Saturday, April 25, 2015

Opening Church Doors to Marriage

In April, for the last two years, we had issues which caused a great deal of public anguish. Last year, the sinking  of the Sewol Ferry, and this year the news of large scale corruption in government, but it is also the month of flowers and weddings.

Many are renewed by the attendance at a wedding with the newly weds expressing their joy in a new life that begins. Peace Weekly, Peace Columnist,  recounts the joy of attending a Wedding Mass and all that is associated with a wedding. He laments, however, this is not something that all can enjoy and precedes to tell us why.

He introduces us to a book by two professors Cabone and Cahn who have written Marriage Markets, which describes  how income of the couples influences the markets for marriage: less marriage when the income is lower and more when higher.

This is also our reality. A  marriage business enterprise, working in the field is quoted as saying,  the average money spent on a marriage including the home would be over 200,000 dollars. Without this kind of money available one can't contemplate marriage.

In Korea those who are not married by 50 are consider unmarried for life. In 1980 only 0.4% were in this category, in 2010 this has increased to 5%. Japan is in a more difficult situation, in 1980 only 2.6% were unmarried, in 2010 it rose to 20.1 %.

This year we will have the population house census made every 5 years. Since Korea, in respect to population transitions, has many similarities with Japan, the writer surmises that there will be big surprises in the numbers who remain single for life--those who have given up on romance and marriage because of money and emotional reasons. 

Last year we had the extraordinary synod on the family and Cardinal Yeom of Seoul was quoted as saying that with the solving of the problems in the family all will be solved. The first  barrier for this is marriage itself and a need for the Church to get involved. The family is what supports the country, society and the church, We don't want to go in the direction of the United States, where marriage   becomes the choice of the elite and middle class.

The Church needs to open the doors of its 1,682 churches to those who are dreaming of marriage. The church needs to lower expenses and start spreading  news to make a new culture for marriage.