The Support of Married Couples by the Catholic Church

The Support of Married Couples by the Catholic Church

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The Support of Married Couples by the Catholic Church

On the marriage day the couple and their relatives are all happy with
great big smiles on their faces, however this doesn't last for long
necessarily. No matter how perfect the marriage maybe there will
always be some sort of a rough patch or troubled patch during the life
span of the marriage, this is where the marital vows kick in and
become real life, not just meaningless words. Some couples will be
able to come through this rough patch or patches however, some will
not have the commitment to make a marriage last and can't be bothered
to try and fix what ever problem there may be.

What most people forget is their vows which they made on their
marriage day; here they are to remind you.

Text Box: “I, (name) do take thee, (Name) to be my lawful wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.†A quote from the traditional Wedding Mass

Most people forget the last part of the vows which they make, I have
highlighted them. Marriage is for life, not till when there is a
troubled patch, you can't just simple get a divorce, it is till death
do us part.

The Catholic Church is aware of the problems and is there to help
along with many other counselling organisations.

There are many reason for a marriage to come into difficulties, here
are just a few examples;

* Family problems

* Metal or terminal illnesses

* Death of a child or close relative

* Work

* Parenthood, different views on how to bring up a child

* Adultery

* Unemployment

* Physical assault

* Financial problems

* General arguments and rows

No matter how hard a couple may try they will always experience at
least one of the above problems. However, for some even a slight

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problem can force them to divorce. In Western countries the rate of
divorces are steadily increases, this shows the lack of commitment
towards a marriage from both sides. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people
will get divorced in their life.

There are many organisations out there to help couples with marital
problems. One such organisation is Marriage Care.

Marriage Care is a Catholic based organisation giving and offering
support, advice or just there to listen to couple or single people who
are in marital difficulties. You do not have to be a Christian to get
advice and support from Marriage Care. It accepts any one from any
culture regardless of race, appearance and wealth. However Marriage
Care basis its principles around the Catholic marriage and also its

Marriage Care stresses the importance of their counsellors putting
their clients before anything else. Their counsellors should be
prepared to expect anything and not be judgemental on first
appearances and behaviours. Their main goal is not to give the client
answers and tell them to do it but to work through all of their
problems and show them greater understanding of their difficulties and
teach them to take control. Marriage Care offers;

* Counselling to help people to develop every day skills to help them
combat their problems.

* Education in to the life of marriage and what to expect helping and
focussing on sex education.

* Help and advice for the families who want to learn about natural
ways of family planning.

* Opportunities for the couple to research into greater depth the ways
of combating marriage breakdowns and ways to sustain them and to make
them more life giving and more fun.

Not only does marriage care give advice on marriage difficulties but
it also offers lessons to couples who are thinking of going into
marriage for the first time. They teach them what to expect and ways
to communicate, so they understand what each other might suffer and
try to help them if there are.

There are however many other marriage counselling organisations and
they are not all catholic either, Relate is one such organisation.

Relate is a non-catholic based organisation which doe the same job as
Marriage Care.

Currently in Britain there are over 2,500 counsellors which are free
of any government control.

Relate also offers support for children whose parents are suffering
from marital problems.

Marriage has changed over many years, due to pressures and to
realisations by governments. The Church does not believe in divorce
and does not recognise it. You may legally be divorced, but in the
eyes of the Church you are still lawfully married to that person.

The Church has based its views around what is said in the bible and
there is no better place to look but in Matthew's Gospel. Here is one
quote on divorce;

Text Box: “It was said, moreover, ‘Whoever puts away his wife, let him give her a written notice of dismissal.’ But I say to you that everyone who puts away his wife, save on account of immorality, causes her to commit adultery; and he who marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery.’ †Matthew 5:31-32

What I think Jesus is trying to say is that any man who getting rid of
his wife, unless she has committed adultery or been immoral then he is
committing adulatory himself by doing so in this act.

In 1971 under the Divorce Reform Act the state or government could
issue a divorce based on or around the grounds of adultery, cruelty or
physical violence, the disappearance of one of the couples for longer
than 2 years, but if a partner did not want a divorce then it is after
5 years.

In 1984 divorce was allowed after just 1 year under the Matrimonial

As I have said earlier the Catholic Church does not believe in divorce
and does not see it as a legal operation. The Church does however see
that there maybe reason for a person to want to get a separation from
a partner; the Church has its own little act called an Annulment.

Annulment is where the church says that the marriage was null and void
and therefore didn't take place or happened. This means that in the
eyes of the Catholic Church that you can lawfully re-marry in the
Catholic Church.

There are problems with annulment however. You just can't apply for
one and get it straight away, you have to prove yourself to a panel to
prove that the marriage was void and certain criteria must be met, and
here are a few examples that might get you an annulment.

* At least one person of the couple did not understand what they were
entering or the vows

* At least on of the couple were forced into marriage

* At least one of them never intended to have a child

* The marriage never intended to be consummated

* At least one never intended to remain faithful, to commit adultery
before the marriage had even happened

* At least one of the couple told lies to make the other marry them

* At least one was concealing something, they were an alcoholic for

Annulments are not easy to get. At least one person must present their
case to a marriage tribunal, the other doesn't have to give their
consent or be present. Evidence must be given to support the arguments
that they are making.

In most cases at least three witnesses must be able to support the
allegations made.

If you are successful then in moist cases there is a small cost,
around about £1,000.

The Church does however support temporary separation. They support it
because it gives time for each party to regroup their ideas, thoughts
and feelings. It also allows time to sort things out in a marriage
that might be going wrong.

During a separation there is an opportunity for counsellors to be
brought in, giving support to the couple. Also by having a break it
means the couple get a 'Time Out' or 'Chilling' period giving the
couple time to regroup their thought and feelings.

The Church offers support to each person during a separation and
respect their views for deciding to take a break from their
relationship. Hopefully by doing this the Church will be able to get
the relationship back on track, keeping the couple loyal to each

Most failures in marriage is due to the lack of COMMUNICATION.
Communication is the key to any marriage. If you don't communicate you
will not know what the other is felling and going through, which means
you will not be able to solve any problems.

No matter what problems there maybe in a marriage, the Church can't
solve all of them. It can offer support and advice but at the end of
the day it is down to the couple to sort themselves, and their
marriage out. There are organisations out there to help and support
but they can't solve any problem, it is up to the couple them selves.
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