Pope Francis: “Marriage today is considered a form of emotional satisfaction that can be modified at will…”

From CNS:  Pope Francis said contemporary ideas of marriage as an arrangement defined by personal needs promote a mentality of divorce, and he called for better preparation of engaged couples as well as ministry to Catholics whose marriages have failed. The pope’s remarks appeared in a message distributed Feb. 7 to Polish bishops making “ad [Read More...]

Well, look who’s in The Guardian!

It’s our own Elizabeth Scalia—turning into an international papal pundit—with some thoughts on Pope Francis, divorce, annulments and the sacraments:  This month…the pope will meet with the eight cardinals who advise him to discuss the pastoral care of the modern family, which has been wracked by divorce, redefined by secular interests and the sexual revolution, [Read More...]

Storage company offers “break-up protection service” for couples living together

Hunting for a radio station on the car during my recent trip to South Carolina, I heard this service being mentioned on the news and thought: Really?  Is this what we’ve come to? Yes. Seems so. From the Daily Mail in the U.K.: You’ve been with your boyfriend a year. You think he’s pretty swell. [Read More...]

“I have always had enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.”

How do you raise a large family today? Any parent will want to read this account in Quartz from engineer Francis L. Thompson: My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22.  I have always had a very prosperous job and [Read More...]

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...]