divorce

OECD Better LIfe Index

A “Better Life Index” that Ignores What Makes for a Better Life

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization made up mostly of industrialized countries “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” It emphasizes its commitment to a market economy, democratic rule, economic growth, and environmental well-being. In 2011, it launched its “Better [...]

The Impoverishment of Liturgical Culture

On his flight back from the Holy Land recently, Pope Francis made it clear to the journalists he was addressing that he dislikes the discussion, and press coverage, of the prospects for the forthcoming synod on the family being focused mainly on the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried. What he wanted instead, [...]

What Cardinal Kasper Really Said About Divorce

A high profile debate is underway in the Catholic Church regarding communion for the divorced and remarried. As in most family quarrels, however, the real point of contention remains unacknowledged. Before pointing out the elephant in the living room, however, a little background is called for. Some Recent Developments Speculation has been growing for nearly [...]

What Jesus Said About Divorce

Pope Francis concluded his homily during the Canonization Mass of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II by invoking the intercession of the two new saints as the Church journeys towards the upcoming Synod on the Family. He finished his homily with the beautiful words, “May both of them teach us not to be scandalized [...]

The Family Crisis and Evangelization

On the flight home from the Holy Land, a journalist asked Pope Francis the running question, “What is going to happen with communion to the divorced and remarried?” Francis responded, “The Synod will be on the family, the problems of the family, the treasures of the family, the present situation of the family.... I have [...]

Kasper versus Kasper

Book-tours can be risky affairs. There’s always the chance you’ll say something during your tenth radio interview of the day which you retrospectively wish you’d phrased differently. Then there’s the possibility you’ll play up to a live audience and make some truly imprudent comments. In a few short May days in New York, Cardinal Walter [...]

Divorced and Remarried are Called to Heroism…

The universal call to holiness is considered by many to be the most important development of the Second Vatican Council. The main location of this call is the fifth chapter of the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium: Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank [...]

…But Should They Live Together?

The two upcoming synods of bishops on “The Pastoral Care of the Family in the Context of the New Evangelization” needs to discuss many serious topics other than communion for the divorced and remarried.  I hope they revisit the standard recommendation that couples in invalid second “marriages” should “live as brother and sister.” This is [...]

Remedying the Divorce Culture

Divorce is more common in my extended family than in society at large. My childhood home was a broken home. This experience fostered within me attentiveness to both the often-difficult circumstances faced by couples today and the Church’s teaching related to marriage and divorce. Over the last few months divorce, remarriage, and reception of the [...]

A Rival Good to God’s: On Cardinal Kasper’s Divorce Proposal

Divorce and remarriage looms large in one of the greatest Catholic novels of the last century.  The narrator of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder, is in love with Julia Flyte, and the two plan to cement their happiness by marrying once their respective divorces are finalized.  Julia begins to have doubts when her brother [...]

St. John Fisher, Marriage, and Moral Absolutes

In his October 2013 article on the question of communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Cardinal Gerhard Müller underscored that the Catholic Church had risked much to uphold Christ’s teaching regarding true marriage’s indissolubility. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith singled out the fact that Catholicism had suffered the [...]

Why We Need More Canon Lawyers

We’ve all known administrators who were hired to do a certain job, but when they found they couldn’t do that job, they either tried to do everyone else’s job or else tried to change the job into something else completely.  This problem is not uncommon, for example, among functionaries who do fund-raising for colleges.  They [...]

Fecundaphobia: On the Fear of Large Families

The pharmacist was eyeing me strangely, and it was making me nervous. I glanced down at my clothes, then surreptitiously ran my tongue over my teeth. Then I noticed his eyes moving between me, my prescription, and the baby who was sitting on my hip. Suddenly I understood. Based on my prescription, he knew that [...]

Is Schism Inevitable in Germany?

The crisis in the Catholic Church in Germany declared itself 45 years ago with the “Königsteiner Erklärung,” a declaration of the bishops regarding Humanae Vitae in 1968. Therein they toned down the Church’s teaching, leaving it up to the conscience of individuals to decide whether to use contraception or not. The Austrian bishops did the [...]

The Future of Marriage Reconsidered

Among American conservatives it seems to be common knowledge now that marriage is on the rocks. According to the Pew Research Center, just over half of American adults 18 and older are now married. This is a record low, and most indicators suggest that marriage is continuing to decline. In many demographics, co-habitation and illegitimacy [...]

The True Face of “Happy Divorce” is Quite Ugly

A feature film now in theaters tells the story of children devastated by divorce and the story of middle-aged adolescents living almost exclusively for themselves. The Way Way Back is the story of teen-age Duncan, who spends part of a summer at a beach house with his mother Pam, her boyfriend Trent and her boyfriend’s [...]

Same-Sex Parenting: Child Abuse?

Emotional abuse can be as bad as physical abuse. Any young person who’s heard the words, “I wish you were never born,” understands that adults can inflict tremendous damage on their dependents without leaving the slightest bruise. One of the worst parts of abuse is society’s refusal to see the injustice. Emotional abuse is particularly [...]

Preparing for Marriage: A Bride’s Checklist of Questions and Answers

June, they say, is the month for weddings.  If you’re involved in one this summer, as mother, father, bride, groom, or friend, you’re probably buried in lists.  There are: the cakes to be baked, the flowers to be cut, the guests to be fed, the speeches to write, and (some of) the aunties to avoid.  [...]

What Jesus Really Said About Sins of the Flesh

I have often heard it said that our Lord did not care overmuch about sins of the flesh; for He was relentless in his attacks upon hypocrisy, pride, and avarice, but was so mild towards adulterers and fornicators that we might, extrapolating from that mildness, so far dispense Christians from the strictures of the sixth [...]

How the West Really Lost God

A few weeks ago Mitt Romney spoke at a college commencement exercise and encouraged the graduates to marry early and have a lot of children. He used the words “quiver full” taken from the Old Testament. The comment was unremarkable, particularly for a Mormon to make. They are known for marrying early and having quivers [...]

Why We are Losing the Gay “Marriage” Debate (and How We Can Start Winning)

Gay activists tell us that "gay marriage is inevitable."  It’s a taunt devised to pick off the more faint-hearted clingers-on of traditional marriage by exploiting the human instinct to be on the winning side. And all too often, it works. Traditional marriage advocates rightly protest that this isn’t an argument. Nothing, they say, is 'inevitable' [...]

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