Catholics continue to have lowest divorce rates, report finds [CNA]

Washington D.C., Oct 1, 2013 / 05:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent studies on marriage show that while their rates of divorce are significant, U.S. Catholics are less likely to divorce than people of other religious affiliations.

“Although the Catholic ‘divorce rate’ is lower than the U.S. average it is still a daunting figure,” said the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

In a Sept. 26 blog post, the research group explained that divorce among Catholics “represents more than 11 million individuals,” many of whom “are likely in need of more outreach and ongoing ministry from the Church.”

In its article, the organization explained that different ways of tallying divorce and marriage rates create a range of different divorce figures, including the oft-quoted statistic that “half of all marriages fail.”

Looking at national surveys, “Catholics stand out with only 28 percent of the ever-married having divorced at some point,” the blog post stated, compared to more than 40 percent of those with no religious affiliation, 39 percent of Protestants and 35 percent of those of another religious faith.

Furthermore, Catholics who marry other Catholics are also less likely to divorce than Catholics married to people of other faiths.

A 2007 survey from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate estimates that only 27 percent of Catholics married to other Catholics have ever experienced divorce, compared to nearly half of Catholics married to Protestants or to spouses with no religious belief.

The organization also pointed to data showing that the number of annulments requested has continued to decline in the past two decades. In 1990, there was one annulment introduced for every 4.5 marriages, while in 2011, there was one annulment for every 6.5 marriages.

However, the decline in annulments has been accompanied by an even sharper decline in marriages celebrated in the Catholic Church. In 2011, the report found, less than eight percent of weddings took place in the Church.

Additionally, the report noted that 49 percent of Church annulment cases introduced globally in 2011 took place in the United States.

Monsignor Rick Hilgartner, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship, explained to CNA that many annulment  cases in the United States come about as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, “in order to validate marriages for those being baptized or received into full communion” in the Church.

He explained that compared to other countries where a majority of the population is already Catholic, conversions to Catholicism in the U.S. are more frequent, and therefore annulments in these cases are also more common.

Msgr. Hilgartner added that for those Catholics who are divorced and remarried outside of the Church, “many dioceses provide outreach and catechesis regarding annulments as a way to invite people to pursue the process so that they can be welcomed back to the Sacraments.”

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Full article…

This is the Catholic Culture version:*The divorce rate among American Catholics is significantly lower than among other religious groups, a new study has found.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University reported that national surveys show 28% of married Catholics have divorced. While that figure is “daunting,” CARA notes, it is significantly higher than the rates for Protestants (39%), other faiths (35%), and those with no religious affiliation (40%). The divorce rate is even lower among Catholics married to other Catholics.

The CARA study also showed a pronounced decline in the number of marriages ended by annulment—from 1 for every 4.5 marriage in 1990 to 1 in every 6.5 marriages in 2011. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church in the US still accounts for nearly half (49%) of all the annulments granted by Catholic tribunals worldwide.

In a troubling trend, the CARA study found a sharp decline in the number of marriages celebrated in Catholic churches.*catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=19231

Boy, talk about missed opportunity! This is a piece by Catholic News Agency reporting on sociological data amassed at a catholic university? And it’s the best they can do?

Why not study and investigate the divorce rate in marriages where both actually ATTEND mass regularly? Much lower, I’d bet. Then why not report the divorce rate of catholics who believe in and attempt to live by church teaching on family planning (contraception, IVF, sterilization, etc.)? From what I know that demographic would be low single digit.

Missed opportunity to show the benefits of submitting oneself to God’s plan for marriage.

And people wonder why we’re losing the marriage argument. :rolleyes:

Honestly!

The last two weddings I attended were not conducted in churches. Last weekend the brother of a friend got married in a working dairy barn. A couple of months ago we were invited to a wedding in an arboretum where employees told us they sometimes have several weddings a day.

As a good catholic I don’t believe in divorce. In this State you get six years for murder and you get to keep the house. Confession available every Saturday… My wife understands my beliefs and has been very good lately.

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