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 NBCC Featured Article

To Marry or Not To Marry
- That is the question!

Bishop Joseph N. PerryBefore I was appointed a bishop of the Catholic Church, I worked eighteen years in the Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee that handled judgments on failed marriages of individuals who desired contact with the Church following a divorce and/or hoping for a church approved second marriage.

I estimate that in that time period our canonical services handled about twelve thousand marriage cases. I was inspired by the many men and women who came to the office to tell the church about their hopes and dreams, failures and hurts.

The Church continues to bring enormous resources and personnel to the ministries of marriage preparation and marriage enrichment as evidenced by our recently revised procedures, titled, In the Spirit of Cana, the Archdiocese of Chicago's Pastoral Outreach to Christian Marriage: Formation, Preparation, Celebration and Continuing Education. Check out:

Marriage ministry is a ministry of great strides and anguish; great strides for the desires of clergy and couples to improve the faith of engaged couples and individuals we work with, and great anguish in face of the rates of unsuccessful marriages and family breakdown and current trends to re-define marriage outside of its traditional heterosexual construct.

We are also aware of the popular trend to live together without marriage and the option taken by many young couples not to marry in the Church. All this would seem to point, in some part, to a lack of faith in marriage and family life being the foundational support of society and the church. One can speculate endlessly on the causal factors behind these trends.

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To Marry or Not To Marry - That is the question!

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