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Pope: Fear of divorce stops people getting married

Young people don’t get married because they are worried about divorce and the risk of failure, according to Pope Francis.

Speaking in St Peter’s Square this week he said that the situation was indicative of the “cycle of family breakdowns plaguing the West.”

He pointed to the fact that many people prefer to cohabit rather than marry and that our society as a whole needed to think very hard about why so many young people are turning away from the institution of marriage and the family.

He commented that marital breakdown had a huge effect on children and that the risk of failure has caused many young people who may be influenced by seeing their own parents go through a divorce to reject the idea of marriage and the family. He said that we living in a culture where “everything is temporary, and it seems that nothing is permanent.”

Seventy eight year-old Pope Francis acknowledged that economic factors were important in people’s life decisions but they were not at the root of why young people have turned their back on marriage. Many people have commented that the high price of weddings over recent years may play a big part in people’s decisions to stay single or chose to live together rather than formally tie the knot. The Pope also vehemently rejected any suggestions that the rise of feminism was a factor in young people not marrying, saying that such suggestions were insulting to women

In the same speech, Pope Francis also called for pay equality between men and women saying that they have the “same rights” and calling it a “scandal” that women often earned less than men. The comments have been welcomed by many commentators around the world.

Photo courtesy of Catholic Church (England and Wales) via Flickr

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  1. Andrew says:

    Elderly bachelor poses as expert on marriage . . . but he’s not entirely wrong, and I will leave it to the usual suspects to apply his comments to the English law and practice in divorce.

  2. russell armstrong says:

    Hmm let me see, fear of failure is a reason that ppl don’t get married?
    Rubbish, ppl don’t think that far ahead most times and why fear of failure for marriage? why not cohabitation, if that relationship breaks down that’s a failure just the same isn’t it?
    No my bet is the reason ppl (or men specifically) don’t get married is because the fear of the courts system shafting you and giving as much of the pot of money over to the woman as she can get.
    In this life there is such a thing called a gold digger, the diggers live in all walks of life and at all income levels, they just want to get up to a higher level than they currently are (Gold diggers can also be men).
    So to prevent a potential gold digger getting her hands on your money through the divorce process you co-habit. The system has kept on shafting those who are higher earners (in the guise of being “fair”) this way for too long now and society is waking up to it. Someone says this is the law if you do it that way, you don’t like or agree with that and can do it another way then you do it another way.
    Now I know Marylin has been going on a bout limited “protection laws” for co-habitees. Well if they don’t like the law and the other person wont marry and they find that “unfair” then be a big girl or boy and find someone else to settle down with.
    Don’t try and impose laws where none are needed
    PS I am now married with one child but thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t married to the person who I had a previous child with!
    In the words of the late great Robbin Williams (RIP) who I believe said
    “Divorce, it’s like having your heart torn out through your wallet”

  3. Nordic says:

    Much as I would like to blame falling marriage rates on English family law, I am not sure that holds water as a general proposition beyond these shores.
    Many other European jurisdictions do not exhibit the blatant gender bias so rampant in our system. A male divorcee in any of the Nordic countries, in Germany, France, Holland etc can expect a broadly fair and gender neutral treatment with respect to financial matters. You have to go deep south and east in Europe to see anything like we have here (or 50 years back in time). Also, most of the above jurisdictions have legally binding regimes for asset division, so the parties know what they commit to upon marriage (unless they moved to this jurisdiction later in which case all bets are off).
    If this was all down to family law, marriage rates in this country should be much lower here than in other parts of North Western Europe. They are not.

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