….there is another fidelity crisis in the Catholic Church that is not only ongoing and gaining in strength, has potentially even greater long-term consequences and yet is virtually ignored and unremarked on: the radical decline in the number of Catholics marrying in the Church….
“Sometimes [marriage preparation] is not as conducive as it might be in showing hospitality and welcoming people to marry in church,” Msgr. James Tarantino, the San Francisco archdiocesan vicar for administration and moderator of the curia, told Catholic San Francisco.
Making marriage preparation programs more inviting (but no less challenging) is surely part of the solution. But for every couple that approaches the Church to marry, there are many others who never take even that first step. That suggests a much deeper problem: Many Catholics seem unaware of what the Church means by a sacramental marriage, of its opportunities for grace and its advantages over civil marriage.