Eight Threats to Marriage and What We Can Do about It

Eight Threats to Marriage and What We Can Do about It

By |2020-10-15T12:23:02-04:00July 13th, 2015|Categories: Marriage & Family, The Church on Marriage|Tags: , , , , , |


The latest attacks on marriage are fashioned by those who attempt to redefine the authentic definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships based on gender theory.

Threat #1: Wounded Human Nature

The Book of Genesis reveals that problems between men and women stem from the fact that our human nature is wounded by original sin.

Inclinations toward sin from our wounded human nature often lead to bad choices. For example, irrational tendencies can make healthy relationships between spouses difficult. Often couples marry with little or no thought or preparation. Too much attention is frequently paid to the wedding day and honeymoon, instead of the focus on a lifelong commitment. When difficulties come, as they inevitably do, couples are often too quick to separate.

Bad choices can be dictated either by pride, lust, power, or greed; yet, God tells even Cain that he has the ability to master his evil tendencies. (Gen. 4:7) Prayer and the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist are remedies for our wounded human nature. Through Penance we are absolved of our sins; through the Eucharist we are fed and strengthened to overcome our daily faults and avoid mortal sin.

The problems of our wounded human nature can be overcome.

Threat #2: Materialism and Secularism

Our wounded human nature makes things difficult enough, but our decadent, secularized culture exacerbates the devaluation of marriage. Since the 19th century, growing materialism, hedonism, and consumerism have contributed to a cult of selfishness.


States have adopted no-fault divorce laws that make divorcing one’s spouse easier. Celebrities who divorce and remarry multiple times serve as poor role models. The birth control pill contributes to marital infidelity. As a result, divorce rates, which climbed steadily throughout the 20th century, skyrocketed in the 1970’s reaching an all-time high of 40 per 1,000 married women in the late 1970s, since then declining slightly.

Today, the attack against marriage is even more basic – attempting to change the definition of marriage by rejecting God’s original plan. Even in the Church, there are those who, in the name of false mercy, would condone the violation of God’s plan for marriage by supporting contraception or allowing communion for those divorced and remarried without an annulment, or those who remain silent about same-sex “marriage.” Faithfully imparting the faith to the young, regular family prayer and a simple lifestyle can help us set and keep the right priorities.

Threat #3: Despair for the Future

Many people fear having children because their future seems so uncertain. They fear openness to children because they fear the loss of financial stability and independence.

At the root of this fear is a lack of solid faith and the misguided notion that a commitment is simply a constraint on freedom rather than an essential element of true love. Marriage is a true calling from God, Who calls the couple to a lifetime commitment. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, God gives His grace to perfect their gifts and strengthens them to carry out their responsibilities.

An exaggerated fear of the future may also stem from a lack of historical perspective, or paying too much attention to prophets of doom. Pope Francis has said, “There are those who say it is a mistake to bring these children into the world, due to their fragility, and the hunger and poverty they suffer. But children are never a mistake, and their sufferings are only reasons for us to love them even more.” Couples need to cultivate the virtue of hope to have more trust in Divine Providence.

In many developed countries delayed maturity is a contributor to despair. A growing number of young people suffer from what some call “Peter Pan Syndrome,” the desire to remain young and avoid responsibility. In terms of age they are mature, but they remain as adolescents in the emotional life and fear the challenges of life as an adult.

Fear of commitment and divorce leads many couples to choose to live together without marriage, but there can be no true love without total self-giving with a lifetime commitment as couples do in marriage. The Bishops of Kansas respond to the problem of cohabitation in the pastoral letter “Cohabitation Before Marriage.”

Pope Francis also warned against the “culture of the temporary,” which calls everything into question and leads to a superficial attitude toward the assuming of responsibilities. Often, couples postpone having children too long. As people age, their desire for children grows stronger; yet, they may no longer have the ability to physically bear them. People need to be warned that God is always willing to forgive, but nature never forgives.

