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Synod: The Church in the Netherlands looking for solutions to high divorce rate

2014-10-16

One of the problems discussed by the Synod of Bishops is the growing trend of individualism in wester societies. 

CARD. WILLEM JACOBUS EIJK
Archbishop of Utrech (The Netherlands)
"In our society, some people have this idea that marriage or sexual relations are something that doesn't concern society or the Church. That it only concerns the choice of the individual on their own lives.”

The Netherlands is one of the countries with the lowest marriage rates in the world. In 10 years, the numbers of marriages in the Church have decreased from 6,000 to 3,000 a year. 

CARD. WILLEM JACOBUS EIJK
Archbishop of Utrech (The Netherlands)
"Many couples, even those of Catholic origin, live together. They live together without marrying and many times even without a civil marriage.”

The Dutch government provides significant support for families and is one of the countries with the highest quality of life in Europe. But, at the same time, has an almost 40% divorce rate and a great indifference towards marriage. 

CARD. WILLEM JACOBUS EIJK
Archbishop of Utrech (The Netherlands)
"Many Catholics who have married in the Church, later on do not try to solve their situation. They do not try to obtain an annulment and this is a worrying aspect. People do not have the tendency anymore to see if their first marriage was null and seek a new marriage in the Church. A marriage that is valid.”

But the Synod is not only focusing on the problems. Many possible solutions are coming to light. One example is the Archdiocese of Utrech, where older married couples help young couples discover married life and how to overcome difficulties. 

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