The number of civil marriage ceremonies in Italy has overtaken the number of church weddings for the first time – a major social shift in the once firmly Catholic country. As recently as 1970, only 2.3% of weddings in Italy were civil ceremonies. Last year, that proportion rose to 50.1%, according to official statistics. This is partly due to the rising proportion of marriages (currently 20%) where at least one spouse not Catholic. (The Week ).
Italians seem to be reacting to the corruption in the Catholic Church, and the difficulty it appears to be having with restraining its priests from abusing children, plus the stumbling reaction to world outrage. The fact is that Catholics are leaving in droves, which would be presumably not be so were the church to abandon celibacy, a doctrine that cannot be found in the words of Jesus and has more to do with church wealth than doctrine.
But who am I to wade into church doctrine? The formerly faithful are voting with their feet. Don’t feel sorry for the Vatican. Have you seen the incredible collection of artwork in the Vatican museum? Do visit, if you can. The sale of just a handful of masterpieces would fund the church for decades. Sad! We need someone to give us moral direction, particularly now.