Ah, we love each other so much, but . . . we’ll stay together as long as the love lasts. When it ends, we’ll each go our separate way. This is selfishness: when I feel like it, I’ll end the marriage and forget the “one flesh” that cannot be separated. It is risky to get married: it is risky! It is this egoism which threatens it, because we each have within us this possibility of a dual personality: the one that says, “I am free, I want this . . .” and the other which says, “I, me, to me, with me, for me . . . .” Selfishness always returns and does not know how to open up to others. — Pope Francis (2013)

This threat could be remedied when people, regardless of age, are challenged to embrace responsibility and taught the benefits of marital commitment and stability.

Threat #4 – Radical Feminism

For decades, authentic femininity, which is essential to marriage and family, has been under attack from radical feminism.

feminism symbol

The hard-fought movement for the authentic rights of women, thanks to America’s suffragettes like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, favored voting rights and the recognition of the equal dignity of women. They never advocated for abortion, for they saw it as an exploitation of women.

Unfortunately, what began as a legitimate campaign for women’s rights morphed in the mid-twentieth century, blurring the distinctions between men and women. The traditional role of women as homemakers and mothers was disparaged. Betty Freidan argued in her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique: “The only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own.”

Radical feminism now insists on the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions. This threat transforms culture by rejecting Natural Law, denying the ability to bring forth life, thus encouraging the violence of abortion, discrimination against children, and exploitation of the female genius.

To combat this radical feminism Pope Saint John Paul II said in Evangelium vitae “We must promote an authentic recognition of the dignity of women that acknowledges the unique gifts and vocations of both women and men.” We should work to bring about changes in society so that a woman who is called to marriage feels economically and psychologically free to stay home and raise children, and that her choice is appreciated.

Threat #5 – Homosexuality and Gender Theory

Gender theory activists strive to socially reconstruct roles based on transitory desires rather than on the actual, biological sexual characteristics that are foundational to marriage and family.

This ideology also threatens children as it denies the real differences between men and women, particularly regarding fatherhood and motherhood. Such a serious threat completely undermines the stability of the home. In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia in 2012 Benedict XVI warned: “The profound falsehood of this [gender] theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, which serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

Based on this erroneous theory, advocates demand changes in the civil law and even Church teaching. They seek to change the definition of marriage and call for “marriage equality,” which would treat natural marriages and same-sex unions as if they were the same; though, in fact, they can never be equal in reality.

As the Church clearly teaches, “Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.”  (#2333 CCC, emphasis in original)

The Church teaches that we must be sensitive towards persons who experience gender confusion and homosexual tendencies; but we must be clear that the homosexual orientation is a tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil “and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church bases teaching on Sacred Scripture, “which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law.” (CCC #2357)

Culture of LifeThe pressure to redefine marriage on the basis of a supposed equality between normal sexual orientation and the homosexual orientation damages society in many different ways. “Redefining marriage and the family denies children of the mother and father they need and deserve. The movement for “marriage equality” doesn’t stand for true equality under the law, but for forcing a complete reversal of natural and traditional moral norms. Since it is totally contrary to the natural order it must be imposed on society through unjust laws and personal attacks.”

Defenders of marriage must be aware the strategy of those who promote the homosexual agenda and refuse to be intimidated by their aggressive tactics. We must go on the offensive and boldly teach the truth with love whether it is popular or not.

Threat #6 – Mixed Faith Marriages

While the Church usually grants a dispensation permitting mixed-faith marriages, they are strongly discouraged. Even before considering the theological aspect of mixed marriage, the question should be asked: “How can a marriage survive when two people have fundamentally different views about marriage?”

When couples have different beliefs about the indissolubility of marriage or about openness to children or the raising of children in a faith, conflicts are bound to develop that may be very difficult to resolve. According to a study by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research, Catholics have a lower divorce rate than couples of other faiths. Mixed marriages are more prone to failure. Catholics who marry Protestants or non-religious spouses have a divorce rate of 49% and 48%, respectively. Catholics who marry someone of the Jewish faith have a 35% rate, while Catholics who marry other Catholics have a 27% divorce rate.

When we incorporate solid marriage preparation programs, we can fully educate people about the risks of mixed marriages and encourage healthy discussion about their basic views of marriage. We must educate couples about the potential pitfalls of mixed marriages. Couples should be required to take a compatibility test and discuss the results afterwards. The priest does have the discretion to decline to witness the marriage of a couple he believes is not sufficiently prepared or who has not through potential difficulties. Perhaps fewer marriage dispensations should be granted.

