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