March 4, 2010.
According to a study by the Institute for American Values, in 1970 about 79% of couples were married, but in 2008 only 57% of couples has exchanged vows. Other studies point out that about 49% of marriages in the U.S end in divorce.
In countries like Switzerland the percentage is around 64%, in France 43% and about 12 % in Italy. Msgr. Jean Laffitte
Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family“The state of marriages are different in every part of the world. That’s why preparing for marriage can’t be the same for India, the Philippines , Korea, Mexico, Africa, Europe, the U.S. or South Africa. In each one of these countries the situation is different and the issues they face are also different.”
To help couples get married and stay together, the Vatican is writing a guide to prepare couples get married and remain true to their love. Msgr. Carlos Simon
Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family“The manual was one of Pope Benedict XVI’s goals. It’s intent is to serve churches with a document that responds to today’s challenges that come with preparing youth for the sacrament of matrimony.”
The state of marriages is different according to the continent. That’s why, the Pontifical Council for Families is conducting an investigation with the collaboration of experts in psychology, law an sociology to learn about the real situation of the family structure around the globe. Msgr. Carlos Simon
Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family“There are common denominators among the different geographical regions, but they’re adjusted slightly to cater to the area, while still allowing the Church to sends it’s message to those who are on the path to receive the sacrament of matrimony.”
The manual is in its first preparation phase but the Vatican anticipates it will address key issues that couples will be able to take place before they say ‘I do’, which will change their lives forever.
Traditionally the Church provides guidance in order to help marriages last, both husband and wife must have clear doctrine on contraception, education of children and religious practice. Msgr. Jean Laffitte
Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family“A manual should be able to answer key question that all couples face, but above all I believe the main objective is to raise our voices, to say theological human hope that human love can last forever. "
What does getting married mean? What should one know to get married? Who can get married? And what does being married mean? Those are the question the manual will answer. But couples will also be asked to continue receiving formation during the first couple of years of their marriage to help them plant the seed of their happiness.
Msgr. Jean Laffitte
Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family“Being married means being part of an intimate communion for life, to love with the desire to forge an indissoluble communion open to life and the education of children. This will definitely be addressed in one way or another.”
The manual, which is expected to come to light in 2012, will not only help couples say ‘I do’ at the altar but mean ‘I do forever’.