Threat #7 – Divorce


divorce graphic


In the past, civil law in many Catholic countries made divorce difficult or impossible.

Often, people wrongly believe that because something is legally permissible that it’s also moral. Man-made laws reflect and teach certain values, values that may not necessarily be good for a healthy society. No-fault divorce laws were instituted in Russia in 1918, starting a destructive trend that has spread throughout the world. In recent years, several states in the USA have adopted covenant marriages, which require a higher level of commitment than a simple civil marriage to stem high divorce rates.

Why should we care about high divorce rates? Studies reveal that divorce wounds children in a particular way because it deprives them of the nurturing support of a father and mother in the same household.  A 2012 study described the negative effects of divorce on children:

“It frequently leads to destructive conflict management methods, diminished social competence and for children, the early loss of virginity, as well as diminished sense of masculinity or femininity for young adults. It also results in more trouble with dating, more cohabitation, greater likelihood of divorce and higher expectations of divorce later in life.”

Catholics must not be afraid to proclaim the social kingdom of Christ and make all possible efforts fight unjust laws which are contrary to Natural Law and the good of persons and families. Unsurprisingly, the number of divorces skyrocketed after the passage of no-fault divorce laws.

At the very least, divorces should be more difficult to obtain and couples encouraged to honor their commitment to God and to each other.

Threat #8 – The Attack on Parental Rights

Marriage, by its nature, is oriented to the procreation and education of children, but it is becoming more and more difficult for parents to do this.

happy familyThe Catechism of the Catholic Church says “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.” (CCC #1601).

As the primary educators of their children, parents are, regrettably, increasingly being denied this right and duty in many different ways by contemporary society. A significant number of countries deny the right of parents to homeschool their children. Furthermore, parents in many places are denied the right to control what their children are taught in schools, mainly through compulsory anti-life and anti-family sex education. Many public schools have implemented programs to instruct children on the need to redefine marriage. We should particularly abhor the encouragement and provision of access to abortion and contraception without parental knowledge or consent.

Unless parental rights are protected, it will be difficult for marriages to accomplish their purpose of raising good children.


The strongest possible antidote to these menacing threats against traditional, sacramental marriage is solid marriage preparation. As Cardinal Raymond Burke said recently, the Sacrament of marriage is under “diabolical” and “ferocious” attack today.

Married couples need to pray together. Catholics who practice their faith are less likely to divorce. Families need to pray together. Marriage counseling should be encouraged when marriages are rocky. Programs like Retrouvaille provide a life-line to couples experiencing troubles in their marriage. Compatibility tests before marriage help couples to understand what their individual strengths and weaknesses and are so that together, as a union, they can find ways to support each other’s weaknesses and build on their strengths. Another marriage program from the Augustine Institute called, “Beloved – Finding Happiness in Marriage,” can help enrich one’s marriage.

Marriage is worth defending. It is vital to defend marriage between one man and one woman since an authentic marriage is the foundation of the family and the family is the foundation of society.

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  1. Avatar
    Bea April 21, 2015 at 7:31 PM - Reply

    My marriage is not harmed at all by same-sex marriage. However my marriage is a threat to Christianity!!!! My husband is an ex Catholic and I never was. Had a pagan marriage and raising our kids outside the church. We refuse to to allow our child to be baptized and won’t even allow them to wear a cross.

    • Avatar
      Ingrid April 23, 2015 at 8:50 PM - Reply

      That is too sad. Baptism is a mark of God upon us so that we can enter eternal life. I hope and pray that you would reconsider. You have your anger and issues, but consider following the ONE who died on the Cross for all people, knowing that He would die in vain for those who would not believe in Him. I pray that your husband would return to the Sacraments,through reconciliation and the Eucharist..these are so important. Please learn the Truth. For me, I will follow HIM who died on the Cross that I might have eternal life. The alternative is hell and I would not recommend that as an eternal destination. Believe what you will, there are only two choices when our bodies die and we choose it: Heaven or hell. That is the way God designed things.

