(Our Sunday Visitor) Editorial: Combatting the decline of Catholic marriages

….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.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

One comment on “(Our Sunday Visitor) Editorial: Combatting the decline of Catholic marriages

  1. Teatime2 says:

    The article correctly identifies the issues involved. Surely they know it’s going to take more than “hospitality,” don’t they? If the couple and their families are all devoutly RC, then it’s not a problem, of course.

    But if they’re not, then some big issues creep in — the non-Catholic party has to promise to raise the children as Catholics, there (ideally) cannot be “artificial” birth control used even in the face of maternal health issues, and there’s the second-class status given to non-Catholic Christians, which can make larger family spiritual gatherings (baptism, wedding, and funeral services) awkward. The whole, lengthy annulment process (which no other Christian Church requires) if it turns out this is not a union blessed by God is daunting, as well.

    If both parties cannot give full consent in good conscience to all that the RCC requires in a Catholic marriage then they shouldn’t marry in the RCC. And, apparently, they’re not. I’d say that’s being honest.