Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Facts and figures: On mixed (religion) marriages

The latest (that is, June 2010) edition of Life, Marriage & Family News (the useful e-mail newsletter of The Archdiocese of Sydney's Life, Marriage and Family Centre) linked to a website with the following information:

Family Life Office personnel who coordinate marriage preparation in the Cincinnati archdiocese estimate that about 46 percent of new marriages are between Catholics and other Christians. National statistics are more elusive. Faithful to Each Other Forever, a 1989 handbook for marriage preparation issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, indicates that 40 percent of American Catholics now enter interreligious marriages (not necessarily marriages between Catholics and other Christians, but between one partner who is Catholic and one who is not).

Regional figures vary greatly, according to Father Kilcourse. In the South, where the Catholic population is small, those statistics often climb as high as 75 percent, while in areas with a high Hispanic and traditionally Catholic population, the percentage plunges.

[...] Still, the numbers represent such a surge over the past 20 to 30 years that Church leaders struggle to name and define the phenomenon.

The corresponding figure for The Diocese of Wollongong is similarly disturbingly high:

According to the 2006 Census, 60% of Catholics in the Diocese (aged above 25) were married, with 58% of these marriages between one Catholic and one non-Catholic.
[p. 7,]

Presumably the high rate of mixed marriages in the post-Vatican-II period is an important factor in the loss of large numbers of young people from the practise of, or even belief of, the Faith; even were the issue from such marriages to have soldily Catholic parishes and schools the home situation would undermine the efforts of those institutions. The prospects for establishing the Social Reign of Christ, with its requirement that the populace be united in the Faith, would be bleak enough at present, even without the problem of society's basic cell, the family, not even being united in the Faith even when at least one spouse is Catholic. (And worse still, when Conciliar Catholics regard the latter disunity as something to celebrate, something 'ecumenical'.)(If I had more time I'd do a full-length critique of the first web-page, but the problems with its tone are obvious enough anyway.)

Reginaldvs Cantvar

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