      • Avatar
        Bea May 5, 2015 at 8:49 PM - Reply

        Ingrid I’m not angry with your god, because I don’t believe in your god. I seriously doubt you read the entire bible, I did. So before you talk about “truth” to me, why not learn what your myth is really about. There is no evidence Jesus ever existed and no reason to follow a god that needs such blood sacrifices. Why would I want to be in heaven worshipping such a cruel god that sends ppl to hell for not believing in it?

        I would never worship the god of the bible and find Catholicism has an unhealthy view on life. I’m a Pagan. I was never baptized and I will spare my child the insult. I also won’t allow crosses in my home because they are symbols of death.

        My husband will never return to the church. He shares my sentiments.

        In time, your religion only become less and less. It’s called progress.

        • Avatar
          Joseph Sena October 21, 2015 at 10:03 AM - Reply

          God doesn’t send anyone to hell, we choose it ourselves. Hell is for someone who does not want to be with God. You said you read the Bible? Our religion is more than just the Bible, (The catholic church put the Bible together with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) But its the teaching of church and 2,000 years of writings well. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy about the church. You have free will to believe as you wish, but please don’t make comments like Jesus never existed to justify yourself.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 21, 2015 at 11:39 AM

            Hell, is a pagan myth. Your god provides no evidence of its existence, yet according to an obvious man made myth, lack of belief in this god and which version of the cult represents it right. Hell by its original origins, it was for the lowest of lows, like betrayal.

            Yes I’m aware of the Catholic church and its traditions and education. The church was created by roman leaders, which evolved into the church yiu knie today. Yes 2000 years of destroying and misrepresenting cultures across the world. Yeah, I’m not a fan. Through your new Pope is an improvement, I don’t agree with the ideology enough or trust those who have thousands of years manipulating people into unhealthy bigotry, self image and world view. I’m grateful that has being changing, but not advanced socially. You views on sex, death, human existence I find to be EXTREMELY unhealthy. Very negative, out dated and thankfully there is improvement being made.I’m grateful I was not raised in this religion or baptized. However Catholicism has helped keep pagan gods and traditions alive in some respects. You evolved fasted than your protestant offspring, but you do have more experience.

            There isn’t evidence Jesus existed! The bible is a claim, not records during Jesus life time even mention him. No records about Jesus by the Romans who were the experts your church learned from. Dared of births, deaths, arrest, EXECUTIONS would be recorded. Also the lack of material make me doubt the so called popularity if Jesus, if any real evidence during his lifetime that isn’t consider a forgery by those who provide evidence proving so.

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 21, 2015 at 1:52 PM

            Where do I begin? Where do you get these ideas? Just because you believe certain things doesn’t make it true. I do not understand why you are this site if believe as you do. Seems to me you want to advance your beliefs then learn something.

            “In a world without God, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say you are right and I am wrong.””Modern man thought that when he had gotten rid of God, he had freed himself from all that repressed and stifled him. Instead, he discovered that in killing God, he had also killed himself. For if there is no God, then man’s life becomes absurd.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 21, 2015 at 2:07 PM

            Okay asserting im wrong, but not explaining what and how. However i enjoy history and did my research. I didn’t come here directly there was an article on DAQ, I responded to it. I honestly didn’t realize this was a religious site until you said something.

            I don’t believe in objective right and wrong. It’s unhealthy not to accept change as society evolves. You condemn what causes social actual harmed with the balance of civil liberties. Do we condomn war? Or do we merely condemn those we fear? I’m not an atheist BTW. Christianity doesn’t have the monopoly in the concept of god.

            Your assertions about man and the existence of god doesn’t reflect the social evidence between religion and quality of life. Less religion tends to create healthier societies. See Norway and Sweden.

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 21, 2015 at 2:45 PM

            Gods words are timeless and do not change at the whim of society, to think so is absurd.

            We believe the Catholic faith is the true way to God. Truth is objective reality, or it isn’t truth. Like the sun is up or down, You are alive or dead.

