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Monday 22 February 2010

In the lead-up to St. Valentine’s day, both the bishops of the United States and those of England and Wales organized a week of activities to draw attention to the importance of marriage and family life.

This period also saw the publication of two briefings on marriage by an English think tank, the Relationships Foundation. On 9 February they published “Counting the Cost of Family Failure,” and the following day “Why Does Marriage Matter?”

In the first briefing the foundation put at 41.7 billion pounds ($64.49 billion) the annual cost of failed relationships. This works out at 1,350 pounds ($2,088) for each U.K. taxpayer. Public policymakers need to take into account this high economic burden and take appropriate steps to ensure more stable relationships, the briefing urged.

“It is an unpopular truth that choices have consequences and costs, and that these are not always borne by the choice-maker,” the briefing commented.

The foundation also pointed out that functioning families are key to social life and in transmitting skills. The briefing put at 73 billion pounds ($112 billion) a year the amount contributed by families through their support of family members and the social care they provide.

The briefing observed that family breakdown imposes costs that are not merely financial. It referred to studies showing a greater incidence of health problems among divorced adults and their children.

In addition, the emotional traumas, loneliness and fractured relationships have an impact that is far from negligible. Children’s education also suffers as a divorced parent has less time to assist with homework and to encourage learning.

By the Editors of NCR - National Catholic Register (considered by many to be a "centre-left" American magazine on Catholic affairs)

April 26-May 2, 2009 Issue


With same-sex "marriage" becoming an issue in more and more states, it's more important than ever that we know how to articulate why marriage is only possible between a man and a woman.

Public relations matter. It's true that Christians are often called on to be the conscience of a nation. We must, in the words of Dorothy Day, "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

But to win the argument about homosexual "marriage," we can't simply be right. We have to be right, and be persuasive.

That means speaking our message not in the way that makes us feel most comfortable, but in the way that makes others most comfortable agreeing with what they know to be true.

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