to Kill Vocations in Your Diocese,", Jan. 20, 2015. "Never suggest that the Church needs men for anything. Make "man" into an obscenity. Never suggest that fathers and mothers play complementary roles in the family. Never suggest that Jesus had something important in mind when He chose twelve men as his brothers. Suggest instead that to be a genuine Christian, a man has to stop being a man. Buy the silly feminist notion that Christian women have been "oppressed" for nearly two thousand years."

(16) Steve Wood, Why the New Evangelization Needs a Focus on Fathers,, 2014. The book is Legacy: A Father's Handbook for Raising Godly Children (Family Life Center, 2000).

(17) Bengston, Vern L., with Norella M. Putney and Susan Harris, Families And Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generation, (Oxford University Press, New York, 2013, 267 pp).

(18) Conway, Neal J.,"I Don't Want to Dance With You, Now or Ever": Reminiscences of a Perverted Catholic Singles Club,, June 1, 2017.

For Further Reading

Also by Neal J. Conway:

Pornography, Pets, Girlfriends: A Different Catholic Perspective on What's Killing Marriage

The Single Vocation: Why It's A Lie

Parallel Churches and The Benedict Option: My Experience With Cult-like Institutes in Washington, DC

"I Don't Want to Dance With You, Now or Ever": Reminiscences of a Perverted Catholic Singles Club