            By the way, wealth is not indication of Gods Favor or blessing. Instead it is a grave peril to our relationship with God.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 21, 2015 at 2:54 PM

            Why is absurd? Is Christianity has not changed the rules followed by the first monotheist? To suggest not is would be denial of the very change you accredit your Messiah. I respect your right to your faith, I by no means begrudge your CHOICE to follow whatever path you wish. Sunset and rises are optical illusions. Could a person has a heart beat, but be brain dead? Even your examples are grey. 😉

            Did I even mention wealth in our conversation?

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 21, 2015 at 3:12 PM

            Jesus fulfilled the prophecy he didn’t change it. I thought you knew that from reading the Bible.

            If you don’t know someone lying in a grave is dead or their isn’t sun in the morning I guess there is no convincing you of anything.

            You mentioned health, not sure what you are getting at, did you mean low cholesterol and good blood pressure? I equate it to weath when you are referring to Norway and Sweden. (Poor countries don’t have people in good health)

          • Avatar
            Bea October 21, 2015 at 4:24 PM

            I did read the bible. The book isn’t very reliable source. Good example Jesus so called fulfillment did in fact differ from the original practice, is change. Whether Jesus intended for that to happen or no as per the story, doesn’t matter. The fact they aren’t stoning women for adultery is a change.

            People have been buried alive. Happened not too long ago, poor woman. There is always a sun, day or night.

            I was talking about mental and social health. Norway and Sweden is also mostly secular. America is wealthy, but the citizens in Norway and Sweden are healthier and happier.

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 21, 2015 at 5:27 PM

            If you read it you didn’t understand it. Jesus had mercy on the woman (remember he is God) He sent her away and said “Sin no more.” You need to break out your Bible to find better examples to support your misguided notions.

            Forgot examples about death and the sun you are completely missing the point. There can only ONE truth. Truth can not have multiple realities. Period.

            I can’t comment on Sweden or Norway. I don’t live there. Where do you get your facts to make assertions that secular countries are “happier” ? Talk about subjective realities, there is one!

          • Avatar
            Bea October 21, 2015 at 7:13 PM

            Just because I don’t believe in the biblical stories, doesn’t mean I did not understand it. Yes, as per the myth, Jesus broke old testament law, hence changed it. I’m not saying its a bad thing, the OT laws are even more out dated. As the point to this part of the conversation you are trying to stray away from.

            I disagree there can be one truth. There are sometimes many truths. For example, multiple ideas about a common subject could have multiple answers to the same question.

            If you look up these countries, they are healthier, the people are happier, more educated, lower infant mortality rate, less crime, less sucides, etc….

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 22, 2015 at 1:59 AM


            Teaching About the Law.
            “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
            Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
            Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
            I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 22, 2015 at 10:23 AM

            Yes the bible claims this, but the RESULT was indeed change. So how is any of this proving I’m wrong, when I told you the bible isn’t a reliable book?

            I would not want to be in heaven by the god described in the bible.

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 22, 2015 at 6:15 PM

            There is no changes to the commands of God. John 1 15:18
            John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
            From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,
            because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through
            Jesus Christ.
            No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.

            And we only have the smallest glimpse of God reading the Bible. Even when we see him in internity we will not fully comprehend the greatness and mystery of God.

            Believe what you will and see how it works out. I am not debating your further. You have distorted logic and ideas about the church and what we believe. So leave us alone.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 22, 2015 at 8:30 PM

            And I keep EXPLAINING to you, the changed happed without or even despite the command. Im not talking about what the bible claims to have happened, but what actually happened, the CHANGE in behavior towards those who broke Mosaic. Quoting John is meaningless tonthis conversation, because I do not follow the biblical god. I never will, at least not as described in the bible.

            Again by this so called fulfillment meant changing the reaction to the crime. Just a typical poly a culture uses to evolve their methods, while in the context of myth the use to translate directions.

            No one according to your biblical mythology has seen your god, but no the case with other god’s.

            Yes, your god is so powerful that without evidence of its existence you fear it without a doubt. The art of very powerful and old manipulation.

            You haven’t backed up your claim, only create assertions and divert conversations that give legitimate critism. It’s not my problem you can not handle it. YOU started a conversation with me on a post that was six months old. Don’t play the persecution card because you couldn’t handle a debate that didn’t end with me agreeing with you.

