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Boston Catholic weddings plunged 55% over decade

CWN - August 16, 2010

The number of Catholic weddings in the Archdiocese of Boston has plunged by over 55% in the past decade, from 8,343 in 2000 to 3,727 in 2009. “They don’t go to church, so it doesn't have any meaning to them,” said Father Dennis Nason. “I feel sad about it. When they marry in the Church, having a relationship with God is going to help them in their marriage and when everything is not coming up roses.”

The number of Catholic weddings in the United States stood at 355,182 in 1965, rose until the early 1970s, then fell to 292,499 in 1995. The number of Catholic weddings then fell steeply to 191,265 in 2008-- a decline of 35% in less than a decade and a half.

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  • Posted by: pcgondreau8983 - Aug. 16, 2010 11:38 PM ET USA

    I handle baptism preparations in my parish in Rhode Island. And by my unofficial count, of those couples who request baptism for their children, only a third of them have been married in the Church. Very telling!

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 16, 2010 7:37 PM ET USA

    Given that it's Boston and all that has happened in recent years (e.g., the Kennedy "overlooks," the squashing of Catholic school unions, academic freedom vs the Magisterium at BC, homosexual "parents" calling the tune for the entry of children into Catholic schools, etc) it's not really surprising is it that weddings are down? Too, Massachussets allows gay marriage so perhaps people are going somewhere else to marry so there isn't a stigma.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 16, 2010 10:50 AM ET USA

    It is difficult to see the statistics and not be labeled a pessisimist. This news simply reflects what many of us have already experienced anecdotally. Of the Catholic weddings that do take place, how many involve chaste couples who have maintained their virginity in courtship? How many reject artificial contraception? The good news is that tradition-minded Catholics are getting married and are having large families. Perhaps a reversal is possible with God's grace and lots of prayer.

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