Study: “Red” states have higher divorce rates

Details:  It may seem counterintuitive, but divorce rates are higher in religiously conservative “red” states than “blue” states, despite a Bible-based culture that discourages divorce. In a new study titled “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates,” which will be published later this month [Read More...]

“It’s cardinal v. cardinal”…

John Allen (still at NCR for a little while longer) takes a closer look at a story that made a splash late yesterday: A rift has seemingly opened between two cardinals with significant Vatican influence, as the head of the pope’s “G8” council of cardinals has suggested that the Vatican’s doctrinal czar needs to be [Read More...]

“The Roman Catholic annulment process needs a total overhaul”—UPDATED

A parish priest offers his perspective, from NCR:  The thornier annulments involve people who were not Catholics at the time and had absolutely no reason to get married in a Catholic church. Ironically, they have to go through a full legal process before a church tribunal. It is painful and pointless. They have to find [Read More...]

Behold, a truly formal wedding: everyone is wearing a tux

H/T to Kathy Schiffer for this picture: There’s more whacky wedding pictures, along with a reminder of why Catholics get married in church. I wrote about this subject two years ago, responding to a reader who was frustrated at not being able to have a wedding in a catering hall or a beach: It helps [Read More...]

Do you know a couple who got engaged over Christmas? Show this to them.

Some great insight from Tyler Ward in Relevant magazine: I used to think I had my stuff together. Then I got married. Marriage is great—but it rocked everything I knew. I quickly realized my basic goal in life, prior to getting married, was to simply remain undisturbed. This “disruption” came suddenly and was disguised as [Read More...]

More on divorce and communion: “There is no middle-ground”

From canon lawyer Ed Peters:  We live in pervasively antinomian times [editor's note: read about antinomianism here], and basic unawareness of law is all around us. Yet ignorance of what law is, of why we have it, and even of how one needs to talk about law in order to make good sense, hampers the [Read More...]

“I have never met anyone who has regretted seeking an annulment…”

Elizabeth Scalia has some thoughtful — and especially timely—words this morning on the subject of annulment reform:   Compassionate instincts aside, no serious Catholic should want (or expect) to see an erosion of our teachings, particularly as regards a sacrament instituted by Christ and definitively pronounced in scripture. At the same time, however, our brothers [Read More...]

Vatican official says communion for divorced and remarried Catholics will be discussed “without any taboos”

From Vatican Insider:  “A new approach needs to be taken with respect to the administration of the sacraments to remarried divorcees.” Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri is the prelate the Pope nominated Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Born in 1940, the Tuscan prelate has four decades of experience as a member of the Vatican diplomatic [Read More...]

German bishops defend position on communion for the divorced and remarried

From Catholic News Service:  Church officials in Germany defended plans by the country’s bishops’ conference to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, insisting they have the pope’s endorsement. “We already have our own guidelines, and the pope has now clearly signaled that certain things can be decided locally,” said Robert Eberle, spokesman [Read More...]

The Church faces a worrisome trend among Hispanic Catholics

Details, from The Arlington Catholic Herald:  Even though data show that 38 percent of U.S. Catholics are Hispanic, ministers face a worrying trend: The vast majority of Hispanics are married by a justice of the peace or not married at all. The reasons range from fear of compromising their legal status, to notions of “machismo” [Read More...]