            It’s people like you I’m protecting my child from when I talk about refusing to raise her Catholic.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 22, 2015 at 8:30 PM

            And I keep EXPLAINING to you, the changed happed without or even despite the command. Im not talking about what the bible claims to have happened, but what actually happened, the CHANGE in behavior towards those who broke Mosaic. Quoting John is meaningless tonthis conversation, because I do not follow the biblical god. I never will, at least not as described in the bible.

            Again by this so called fulfillment meant changing the reaction to the crime. Just a typical poly a culture uses to evolve their methods, while in the context of myth the use to translate directions.

            No one according to your biblical mythology has seen your god, but no the case with other god’s.

            Yes, your god is so powerful that without evidence of its existence you fear it without a doubt. The art of very powerful and old manipulation.

            You haven’t backed up your claim, only create assertions and divert conversations that give legitimate critism. It’s not my problem you can not handle it. YOU started a conversation with me on a post that was six months old. Don’t play the persecution card because you couldn’t handle a debate that didn’t end with me agreeing with you.

            It’s people like you I’m protecting my child from when I talk about refusing to raise her Catholic.

          • Avatar
            Joseph Sena October 22, 2015 at 9:51 PM

            Good bye

          • Avatar
            Bea October 22, 2015 at 11:46 PM

            Lol I didn’t provide misinformation. You are simply too prideful to admit you’re wrong. I understand, bye. Go lick your wounds.

          • Avatar
            Bea October 21, 2015 at 11:41 AM

            BTW I’m on my phone, so please forgive the typos.

    • Avatar
      Gorretti.A May 24, 2017 at 1:01 PM - Reply

      A pagan life is a life without love because God is love and later may not allow you to live in peace with the guilt inside you. I urge you to convert immediately. as a devoted Catholic myself i think you will be relieved if you do convert. I’m praying that you take my advice though I may be a fifteen year old ,I believe this advice from me will be helpful

  2. Avatar
    Domenic Marando April 22, 2015 at 3:53 PM - Reply

    Thank God for Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro! What a much need article identifying the threats against marriage and putting it into perspective. It should be printed out and provided at every parish; perhaps the reading of a few excerpts before Mass ends as well.

    I hope all who read it will be instilled with a sense of urgency with which we all in the Mystical Body of Christ, need to seek ways to build and strengthen the Church, as we have been called to do by our Head, Jesus Christ Our Saviour and Redeemer.

    Thank you for posting this article. God bless. Peace.

  3. Avatar
    Christian Meert April 23, 2015 at 2:18 PM - Reply

    So good to read this article, thank you so much.
    I believe that there is no ‘personal sin’, my sins affect everyone. One can add that moral relativism has been, and is, certainly one of the most dangerous threats to society, not only to today’s society.

  4. Avatar
    Marybeth Slocumb April 23, 2015 at 2:19 PM - Reply

    What about the plague of pornography- I’d call that a threat to marriage…

    • Avatar
      Pam Ruthenbeck April 24, 2015 at 8:10 AM - Reply

      That would be under “#1 Wounded Nature”.

    • Avatar
      Fr Christopher Ojo April 24, 2015 at 6:27 PM - Reply

      Can you expantiate on how the plague of pornography could be a threat to Marriage? I want to learn more by reading your perspective on the issue.

      • Avatar
        Marybeth Slocumb April 24, 2015 at 6:33 PM - Reply

        Fr. Ojo,

        I am pressed for time, but the short answer is that viewing pornography – first and foremost – is adultery. Secondly, it sets up unreal expectations, on the part of both spouses, regarding what the sex act is and should be. Even women now are increasingly drawn to porn, the soft porn in books and movies right down to hard core violence and BDSM type stuff. (50 Shades of Grey isn’t a bestseller and movie and have a line of “adult toys” because men read that garbage…) There have been studies that show the parts of the brain activated and chemical reactions when viewing pornography show that it is highly addictive, and like any drug, you get used to one amount and need to increase the “drug” to get your high….. When single people are involved, they are very hard pressed to form healthy relationships, and when married people view it, well.. I have seen it destroy marriages….. It takes a saintly amount of love, patience, forgiveness, and humility for a couple who have fallen into pornography to heal and be healthy afterwards.

