I thought I knew what it would be like, but I had no idea. “You have an image that you portray to other people that you’re a good Catholic,” she said.“But to seek out and recognize how bad marriage problems really are, you need to talk about them.”Patricia explained the phenomenon to me.
Parejko said she’s skeptical about claims that assenting Catholics have a lower divorce rate.
“I’ve seen that the problem is just as bad for Catholics, and even what I call devout Catholics, as the rest of the country,” she said.
The president of a Catholic college known for its fidelity guessed that about 5 percent of the marriages of its alums end in divorce. Bible study is just not doing it.”Catholics can sometimes convince themselves that they aren’t part of the same culture as the rest of the world. Worse, a self-righteous faith can lull Catholics into a false sense of security, a new Phariseeism convinced that intellectual assent to the right doctrines — not our humility and God’s mercy — is what saves us.“They think they know everything there is to know about marriage,” said Father Brunetta, “and when they get there and discover it’s not what they expected, they don’t know what to do.
Whatever the number is, it looks awfully high to Catholics who see their friends splitting up. “When I saw the Catholic marriages in this country that are hurting, I wasn’t shocked — I was saddened. But we’re all part of the culture of immediate gratification that doesn’t consider long-term consequences. Most of us have easily dropped relationships, even family ones, to pursue careers and comforts. Shouldn’t faith steel the assenting Catholic against the culture? If we think the answer to the real day-to-day problems of our marriage is going to be found in a paragraph of Andie was a theology major, but it was Doug’s communications major that led him to full-time Catholic work later in life.
He is a judge and defender of the bond at the marriage tribunal at the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, where he’s involved in hundreds of Petitions for Declarations of Invalidity of Marriage (the technical name for an annulment).“My response can only be anecdotal,” he told me.
“But in the cases I’ve handled, I would estimate that in somewhere between 5 and 10 percent, at least one member of the couple made an effort to know, study, or follow the Church’s teachings,” he said.
“I have learned a lot since then through individual counseling.
Too many times, I will read something in a book only to look up to God and ask, ‘Why didn’t I read this five years ago?
The couples I spoke with were very aware of the high Catholic divorce rate.