Civil marriages


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.

One Comment

  1. I refer to your suggestion that Catholic priests should be married in order to solve the problem of child abuse in that church. I’m afraid, sadly ,that would not entirely solve the problem. I understand, from what I have read in a medical journal, that sexual attraction to children is, in fact, a biological bias in the same way as homosexuality and heterosexuality. A person can be married and still have this bias. Researchers have actually found the location in the brain which mediates sexual attraction and its bias. I have read the personal stories of people who, realising that they are attracted to children, are more than careful around them.
    Tragically there are those to whom the temptation is too great.

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