        OK, that wasn’t so short….

        • Avatar
          Fr Christopher Ojo April 24, 2015 at 6:50 PM - Reply

          Thank you for the time spared. It is not so short as you expected. Thank you. So, instead of the act to be a loving one, porn makes it become a competitive race that none of them can win. This will lead to dissatisfaction, and gradually, extra marital relationships, and a lot more. May God save Marriage.

          • Avatar
            Krista Thomas May 13, 2015 at 3:03 PM

            Thank you all for your comments. God bless the Sacrament of Marriage!

    • Avatar
      Krista Thomas May 13, 2015 at 3:05 PM - Reply

      Excellent point which has sparked a few comments on the debate. Thank you and God bless!

  5. Avatar
    Edward J. Bradley, Sr., M.P.A April 23, 2015 at 4:15 PM - Reply

    You failed to list taxes. In the U.S., in particular. Serving to explain, in part, why so many couples “co-habitate” and may begin to procreate without becoming legally married, beforehand.
    1. The U.S. Income Tax Code, starting in 1970, began imposing an onerous “Marriage Penalty” on legally married couples who are both wage-earners outside the home.
    2. Legally married couples, receiving Social Security, receive lower overall monthly payment $-amounts and earned income disregards. Despite Social Security’s false and disingenuous claims to the contrary. Taxes paid to Social Security, in advance of receiving benefits, are the same for both unmarried and legally married couples.
    3. Some insurance companies, also, “get into the act”. Example: Some Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance policies will not pay benefits to a “care-giver” providing care to their own spouse, to whom they are legally married. Premiums are the same for both unmarried and legally married couples.
    4. The hierarchy/leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has been “derelict” in failing to defend and advocate for it’s own faithful members who adhere to Church Teachings and God’s own 10 Commandments. From the financial persecution placed upon them by the U.S. Government, insurance companies and other “secular” elements of modern society.
    I hope this is not because the Church receives $-federal and other government funding for so many of it’s charitable programs. Programs for which “legally married” Church members are also pressured to fund through their voluntary contributions while (re-)populating declining Church membership by having and paying to raise their own children. While the Church provides them with little in the way of assistance, encouragement or support. At times, posing a threat to these same children.

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    Fr Christopher Ojo April 24, 2015 at 6:10 PM - Reply

    I appreciate the effort made to put this write-up together. I always refer to Mixed Marriage as an Evangelizing Marriage. As such, it requires Great Faith, may be, like that of the great Evangelist, St Paul. Many of our Catholic faithful who go into it do not posses this kind of Faith. This is the major problem. If this problem could be borne in mind by our catholic members who may want to go into Mixed Marriage, I will say that Mixed Marriages should be encouraged. As a matter of fact, if I were to marry, I would have deliberately opted for a Mixed Marriage; I would have liked to win a Soul for Christ in the Catholic Church through my Marriage.

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    carl June 2, 2017 at 4:34 PM - Reply

    If I can add to Marybeth Slocumb statement; one attribute that should be added to the list is Social media. Social media has probably contributed to more divorces than what is listed above combined.
    This ties into pornography, since people use social media to meet up with old flames, office employees and upper management. They end up sending pornographic pictures and videos to each other, using it as a tool for advancement in the office or for even getting employment.
    My marriage was destroyed by it. My spouse felt like she had to do it to get her foot in the door in an industry she always wanted and dreamed about. Her friends promoted it and told her there was nothing wrong in what she was doing, that she was expressing her sexuality. It eventually got out of hand and she became so addicted to it, she was doing it day and night, neglecting not only me but our children. She ended up doing things with her boss, destroying our marriage and our children. We had a bitter divorce, which has affected the children up to the point of taking drugs and trying to commit suicide.
    I don’t believe in governmental regulations, due to our freedom of speech, but something should definitely be done to stop allowing adults from exploiting themselves and others. An individual should feel that it is their attributes, inner strength of working hard and diligently to get where they are. They should be working from within and not from without, praying and knowing that God will lead them to the right career path.

