Unholy Communion?: Catholic college cancels singles events because they promote dating

As if Valentine’s Day wasn’t hard enough for singles, one Catholic college in Hong Kong is doing its part to make it even harder by canceling a series of singles mixers because “the school does not want to promote the idea of students dating.”

(By the way, if you’re already paired up, check out our list of places for that romantic dinner in case you forgot to book one, because of course you did.)

The Caritas Institute of Higher Education is a Catholic post-secondary college that offers students bachelor degrees and vocational certifications. It began in 1985 by offering vocational diplomas in subjects like childcare and social work and, since 2010, also offers bachelor degree programs in business, computing, social work, nursing, and social sciences, among others.

News of the event’s cancellation was announced on the student union’s Facebook page on Sunday.

According to the post, the student union was planning on hosting a series of matchmaking events called “Caritas Cupid” from Feb. 11 — Feb. 15.

However, the student union wrote that the college’s student affairs office didn’t approve of the event because the activities encouraged students to date and fall in love.

The post goes on to add that the student union tried to change the name of the event so that it could go ahead, but the college still refused, which resulted in the event being canceled.

News of the event’s cancellation has been doing the rounds on Facebook, with netizens leaving bemused comments such as “is this an elementary school now?” and “does this mean staff at Caritas are unmarried as well?”

Some claimed the college’s move to ban the gathering was un-Christian, while others pointed out that the actual Valentine was a 3rd-century saint recognized by the Catholic church (who was beaten, stoned, and beheaded! romantic!). Still others quoted Bible passages, specifically Genesis 2:18, in which God himself seems to acknowledge that being single is a bummer: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'”

Others argued that cancelling the event could have the opposite of the desired effect and encourage more students to date. Meanwhile, one person, who claimed that they donated money to the school, maintained: “Falling in love is an important stage in a person’s growth and it is itself a practice of faith, it teaches you to take up social responsibility, and also teaches you how to deal with feelings.”

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