The latest New Zealand Marriage, Civil Union and Divorce statistics are a sad consequence of a seriously declining moral fibre in our nation.
For two people to commit to each other for life in marriage, they need to give selflessly and they need to be prepared to forgive. However, our society embraces instant gratification and selfishness.
Children learn from their parents about love, marriage and self-sacrifice. If they do not experience this as children, valuable learning is lost. As just over 1/3 of all marriages from 1971 have now been dissolved, many of today’s marriage-aged adults have not experienced this fully. It is little wonder then, that they are struggling to make the committment to marriage.
The civil union statistics show that this form of “union” is most definitely perceived as a “gay marriage”. It is reported that 73% of all unions occuring in 2010 were between couples of the same sex. Civil unions legitimise something that is of itself disordered, and diminishes the honour due to marriage.
This year is the 30th Anniversary of Blessed John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris Consortio“. In it he discusses the situation that the family finds itself in – both good and bad, and he identifies the root of the problem:
“At the root of these negative phenomena there frequently lies a corruption of the idea and the experience of freedom, conceived not as a capacity for realizing the truth of God’s plan for marriage and the family, but as an autonomous power of self-affirmation, often against others, for one’s own selfish well-being.” #6
It is this corruption of true freedom which sees society living with a disordered view of love, marriage and the family.
But there is hope! Many young people of Faith, are marrying. They are willing to commit and to give sacrificially. It is married couples of all ages who embrace fidelity and self-sacrifice who …”bear witness to the inestimable value of the indissolubility and fidelity of marriage…” and it is these couples who perform “one of the most precious and most urgent tasks… in our time.” (Blessed John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio #20).
For the press release from Statistics NZ go here.
For detailed statistical information go here.
Text of Familiaris Consortio.