  8. […] What would Our Lady think of the current “fashion” of men to squander hours every week lusting over pornographic images that are utterly degrading to women? Or what about the “fashion” of men to use social media apps to “swipe” to find no-commitment “hookups,” or the fashion of men to cohabitate with their girlfriends, with no intention of ever offering them the commitment and stability of marriage? […]

  9. The 8 Threats to Marriage and What We Can Do About It | Houston Catechetical Connection October 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Reply

    […] The 8 Threats to Marriage and What We Can Do About It […]

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    Michael November 6, 2017 at 12:16 AM - Reply

    I’m so glad this article is out there. All Catholics should get a copy. I’m 62, and I’ve seen how our society has evolved since the 60s. Sadly we’ve lost many good things. Church attendance for all religions is falling greatly. Same sex marriage is seen as civil right. Abortion and pornography are fully accepted. Divorces are easy to get, and multiple marriages are common.
    Even many divorced Catholics refuse to get annulments before returning to the dating world.
    I was never married, have no children, and still a virgin. It’s a source of pain and discomfort. I turned down the few sexual offers I got years ago. I quit dating at 46. All I found were broken and distressed people. I can speak with authority on addiction to porn. I’ve struggled with it for over 30 yrs. It began in college, and until recently I underwent spiritual conversion. It’s very hard to put it aside. I feel sorry for young people today as they grow up in a highly sexualized culture with digital technology. Sexting and other digital aps make it easy to reveal your most intimate physical body areas. Most teens don’t see this as wrong or foolish. When I grew up in the 60s and early 70s most kids I knew had moms and dads. Today that is rare, and children in single parent families suffer a lot on many levels. When they reach adulthood they will have a rough time making marriage and family work. They lack the role models to draw on. Result–the cycle repeats, we get another generation of broken families and damaged kids. It’s so sad and unnecessary.

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    Jenny February 1, 2018 at 12:43 PM - Reply

    The bible is man made…

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    JOHN FARRELL September 4, 2018 at 11:52 PM - Reply

    Divorce should be harder to obtain? How about follow canon law?
    Providence Diocese 1952
    The Fourth Synod of the Diocese of Providence (read original)
    October 8, 1952 with His Excellency, The Most Rev. Russel J. McVinney, Presiding

    The diocese of Providence in Rhode Island reiterated in their own diocesan statutes the requirement to have the bishop’s permission before filing in the civil forum for divorce. Furthermore, priests and lawyers were given strict instruction.

    No. 262. §1. Under pain of mortal sin Catholics may not approach the civil courts to obtain a civil separation, divorce or annulment, unless Our explicit permission has been given to them to do so.
    1° It is not within the power of a pastor or any other priest to give such permission.
    2° It is the duty of the pastor to do all that he possibly can to effect an understanding between married persons as soon as he is aware of serious difficulties between them, and to effect a reconciliation if perhaps they have separated on their own authority.
    3° When permission is sought to apply for separation in accordance with Canons 1128 to 1131, the request shall be submitted to us through the pastor of the petitioner with an accurate summary of the whole case and the reasons justifying a consideration of the petition.

    §2. Under pain of mortal sin a Catholic lawyer may not approach the Civil Courts as attorney for a plaintiff seeking a separation, divorce or annulment of a marriage which has been contracted before a Catholic priest unless the plaintiff or the lawyer has first obtained Our permission to institute proceedings.

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    Boineelo Thedi August 6, 2019 at 6:11 AM - Reply

    God’s word is eternal. It is the perfect law of liberty, which does not even need to be reviewed,regardless of whether it offends someone or not. Where as people mock it, some of us believe it, and we have testimonies of peace that surpasses all human understanding, healing miracles and many countless others. That is all that matters. Whether we like it or not, this world will pass away, but the word will remain. It was there at the beginning according to John chapter 1.
    Our spirits will live on, the big question is where am I going to spend eternity once my spirit leaves my body? Every living soul must answer this question, believers and non believers alike. Nobody gets exempted just because they do not believe. God so loved the world that whoever believes may not perish, but have everlasting life. He has done all that was necessary. The ball is on our side of the court. I choose to have everlasting life.

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    Jace Bowen August 21, 2019 at 1:28 AM - Reply

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